Hell’s Basement Boxcar Comforts

Reviewed by on January 27, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Hell's Basement

  • Origin: Medicine Hat, AB, CA

  • Rated On: January 27, 2017

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 5.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cold to cool

  • Style: Blonde Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

The name of this brew refers to the lucky workers who built the CPR who got to sleep in the relative ‘comfort’ of unused freight cars, as opposed to on the ground. Yeah.

This 355ml can pours a clear, bright medium golden yellow colour, with two fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat creamy off-white head, which leaves a bit of crooked land bridge lace around the glass as it evenly sinks away.

It smells of semi-sweet, bready and pastry-adjacent caramel malt, clover honey, brown sugar, a slight earthy nuttiness, and some plain leafy, weedy, and floral green hop bitters.  The taste is gritty and grainy caramel malt, a touch of biscuity toffee, honeyed crackers, some minor wispy smokiness, subtle pome and citrus fruity esters, and more understated leafy, earthy, and grassy hoppiness.  The carbonation is fairly light in its caressing frothiness, the body a solid middleweight, and rather smooth, with a nice airy creaminess putting itself out to tender from the get-go.  It finishes off-dry, with that genial biscuity malt just not taking no for an answer.

Overall, this is definitely one of the better instances of this broad style that I’ve come across in a long while – nice and malty, with an ESB-esque edginess, and some decent fruity and hoppy hangers-on.  I could see killing a sixer of these no problem, that is if I was in one of my rare, ‘don’t really care about the hops’ sessioning moods.  Hey, they do happen!

Brady White

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