Archive for the ‘Cask Conditioned’ Category

Alright, now that Halloween is wrapped up, I can now get back to doing some beer reviews. This is part two of my review on the Red Seal Ale by North Coast Brewing. The second try is a casked version which was hand pumped from an English beer engine.

The cask has a clear, amber coloring. The head, which you can’t see in the photo because I foolishly didn’t snap up all the pictures right away, was thick, creamy white and really very dense. There was some sweet malt aromas with a light touch of a citrus hoppy scent. The taste seemed maltier and less hoppy than the kegged version. Thick with caramel and honey, there seemed to be only hints of a grassy and citrus hops that were in the other version. The unusual soapy taste did not pop up in this tasting so I’m going to guess that there was just a soapy residue in the glass from being washed. Also something of note, even with the thick white head, the beer wasn’t heavily carbonated. From this tasting I’d gladly have this beer again.

5.5% Amber

My second beer at the Craft Beer Market was actually a cask from Alley Kat brewery in Edmonton. The beer chosen to be in the cask was their organic lager named after the Albertan brewing pioneer, Charles Flint. Now, I had a discussion with the CBM’s liquor manager and he said that the Charlie Flint’s was a seasonal beer done by Alley Kat. I tried to inform him that whomever gave him that information was mistaken due to the fact Alley Kat brews this all year round. I honestly have no idea if he believed what I told or not but hopefully he at least looked into it after that. Heck, he even brought me a small sampler shortly after the cask was cracked to let me have a try. Koodos for the customer service!

Now to be honest, I’ve had this beer many times. Though never from a tap, not to even mention a hand pump cask. It poured out a golden-yellow with a heavy, thick, white head that left heavy lacing on the glass. The aroma came off with apricots and grapefruits. There was also a maltiness to this beer and a spicy aroma I couldn’t quite put my finger on. The taste had a good amount of malt flavoring along side a citrus sweetness. I’d say even that the apricot flavoring has come out too. Quite tasty and very drinkable, yet, there was a sharp metallic taste in the finish which caught me off guard with how smooth the beer was.

5% Lager

On to the Wild Rose cask that they tapped on Friday. Dave, one of their brewers, nicknamed it the CBC IPA after the three hops that were brewed into the beer. I showed up early to make sure I’d get a chance at a taste. I thought that with it being a stat holiday the place would be packed and it would go fast. Oddly enough, the situation was the complete opposite.

The IPA was hand pumped and came out a cloudy orange with a gorgeous cascade. The thick head was just off white and as it receded it laced the glass nicely. The aroma wafts off with a grapefruit citrus and a light pine. The taste was quite potent of orange and grapefruit hops. The after taste came thru very heavy with pine bitterness. It felt smooth and creamy in the mouth but left the mouth dry.

?% IPA

Finally, the fourth and final summer solstice cask of 2011! Mark created a Coconut Brown ale. Said to have subtle hints of obviously coconut and not so obviously vanilla. Made to enjoy as a summer night-cap this brew was also crafted with the hand pump in mind.

Pouring a cloudy brown this brown ale has a thick, just off white head. The aroma wafts off with lightly roasted malts and a light hint of coconut. To be completely honest I did not taste the coconut till the third sip. That is how subtle the coconut was. It blended so well with the roasted malts that I had a hard time finding it. The brown has a heavy caramel taste too. This caramel somewhat blends into a burnt caramel after taste. I, personally, am not a huge fan of coconut. With that being said, I found this brew to be quite enjoyable and an excellent choice for a night-cap.

?% Brown

Now is the time for the third summer cask! Brewed by Tomo, this bitter was made to be hand pumped. He also says that he used lots of EKG and Galena hops in this brew.

Golden orange in color this bitter, hand pumped, has a thick white head. The head very slowly recedes leaving a light lacing on the glass. The aroma comes off bitter with a little bit of spices backing it up. The flavor comes off very sweet with a massive bitter kick. Along with the sweetness and bitter there is also a hearty dose of spices. At this point of the day I am having a difficult time pin pointing the spices. I was honestly caught off guard with how sweet this bitter was. The sweetness lasted for a very long time, it really stuck with you and didn’t fade away.

?% Bitter

Now, for the second summer cask! Brewed up by Andrea, this cask was designed to be a great patio beer. Bitterness of the hops flirting with fresh spring junipers, sounds like deliciousness in a glass to me!

This cask poured out a bright cloudy orange with a small, yet thick, white cap. The aroma comes off far weaker than I thought it would have. Very light citrus and, even lighter yet, juniper notes are all I’ve managed to pick up on. The taste is stronger with juniper then in the aroma. Also, the citrus hops pick up more in the taste too. This IPA turned out to be quite the “dry” beer. It almost made me more thirsty drinking it. I think there is some solid ground work laid down here, but, in my opinion, this recipe with just a little bit of tinkering, or fine tuning, could be a killer brew.

?% IPA

Well, it has been ages since I have posted up some beers. I actually have quite the back log of casks to post up from Wild Rose. In all honesty, it is actually quite shameful of me for not sharing these delicious brews with all of you. This first one is a Heffwiezen which had 18 mandarin oranges zested into it along with a little coriander and one zested lemon. Dave, the brewer, also informed me that he had also slipped some of the juicy pulp from the mandarins in as well.

This Heff pours a cloudy yellow with a thin white cap. The aroma wafts off with the zesty oranges, wheat, and a tickling of the nose with coriander. The taste is heavy with the mandarins zest! Once you got over the initial zest, it was then that I noticed the slight lemon twist thrown into the mix. Meanwhile there is that slight spiciness that the coriander throws into the mix. Though it isn’t overly powerful, it does add a unique characteristic to this brew. I found this brew extremely smooth and easy to drink. I enjoyed it so much so that I hinted repeatedly, some might say excessively, to Dave that it would make an excellent seasonal brew for them to do in the coming summer or the next.

?% Heffwiezen