Moroccan Brown Ale from Spearhead Brewing Company Limited in Toronto, Ontario is nut brown in colour, with streaks of rust and ruby and a small tan coloured head that leaves small spots of lace and hangs around as a tight collar and cap. This fruit and spice infused American brown ale has a very inviting blend of fruitcake, raisin, hazelnut, roasted coffee and freshwater aromas.
The blend of dark fruits used in the brewing of Moroccan Brown Ale is at the forefront of its taste and the fig, date and raisin flavours are deftly tied together by a touch of cinnamon. A warm and dry chocolaty tone encapsulates the finish, with the dryness persisting throughout the aftertaste along with a shiraz-like red wine flavour. This ale is fairly thin and low in carbonation, but also carries mild oily and grainy characteristics.
2012 was a pretty good year in terms of both the quality and quantity of regularly-brewed Ontario craft beers hitting the shelves at one’s local LCBO or The Beer Store. I selected 12 of them to quantify as favourites, with a few caveats. First, the beers had to be listed at at least 25 retail outlets.
The beers had to be ones that I’ve published a review for, not just tried at a show or festival. Seasonal and one-off beers were not considered, I’ll try to make a list of those next. Re-branded or re-packaged beers were also not counted, however those that were previously available at a brewery’s retail store or at a licensee were. All that said, here are my selections in alphabetical order.
Hawaiian Style Pale Ale from Spearhead Brewing Company Limited in Toronto, Ontario pours a hazy, bright pencil yellow colour with ample frothy white foam. The head has good retention and leaves a thick lace behind. This pineapple infused American IPA has a very hop-forward aroma with bright floral and citrus tones, along with a sweet, syrupy note and a subtle hint of pineapple juice.
Hawaiian Style Pale Ale has a crisp, bitter taste with a grapefruit citrus tone and a mild caramel backing. It’s a bit unbalanced, but is also very drinkable and has a crisp, dry finish. The ale is medium-bodied with a relatively mild carbonation level. There is a solid bitterness on the tongue with a slight oiliness. The aftertaste is tart, with orange peel and pineapple notes.