This old style stout from the Samuel Smith Old Brewery in Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, England pours an opaque black with ruby tones visible around the edges when held up to direct light. The tan coloured head is very frothy and leaves a fair about of lace before settling as a collared film. Samuel Smith’s Celebrated Oatmeal Stout has an aroma dominated by molasses, with notes of chocolate syrup and coffee as well as a fairly pungent, yet mild ripened fruit smell.
The taste of Samuel Smith’s Celebrated Oatmeal Stout is fairly bitter up front with notes of baker’s chocolate and coffee in addition to a slight smokey wood tone. The finish brings a subtle and slightly sweet plum-like taste. The beer is full-bodied with a mild, but distinct carbonation level and the mouthfeel is extraordinarily smooth and creamy. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with notes of oatmeal and wood.
Ayinger Celebrator from Brauerei Aying (Privatbrauerei Franz Inselkammer KG) in Germany pours a deep chestnut-ruby colour with amber highlights around the edges when held up to light and a small tan coloured head that gets retained as a thin, but frothy collar without leaving much lacing. This doppelbock has a rich and complex malty aroma with a strong oak tone. Dark fruits, chocolate, coffee and molasses can all be found and a hint of alcohol comes out as you make your way through the glass.
The taste of Ayinger Celebrator follows the aroma and is equally rich and complex. Dark fruits, chocolate, sweet malts, roasted grains, oak and a hint of vanilla are all present before a bitter and herbal finish takes over. The mouthfeel is creamy and hearty with a low-medium carbonation and a yeasty sensation on the tongue. The aftertaste is dry with oak and fruit tones. This heavy beer is surprisingly drinkable, with little trace of alcohol aside from a pleasant warming effect.
King Goblin from the Wychwood Brewery in Witney, Oxfordshire, UK pa deep ruby colour with amber highlights and a fluffy, tan coloured, root beer-esque head that gets retained as a thin collar and leaves spotty lacing. This English strong ale smells of sweet, toasted caramel malts and a light, grape-like fruit note reminiscent of white wine. Light chocolate, fresh grains and pungent floral hops can also be detected.
The taste of King Goblin starts off bitter then reveals notes of ripened fruits, roasted bread-like malts and a peppery spiciness and then finishes with a bitter brewed tea-like taste. The mouthfeel is pretty heavy and malty overall, but the ale still pops on the tongue thanks to a medium carbonation and long-lasting collar. The aftertaste is clean and dry with a bitter chocolate tone.
This West Coast-style American IPA from the Paddock Wood Brewing Company in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan pours a clear, rusty amber colour with a generous light tan-coloured head that takes a good 7-10 minutes to burn off, leaving a healthy amount of lace and a small collar in its wake. 606 IPA smells of caramel-sweetened, toasted malts and has lemon, pineapple and orange citrus notes. A dark floral tone and a hint of earth come through as well.
606 IPA is fairly well-balanced, though a syrupy, dark caramel taste is most prevalent. The beer has a nice, bright tangerine-like citrus tang at first, a dark fruit like cherry taste on the tongue and a crisp, lemon zest note to the finish. It is medium-bodied with a perceivably low carbonation. A long-lasting collar provides a creaminess on the tongue before a suitably oily aftertaste takes over.
Czech Mate from the Paddock Wood Brewing Company in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan pours a clear golden colour with a moderately-sized, frothy and soapy white head that settles as a collared film and leaves light, spotty lacing. This traditional pilsner has a very pleasant and appetizing smell consisting of a mild soap tone, flowers and fresh grains. A subtle malt note, a hint of green tea and a honey-like sweetness balance out the body of the aroma.
The taste of Czech Mate is hop-forward, clean and crisp. A slight malt sweetness is accompanied by a very solid dryness and a tart, almost sour finish. The beer is light-bodied with a medium-heavy carbonation. An oily sensation comes through on the tongue before a slight syrupy aftertaste takes over.