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 German lager from Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company in Vankleek Hill, Ontario pours a clear golden-copper colour with a moderate, frothy white head that hangs around as a thin collar after leaving spotty lace. Traditionally brewed for Oktoberfest celebrations, Night Märzen smells mostly of fresh grains and rich, roasted malts. There is a strong earthy character along with floral, honey, chocolate and spicy notes.
Night Märzen has a deep roasted malt taste that starts out crisp, but gives way to a distinct sweetness. Flavours of grains, fatty nuts and a mild soapy accent round it out. The lager is surprisingly thin-bodied with moderate carbonation. The finish has a solid dryness and moderate bitterness. The aftertaste is mostly crisp and clean with mild earth and grain notes.
This flavoured stout from the Cannery Brewing Company in Penticton, British Columbia pours an opaque black with a small tan-coloured head that doesn’t leave much lace, but sticks around as a thin collar throughout the glass. Cannery Brewing Maple Stout smells of molasses, maple syrup and coffee. A roasted malt note creates a bread-like character and grainy hops can also be found.
Cannery Brewing Maple Stout tastes like roasted malts, bitter chocolate and brewed coffee at first, with the sweet maple syrup flavour really coming through on the tongue and lingering in the finish. I find the mouthfeel a bit watery and the beer has very little carbonation, but it’s still smooth and creamy on the tongue. The aftertaste is bitter with a resinous quality.
The Great St-Ambroise Pumpkin Ale from McAuslan Brewing Incorporated in Montréal, Quebéc pours a clear honey-copper colour with a large light beige head that doesn’t leave much, if any lace before settling as a thin collar that’s present throughout the glass. This limited-release seasonal offering smells of a spice blend that includes cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves over a caramel malt body with a faint pumpkin aroma.
The spice blend also dominates the taste of The Great St-Ambroise Pumpkin Ale. Sweet malts are kept in check by a nice hoppy bitterness and a mild pumpkin flavour. The beer finishes with a dry, wheat-like tone. The Great St-Ambroise Pumpkin Ale is medium-bodied with a low to medium carbonation level. It creates a slightly oily, bread-like feeling on the tongue and has a crisp, grainy and spicy aftertaste.
Samuel Adams Octoberfest from the Boston Beer Company in Massachusetts pours a very nice amber-ruby colour with a rather large off-white head that burns off quickly without leaving much lace, but gets retained as a fairly thick collar. This traditional German-style lager has a surprisingly hop-centric aroma over a solid base of caramel malts. There is some bread-like character and a hint of plum, but it’s kind of muted over all.
Samuel Adams Octoberfest tastes primarily of toasted caramel malts and has a brown bread quality. The beer has a nice balance between sweet and bitter, and a slight lemon zest character comes through in the dry finish. It is fairly thin-bodied with a medium carbonation level and a dry, syrupy resin feeling on the tongue. The aftertaste is bitter with a slight floral note.