TheJester (2417) - Cavan Monaghan, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 27, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
500 mL bottle. Dark chestnut brown - translucent, not opaque. Medium beige head fades quickly, but laces nicely. Interesting flavour, with an initial hit of sweet caramel, followed quickly by some fairly strong smoke, followed by just-ripe fruit, and some alcohol sharpness. The smoke, alcohol, and an earthiness all linger. There seem to be some other things in there as well, but that’s the basics. Low carbonation and alcohol make for a decent body. Very distinctive take on the style.
Gorbalev (3000) - Ontario, CANADA - OCT 27, 2011
4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle, LCBO. Pours fantastic - deep ruby red, rich frothy brownish white head with red hints - perfect looking Scotch Ale.Aroma is muted - some woody malt, hints of dark fruit and alcohol. Taste - excellent. Lots of malt up front, burnt, woody, leads into sweet caramel and fruit, gives way to some subtle but strong fruity hops and warming alcohol at the end. A whole lot going on here, quite complex. Thick and smooth mouthfeel - silky. A very very good Scotch Ale - one of the best I have ever had and bang on style. Nice work LCBO for finding and bringing this one in and congrats to Renaissance for a fantastic brew.
garthicus (2889) - Dublin, IRELAND - OCT 27, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Similar to Harry below - absolute silence when I opened it. I actually thought that perhaps I had opened it the previous night and recapped it but I didn’t. Anyhow, appearance: Dark red/brown with zero head. Aroma: Raisins, malt, chocolate, some turf and molasses. Flavour: Nice sticky molasses, raisins, rye and chocolate, smoke notes, dark fruit, nice long malty finish. Quite nice but I’m intrigued to know if it was meant to have some carbonation.
thb (797) - Alberta, CANADA - OCT 26, 2011
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours deep ruby with mid size creamy head. Aromas - rich malt, lots of dark fruits. Burnt notes. Some toffee. Taste is lovely - malthead heaven. Opens on the dark fruit front, moves into a sweet toffee/maple syrup, then moves to a grainy finish with some bitterness to balance. Alcohol provides a warming touch but is utterly hidden. Very drinkable.
JesseM (1158) - Margaritaville, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 25, 2011
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Lickbow bottle. Pours a nice deep ruby with a medium beige head. Aroma is everything they promise in the description, slightly bready, very enticing. Flavour has all the same stuff, anise, chocolate, toffee, caramel, with a very sweet finish which makes me feel like this was a bit under-attenuated, which is okay because I hate over-attenuation like some people hate diaceytl (sp?). Run on sentences aside, this is a pretty solid beer. Don’t feel the booze much in the flavour but it will hit you quickly if you get tricked into drinking this too fast because it is tasty and you want moar very quickly. Kudos to the Kiwi’s for this one.
HogTownHarry (6374) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - OCT 24, 2011
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
500ml bottle. Quiet as church on opening - pours flat, deep amber, virtually no head even with a vigourous pour (2+). Pretty solid aroma - hardwood smoke, peat, roast caramel, maple syrup, no alcohol - incredibly well balanced. The taste - same, some dry herbal bitterness, still primarily peat and smoke, with dry oak and maple candy - yummy. Slick, thick, still, dry and astringent in the finish despite a ton of sweet malt in it - I will buy more, I will re-rate and bump this at least 3 points if there is any carbonation in the next bottle.
JoeMcPhee (9244) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 23, 2011
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Deep ruby-brown pour topped by a thick tan head. Sticky and creamy leaving lots of lacing on the glass. The nose is awesome - lots of sweet stewed malt. A fruity sort of light peaty smoke in addition to some earthiness and a little bit of treacle as well. Malty and chewy but it’s not cloying at all and there is enough hop bitterness to really balance the beer out. Very fresh with a sort of rye-bread crust along with a touch of toffee as well. There is a little bit of cooked/stewed fruit and a touch of lingering sweetness. Man, this is a damn fine brew. Great addition to the LCBO - this will certainly not be my last of these.
DerWeg (1579) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 20, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Deep clear red brown, cap is dense tan. Smells like alcohol herbs and a touch of London alleyway ;) . Tastes of honey fruit molasses toffee and raisins in the base, with a dry herbal minerality over this and some acidic notes. This is a deeply rich beer balanced with the meadow-like herbal dryness. ’Tis a fair good.
neuromatt (1225) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 20, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
500 mL bottle from the LCBO, served in a tulip. Pours deep reddish brown with a tall, dense tan head. The head remains and leaves behind lots of dense lace on the glass. On the nose, there are notes of toffee and molasses, along with raisins, pale malts, chocolate and a touch of fruit. The flavour is moderately sweet up front with notes of chocolate, toffee and raisins. It becomes moderately bitter and piney towards the end, finishing with a long, dry peppery-hoppy finish. On the palate, it is medium in body, with a smooth, milky texture and soft carbonation. Overall, this is a great scotch ale. The finish is drier and hoppier than I had expected, but it rounds out the beer nicely. Very enjoyable and well worth another try. 2011-10-20
Ernest (7204) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - SEP 25, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Head is initially average sized, frothy, light brown, mostly lasting.
Body is medium to dark brown.
Aroma is moderately malty (toasted bread, cookie, caramel), lightly hoppy (apricot), with light notes of vanilla and plum, hint of smoke.
Flavor is moderately to heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter.
Finish is lightly to moderately sweet, lightly acidic, moderately bitter.
Medium to full body, velvety texture, lively carbonation, lightly to moderately alcoholic.
Malty and reasonably rich; pleasant aroma and decent balance, clean and elegant. What it lacks in excitement it makes up for with solid craftsmanship. Good stuff.