This rye-based American red ale from Waller St. Brewing in Ottawa, Ontario pours a steely copper colour with amber highlights and a slight chill haze. The small and tight off-white head has decent retention, hanging around as a small collar and film. Speakeasy Red immediately struck me as hoppy for the style, with pungent pepper and grapefruit aromas popping out over earthy rye and honey-sweetened biscuit malt tones.
Rye is prevalent in the taste of Speakeasy Red, bringing a distinct sharpness and pushing the ale’s sturdy bitterness to the forefront. Juicy citrus and red berry characteristics are complemented by grassy and zesty notes before a rather dry finish takes hold. The ale is mildly carbonated and full-bodied, giving the illusion of a much stronger brew despite a relatively tame ABV of 4.4%.
Fire in the Rye from Double Trouble Brewing Company in Guelph, Ontario pours a hazy, rusty amber colour with a frothy off-white head that leaves waves of lace as it settles into a thick, climbing collar and fuzzy-looking film. Aromas of toffee, rye, pine and citrus zest are joined by accents of black pepper, chocolate and red berry in this American-style rye beer.
The taste of Fire in the Rye is malt forward with a warm, dry roasted rye flavour present throughout. Bitter lemon rind and pith come through on the tongue and palate and remain throughout a dry finish. This ale is full-bodied, earthy, roasty and grainy, though a fairly thick oiliness keeps everything smooth-going. Moderate carbonation and a touch of yeast pop on the tongue, leading to an aftertaste that has hints of grapefruit juice and chocolate.
This unfiltered rye beer from Cameron’s Brewing Company in Oakville, Ontario pours a rusty orange colour reminiscent of orange pekoe tea. It has a small but frothy and persistent white head that creates a thin cap throughout the glass and leaves small spots of lace. The smell of Resurrection Roggenbier has a fruity blend of red berry and grape aromas anchored by toasted, earthy malts and accented by a light rye note and a hint of sweet smoke that brings hickory to mind.
Resurrection Roggenbier tastes of sweet malts and a blend of dark fruit and spice reminiscent of fruitcake or raisin bread. As with the smell, the rye character is fairly light, but creates a fiery bite towards the finish that harmonizes with a solid bitterness and lingers on the tongue. The ale has a thin to medium body with a light syrupy feeling and a hint of mineral can be detected in the aftertaste.
The 2013 Vankleek Hill Oktoberfest presented by Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company is just around the corner. Last year the award-winning brewery put together a commemorative six pack that was made available during and after the Oktoberfest celebration and I was a big fan of the beers that they included.
Building off of this idea, the team at Beau’s decided to offer a Mix Pack containing four of the beers that will be available at the 2013 event a few weeks beforehand. It’s basically a “best of” package to promote their signature event and it’s being distributed to LCBO stores all over the province. I’ll briefly review the four beers and preview the annual festivities, which are set to take place rain or shine on October 4th and 5th at the Vankleek Hill Fairgrounds.