Olds College Old Skhool Brown Ale

Reviewed by on April 25, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Olds College Brewery

  • Origin: Olds, AB, CA

  • Rated On: April 25, 2016

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 5.4%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: English Brown Ale

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

Old Skhool is an appropriately-named brew from this teaching school’s commercial arm in central Alberta. Nice to see these offerings showing up in more and more places around the province now.

This 355ml can pours a clear, very dark reddish brown colour, with three chubby fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and mostly bubbly tan head, which leaves some stellar pockmarked concrete wall lace around the glass as it slowly sinks away.

It smells of toasted, crackery caramel malt, roasted nuts, brown bread, bittersweet cocoa powder, a hint of day-old coffee, and earthy, weedy, and mildly leafy hops. The taste is semi-sweet bready and grainy caramel malt, gritty medium chocolate, oily, and less charred nuts, subtle cafe-au-lait notes, a sort of isolated wet ashiness, and more plain leafy, earthy, and faintly straw-like hop bitterness. The carbonation is fairly understated in its low-key and hard to really hone in on frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and generally smooth, the various burnt essences kind of making a nick in things here. It finishes off-dry, the cocoa, caramel, and nuttiness all persisting well, tied together by that roasty common bond.

Yeah, this is indeed sort of a blend between an old school (sure, I said it) English porter, and northern brown ale. Since those two styles share more than a few things in common, the result here is a new world take, filtered through the lenses of budding brewers, no less. Nice and toasty, full-flavoured, and pretty easy to drink, especially as the ‘warmth’ of a cloudy Spring day fails miserably to get out of the gate.

Brady White

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