Crazy Canuck Pale Ale from the Great Lakes Brewery in Toronto, Ontario pours a deep Golden-amber colour with a moderate tan head that leaves a fair amount of lace. A collar and film last throughout the glass. After breathing for a bit, this American-style pale ale has a grapefruit-like citrus aroma with spicy and buttery tones and a cherry-like bitter fruit note.
Crazy Canuck Pale Ale sort of tastes like overripe fruit, but in a good way. Like the aroma a tart citrus taste, along with a sweet, buttery malt are present. The mouthfeel is thin, yet creamy and carries a medium carbonation feel. The finish is tart, but not puckering.
Southern Tier IPA from the Southern Tier Brewing Company in Lakewood, New York pours a clear, golden-amber colour with a sizable, frothy, tan-coloured head that laces and gets retained as a collar. This strong ale has a fresh and appealing hop aroma with lots of citrus tones including grapefruit and tangerine. There is also a nice honey-like sweetness that brightens everything up.
The taste of Southern Tier IPA is surprisingly sweet up front, with a toasted malt overtone. A well-balanced bitterness is followed by buttery, piney and citrus hop tones. The mouthfeel is creamy, with a medium-heavy body and little carbonation. A honey-like sweetness at the end masks the ale’s ABV.
Propeller Extra Special Bitter from the Propeller Brewing Company in Halifax Nova Scotia pours a lovely ruby-amber colour with a generous soapy head that eaves a nice amount of lace before settling as a collar. This effort has a chocolaty, bready malt aroma with a sort of cranberry tartness. It smells quite rich given its ABV percentage.
The taste of Propeller Extra Special Bitter is also fairly hearty; malt forward with a nice hoppy bite. Roasted tones are complimented by a strong citrus flavour before another wave of bittering hops finishes on the back of your tongue. It’s a bit more watery and less creamy than other ESB examples, but is surprisingly satisfying for a relatively light take on the style.
Pedigree from Marston’s Brewery in Burton Upon Trent, UK is a traditional English pale ale that pours a lovely, fiery, amber-copper tone with a rich and frothy white head that leaves some generous lacing. The beer has a remarkably fresh aroma for a months-old import. The aroma is deep and rich, well-balanced between malt and hops with wood, fresh river water and grain notes.
The taste of Pedigree is also rich and malty, punctuated by a very creamy mouthfeel. Oak aging gives the beer woody flavour and there is a hint of toffee. The bitterness may be a bit lopsided; it’s not overpowering, but appears more in the finish than throughout the taste. I find a sort of resin-like thickness in the aftertaste.
Wells IPA from Wells and Young’s Brewing Company Ltd. In Bedford, UK pours a nice honey-amber colour, with a white soapy head that falls quickly, but leaves behind some nice lace and a collar. The natural mineral water that Wells IPA is brewed with comes through in the aroma, along with a malty sweetness and a decent hop backing.
The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a medium carbonation. The taste of Wells IPA is malty and bready, with a sort of metallic undertone from the mineral water used to brew it. I find it very dry, but not to the point of bitterness. I also note a certain peppery spiciness in the aftertaste along with a distinct earthiness.