Yukon Brewing Spirit Dog

Reviewed by on April 20, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Yukon Brewing Company

  • Origin: Whitehorse, YT, CA

  • Rated On: April 20, 2016

  • Best Before: Pick a date, any date

  • ABV: 11.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Extra Strong Olde English Ale

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

Spirit Dog is a little experiment by our Yukon friends to the north, wherein they used the bierschnapps that they originally created by distilling Lead Dog Ale, to augment a fresh batch of said brew – how very full circle, and so beer meta!

This 650ml bottle pours a clear, dark rusted brick brown colour, with two skinny-ass fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat bubbly beige head, which leaves a bit of approaching iceberg profile lace around the glass as it quickly sinks out of sight.

It smells of dense and dark bready caramel malt, a further toffee/treacle thing, some heady plum, raisin, and dried cherry fruitiness, a twinge of earthy basement cellar mustiness, more brown sugar sweetness, and gentle leafy, weedy, and surprisingly un-perfumed floral hop bitters. The taste is fairly sugary doughy and brown bread-like caramel malt, muddled dark orchard fruit (ok, some soused sultana raisins, if you must!), a generic damp earth mustiness, and more understated leafy, floral, and perhaps a tad grassy noble hoppiness.  The carbonation is pretty low-key in its soft and almost lilting frothiness, the body a solid medium weight, and quite smooth, with a small airy creaminess arising at this thing moves out of fridge temperature range. It finishes more or less sweet, but moderated to a certain degree by fruity, hoppy, and tame estery alcohol offsets alike.

Overall, this is a pretty cool way of amping up the ABV of your most venerable full-time product – reduce it, and then add it back in to the next batch – a loss-less flavour proposition, if there ever was one. I have images of a snake eating itself via munching on its own tail in my head right now, but that may just be an expected distortion due to the crazily integrated 22-proof booze that they’ve managed to sneak in here. Wow.

Brady White



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