Winter Weiss: Bundle Up

This seasonal dunkelweizen from Muskoka Brewery Inc. in Bracebridge, Ontario is cola brown in colour, with a deep ruby tone visible when held towards light. It pours with a small and rocky tan cap that doesn’t tend to stay around very long, though a steady stream of bubbles appeared at the top of my glass. The smell of Winter Weiss is an inviting blend of chocolate, stone fruit and plantain that reminds me of warm fruitcake, with notes of clove and evergreen punctuating the beer’s wintry feeling.

Winter Weiss
Try Winter Weiss with Warm Cookies

Winter Weiss has a robust taste, with flavours of dark toffee and stone fruit at the fore over a biscuit-like malt base. A sharp note of herbal liqueur and mild bitterness keep things from getting too sweet and the ale finishes dry, while hints of clove and lemon peel tend to linger on my palate. Though Winter Weiss is fairly light-bodied, there is a noticeable viscosity and some earthiness to the mouthfeel.

2014 Oktoberfest Mix Pack: Beau’s n the Hood

It’s that time of year again. The weather is cooler, leaves are changing colour and tables are filled with comfort food. For the third year, the folks at Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company in Vankleek Hill, Ontario have put together a mix pack of beers to celebrate and promote their famous Oktoberfest event that sees thousands of beer lovers from far and wide descend on the quaint eastern Ontario town in search of revelry, great food, big name musical acts and, of course, beer.

2014 Oktoberfest Mix Pack
This Collection of Fall Beers is Sure to Keep You Warm

This year we see the return of some favourites from years past in Dark Helmut (complete with a new label) and Happy Pilsner, while Dial “Z” for Zwickel and Rauchstack represent the newest entries in Beau’s Wild Oats Series. I briefly reviewed the four beers, which are presented in alphabetical order.

McClelland Premium Imports Brings Authentic European Beers to Ontario

One of only four Canadians to be dubbed a Beer Knight by the Belgian Brewers Association, McClelland Premium Imports (MPI) founder Guy McClelland will be sampling several world class beers at the Ottawa Wine & Food Festival, which runs from November 9-11, 2012.

McClelland Premium Imports Logo
McClelland Premium Imports was Born from One Man’s Passion for European Beers

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.

Dunkel Buck: You Should See the Toast

Dunkel Buck from Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company in Vankleek Hill, Ontario pours a hazy nut brown colour with a rusty orange tone around the edges. A very frothy, tan-coloured head takes a while to burn off, leaving minimal lacing behind and a nice, thick collar and film.

This dark, strong and unfiltered German ale has strong fruit tones in its smell. Banana and bubble gum notes are joined by a plum or cherry-like smell and a hint of cloves. A honey-like sweetness and alcohol come though after warming.

Dunkel Buck
"A lot of people hate this hat. It angers a lot of people, just the sight of it."

The taste of Dunkel Buck follow suit with a slightly sweet, fatty banana flavour taking the lead. The beer is backed by a toasted wheat taste and a cocoa or roasted baker’s chocolate tone that fills out the body and lends a nice bitterness to the finish. The mouthfeel is quite creamy thanks to the long-lasting collar and sediment, while managing to not come off as too thick.

There is a low carbonation but a mild prickly sensation occurs on the tongue. The aftertaste is dry and tart, with a peppery note and the warming effects of the alcohol coming through on the back of the tongue and throat.