Bench Creek Legend Extra Old Ale

Reviewed by on December 29, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Bench Creek Brewing

  • Origin: Yellowhead County, AB, CA

  • Rated On: December 29, 2017

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 11.8%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Old Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

What I have in front of me is a brew that commemorates a 100-year old ghost town called Legend, southeast of Lethbridge.  The label, a la Stone, advises us to ‘enjoy after Dec 24, 2017’, so following the letter of the law, here we go.

This 650ml bottle pours a hazy, medium apricot amber colour, with four fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and mildly bubbly ecru head, which leaves some stellar broadly webbed lace around the glass as it slowly but surely sinks away.

It smells of semi-sweet, bready and pastry-forward caramel malt, muddled dark stone fruit, vanilla cookies, a hint of under the basement stairs mustiness, and some very plain earthy, weedy, and perfumed floral green hop bitters.  The taste is grainy and doughy caramel malt, real vanilla, some baked apple and pear fruitiness, further minor earthy and musty notes, and more understated leafy, herbal, and floral hoppiness.  The carbonation is fairly laid-back in its insouciant frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and generally smooth, with a teensy airy creaminess seeping in once things warm up a tad around here.  It finishes off-dry, the caramel and vanilla essences still large and definitely in charge.

Overall – this is a rather well-made version of the style, even if the ‘old’ quotient isn’t quite settled in or developed yet (I am drinking it near to the earliest recommended time, but hey, it’s freaking Christmastime, already!).  At any rate, tasty, and a pleasant simulacrum of all those past holiday confections that no longer play a part in my particular manner of celebrating at the moment.

Brady White

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