Brewed by Grand River Brewing
Style: Amber Ale
Cambridge, Canada


on tap

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RATINGS: 142   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.4/5   IBU: 35   EST. CALORIES: 141   ABV: 4.7%
a robust, deeply flavoured ale with multiple malts and hops blended with some of the American ’super-alpha’ hops blended with some new and traditional aroma hops

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 5/20
garthicus (2826) - Dublin, IRELAND - MAY 24, 2008
Appearance: Brown & slimey. Aroma: Skunky, malt and some cut grass. Flavour: Quite ’meh’ some malt in there, I struggled to taste it, a little bitterness too in the finish. I will rate it again I think, but for now ’meh’

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
JoeMcPhee (9004) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - APR 8, 2008
UPDATED: JAN 26, 2013 Fresh bottle (1 week after bottling). Deep amber pour with a thin white head. The aroma is earthy and nutty with a little bit of light caramel. Very herbal/earthy hop aroma and a touch of light fruitiness. Warming brings up some earthy/spicy hop notes and a touch of soft caramel. Like a lot of their beers - when it’s fresh it’s quite good, but it doesn’t seem to have much of a shelf life. This is a whole lot better than I gave it credit for any of the other times I had it. Well-balanced and pretty decent. Bottle. Deep amber pour with a tight white head. The aroma is quite malty. Soft baked rye bread and a bit of soft chewiness. A little bit of light herbal/earthy bitterness. Fairly light-bodied but has a decent malt profile. Assertive bitterness but not a whole lot of hop aroma/flavour. I like the toasted malt character in here - it’s sort of like bock meets ESB. 7 3 6 3 13

I had this a few times because the first pint was so terrible, I couldn’t believe that people rated it this highly. The rating is for the second time I tried it. Tap at Volo. Earthy sweet malty base with a hint of butterscotch that I find somewhat unappealing. A fruity woody hoppiness as well. The flavour is substantially better however. Soft malty base with asome light licorice as well. As it warms the hoppiness in the nose give off a nice floral/herbal character. Further warming really brings this together. Noble/woody/floral hops over a soft earthy malt base. Lightly nutty flavour. Soft earthy malt base. Lightly nutty flavour with a soft lingering bitterness. The palate comes across quite watery though. It’s kind of a strange bag of stuff and I still don’t think it’s all that good. 7 3 5 2 11

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Illuminatus (92) - Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 25, 2008
Powerful. Very punchy, forward hops, and more than enough malt. Rating is for the earlier recipe, they’ve changed it a bit since. I’ll rate the new version as soon as I get a chance to try it.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
RyanMac13 (8) - Cambridge, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 14, 2008 does not count
From a growler, at a tasting at Matt7215 place. Dark reddish brown appearance, off white head, very complex flavour, starts malty and ends very hoppy. Very strong flavour for a lowish % beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
TheJester (2249) - Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 4, 2008
Growler. Amber-brown with a medium, sticky whitish head. Aroma is sweetish, with caramel, toast, and hops. The taste is quite hoppy, with just enough malt to back it up. Nicely bitter finish. Medium body and carbonation. Kinda like an English bitter made with Belgian yeast. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
MrManning (2009) - Hamilton, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 16, 2008
Pours a deeper shade of amber, topped with long lasting off white head, leaving good lace. Gorgeous, fresh aroma of leafy, floral hops, bursting with pine essence, citrus (lemon, orange), and hints of butterscotch and cotton candy. The inviting aroma is matched by assertive floral hops, lemon zest, grass, a touch of sweet malty caramel and bubblegum. Medium body, with a very forward and enjoyable bitter finish. As with other beers from this brewer, the focus is on balance, full flavour, and lower ABV. It seems they can’t go wrong. Excellent.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
probstblueribbon (3401) - Nepean, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 19, 2007
Shared growler from brewery, served cold in a Stella chalice. NOV17/07.

App.: Medium amber, clear, decent whitish head. Aroma: Some soft, biscuity malts, lovely dank piney hops, light fruitiness. Palate: Medium body and medium-soft carbonation, a touch astringent. Flav.: Some caramel and crunchy toffee, slightly nutty, lighter hops than on the nose but same profile, lightly off-dry, with a good bitter finish.

Really nice. My brother and I killed the bottle the next day after it had sat out over night. Even slushy it was a pleasure to drink. I will certainly get more, even if I have to drive 7 hours to do so!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
radiomgb (2560) - Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 6, 2007
Deep copper-amber in colour, thin beige coloured head, light lacing. The aroma is quite hoppy, lots of pine and orange with some light caramel malt undertones. The flavour is again quite hoppy, good amount of sweetness, the pine carries over and grapefruits are introduced, the caramel malt provides the balance. Bitter mouthfeel, medium body, tingly carbonation. Finishes long, hoppy and dry. This completely blew me away. Totally unexpected, a brewery to watch in Ontario for sure.

Cask at <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Places/ShowPlace.asp? target=blank>Volo in Toronto, Ontario on October 20, 2007.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
shintriad (700) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 29, 2007
Finally, an American-style ale I can be proud of. Copper colour, impressive head with nice lacing, a mild but long and dry finish. Clean, thick, feels refreshing in the back of the throat. Maybe the best pale ale in Ontario. Lawnmower beer? Hell, no. Plowman’s, bitches.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
Bobsy (194) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - SEP 21, 2007
UPDATED: SEP 22, 2007 The beer smelled nice and hoppy, but I found that all the taste was middle-loaded (ie my first impression and the finish were both low on flavour. I also found this brew a little watery. Its not offensive, but not something I would order again by choice...their mild is amazing though!

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