A new offering from a brewery that makes an impression for its limited and season runs.
Rating: 88 points
Stats: American Pale Ale. 7.0% ABV, Bracebridge, Ontario.
Colour: Thick, dark, perfect amber.
Mouth Feel: Medium carbonation; creamy middle. Dry finish.
Pairing Notes: n/a
So here’s another limited run beer from a brewery that has challenged me at times and surprised me at other times. Their ubiquitous Mad Tom series is a good enough IPA, but not worth writing home about and not worth purchasing in my opinion: there are much better local IPAs.
However, when I treaded carefully earlier this year to try one of their limited run beers, Legendary Oddity, I was a pleasantly surprised … actually, I was pleasantly blown away. So when I saw another one of their limited run beers on sale a few weeks ago, I picked it up more confidently and hoping it would surprise again.
It did ….
Out of the bottle the beer pours a gorgeous, dark amber, the colour of that precious commodity I fell in love with in Eastern Europe — though the beer was good too, but that’s another story. “Harvest Ale” pours with a nice tan head of rich foam that, while it dissipates quite quickly, leaves a generous and lasting lacing on the glass for most of the glass. Impressive. Off the nose, the malts are already on clear display with toffee being the first thing I smell. This mixes nicely with the diacetyls on the tongue to produce a creamy caramel taste throughout: butterscotch, yum, oh yeah.
Off the tongue, it is definitely malt-forward followed by a grassiness that is described on the back of the bottle. In the middle some tropical notes emerge via the hops, but they don’t exactly take charge as the malts continue to own the show. However, pineapple definitely comes out along with some pine resin which produce a nice hoppy finish. There are definitely elements of this beer that remind me of their Twice As Mad Tom, but there is more complexity to this brew than in the DIPA. However, there is no doubting the IPA backbone here, albeit with a lot more malt than you’re going to find in most. Still, an excellent example of the style.
My only real knock against this beer is that stupid cork again which you need teeth or strong thumbs to pull out. Looks nice and rustic, yes, but ultimately very poor user design.
This is a seasonable brew and at $9 for a 750mL bottle, it isn’t a steal of a deal and I think more a marketing ploy than anything. An excellent beer, of that there is no question, but when it comes to value for money, well, there are certainly beers of similar quality at a better price. But if you’re just looking for a malty but bitter performer for a special night, buy or a bottle or two and treat yourself. You aren’t going to do much better.
Read more of My Beer Reviews here ….