Posts Tagged ‘Alley Kat’

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

To be completely honest, I haven’t tried too many Russian imperial Stouts. I have tried this one though. The KGB I’ve found to be right up my alley! This stout was the winning home-brew at the Aurora Brewing Challenge by Bruce Sample. He named this after his buddies Glen and Kevin, K.G.B. In my opinion this is an excellent heavy beer that is not to be taken lightly.

This Russian Imperial Stout would make Mother Russia proud. It pours out black as coal and has a light brown finger worth of head, which takes quite awhile to recede. Once it has slowly finishes receding it has left behind a small amount of lacing on the glass. My nose has picked up the scent of caramel, chocolate, espresso, and roasted malts. One thing I do noticed is that, even with a 10% alcohol rating, there isn’t a massive kick of booze to the nose. The taste is unique and complex. It starts out with a sweet caramel which doesn’t last long. After that quickly fads, the stout becomes thick and chewy. The thickness has flavors exploding everywhere. Flavors like dark roasted malts, chocolate and a distinct nuttiness. The tail end of the taste is a majority flavor of dark, burnt caramel. Something subtle I’ve also noticed is that every now and then I’ll get a sweet cherry hint at the finishing line of this stout. It doesn’t happen with every sip, maybe every 3rd or 4th. Also, this beer has a huge kick. Not an alcohol flavor kick, but more of a “Wow! That’s potent!”

10% Stout

Well, I must say when I go for a beer I am always looking for that one of a kind beer. This my friend is one of those beers. Alley Kat’s Chocolate Orange Porter is a “Very Limited Edition” brew. This batch was brewed up not for retail sale, but as a gift to given only to their clients. I was lucky enough to procure one of these gems and have been putting off cracking it because… well, its rarity. Thank you to all the naughty and nice brewers over at Alley Kat!

Pouring black in color, this porter shows a faint red when held up to light. As for the head, as you can see it is a thick, thick, mocha colored head which fades slowly lacing the glass as it recedes. The aroma seems quiet mild. I believe I am picking up on some cocoa malts, along with some coffee undertones and a funky, tarty twist. That’s right, I used the word funky and tarty in the same sentence. Even though tarty isn’t even a word. The flavor has a huge upfront sour, tart taste. At first I’d say it’s over powering but when it finally mellows out you can pick up on the roasted malts and bittersweet chocolate. At the very tail end of this beer it somewhat reminds me of the aftertaste of a Terry’s chocolate orange. Honestly, I’m guessing that is what they were going for. I must say with each sip I take, that sour kick to the groin still surprises me.

6.5% Porter

Well, Sherbrooke has once again contracted Alley Kat to brew yet another crazy beer for them. This Dunkelweiss has been brewed in such a way that it is supposed to taste of bananas. I know! Bananas? I’ve been told it is unique and tasty so I trekked my way up to Edmonton and picked up a 6-pack. Oh, just a heads up, it clearly says on the ingredients label “Yes, we have no bananas.” So, there isn’t a banana in the whole bunch.

The Mojo A’peel poured a dark, murky brown with an abundant head. The head was tan in color and had little retention, fading away quickly. As for the aroma, it was heavy with yeast and grains with a subtle sweetness that I couldn’t put my finger on. Now the taste is completely not what I had expected. Here I thought it would be like a banana beer. In all honestly it has hints of over ripened bananas but it isn’t overly “bananaesk” like I thought it would be. Very much a Dunkel style beer, it is yeasty and wheaty with a touch of bitter hops leveling it out. It is also heavy with brown sugar and vanilla, which is probably what gives it the banana like flavor, interacting with the yeast and wheat. A unique taste, but I wouldn’t want to have more than one in a row.

6.5% Dunkel 

Well, if I am not mistaken, there is a huge taboo regarding the tradition of green beer on Saint Patrick’s Day. What if the brewer intends it though? That has to be a loop-hole somewhere because Alley Kat Brewery has done just that. They’ve made up a Belgium-styled lager and bottled it green. Did I say green? Yes, very, very green. Unfortunately this is yet another case of a contract brew done up for Sherbrooke Liquor Store located in Edmonton. So, I wasn’t able to have this for the day of celebration. Though I did manage to pick up a few bottles for the weekend. From what I understand this is a yearly brew done up for the celebratory day… So, next year?

This Shamrock pours a unique emerald-green! No green dye required to make this your Saint Patrick’s day beer. A just off white head, tinged slightly green that is, recedes quickly with no lacing. It’s aroma has the mellowness of very soft grains and a slight crispness probably from hops, very much a Belgium-styled lager. The deep green is still freaking me out. Being used to a cheap generic green beer the flavor of this blows my mind. It starts out very sweet and malty them morphs into an almost spicy beer. I can’t quite put my finger on the spice. The finishing touch is a very mild bitter hop taste. Very easy to drink, which is dangerous due to it’s 7.1% alc./vol.

7.1% Belgian

Now due to special request from a friend with whom it’s their birthday… Look at you so special… I am pullin out a bottle I’ve been saving. I believe it is safe to assume this is very limited edition and I have managed to grab onto three bottles. This being the last one… Hopefully I can find more 🙂

This ale as the name suggests is very dark in color but show red when held up to light. The head is a light cappuccino coloring which is very dense, receding very slowly it leaves a nice lacing down the sides if the glass. The aroma is pungent with dark, roasted malts with notes of a slight sweetness and woodenness hidden within. Taste wise it is very light up front but then kicks it into overdrive at the back with hops and dark roasted malts. The aftertaste is extremely enjoyable with chocolate, coffee and that fresh sawed wood flavors coming through.

If you like darker beers, it would be a shame to let this treat pass you by. I know I’ll be trying to find more. Can you beat me to it?

7.6% Black Ale

So, I feel like I should give everyone a heads up. I am currently sick so… My sense of smell is non-existent. Due to this my taste buds are somewhat outta whack. Due to this I will not be trying anything that I chose to deem as “super unique” until such a time as I have full functionality of my palate . That being said…

This beer is what I’d call a gimmick beer. Brewed by Alley Kat specifically for Sherbrooke Liquor store in Edmonton. You can’t buy this anywhere else. Not even Alley Kat employees were allowed to try before it was shipped. From what I can tell it’s a basic lager. I’d chose it over Bud, Canadian, or Kokanee… But I would also rarely choose to drink any of the above unless there were no other options.

I mostly bought this bottle because I was there and I grabbed my attention. Like any good marketing should. If you didn’t know already… I am a sucker for marketing and trying everything at least once. Especially if it says NEW.

As for Alley Kat, it is also located in Edmonton, Alberta. I have tried many of their beers and I believe I can honestly say that I have yet to find one that I could say I didn’t like. So the fact that they have brewed a few different gimmick beers for Sherbrooke I hope doesn’t turn people away from trying this great breweries beers.

5% Lager