From Winnipeg, Manitoba’s Fort Garry Brewing Co comes their “Cannon Fodder Barley Wine” brewed with smoked malt. The beer pours a deep reddish colour with a brown head. The aroma consists of mild smoke, roasted malts, caramel and dark fruits. The flavour is of smoked malts, brown sugar, roasted malts, dark fruits, resin, bitterness, caramel and Belgian yeast. The alcohol content comes in at 11% with an IBU of 60. I am not a fan of smoked malts usually but this light smoke is great in this Barley Wine and if you can find it make sure to pick up a few bottles.
Commercial Description: At a whopping 11% abv, cannon fodder barley wine is best enjoyed one sip at a time. Intense caramel sweetness and the use of smoked malt make for a nicely balanced strong ale. Fermented with Belgian yeast, there is a uniqueness and complexity not often found in traditional barley wines.
From Ravens Brewing Company in Abbotsford comes their “Clayburn Smoked Scotch Ale”. The beer pours a deep reddish colour with a brown head. The aroma consists of smoke, peat and caramel. The flavour is of caramel, toffee, peat smoke, roasted malts, maple, bitterness and sweetness. The alcohol content comes in at 7.5%. While I am not a massive fan of smoked beers this one is well made and very enjoyable.
Commercial Description: Smouldering smoke rises over dark caramel and a rich malty backbone, leaving you with a smooth and decadent finish.
Moody Ales from Port Moody BC has a new batch of their Smouldering Smoked Porter.
Opaque, black. Flat out black that lets no light through at all with a dark brown head, almost cola coloured, of coarse bubbles.
I feel like I am sitting by a campfire as soon as my nose gets close to the glass, the nose is full of wood smoke. After a few moments I find notes of unburned beechwood underneath along with a clean malt aroma.
The flavours are exactly what I want in a smoked porter. There is an up front bitterness that comes more from the smoked malt that reminds me of char from a barbecue (think the grill marks on a steak). Along with the bitter is great smoke flavour that makes you think of bacon in a skillet over a fire. There is a sweet bass note that runs under everything that actually makes me think of candied bacon and wood aromas, maybe cedar, and balances against the bitter smoke really well. The carbonation is a bit rough, which fits the profile of the beer very well. The mouthfeel is surprisingly light for such a dark beer, don’t expect a beer you could eat with a fork.
I love this beer. The flavours are layered and complimentary, nothing is too overwhelming. It is complex in a good way.