Thanks to D.F. and J.S., Bucky was able to sample a 500 mL bottle of Capital Blonde Ale from the Forked River Brewing Company of London, ON. Capital Blonde was 4.7% alcohol by volume with no visible production or ‘best before' date.
Capital Blonde poured a remarkably clear (especially for an unfiltered ale) golden-yellow colour, producing about 1.5” of pure white head that faded to a thin collar and film over the next two minutes. Some intermittent lacing and spotting was left down the glass as the head receded. Its aroma was pleasant enough thought fairly tame, with plenty of caramel malt, graininess and a lemony undertone. The flavour consists of a grainy malt sweetness up front, followed in quick succession by a subtle lemon citrus and mildly bitter hop finish The mild bitterness lingers for a few seconds as an aftertaste, and then is gone The beer is light bodied with a with a muted carbonation that contributes to a soft mouth feel. Overall, not a world beater, but a solid, sessionable, ale…which is probably what Forked River had in mind when they created Capital Blonde. Wouldn't say no to another one.
Rating: 7.45 / 10
From the December 2015 Brew Box came a 500 ml bottle of Forked River's Red Coat Canadian Red Ale. Red Coat was 6.2% alcohol by volume, with something that may be a production or ‘best before' date printed on the bottle. Alas, the printing is illegible.
Red Coat poured an attractive mahogany brown/red colour, which took on an even more attractive ruby hue when backlit. Pouring produced about 1.5” of beige coloured head with considerable staying power, the remnants of which left a near-continuous sheet of lacing down the far side of the glass. Its aroma was more intense in the bottle than the glass, with a malty sweetness fighting it out with a hoppy lemon citrus for dominance. The taste was a mix of sweet caramel and chocolate up front, combining to give the impression of milk chocolate, finishing with a lemon citrus bitterness. The hop presence in the finish is considerably stronger than the opening malt sweetness, but this beer doesn't really need a balance between the two to work. Leaning toward the medium side of light/medium bodied, Red Coat had a relatively soft carbonation and dry mouthfeel. A solid effort from the folks at Forked River, and I would certainly try this beer again.
Rating: 7.75 / 10
From the Brew Box straight to Bucky's door (along with several other beers) came a 500 ml bottle of Forked River's Full City Coffee Porter.5.6% alcohol by volume, and what is possibly a production or ‘best before' date printed on the bottle is only partly legible.
Full City poured an opaque dark brown/black colour, with some ruby at the core when backlit. Pouring produced about 2” of pillowy, light beige head that lasted for about 5 minutes before giving up the ghost, leaving some modest lacing down the glass. The aroma is pretty straightforward…a strong whiff of dark-roasted coffee grounds. The flavour is dominated by those same dark-roast coffee grounds, to the exclusion of almost anything else that may be lingering in the background, save a mild coffee bitterness in the finish. Quite light bodied for a porter with a slightly more active carbonation than is typical of the style, my only real complaint is its rather thin mouthfeel. What this beer comes down to, is that if you're a coffee lover, odds are good that you will like Full City because the coffee is king here.