The Dandy In The Bleak Midwinter

Reviewed by on January 6, 2017 in Winter Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: The Dandy Brewing Company

  • Origin: Calgary, AB, CA

  • Rated On: January 6, 2017

  • Best Before: springtime

  • ABV: 6.5%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Cascadian Dark Ale

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

It’s not yet mid-winter here in Alberta, but I’m not waiting until the deepest, darkest teatime of the soul (also known as February) to crack this one open.

This 650ml bottle pours a pretty solid black, with prominent amber basal edges, and a teeming tower (thanks, bottle conditioning!) of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat creamy beige head, which leaves some splendid random gear chain lace around the glass as it very lazily recedes.

It smells of semi-sweet, roasted caramel malt, a bit of biscuity toffee, milk chocolate, candied orange and red grapefruit, mixed tropical fruit notes, and more leafy, grassy, and piney green hop bitters.  The taste is bready and doughy caramel malt, some free-range ashiness, bittersweet cocoa powder, muddled domestic and exotic citrus flesh, a hint of cafe-au-lait, maybe a touch of sugary black licorice, and some fading leafy, weedy, and wet pinecone verdant hoppiness.  The carbonation is good and plenty in its swirling and caressing frothiness, the body a decent medium weight, and generally smooth, with a nice airy creaminess that intensifies as things warm up a tad.  It finishes off-dry, the caramel, cocoa, and muddled fruity and green hops all partying rather nicely with each other.

Overall, this appears to be one of the exceptions that breaks my rule of not caring for this style – the roasted ‘side of the dark’ (been watching a lot of Star Wars lately) is kept to a minimum, while the various hop esters carry on being part of the IPA that they want to be.  Great stuff – I may be revisiting this one six weeks or so hence.

Brady White

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