Village Father

Reviewed by on June 18, 2014 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Village Brewery

  • Origin: Calgary, AB, CA

  • Rated On: June 15, 2014

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 7.2%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Imperial Red Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Village Brewery is Calgary-based, and distributes their products in that city (and immediate environs) only – this is their ode to Father’s Day 2014, an Imperial Red Ale, made with the newish Belma hop varietal, and is a stronger offering than their typical wares thus far. Ok, called Dad – check. My little guy down for the night – check. Is it still Father’s Day? Yup, for a little while yet, anyway.

This 1L, weirdly sexy black shampoo bottle pours a clear, dark ruddy brick amber hue, with a teeming tower of puffy, bubbly, and loosely foamy beige head, which leaves some nice crooked webbed lace around the glass as it quickly sinks away.

It smells of peppy biscuity, doughy, and pastry-like caramel malt, some further middling toffee square sweetness, gritty bar top nuts, mixed red fruit – blackberries, strawberry syrup, maybe a wee bit of wine-aspirant plums – that do indeed seem to be hop-borne, and an additional musty, leafy minor display of the same. The taste is gritty crackery and biscuity caramel malt, bready toffee, a much more boozy red fruitiness – definitely plum wine now, strawberry liqueur – a sort of yuk-a-flux kind of deal, really, some hollow fleshy nuttiness, and more weak leafy, earthy hop bitterness. The carbonation is quite light and fluffy-like, as if dear ol’ Dad was just a big teddy bear, the body a stodgy medium weight, and mostly smooth, at least until that astringent back hand of alcohol comes into the picture. It finishes well off-dry, the caramel and nutty characters taking the party out back, not to put it out of its misery, but to carry on without bothering the rest of us too, too much.

My second go-around with the Belma hop varietal, after Mikkeller’s single-hop experiment last year, where the same essences arose – nicely complex red fruit esters – yup, strawberry and plum, indeed – but this is an Irish Red Ale, so what of the malt? No worries there, as the headiness of caramel, toffee, and nuts keeps that particular side of the palate well-engaged. I can’t help but make various comparisons to one of my teething beers – McNally’s Extra – there seems to be a certain inspiration embiggening this later day incarnation, and a good one, at that. At any rate, here’s to you all, dads.

Brady White

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