Grizzly Paw Winter Cranberry Ale

Reviewed by on February 28, 2014 in Winter Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company

  • Origin: Canmore, AB, CA

  • Rated On: December 15, 2013

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 5.5%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Winter Warmer

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Another cool result from having Grizzly Paw’s newish production brewery in Canmore pumping things out for the whole province. Made with, well, cranberries and ale. Sexy frozen bog imagery on the label too.  Now what was it that Denis Leary said about cranberries and beer?

This 650ml bottle pours a pretty solid black, with subtle, pervasive cola highlights, and three fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and mildly bubbly light brown head, which leaves some awkward Swiss cheese lace around the glass as things duly drop away.

It smells of toasted bready caramel malt, an oily nuttiness, slightly zippy dark fleshy fruit – prunes and craisins, really – a touch of bittersweet chocolate, and leafy, earthy hops. The taste is more lightly roasted caramel malt, a bit of wet biscuity bread, hollow mixed nuts, very innocuous blended fruit – the softest hint of cranberry tartness more evident than any remaining black pit fruit esters – mild musty cocoa notes, and plain earthy, weedy hops.  The bubbles are pretty low-key, and even hard to discern at times, the body an adequate medium weight, a bit thin from a flinty stoniness, and generally smooth. It finishes more dry than I might have thought, the veiled cranberry acridity making itself a little better known, amongst the faltering malt.

An easy enough to drink winter ale, though the guest ingredient is ethereal at best. The overall effect is that of a placid (very dark) brown ale, lightly touched by the seasonal goodies. Worthy of a try and a relative bargain in the seasonal offerings category around here.  I’m anticipating bigger and better things from this growing brewery.

Brady White

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