Honey Ginger Shandy from Old Tomorrow Ltd. in Toronto, Ontario is a beautiful golden hue and pours with a loose and spongy white head that tends to leave small islands of lace on the glass. Ginger and botanical extract aromas waft from this blend of beer and ginger ale, along with notes of honey, lemon oil and sharp citric acid.
The taste of Old Tomorrow Honey Ginger Shandy is definitely on the sweet side and carries a solid ginger bite. We aren’t talking Jamaican ginger beer, but it has a defined tang and packs a touch of heat. There is a mild undertone of earthy grains, but ginger takes centre stage here. The beer has a medium body and is fairly viscose, though there’s plenty of fine carbonation to help it from feeling overly sticky as the honey flavour comes through in the finish. A faint lemonade character and hint of florals linger in the aftertaste.
The latest flavoured light lager from Anheuser-Busch InBev is light golden yellow in colour and yields a creamy white head that is retained as a persistent cap. Bud Light Apple smells like candy and the kind of grocery store apple juice that people don’t let their kids drink. While this may appeal to some, there is also a thoroughly unpleasant chemical odour that reminds me of artificial sweeteners.
I find Bud Light Apple cloyingly sweet. Its malic acid-assisted green apple candy flavour is countered by a sharp citric acid tartness. There is a very light note of caramel malt in there, but the finish is dirty and overly dry tasting and I just can’t shake the chemical notes. This beer is thin bodied and has ample carbonation, which makes its general stickiness feel heightened.
This flavoured malt liquor from Molson Coors Canada is a bright, caramel-tinged golden colour and yields a small, loose white cap when poured that only lasts for a few seconds. Mad Jack Premium Apple Lager smells almost entirely of sweet apple juice from concentrate and bears little resemblance to anything even approaching any type of lager I’ve ever had.
The taste of Mad Jack Premium Apple Cider does have a subtle malt character, but it’s quickly buried under an overly sweet, drinking box-like apple flavour. Malic acid enhances the medium-bodied and lightly carbonated beverage’s moderately sour finish and the aftertaste brings forth a chemical tone that seems to dry out your tongue, despite it being coated by a syrupy film.
Though I started buying Muskoka Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout in 2009, I first reviewed in in December of 2011 after they rebranded it to Winter Beard. At that time, I thought it was a “wonderful holiday season treat and, in my opinion, is the star of the Muskoka Brewery lineup”.
Though there is a 2013 version of Winter Beard available in other provinces and at the retail store in Bracebridge, the team at Muskoka Brewery opted to give the rest of their home province a cellar aged edition of the 2012 batch. Last winter they offered a limited number of aged 2011 bottles that were packaged in a wooden sleeve and I was able to compare an aged version to a fresh 2012 bottle. Without a doubt, I preferred the aged version and though the fresh bottle was still quite pleasant, I found it tasted a little “green”.
Pouring the 2012 version of Winter Beard (Cellar Aged) yields an opaque brew with a spongy beige head that has great retention; hanging around as a collar and film while leaving thick streaks of lace on your glass. The smell of this American imperial stout is very much chocolate-centric with a strong and juicy cranberry tone that opens things up and subtle hints of lemongrass, toasted malts and ground coffee.
This flavoured American pale ale from Magic Hat Brewing Company in South Burlington, Vermont pours a clear golden colour with an amber tinge and a moderate white head that remains as a persistent ring throughout the glass while leaving spotty lacing. Apricot dominates the nose of Magic Hat #9. The ale also has a fresh, floral tone with a syrupy, but light caramel backing and a slight vegetal note.
The apricot is more balanced in the taste of Magic Hat #9, imparting a mild dryness over a tropical citrus body. An earthy graininess serves as the backbone and a nectar-like quality builds as the ale warms. The ale is medium-bodied with a mild carbonation. There is a nice creaminess with a syrupy quality on the tongue. The finish has a mild, slightly dry grape character and the aftertaste is tart with syrup and apricot notes.