Beer Notes: Seoirse the Great

Covered Bridge Brewing (Stittsville, Ontario)

Irish Red Ale (6.6%)

Seóirse the Great

Look: Very dark, almost opaque ruby-brown colour. Wispy tan head retained as a tight collar. No lace.

Smell: Thick. Dark toffee, roasted cocoa, brewed coffee, plum/raisin. Hint of rubbery phenols when first poured (toasted wheat malt?).

Taste: Fairly sweet, fruit and dark toffee characteristics in line with the smell. Bitterness in the finish is an appropriate strength before giving way to a stark dryness.

Mouth: Medium body, mild carbonation. Somewhat grainy, yet smooth. Warming, but not too hot ethanol bite in the aftertaste. Lingering toffee note.

Opinion: Not at all what comes to mind when I think of an Irish red ale, but a very sturdy offering that’s perfect for sipping in fall weather. More akin to an American brown ale, but sweeter.

Food: Roasted meat or poultry, old cheddar, crusty white bread, stews, chocolate cake.

The Amber Rose: By Any Other Name

This American amber ale from Covered Bridge Brewing in Stittsville, Ontario is a hazy, copper toned amber colour and pours with a modest off-white head that sticks around as a tight collar without leaving much lace behind as it settles. The Amber Rose has an appealing blend of chocolate, caramel and lemon juice aromas, along with notes of white wine, chalk, raspberry jam and a faint whiff of alcohol that comes forward as it warms.

The Amber Rose
Try This Ale with Roasted Potatoes

The taste of The Amber Rose is anchored by a soft, yet sturdy malt base that carries rich caramel, bran muffin and chocolate flavours, the latter of which is most prevalent in the finish of this full-bodied, mildly carbonated ale. The mouthfeel is grainy on the palate and feels nectarous and oily on the back of the tongue, where the beer’s moderate bitterness and grapefruit juice flavoured aftertaste come through.

Eternally Hoptimistic: Glass Half Full

Eternally Hoptimistic from Covered Bridge Brewing in Stittsville, Ontario is a hazy, rusty orange colour and pours with a small, off-white head that hangs around as a thin film and stringy collar, leaving very small spots of lace on your glass. This American pale ale has a variety of fruit ester aromas that include citrus, strawberry and green grape on top of a butterscotch flavoured malt base. Phenolic accents of bubblegum and rubber tree are present as well.

Eternally Hoptimistic
Eternally Hoptimistic is Big for an American Pale Ale

The taste of Eternally Hoptimistic is quite woody, grainy and for lack of a better word, green with a subtle hint of cocoa. A moderate to strong bitterness comes through midway bring a mild lemon or grapefruit note with it. Grain flavour returns the finish along with an earthy, musty note that evokes coffee mushrooms. This ale has a fully body, little carbonation and is rich with toasted grain character on the tongue and palate. The aftertaste is starkly dry and carries a lemon pith tone.