This English IPA from Waterloo Brewing Company in Kitchener, Ontario is a golden tinged light amber colour and pours with a large and frothy white head that burns off quickly, leaving a scant film behind. Waterloo Traditional IPA smells mainly like honey and light caramel malts, with notes of red berry, earth, rocky minerals and a faint hint of citrus rind.
The taste of Waterloo Traditional IPA is rather imbalanced towards the sweet side of things and has a distinct syrupy flavour that comes through after an extremely sharp astringency bites the front of one’s tongue. Subtle notes of chocolate, strawberry jam, bread and chokecherry are all but lost amidst the battle between sweet and sharp. The finish and aftertaste are both very dry and leave my mouth craving moisture. Frankly, I find this ale hard to drink without puckering and smacking my tongue. It has a medium body, very little carbonation and an unpleasant metallic feeling throughout.
This English IPA from Lake of Bays Brewing Company in Baysville, Ontario is a deep, fiery amber colour with a frothy off-white head that settles as a bubbly collar and film while leaving long streaks of lace on your glass. 10 Point India Pale Ale has aromas of caramel, fresh and toasted dark grains, dark berries, lemon zest and has a mineral note common to the ales from Lake of Bays.
The taste of 10 Point India Pale Ale is thick with caramel and roasted grain flavours. Sharp mineral and citrus tones create a nice bite on the tongue and a pithy bitterness. This ale has a full body, subdued carbonation and is fairly oily throughout. The finish is grainy and transitions to an aftertaste that reminds me of lemon oil.
This English IPA from Kichesippi Beer Company in Ottawa, Ontario pours a lovely golden amber colour, with a large and creamy off-white head settles as a collar and rocky film while leaving thick rings of cascading lace. Wuchak UK smells prominently of caramel sweetened grains, both fresh and toasted, with accents of red berry, lemon zest and coffee.
The taste of Wuchak UK is also anchored by grainy tones, with notes of baker’s chocolate, berry, honey, lemon and black tea. A bitterness that is spot-on in terms of amplitude takes hold in the finish of this easy-drinking, mildly carbonated and medium-bodied ale, while hints of citrus and minerals linger in the aftertaste.
Propeller IPA from The John Allen Brewing Company Limited in Halifax, Nova Scotia is a clear, golden colour with amber highlights. The off-white head leaves cascading lace and hangs on as a thin cap. This English IPA has a strong mineral presence in its aroma and whiffs of toasted grains, toffee, raisin, pine and mango.
A toffee flavour and one of dark roasted grain anchor the taste of Propeller IPA, accented by an earthy and bitter tone and brightened by notes of red berries and grass. The mouthfeel straddles a line between grainy and creamy. A sharp mineral tone comes through in the finish and transitions into a lemon oil flavour in the aftertaste.
Dubbed “The Original Export”, Old Empire IPA from Marston’s Beer Company in Burton Upon Trent, UK pours a bright golden-amber colour with a frothy white head that doesn’t last very long, but holds on as a collar and paper thin film.
Because it’s packaged in clear bottles, Old Empire IPA can smell a bit skunky at first when exported; it’s best to let it breathe a few minutes. The beer has a bready malt aroma with hops, brewed tea and lemon accents coming through as it warms.
Old Empire IPA tastes of toasted malts and honey. A butterscotch tone is countered by a strong dryness that has a grassy or floral tone to it. The beer is noticeably carbonated, but creamy and slightly yeasty as well. There is a wood character to the finish that has a slight smokiness.