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

4 Mile English Strong Ale

4mile_englishstrongBrewer: 4 Mile Brewing, Victoria BC
Style: English-style Strong Ale
Alc/Vol: 6.9%
IBUs: 50

Description: Located in a historical landmark building in Victoria, BC (which dates back 1858), the Four Mile Brewpub is a craft brewing operation that is inspired by English, New England and Pacific Northwest brewing traditions. The English Strong Ale pays homage to these, combining a strong malt base with generous hopping to achieve a dark, unfiltered strong ale.

Tasting Notes: As introductions go, this one was both very pleasant and quite overdue. For some time now, I’ve been hearing about the 4 Mile Brewpub and how it can run with the best of Victoria’s craft brewers. And when I found that they were bottling their wares and delivering to my local beer store, I jumped right on it. And I could immediately see the appeal with this ale, boasting as it does strong notes of dark roasted malt, a nutty backbone, a bitter hop finish, and a hint or two of brown sugar and molasses. I could also see, taste, and smell the English inspiration, and was pleased that it was being fashioned right here in my hometown. Kudos, 4 Mile, see you again soon!

Appearance: Deep brown, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich malt, hints of caramelized sugar, roasted nuts, syrup, grassy hops
Taste: Strong malt, alcoholic tang, chestnuts, hint of brown sugar, bitter hop finish
Aftertaste: Lingering nuttiness, toasted malt and hop bitterness
Overall: 9,5/10

Deep Cove Loud Mouth Pale Ale

label_loudmouth-300x300Brewer: Deep Cove Brewery, Vancouver, BC
Style: Pale Ale
Alc/Vol: 5.5%
IBU: 56

Description: The Loud Mouth Pale Ale is one of Deep Cove’s year round products and is a blend of English and West Coast influences. This results in an ale that is initially malt-forward, but is hopped to a respectable 56 IBUs to achieve a balance of flavor.

Tasting Notes: As the first beer that I’ve ever tried from Deep Cove, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I could definitely sense the English influence as I drank it, which is present in the form of subtle but ever-present malts and the notes of toffee and caramel. However, there was also enough of a hop presence that one can detect the West Coast influence, which comes through in a slightly bitter, citrusy, and herbal accompaniment. It then finishes quite clean, with lingering notes of both malt and hops on the palate that further enforce its balanced character. Definitely a good intro to this brewery from North Vancouver!

Appearance: Deep amber, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Strong malt presence, notes of toffee and shortbread, mild hops
Taste: Good malt, mild tang, notes of toffee, caramel, slightly bitter citrus, herbal hops
Aftertaste: Relatively clean, lingering toffee malts and mild bitterness
Overall: 8.5/10

Gahan Island Red Ale

gahan_redaleBrewer: Gahan Brewery, Charlottetown PEI
Style: Amber Ale
Alc/Vol: 5.3%

Description: Established in 1997 in Charlottetown, the Gahan Brewery and House Pub is the only brewery on Prince Edward Island that brews handcrafted, small batch beer. The Island Red is an English-style amber ale, and the flagship brew of their operation. It was the Gold Medal winner for the 2011 Canadian Brewing Awards.

Tasting Notes: This beer is entirely new to me, and was quite the lovely introduction to this Maritime brewery. The malt profile and hop profiles are quite subtle, calling to mind traditional English ambers, and is made using what I assume are pale malt, Golding and/or Fuggles hops. This results is an ale that is malt-forward, subtle and smooth, and has flavors of baked bread and dry herbs.

Appearance: Dark amber, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Syrupy, rich malts, mild, dry hops
Taste:
Rich pale malt, baked bread, hint of sweetness, subtle, herbal hops
Aftertaste: Lingering malt flavor and mild bitterness
Overall: 9/10

Howe Sound Father John’s Winter Ale

father_john_winteraeAnother Christmas beer that graced my doorstep, courtesy of my friendly neighbor! And this is one that I’ve certainly had in the past, but which I neglected to do a review for thus far. What can I say, this blog didn’t always exist, and I certainly did brink beer in my pre-blogging days. But I’m nothing if not a fan of Howe Sound, and I’m always interested in anything that was inspired by (or named after) John Mitchell, the venerable brewmaster who started the Howe Sound operation. That is where this beer takes its name from, fyi, as part of the breweries extensive John Mitchell series.

As part of said series, this beer is a fitting example of something inspired by Mitchell, being a particularly malty, English-style winter brew. Made with four different malts, a mild dose of Nugget & Hallertau hops, and a hint of spice, the beer calls to mind both the holiday season and an English pub ale that is rich in toffee-style malts and has a nice, Christmasy finish.

Appearance: Dark amber-brown, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Strong malts, good toffee notes, mild spices, alcohol
Taste: Sweet malt, good tang, notes of toffee, allspice, reminiscent of figgy pudding
Aftertaste: Lingering spice notes, toffee malt, and hint of bitterness
Overall: 8.5/10

Always good to resample old beers and give them their due. I sincerely hope I can remember all the beers I ever drank so that I might one day give them all a faithful review. Might take some time, but I’m willing to do the legwork!