Friday, 23 June 2017

3-Point Saison

3-Point Saison is a farmhouse ale from Collingwood, Ontario's Collingwood Brewery. It's sold in 473mL cans and contains a pretty substantial 7% alcohol, as well as a modest 20 IBUs.

The beer is hazy and dull gold, with a fluffy white foam on top. It has a fragrance that is, at times, yeasty, tart, and briny, with sour apple notes. The flavour proved significantly less tart than the nose, instead featuring a somewhat unforeseen sweetness at the front end, with some banana esters a bit more suited to a witbier. The back end was, as expected, yeasty and dry.

While 3-Point wasn't quite as effervescent as many saisons, it was rife with wild yeast, giving homage to its Belgian-style roots. At 7%, there was more booze than the average Ontarian take on the saison. I enjoyed this brew while I was watching the Toronto Raptors kick the crap out of the Milwaukee Bucks in game 5 of their playoff series, so I was predisposed to like it, but I genuinely thought it was a good, not great, beer. Would definitely buy again.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Monty's Aged Ryed Ale

Monty's Aged Ryed Ale is named in honour of Jon Montgomery, the Canadian skeleton racer who won a gold medal and celebrated by chugging beer in a scene of patriotic glory. The beer, constructed by the Old Tomorrow Ltd., comes from Toronto, Ontario. According to the 473mL can, this 6.2% Ale is aged with oak that has been infused with rye whisky (100% Canadian of course--though it doesn't divulge which one).

Monty's is a swampy dull orange grog. It pours with a surprisingly bright white head and has a extremely sweet aroma--woody, with some vanilla notes. The flavour is also quite sweet, with clover elements and a fairly woody body. There is little bitterness to this ale, which makes it a good after dinner candidate, but also leaves it a bit unbalanced. There is a touch of whisky at the tail end that was warm and wily.

I thought that Monty's was a pretty innovative little brew. The oaked rye aging process made for an interesting taste profile, though I maintain that the beer was too sweet and could have benefited from a few more handfuls of hops. Still, I liked it and I'll buy it again.

Rating: 7.0 out of 10.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Geronimo IPA

According to the 473mL can, Walkerville Brewery's Geronimo IPA is named in honour of the boat belonging to bootlegger Henry Low. Apparently the good ship Geronimo was seized by the authorities, but returned to Canadian shores due to a storm. Appropriately, Walkerville Brewery does its brewing in the border town of Windsor, Ontario.

The IPA Geronimo is a 6.3% alcohol brew. It's golden orange in colour and pours with a lustrous off-white head. It has a vibrant aroma that's resinous, bitter, and a bit juicy. It tastes bold, with grapefruit and swampy hops elements. However, the big flavour was a bit overpowering for the relatively thin mouthfeel.

Geronimo is a tasty and flavourful Ontario India Pale. It lacked something in terms of body, and I'd have liked another half a percentage point of booze or so, but I thought it was a nice lil brew.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Nottabottle Belgian Pale Ale

Nottabottle Belgian Pale Ale comes, as one might imagine, in a 473mL can. It's a lightweight 4.5% alcohol pale ale from Peterborough, Ontario's Smithavens Brewing Company.

The beer is faintly hazy, brightly carbonated, and has a ruddy orange hue. It pours with a thick white head that faded fast. It has a tart, fruity fragrance that has a potent yeasty bent. The flavour is sweeter than expected, particularly initially, with banana notes. Behind that, the ale is yeasty and only a little bitter.

According to the info on the can, Nottabottle contains just 20 IBUs and is made using an abbey ale yeast. I'd have liked a bit more oomph from this brew, and a tarter flavour. However, I enjoyed it and I'll certainly buy it again.

Rating: 7.0 out of 10.

Thursday, 15 June 2017


Billed as a tripel with wildflower honey, RGBee comes from the Halo Brewery. A Torontonian ale with some heft, this re-imagining of the Belgian-style contains a stern 8.7% alcohol and comes in 500mL bottles.

Initially, the beer poured extremely clear, which was an unusual characteristic for a tripel-style ale. However, my second pour seemed to dislodge some sediment and resulted in a considerably more cloudy second half. Additionally, it proved to be substantially carbonated and occupied space beneath a fuzzy white head.

I found RGBee's nose to be a complicated affair, encompassing malt, honey sweetness, and a whiff of copper. The beer tasted extremely sweet--a product both of its boozy nature and of the use of honey in the brewing process. While there was definitely some Belgian-inspired yeastiness, I found it to be rather understated, taking a backseat to the sugary qualities that were the real drivers of this ale.

RGBee was a very interesting ale. I found it to be well-conceived, but not quite as well-executed. A bit too cloying and not nearly as representative of the tripel style as I wanted. Still, the use of wildflower honey created a pleasant clover feel that made for a memorable flavour.

Rating: 7.0 out of 10.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Kingpost ESB

Kingpost ESB calls Collingwood, Ontario home. It's a 5.8% alcohol, 40 IBU extra special bitter from the Collingwood Brewery. The beer leaves its 473mL can looking copper-hued and clear, pouring under a decent layer of off-white head.

Kingpost has a sweet and malty nose, with an agreeable caramel bent. The flavour has a metallic quality alongside malt and caramel notes. The initial taste is sweet; I was caught off-guard by the depth of bitterness at the back end. There was some real hops astringency that resulted in a quick, dry, and bready finish.

I thought Kingpost was a nicely constructed English-style ale. The front end could have been stronger, but the finish was most satisfactory. Would buy again.

Rating: 7.0 out of 10.


Sunday, 11 June 2017

ZiegenBock Texas Amber

ZiegenBock Texas Amber is a rusty copper amber Lager from Houston's Ziegenbock Brewing Co., an affiliate of Anheuser-Busch. It contains 4.9% alcohol and is sold in 12 oz bottles. It pours clear, with a decent layer of off-white head.

Its nose is mild 'n' malty, with sweet notes of bread and toffee. The flavour isn't particularly potent, but contains a malt-forward base and sweet caramel notes. The lager has only slight bitter qualities--a whisper of grainy hops noticeable only at the finish.

ZiegenBock is an agreeable enough macro-brewed take on the amber lager. It's less a bock than a Vienna lager, but it tastes fine and is easy-drinking. According to Wikipedia, this stuff was brewed to compete with Shiner Bock. If that's so, it's not quite in the same ballpark, but it still manages to refresh and satisfy.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10.