journal of a self proclaimed beer connoisseur

Posts tagged “alley kat

Alley Kat – Unity Brew (2010)

Date: Friday, January 28, 2011
Brewery: Alley Kat
Beer: Unity Brew
Category: American Amber Ale
ABV:
5.00%
Brewed in: Canada (Edmonton, AB)

Unity Brew is a collaborative project between several Alberta brewers to raise money for the Kidney Foundation and various smaller local charities. Eleven of the twelve brewers in the Province were a part of this brew. The brewing took place at Alley Kat but the recipe is cooperatively written by all eleven.

Unity Brew 2010 pours a deep copper color with a thick tan head. Retention was moderate and produced a large amount of lacing.

The aroma is predominantly of caramel and lots of hops. There is also a bit of fruity notes in it – dark fruit the malts are also apparent but overpowered by the other notes. There is definitely a nutty aspect to the smell.

The taste is sweet and malty and there is something that makes me want to say “dark fruits” here but I’m not sure that is exactly what it is. There is hint of citrus and spices present. You can taste something nutty – I say hazelnuts there. Overall the taste is great but it is difficult to pinpoint which may be a result of the collaborative effort on the recipe. Tough to pigeonhole this one but easy to enjoy it.

It is medium bodied and light to medium carbonation. It has a smooth feel going down and is very easy to drink. Tastes quite fresh. I was so busy sipping it to try and isolate the flavors that it was gone in no time.

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Sugar Bowl Cask Night – Alley Kat Belgian Wit

Date: Thursday, January 20, 2011
Venue: Sugar Bowl
Brewery: Alley Kat
Beer: Belgian Wit
Category: Witbier
ABV: estimated 5.00% (they didn’t tell us!)
Brewed in: Canada (Edmonton, AB)

I didn’t really take the time to seriously take notes on the tasting of this

beer because I was extremely thirsty and hungry after standing for an hour and a half to get a table. I was lucky there was still beer left in the cask! The Sugar Bowl is a great venue and this is a fantastic event but it was certainly pushing the limits in terms of capacity.

Anyway, on to the beer. The beer poured an extremely cloudy yellow. Belgian Wit beers are unfiltered so the cloudy was expected. The color of the beer was a bit of a surprise for me. It looked appetizing. The beer was brewed with orange and coriander so you can expect something a little citrusy.

There was a very frothy and foamy white head on the beer which left a lot of lacing on the glass. Retention was average.

The beer smelt of oranges, I really didn’t note a lot else.

You could taste the wheat beer base to this with a bit of the funky notes from Belgian yeast. The overpowering flavors were of oranges. The coriander was there but was subdued. I think the beer was a bit heavy on the oranges. It almost tasted like someone mixed some wheat beer with Orangina.

The beer was enjoyable but I think leaves some room for improvement. I did not order a second one but instead opted for a couple other beers off the Sugar Bowls extensive menu.

Reviews on those to come.

Rating:



Alley Kat – Cascadian Dark Ale

Date: Friday, January 14, 2011
Brewery: Alley Kat
Beer: Cascadian Dark Ale
Category: Specialty Beer
ABV:
7.60%
Brewed in: Canada (Edmonton, AB)

Pours a dark red-amber brownish color with a thick tan head. The head seemed to grow forever. Retention is average and lacing was present but minimal.

The aroma is of roasted malts and coffee with some orange and grapefruit citrus notes.

Taste is initially heavy on the malts but yields to a citrusy sweetness. The flavors are very different – chocolate and grapefruit are noticeable – but very balanced. The beer is hoppier than other dark ales. The sweetness has an almost floral aspect to it.

The mouthfeel is smooth and moderately carbonated.

This was a very solid offering from Alley Kat for the 15th Anniversary. I wish I had tried some other “Black IPAs” or Cascadian Dark Ales for comparison purposes.

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Alley Kat – Vanilla Coffee Porter

Date: Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Brewery: Alley Kat
Beer: Vanilla Coffee Porter
Category: Robust Porter
ABV: estimated 5.50% (they didn’t tell us!)
Brewed in: Canada

So I made it to Cask Night with my brother-in-law and two friends. It was a great time! The beer offered was indeed from Alley Kat. It was a unique variant of their seasonal coffee porter. Strangely enough – it was extremely similar to the Mill St Coffee Porter I reviewed on the site a few days ago.

I took a picture with my crappy phone as I didn’t think to bring an actual camera. Oh well. As you can see we got our fair share. I had 3 pints.

The main difference from the usual coffee porter was the use of premium coffee beans supplied by a local coffee shop – Java Jive. The beans were of higher quality than usual and were vanilla beans.

The beer has very similar tasting notes with a very strong coffee flavor and hints of vanilla. It was an awesome beer and I am happy I had the chance to try it before it was gone in less than an hour.

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Alley Kat – Charlie Flint’s Organic Lager

Date: Friday, December 31, 2010
Brewery: Alley Kat
Beer: Charlie Flint’s Organic Lager
Category: Premium American Lager
ABV: 5.00%
Brewed in: Canada

The appearance of the beer is appealing. It is a medium sparkling yellow. The head is white and fairly thick and consistent. Head retention was fairly short.

The aroma is reminiscent of a pilsner with a sweet touch to it. The hop aroma is soft and somewhat grassy.

The taste is malty at first with a moderate bitterness and a dry finish. The hops tend to linger. The mouth feel is smooth with moderate to high carbonation.

Overall this beer goes down very smoothly with a fairly understated flavor profile that would likely be just right for putting several away on a hot summer day.

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