Red Racer IPA from the Central City Brewing Company in Surrey, British Columbia pours a clear, golden tinged copper-amber colour with a moderate, tan-coloured head that sticks around as a thin collar while leaving a light amount of fine lacing. This hop-laden American IPA has a very rich and bright aroma. It has lots of tropical fruit smells, like mango and pineapple, as well as grapefruit, pine and even a hint of cherry. Fresh grains, creamed honey and a nice lightly toasted wheat smell make up the backing.
The taste of Red Racer IPA has a bread-like malt tone to start before a crisp grapefruit citrus taste punches the palate. A buttery caramel comes through on the tongue and the finish has an assertive, but under control bitterness. The beer has a fairly thin mouthfeel and a mild prickly sensation from the long lasting collar. It gets quite oily on the back of the tongue and a fruity tartness lingers in the aftertaste just enough to make you want another sip.
Nickel Brook Headstock IPA from the Better Bitters Brewing Company in Burlington, Ontario pours a hazy, rusty amber colour with a medium-sized tan coloured head that is retained for a while as a frothy colour. There is spotty lacing and small grains of yeast sediment are visible. This American IPA has a thick, syrupy aroma with citrus and berry tones in the forefront and a sturdy caramel malt base with a pine accent and a subtle spicy note.
The taste of Nickel Brook Headstock IPA is similar to the smell, with bright citrus and red berry tones taking the lead and backed by toasty, bready malts with a hint of caramel. There is a nice balance of sweetness in the taste and a solid bitterness in the finish. The ale is full-bodied with a relatively mild carbonation. It is very creamy on the tongue with a lingering oily sensation and flavours of lemon zest, pine and a peppery spice in the aftertaste.
Ambre de la Chaudière from Mill Street Brewery’s Ottawa Brewpub pours a hazy, rusty orange colour with amber tinges and a moderate tan coloured head that gets retained as a string-like collar and leaves some spotty lace behind. This Bière de Garde smells of wheat, grains, yeast, banana and bubble gum and it has a subtle hint of alcohol.
Ambre de la Chaudière has a deep taste of biscuit-like grains with a toasted, earthy character. Sweet, fruity accents of strawberry and banana and an assertive boozy bite round out the taste. The unfiltered beer is full-bodied with a low carbonation level. Yeast provides a pop on the tongue before a bready character takes over. The finish has a nice dryness and the aftertaste has a honey-like flavour and syrupy quality.
Netherworld Cascadian Dark Ale from the Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery in Barrie, Ontario pours a cola-like dark ruby colour with a nice, creamy head not unlike a root beer float that leaves some distinctly layered lacing. This American black ale, often referred to as a “Black IPA” has a crisp, spicy aroma with a generous helping of a grapefruit-like citrus smell backed up by notes of toasted grains, malts and molasses.
The taste of Netherworld Cascadian Dark Ale is malty and slightly sweet with syrup, coffee and toasted cocoa tones, as well as a subtle cherry or plum-like fruit flavour. The beer is noticeably carbonated but still a bit watery on the tongue, though there is a nice oily quality as well. The finish carries a nicely-balanced, solid bitterness and the aftertaste is slightly sweet and spicy with a soft banana note and a lingering pine-like flavour.
This American-style IPA from the Railway City Brewing Company in St. Thomas, Ontario pours a golden-amber colour with a medium-sized off-white head that leaves a moderate amount of lacing and gets retained as a thin collar and film. Dead Elephant IPA has the traditional berry and citrus aromas fans of the style know and love, but here they take a back seat to a warm, toasted grain smell and deep caramel tone.
A nicely embittered grapefruit flavour is much more prevalent in the taste of Dead Elephant IPA and is joined by a slightly sweet, dark caramel tone, as well as a biscuit-like one. The ale is full-bodied with almost no carbonation beyond the first few minutes after being poured, yet there is a bright pop on the tongue followed by a heavy yeast note. The finish is bitter and the aftertaste is oily and grainy, with a subtle fruit tone.