Old North Mocha Porter from Lake of Bays Brewing Company in Baysville, Ontario is an opaque, steely black with a frothy off-white head that leaves spotty lace and settles as a collar. This coffee-infused American porter has vanilla, coffee, chocolate, dark fruit and musty wood aromas.
The taste of Old North Mocha Porter has strong roasted grain, coffee, vanilla and chocolate flavours, accented by a berry-like character and finished with a pronounced bitterness. The mouthfeel is quite thin with a faint tingle on the tongue from mild carbonation, while the aftertaste carries notes of coffee and dark fruit.
Russian Gun Imperial Stout from Grand River Brewing in Cambridge, Ontario pours an opaque black, with dark ruby visible around the extreme edges of the glass. This strong brew has a creamy and soapy tan coloured head that leaves a ton of lace behind and settles as a thick film. The deep and complex aroma of Russian Gun Imperial Stout has strong notes of roasted malts, espresso and dark chocolate, along with a plum-like fruit tone and a piney bitterness.
The taste of Russian Gun Imperial stout is anchored by a bitter roasted coffee-like flavour accented by baker’s chocolate and dark fruit juice. The stout is full-bodied with the long-lasting head providing an extremely smooth and creamy mouthfeel. The finish is bitter, with a chocolate tone that lingers in the aftertaste.
The appearance of Bog Water from Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company in Vankleek Hill, Ontario certainly lives up to its name. This gruit ale pours a murky, sludgy rust red and copper brown mixture with an off-white head that burns off almost immediately, leaving a thin ring and almost no lace. Bog Water has a very smooth and appealing aroma anchored by earthy grains, grasses and malts. Sweet flowers, raisin, banana, spices and a bit of an overripe pear note also come through.
Bog Water tastes of honey sweetened flowers with a syrupy malt backing. A solid bitterness takes over, then grassy and flowery tones come through in the finish. The wild ale is medium-bodied with a very low carbonation, with both syrupy and yeasty qualities noticeable on the tongue. The aftertaste is bitter, with a floral taste and a sort of medicinal quality.
Yuletide Cherry Porter from the Barley Days Brewery in Picton, Ontario pours an opaque black with a deep, brownish red visible around the edges and a small tan coloured head that hangs on as a thin collar and leaves a fair amount of lacing. This seasonal beer smells like dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans and fresh, unripened cherries. Its aroma has a liqueur or boxed chocolate feel about it.
Yuletide Cherry Porter tastes like freshly ground bitter coffee, with a strong chocolate tone behind it. Juicy dark cherry and plum-like fruit flavours are very bright and are mellowed by a slightly woody finish that carries a roasted note. The porter is medium-bodied with a low carbonation. Yeast creates a subtle prickly, but creamy sensation on the tongue and the bright fruit tones linger in a moderately bitter aftertaste.
Dubbed “Winter Beard”, this flavoured imperial stout from the Muskoka Brewery in Bracebridge, Ontario pours an opaque black with a small light brown head that gets retained as a collar and leaves little in the way of lacing. Muskoka Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout has a deep, dark chocolate aroma accented by the smell of freshly picked cranberries and grains.
The taste of Muskoka Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout starts with a bright, slightly sweet berry taste before bitter dark chocolate, roasted malt and coffee flavours take over and linger throughout the finish. The stout is full-bodied with just enough carbonation to give off a subtle pop and a nice creamy sensation on the tongue. The aftertaste is tart, with the cranberry flavour whetting the palate for another sip.