Ale Architect Balsam

Reviewed by on November 23, 2018 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Ale Architect

  • Origin: Edmonton, AB, CA

  • Rated On: November 23, 2018

  • Best Before: packaged November 6, 2018

  • ABV: 3.8%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Dark Mild Ale

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

Balsam is deemed to be a ‘dark mild’.  These guys sure have a penchant for interesting names!

This 473ml can pours a clear, dark orange-brick brown colour, with four fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and slightly fizzy tan head, which leaves a bit of streaky island cay pattern lace around the glass as it quickly settles out of sight.

It smells of gritty and grainy caramel malt, some free-range ashiness, bittersweet cocoa powder, subtle cafe-au-lait, some oily nuttiness, and very tame earthy, herbal, and floral noble hops.  The taste is bready and doughy caramel malt, toasty biscuits, bar-top nuts, medium chocolate, faded day-old coffee grounds, a hint of brown sugar, and more well-understated leafy, musty, and floral green hoppiness.  The carbonation is fairly timid in its palate-pleasing frothiness, the body a solid middleweight, and generally smooth, with nothing getting in the way of a decent time at this particular moment.  It finishes off-dry, the malt, cocoa, and milky coffee essences showing the most lingering swagger.

Overall – wow, for a beer that clocks in at a measly 3.8% ABV, they’ve packed a whole lot of flavour into it.  Great for having a couple when the next thing you have to do is navigate Edmonchuk’s treacherous winter streets (and other drivers, for that matter).  Good, good stuff!

Brady White



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