Alberta Unity Brew 2015

Reviewed by on November 27, 2015 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Alley Kat Brewing Company, et al.

  • Origin: Alberta!

  • Rated On: November 27, 2015

  • Best Before: May 17, 2016

  • ABV: 5.4%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Extra Special Bitter

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Just in time for the holiday season comes the 2015 version of the Alberta Unity Brew, wherein all (almost, anyways) the craft brewers in the province come together to collaborate on a brew. This year (and actually made at Alley Kat in Edmonton) – ESB!

This 650ml bottle pours a clear, bright medium bronzed amber colour, with one skinny finger of weakly puffy, somewhat rocky, but mostly bubbly dirty white head, which leaves a bit of remote and sparse island chain lace around the glass as it swiftly abates.

It smells of bready, kind of meaty caramel malt, edgy yeast, a bit of sweaty socks, muddled pale orchard fruit, and plain leafy, weedy, and lightly floral hops. The taste is bready, grainy pale and caramel malt, apple and pear skins, a twinge of peppery yeast, and a further sedate leafy, earthy, and faintly perfumed floral noble hoppiness. The bubbles are fairly understated in their jovial and easy-going frothiness, the body a so-so middleweight, and generally smooth, maybe only that touch of peppery spice threatening the peace here. It finishes off-dry, sure, but with the heady biscuity caramel malt tempered well enough by spice and unassuming hop alike.

Well, this one started off on the wrong foot, but gradually gained its bearings, to bloom into a decently-rendered version of the style – nothing world-shattering, mind you, but agreeable in its old-world earnestness. With that many cooks within reach of the not so metaphorical pot, it’s a wonder this comes off as well as it does – or maybe they just all sat around, um, ‘sampling’, while Alley Kat re-brewed some of their Bitter Truth from a few years back.

Brady White

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