Red Leaf Lager from the Great Lakes Brewery in Toronto, Ontario pours a nice copper-amber colour with a rather small white head that has good retention and a fair amount of visible carbonation. This American amber lager has a very malt laden aroma. Chestnut, caramel and a plum-like fruit tone are accompanied by toasted note and a nutmeg-like spiciness.
The taste of Red Leaf Lager is relatively sweet with characteristics similar to the aroma. Dark toffee malts with a plum or red grape-like fruit tone backed by a fatty, nutty flavour and a hint of chocolate. The beer is thin-bodied, giving off a prickly pop on the front of the tongue before a creamy sensation takes over. There is a bit of a syrupy, resin-like feeling to the aftertaste, but it’s clean overall with a hint of fresh grains.
This hopped-up pale wheat ale from the Great Lakes Brewery in Toronto, Ontario pours a golden pencil yellow colour, somewhat hazy with sediment and a soapy white head that leaves behind a generous lace and small collar. Miami Weiss smells very bright and fresh, with notes of buttered popcorn, honey, toasted wheat, flowers and tangerine.
Miami Weiss tastes like malted wheat at first, followed by a tart grapefruit citrus tang, a subtle cherry tone and a slight earthiness in the finish. It feels a bit yeasty on the tongue and it’s a bit thin, but it does have a certain sparkle to it, along with a dry and somewhat bitter aftertaste.
Crazy Canuck Pale Ale from the Great Lakes Brewery in Toronto, Ontario pours a deep Golden-amber colour with a moderate tan head that leaves a fair amount of lace. A collar and film last throughout the glass. After breathing for a bit, this American-style pale ale has a grapefruit-like citrus aroma with spicy and buttery tones and a cherry-like bitter fruit note.
Crazy Canuck Pale Ale sort of tastes like overripe fruit, but in a good way. Like the aroma a tart citrus taste, along with a sweet, buttery malt are present. The mouthfeel is thin, yet creamy and carries a medium carbonation feel. The finish is tart, but not puckering.
Orange Peel Ale from the Great Lakes Brewery in Toronto, Ontario is another great example of seasonal flavoured beer done right. It Pours a clear golden colour with a big soapy head that leaves a fair amount of lace before it settles as a film and collar.
This beer definitely has the aroma of orange peels, though it invokes grapefruit and/or lemon at times as well. A week or two after arriving in stores, this beer smells extremely fresh, crisp and clean. There is a warm, sweet honey backing that comes out as the beer warms reminiscent of a Creamsicle.
Winter Ale from the Great Lakes Brewery in Toronto, ON is an excellently-crafted take on the classic “winter warmer” ales from England. This deep ruby-amber coloured beer is brewed with honey, cinnamon, ginger and orange peel added, giving it a robust spicy aroma.
Great Lakes Brewery Winter Ale pours with a light beige head that stays around as a collar. While the cinnamon dominates the aroma, the honey and ginger really come through in the taste. The brew manages to be both spicy and sweet without becoming overpowering.
The mouthfeel is surprisingly crisp and bubbly, a noticeable contrast to the maltiness of most strong, dark ales. Great Lakes Winter Ale has a nice dryness to it and leaves me with a slightly medicine-like aftertaste. In many cases, it also leaves me with a bead of sweat on my brow.