Smashbomb Atomic IPA from The Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery in Barrie, Ontario is rather dark for an American IPA. It pours a rusty amber colour with a moderate-sized tan head that gets retained as a collared film while leaving some nice lacing. This strong beer is very hop-forward with a buttery citrus aroma. A butterscotch-caramel tone provides a sweet backing and a light rose floral accent comes through after warming.
The of taste Smashbomb Atomic IPA is mostly well-balanced at first, but really goes out of whack. The tangy grapefruit-tangerine citrus bite of the hops is quickly enveloped by a syrupy caramel malt flavour. A tea-like taste appears briefly before a wave of overly strong bitterness seizes up the tongue. It’s very, very bitter overall and I don’t get much in the way of subtlety from this beer, though an oily quality helps ease it down and a long-lasting collar provides a smooth creaminess to the mouthfeel.
Lemon Tea Beer from the Mill Street Brewery in Toronto, Ontario is cloudy in appearance and golden-amber in colour. It doesn’t pour with much of a head, but what’s there stays as a collar. This unique hybrid of wheat beer, two teas and lemon puree has a predominantly sweet, honey-like aroma, with fresh grainy tones and a slight maltiness.
The sourness of the lemon purée comes through in the taste of Lemon Tea Beer right away. The mouthfeel is a bit thin and watery for a wheat ale, but carries a decent-feeling carbonation. The bitterness of orange pekoe and earl grey teas really balance things out, resulting in a very clean aftertaste and overall refreshment quality.
Robert Simpson Confederation Amber Ale from the Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery in Barrie, Ontario pours a slightly cloudy, almost pencil yellow colour with a nice frothy and creamy head. It creates a very bright, hoppy aroma with strong citrus notes as well as some mild earthy tones and a bit of pepper.
There is a pleasant tang to the initial mouthfeel that gives way to a rich and satisfying creaminess. Robert Simpson Confederation Amber Ale tastes surprisingly dry and crisp for a cream ale and strikes a fine balance between a graham cracker-like sweetness and sour citrus tones. The beer leaves a noticeable, but not too thick, bready aftertaste on the tongue.
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 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.
The North American version of Japan’s oldest beer brand is now brewed in Canada at the recently-acquired Sleeman Brewery in Guelph, Ontario. Sapporo Premium Beer is an import-quality beer at a domestic price that pours a clear golden colour and creates a soapy head that lingers as a collar and laces your glass.
The aroma of Sapporo Premium Beer is mild, fresh and grainy with a certain sweetness to it; not surprising as it is brewed using rice. The beer starts with a refreshing, crisp dryness and stays dry through to the finish. Sapporo leaves a grainy hint as an aftertaste and has a very bubbly mouthfeel thanks to a noticeable level of carbonation.