Crosswind Pale Ale: Take Off, Eh!

This American pale ale from Lake of Bays Brewing Company in Baysville, Ontario is hazy and pencil yellow colour, with a fairly small, but creamy off-white head that leaves a stringy collar and some lace when settled. The smell of Crosswind Pale Ale is built on a chocolaty roasted malt base and accented by aromas of toasted oats and rice, butterscotch, grapefruit and limestone.

Crosswind Pale Ale
This is a Well-Built, No-Frills Ale.

Crosswind Pale Ale is led by earthy, roasted grains in its taste and is countered by a punchy grapefruit flavour that brings with it a moderate bitterness. I also get hints of chocolate, light nuts and a tart note in the finish that reminds me of lemon seed. A medium body and carbonation, as well as a fairly resinous and earthy mouthfeel give way to a sharp, mineral-like aftertaste.

The Great St-Ambroise Pumpkin Ale: Could Be Better

The Great St-Ambroise Pumpkin Ale from McAuslan Brewing Incorporated in Montréal, Quebéc pours a clear honey-copper colour with a large light beige head that doesn’t leave much, if any lace before settling as a thin collar that’s present throughout the glass. This limited-release seasonal offering smells of a spice blend that includes cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves over a caramel malt body with a faint pumpkin aroma.

The Great St-Ambroise Pumpkin Ale
This Pumpkin Ale Could Use More Pumpkin

The spice blend also dominates the taste of The Great St-Ambroise Pumpkin Ale. Sweet malts are kept in check by a nice hoppy bitterness and a mild pumpkin flavour. The beer finishes with a dry, wheat-like tone. The Great St-Ambroise Pumpkin Ale is medium-bodied with a low to medium carbonation level. It creates a slightly oily, bread-like feeling on the tongue and has a crisp, grainy and spicy aftertaste.

Mill Street Brewery Coffee Porter: One Special Blend

This rich, dark beer from the Mill Street Brewery in downtown Toronto, Ontario has real brewed Balzac’s Coffee added during the brewing process. Coffee Porter pours a deep, almost black, ruby-brown colour with a sizable, but fleeting sandy brown head. I find the beer has a surprisingly bubbly mouthfeel, imparting an unexpected, crisp freshness.

Mill Street Coffee Porter
This is the Most Refreshing Porter I've Tried

Mill Street Brewery Coffee Porter carries a typical deep malt aroma with strong chocolate syrup notes and a hint of smoky wood. The rich, malty and syrupy taste common to porters is very well-balanced by the bitterness of the coffee and a smoke-tinged, slightly fruity aftertaste.

Hoptical Illusion: A Kind of Magic

Hoptical Illusion from the flying Monkeys Craft Brewery in Barrie, Ontario is described as an “Almost Pale Ale” by its makers. This unique spin on a classic recipe pours a rich, rusty amber colour with a thin, but lingering beige head. It has a very appealing roasted malt aroma with hints of citrus and spice.

Hoptical Illusion
This Beer's Great Taste is no Illusion

A very hop-forward taste packs a tangy bite up front. Hoptical Illusion has a surprisingly creamy mouthfeel despite a seemingly high carbonation level. It finishes with grapefruit-like citrus tones and carries a nice bitterness throughout.

Great Lakes Brewery Devil’s Pale Ale: Fiendishly Good

Devil’s Pale Ale from the Great Lakes Brewery in Toronto, Ontario pours a beautiful, deep cherry wood colour with a white head that lingers as a lacing film. This strong beer exudes an excellent hoppy aroma, rich with fruity and smoky tones.

Great Lakes Brewery Devil's Pale Ale
I was Lead into Temptation by a Wonderful Aroma

Great Lakes Brewery Devil’s Pale Ale has a taste dominated by malt, with hints of roasted grain. It has a thick mouthfeel and a very pronounced bitter finish.  The beer is excellent as a solo beer and has a wonderful warming quality to it.