The Grizzly Paw Rum Barrel Aged Scotch Ale

Reviewed by on October 14, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company

  • Origin: Canmore, AB, CA

  • Rated On: October 14, 2016

  • Best Before: bottled August 19, 2016

  • ABV: 7.6%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Scotch Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Canmore’s Grizzly Paw have released this rum barrel aged Scotch Ale, which is the 2016 edition of something called their Cellar Series.  That’s all fine and good, but enough with the stupidly hard to remove wax cap finishes, already!

This 650ml bottle pours a clear, dark orange-brick brown colour, with two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and well bubbly tan head, which leaves some decent dripping paint swath lace around the glass as things slowly sink away.

It smells of bready and doughy caramel malt, rum baba cake, mixed seasonal (the next few) spices, a hint of treacle, bruised stone fruit, and some very tame earthy and musty noble hop bitters.  The taste is rather sweet, with the vanilla-flecked rum taking center stage, in front of the caramel/toffee malt, still hard to discern sugary spices, a touch of wet woodiness, overripe dark fruit (plum, cherry, and raisin), and more understated floral and weedy hoppiness.  The carbonation is quite laid-back in its barely perceptible frothiness, the body a solid medium-heavy weight (way more than ‘wee’, that’s for sure!), and mostly smooth, with a nice airy creaminess evolving as things warm up a bit.  It finishes well off-dry, the caramel, toffee, vanilla, rum, and fruitiness not really worrying about any last-minute competition.

Overall, I gotta say that at least the barrel effects are all there – rum, wood, and vanilla, which just add to a well-made, if simple base Scotch ale.  This has Thanksgiving written all over it – what with the aforementioned flavours, and the sneakily integrated and elevated boozy-booze quotient – pair away at will!

Brady White

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