Dandy Ain’t Life Strange

Reviewed by on July 25, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: The Dandy Brewing Company

  • Origin: Calgary, AB, CA

  • Rated On: July 25, 2016

  • Best Before: bottled April 30, 2016

  • ABV: 9.5%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Imperial Stout

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

‘Ain’t Life Strange’ is the latest in this Calgary nano-brewery’s series of limited ‘Dandy Edition’ brews, which is labeled, yes, but the pertinent info is written in by hand (hence ‘I. Stout’).

This 650ml bottle (no. 2 of 200 – wow!) pours a solid, inky black, with the barest of red cola basal edges, and next to nothing in the way of head (the lack of any pop upon opening was indeed, er, strange) beyond a few disparate berm-creating bubbles, which leave zilch in the way of lace around the glass as they quickly waft off.

It smells of bittersweet chocolate, lightly roasted caramel/toffee malt, some sauced-up plum, cherry, and fig dark fruitiness, damp ash, Scandahoovian (my family’s term) black licorice, a faint earthy mustiness, and very tame leafy, weedy, and gently floral hops. The taste is bready and doughy caramel malt, stale toffee candies, gritty cocoa powder, muddled dark orchard fruit (plums and prunes, mostly), subtly spicy anise, and more laid-back earthy, floral, and musty hoppiness.  The bubbles are egregiously AWOL after a whole three months in the bottle, the body a decent medium-heavy weight, and generally smooth, with a wee airy creaminess settling in after a short time out of the fridge.  It finishes on the sweet side, the chocolate, caramel, and minor fruitiness in cahoots with the well-masked booze.

Overall, not a bad rendition of this Old World style, with lots of tantalizing flavours abounding. Absent, however, are the hops, which while being true to style, could have perhaps balanced this out a little bit better.  At any rate, a well-made strong brew, one that the proprietors should consider adding to their cool Britannia stable, yeah?

Brady White

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