Troubled Monk Open Road American Brown Ale

Reviewed by on February 8, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Troubled Monk Brewery

  • Origin: Red Deer, AB, CA

  • Rated On: February 8, 2016

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 5.5%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: American Brown Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Troubled Monk are one of the new wave of Alberta craft brewers who have come on line since the provincial government changed the archaic production limit rules a couple of years ago.  Now they are canning a subset of their products, including this ode to cruising on the vast expanses of prairie and mountain highways around these parts.

This 355ml can pours a clear, dark bronzed amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat chunky beige head, which leaves a wall of melting frozen windshield lace around the glass as things quickly progress.

It smells of gritty caramel malt, a prominent oily nuttiness, a bit of free-range char, and soft leafy, earthy, and floral hops. The taste is semi-sweet biscuity and grainy caramel malt, more edgy nutty notes, some tropical and domestic dark fruitiness, a bit of buttery nougat, and some tame earthy, weedy, and musty hoppiness. The carbonation is quite active in its genial and supportive frothiness, the body a solid medium weight, and generally smooth, just a touch of that loitering char pushing the cause back a bit here. It finishes off-dry, that nutty caramel character retaining its slot atop the heap.

Overall, a genuinely enjoyable, fruity and nutty American brown ale – these guys are really starting to impress, and are now the de facto go-to craft brew destination in Red Deer, IMHO, should you ever find yourself spending more time there than simply gassing up and grabbing some Timmy’s for the, ahem, road.

Brady White

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