Village Enigma

Reviewed by on October 21, 2016 in Gluten-Free Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Village Brewery

  • Origin: Calgary, AB, CA

  • Rated On: October 21, 2016

  • Best Before: bottled September 19, 2016

  • ABV: 5.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cold to cool

  • Style: American Amber Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Calgary’s Village Brewery have recently released this gluten reduced, ‘uncommon’ amber ale, which is what I am assuming, having read through the cutesy marketing blurb on the teeny neck label.

This 330ml, embossed bottle pours a clear, medium orange-brick amber colour, with two fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat creamy beige head, which leaves some streaky mountain snow cap lace around the glass as it lazily subsides.

It smells of biscuity and grainy caramel malt, some red delicious apple and overripe pear fruitiness, a twinge of ashy smoke (the kind you get out of roasted Italian chestnuts in autumn), and some tame leafy, herbal, and mildly floral green hop bitters.  The taste is bready and doughy caramel malt, a lesser biscuity toffee sweetness, herbal tea, mixed pome and domestic citrus fruit notes, maybe a hint of roasted coffee beans, and more understated earthy, leafy, and weedy hoppiness.  The carbonation is adequate for the job, via its structurally sound frothiness, the body a solid middleweight, and mostly smooth, with a wee airy creaminess kicking off as things warm up a tad.  It finishes well off-dry, the caramel malt, fruitiness, and earthy, leafy hops doing well to play us out.

Overall, there’s no way that I could divine that this was a gluten tampered-with brew, which is normally the case when brewers use the enzymatic reduction method, as opposed to using only sub-par G-F ingredients.  So there’s really no ‘enigma’, here, other than why this kind of typically lacking style turns out to actually be one of this operation’s better offerings.

Brady White



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