The Wayward Son from Radical Road Brewing in Toronto, Ontario is light amber in colour with tinges of old gold and a loose, but creamy white head that tends to leave thick swathes of lace and settles as a thin but frothy collar. This Belgian strong pale ale is matured in Ontario sourced pinot noir wine barrels and has a pungent smell. Sour, rotting apple and grape tones converge with candi sugar-sweetened malts converge to create an air of apple crisp or rhubarb pie. Hints of yeast and pine contribute to an overall outdoorsy character.
The taste of The Wayward Son brings to mind a union of fresh, crusty white bread, red wine and a honey-soaked bran muffin. The ale has a yeasty and creamy mouthfeel with mild viscosity and carbonation. Mildly sour crab apple and grape notes create a dry finish while a juicy hint of the pinot noir barrels lingers in the back of the throat.
He will be bringing beers from some of Europe’s oldest and most respected breweries including Erdinger Weissbräu and Affligem Brouweij. I had the chance to chat with Mr. McClelland about the brands he will be sampling at the show and the import business in general. I’ll also briefly review the beers in his company’s Ontario retail portfolio.
The Legendary Spring Oddity from Muskoka Brewery in Bracebridge, Ontario pours a clear, light golden colour with a medium sized and frothy white head that has good retention and leaves some spotty lacing. The smell of this seasonal hybrid ale is like a spiced-up Belgian tripel. An almost sour, apple-like aroma is joined by hints of the heather tips, juniper berries and orange zest used in the brewing process and backed by a sweet caramel aroma and a soft yeast tone.
The Legendary Spring Oddity has a crisp and spicy taste with a lot going on. Apples, soapy and floral hops, toasted light grains and berries are backed up by a solid yeast character. The ale is full-bodied with a medium carbonation level. There is a nice pop on the tongue, then a yeasty, biscuit-like feeling. The finish is dry and the aftertaste has a lingering sweetness that becomes more prevalent after warming, followed by the melange of spices and a subtle hint of alcohol.