Bah Humbug from the Wychwood Brewery in Witney, Oxfordshire, England pours a clear copper-ruby colour with a moderate tan coloured head that leaves minor lacing and settles as a thin collar. The aroma of this spiced winter ale is malt forward with a syrupy caramel tone, a peppery spiciness, a slightly sour ripened fruit tone, a touch of pine needles and a hint of cinnamon.
The taste of Bah Humbug has a caramel malt body with a crisp and spicy bite of cinnamon. A bitter, chocolaty taste is balanced by a sweet dark fruit taste that reminds me of plum. The finish is dry and mildly bitter. The ale has a medium body with a low carbonation level. A strong biscuit or bread-like quality weighs down the tongue and the aftertaste has a syrupy fruit quality.
This coffee-flavoured imperial stout from from Microbrasserie Dieu du Ciel! in St-Jérôme, Québec pours an opaque black with a large and frothy tan coloured head that gets retained as a thick collar and leaves behind a generous amount of lacing. Péché Mortel has a very bitter aroma, with roasted malts, coffee and chocolate creating a deep and thick body.
Péché Mortel tastes like dark roast coffee, dark chocolate and roasted malts, accented by a dark fruit tone that reminds me of plum or black cherry. The stout is full-bodied with a medium carbonation level, creating a creamy sensation on the tongue that gives way to a mildly oily character on the back of the tongue and throat. The aftertaste is markedly bitter and there is a warming hint of the stout’s elevated ABV.
This old style stout from the Samuel Smith Old Brewery in Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, England pours an opaque black with ruby tones visible around the edges when held up to direct light. The tan coloured head is very frothy and leaves a fair about of lace before settling as a collared film. Samuel Smith’s Celebrated Oatmeal Stout has an aroma dominated by molasses, with notes of chocolate syrup and coffee as well as a fairly pungent, yet mild ripened fruit smell.
The taste of Samuel Smith’s Celebrated Oatmeal Stout is fairly bitter up front with notes of baker’s chocolate and coffee in addition to a slight smokey wood tone. The finish brings a subtle and slightly sweet plum-like taste. The beer is full-bodied with a mild, but distinct carbonation level and the mouthfeel is extraordinarily smooth and creamy. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with notes of oatmeal and wood.
Dubbed “Winter Beard”, this flavoured imperial stout from the Muskoka Brewery in Bracebridge, Ontario pours an opaque black with a small light brown head that gets retained as a collar and leaves little in the way of lacing. Muskoka Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout has a deep, dark chocolate aroma accented by the smell of freshly picked cranberries and grains.
The taste of Muskoka Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout starts with a bright, slightly sweet berry taste before bitter dark chocolate, roasted malt and coffee flavours take over and linger throughout the finish. The stout is full-bodied with just enough carbonation to give off a subtle pop and a nice creamy sensation on the tongue. The aftertaste is tart, with the cranberry flavour whetting the palate for another sip.
This American IPA from the Church-Key Brewing Company in Campbellford, Ontario pours a clear golden-amber colour with a medium-sized tan head that’s quite frothy and leaves a nice bit of lace before it settles as a collared film. Church-Key West Coast Pale Ale has a very fresh aroma led by grains and floral hops. There’s an earthy tone, a bright citrus bite and a honey-like sweetness to be found as well.
Fresh, toasted grains and a yeast-like flavour dominate the taste of Church-Key West Coast Pale Ale before a solid bitterness takes hold. A tangerine-like citrus flavour pops on the tongue and lingers through the finish. The mouthfeel is a bit thin with a moderate carbonation level. There is a light creaminess and a nice oily character on the tongue and the aftertaste is bitter, bready and earthy.