Welcome to Thirsty Thursday. Each week, Quick Escapes will bring you a new review of a classic, craft, new or hard to find beer. In the spirit of full disclosure we should point out that we are NOT professionals when it comes to beer tasting. This weekly article is as much a learning experience for us as we hope it will be for our readers. If you have any suggestions or comments please feel free to share; we welcome your feedback and participation.
Name of Beer: Muskoka Harvest Ale
Style of Beer: Seasonal Harvet Ale
Brewery: Muskoka Brewery
Can / Bottle / Draught: 341ml Bottle
Price: $14.50 for 6
% of Alcohol: 7.0%
From The Can: "Muskoka Harvest Ale was our brewery's pioneering venture into our limited run series of beers. Harvest Ale marks the end of the growing season and the process of gathering mature crops from the fields."
"Dry hopped and brewed using a selection of premium ingredients, this ale has a rich malt backbone and a subtle grassy character reminiscent of the freshly cut harvest. It's our way of celebrating another prosperous growing season."
Hops Used: Undisclosed
Clarity: Partial Clear (considering it is an unfiltered beer)
Head: Moderate at first, but it quickly wanes.
Aroma: Strong sweet bread notes with some earthy undertones.
Tasting Notes: Very aromatic start, hints of caramel malts with a dry finish .
Food Pairings (According To The Muskoka Brewery Site): Curry Dishes, Blue Cheese (try a hunk of Blue Cheese on a Hamburger), Roasted Lamb, Crab Cakes and Pesto Dishes.
Comments: Muskoka Brewery offers up some of my favourite beers; Mad Tom IPA, Detour IPA and their Cream Ale. When I see a new product from Muskoka Brewery on the shelf, I grab it and race home. Rarely do they disappoint. This 20 year old brewery operates out of Bracebridge Ontario boosts numerous award winning beers.
I'm happy to say that the Harvest Ale keeps with the long tradition of quality beer from the land of lakes.
The bottle claims that this beer has a malty backbone and they aren't joking. A sweet, bready malt welcomes the drinker with strong flavours that will linger on your palate. After a mouthful, you will note that the flavours begin to smooth out and you are greeted with a soft caramel finish to the beer. Many of the Muskoka Brewery beers have a lot of "hopitude" (seriously! just a word that I made up to describe strong, hop flavoured beer), but the hop notes in the Harvest Ale are quite subtle and earthy.
This is a strong ale at 7.0% alcohol per volume so it's not the type of beer that you sock back one after another. Sip it, enjoy it, but hurry up and grab your 6 pack as this beer will only be on LCBO shelves until November.