Here’s a brilliant beer that is definitely worth enjoying. And if you like hoppy pale ales and IPAs in particular, this one has something special to offer. Similar to my first review of an APA last week, this relative newcomer has chosen West Coast hops, which is probably very appropriate because of the other integral ingredient in this fine beer: pineapple juice.
Now to be clear, I’m definitely not a fan of flavoured beers, but this new movement in the past half-dozen years or so to integrate other flavours into the beer by using them sparingly in the distillation process to create unique almost ‘extreme’ beers, well, there is something special sometimes happening. The first beer I drank that did this well was St. Ambroise’s Apricot Wheat Ale which has the same understated subtlety to it — it doesn’t shock you with sugars or fruit explosions that are hiding something else. Rather, the apricot in that beer and the pineapple in this one are captured by the palette at the end, in the aftertaste where the fineness of pineapple lingers on the tongue before the lips turn to smile. Oh, yes — this is a keeper and I suspect it will continue to make its way into my fridge for awhile … at least until the next surprise captivates me for a time.
Brewed in Toronto by a new sensation, this unfiltered beauty has a gorgeous colour and — much like the label itself proclaims — a delicate carbonation via the dry-hopping method. I’m quickly becoming a fan of this carbonation method and I think one of things that really distinguishes a true microbrew from something that is mass-produced.
Anyone that appreciates and understands bread-making (yes, I said bread, not beer) will understand the cool chemistry that is happening in this bottle with the inclusion of the pineapple juice. I’m going to assume that they’ve substituted some (not all) of the malt for the juice, enough to flavour but not to overpower, and enough malt remains to colour this light amber/copper brew. The two together leave a truly intoxicating aroma of buttered toffee (I kid you not) … as if this beer needed anything else to entice a love affair.
It’s a gorgeous beer all round, from the hops that arrest the first taste, to the citrus peel that carries through, to final aftertaste of the pineapple. And don’t forget that aroma.
The one thing I will add is that if you get a chance to drink this on-tap, make the effort. I not-so coincidentally had a chance to share this with some very good friends this last night at a local pub in Ottawa’s Little Italy. I knew I was going to be reviewing this beer next and thus when I saw it on tap, I thought I’d have to for sure do the comparison. What divides the two experiences is that on-tap, the carbonation is even less (closer to a cask-conditioned pull by comparison) and with the temperature a little warmer than my fridge, the flavours are even better. What however also creeps into the taste on-tap is something a bit more metallic, almost copper, which actually I think is appropriate.
All round, a very resounding thumbs up on this creation. I can’t wait to taste their next undertaking, a brown ale inspired by Morocco. Something about it screams tagine….
Stats: Pale Ale. 6% ABV. 60 IBUs. Toronto, Ontario.
Colour: Light Amber/Copper. Unfiltered.
Mouth Feel: Delicate carbonation and light coating of palette.
93 points 85 points (re-Reviewed)