Ribstone Creek Prairie Pirate Rauchbier

Reviewed by on March 1, 2018 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Ribstone Creek Brewery

  • Origin: Edgerton, AB, CA

  • Rated On: March 1, 2018

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 6.4%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Rauchbier

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

The second iteration in the series, this one is made with Red Shed’s ‘Kananaskis’ malt (what Alberta craft brewer isn’t using this supplier’s wares, of late?), which they’ve playfully ‘purloined’ as part of this whole prairie pirate shtick.  ‘And it’s the heave ho, hi ho, coming down the plains, stealin’ wheat and barley, and all the other grains…’ but I digress, for the moment.

This 650ml bottle pours a clear, medium bronzed amber colour, with four fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and mildly creamy ecru head, which leaves some random streaky and webbed lace around the glass as it lazily subsides.

It smells of well-roasted and meaty caramel malt, some heady charred woodiness, hard to ascertain burnt orchard fruit, and very tame earthy, musty, and ashy floral hop bitters.  The taste is bready and doughy caramel malt, toasted beechwood (a la Bamberg, as opposed to Budweiser), some additional free-range char, bruised and singed black stone fruit, ethereal earthy spice, and more understated leafy, weedy, and floral noble hoppiness.  The carbonation is fairly meek in its spaced-out frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and more smooth than one might have been expecting – that’s all I can really say at this juncture.  It finishes off-dry, the malt and porcine-tinged smoke locked in a lingering pas-de-deux.

Overall – well, this is definitely a properly-wrought version of the old-school Teutonic style, with the local malt holding up to the rigors of all that fire-branding. And like the better examples out there, this one just gets better the deeper you get into it, for lack of a better saying.  I’m sure good ol’ Salty Bob would approve.

Brady White

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