Alberta Unity Brew 2013
Reviewed by Brady White on May 13, 2014 in Local Heroes Guide
- Brewery: Banff Ave. Brewing Co.
- Origin: Banff, AB, CA
- Rated On: May 9, 2014
- Best Before: N/A
- ABV: 9.0%
- Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature
- Style: Russian Imperial Stout
- Rating: GREAT !!
This 650ml bottle (apparently packaged at Grizzly Paw’s facilities in Canmore) appears a solid black, no highlights, no how, even when pressed into the early evening light just outside my basement’s windows, with one limp finger of loosely foamy, and generally bubbly tan head, which leaves a decent array of approaching storm system lace around the glass as things slowly ebb away.
It smells of lightly charred bready caramel malt, bittersweet cocoa, day-old coffee, raisins and dried plum fruitiness, black licorice, earthy, leafy hops, and a minor alcohol warmth. The taste is semi-sweet roasted caramel/toffee malt, licorice-laced coffee, milk chocolate, subtle wet ash, muted orange and lemon hop notes, and more earthy, leafy, and slightly perfumed bitters. The bubbles are fairly active and well in play – beyond yer average RIS, at least – the body medium-heavy in weight, and pretty smooth, with a deft stab at creaminess. It finishes on the sweet side, the caramel malt, cocoa, and understated dark fruitiness carrying the day, a small prickly business arising as things progress.
For a ‘too many chefs spoil the broth’ sort of potential situation, this seems to have turned out just peachy. Big, malty, and toasty, in both its sweetness and alcohol rendering, and easier to drink than it should be, by any right. Hard to come by – not so strangely, you do have look for it – but well worthy if you do get a chance to enjoy the collective efforts of Wild Rose country’s best.