4 Mile Bourbon Oak Aged English Strong Ale

4mile_bourbonstrongBrewer: 4 Mile Brewing, Victoria, BC
Style: English Strong Ale
ABV: 8.2%
IBUs: 40

Description: This seasonal release (which became available as of Dec.1st) is a slight twist on the brewery’s English Strong, which is aged in bourbon barrels to achieve a stronger, bourbon flavor-infused beer.

Tasting Notes: I was surprised by this entry. Ordinarily, you’d expect a dark, strong ale that’s been aged in bourbon barrels to combine some serious sugary maltiness with a strong whiskey bite. You know, a winter warmer meets a haymaker punch! However, the malt flavor was actually quite smooth and subdued while the whiskey flavor comes on mild, only to finish quite bitter. Not what I was expecting.

Appearance: Deep ruby/brown, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich malts, tinge of alcohol, hints of whiskey and oak
Taste: Smooth, rich malt base, mild whiskey bite, hint of brown sugar and dark fruit
Aftertaste: Lingering whiskey bite, alcohol and coarse malt bitterness
Overall: 7.5/10

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4 Mile Pale Ale

4mile_paleBrewer: 4 Mile Brewing, Victoria BC
Style: English-style Pale Ale
Alc/Vol: 5.2%
IBUs: 38

Description: A combination of brewing styles, this pale ale is brewed using English malts and West Coast hops (most likely of the Cascade/Centennial and Amarillo variety). Further indications of its English roots come in the form of extensive dry hopping, which results in a subtle ale with dry, but pronounced hop character.

Tasting Notes: I have to admit, this beer was a tad on the light for me. While I certainly appreciate subtle brews, the hop bitterness was a little too light for my taste, and the finish a little too clean and watery. What was missing was a malt backbone, then the dry hops may have come through better. However, I am prepared to admit that this may have been a false positive. I’ll need another bottle for confirmation, stay tuned!

Appearance: Amber-orange, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Mild malt, citrus notes, grassy and piney hops
Taste: Mild malt, dry citrus bite, notes of grass, pine, and grapefruit
Aftertaste: Mild, dry lingering bitterness, very clean, watery finish
Overall: 7.5/10

4 Mile Brown Ale

4mile_brownBrewer: 4 Mile Brewing, Victoria BC
Style: English-style Brown Ale
Alc/Vol: 5.3%
IBUs: 40

Description: This English-style brown ale is crafted using five different types of malt, including crystal, chocolate & roasted barley. The result is a dark, full-bodied malty beer with a discernible bitter hop finish.

Tasting Notes: This is my second sampling from the 4 Mile Brewery, and the English inspiration was once again very much apparent. The strong notes of roasted barely and baked bread are immediately apparent upon opening the bottle, and carry on through from the first sip to the last. These are further balanced out with some hop bitterness and malty notes of coffee, caramel and cocoa. A truly lovely beer-drinking experience!

Appearance: Deep brown, clear, mild foam retention and good carbonation
Nose: Toasted malt, baked bread, caramelized sugar, mild coffee
Taste: Dark roasted malts, tang, slight caramel sweetness, notes of coffee, cocoa
Aftertaste: Lingering roasted malt bitterness, hints of coffee and cocoa
Overall: 9/10