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Spearhead Brewing

 

The folks at Spearhead Brewing were kind enough to replace the bad bottle that Bucky bought at the LCBO, so he finally had the chance to sample their Moroccan Brown Ale (“MBA”).

MBA poured an attractive light brown colour with hints of ruby/orange at the core when backlit. An aggressive pour produced about 2” of bubbly tan coloured head which gradually faded to a Swiss cheese like pattern of uneven foam which left some intermittent lacing and spotting down the glass. A date sweetness dominates the aroma with undertones of cinnamon, raisin and other dried, dark fruits. Its flavour was again dominated by sweet dates, with cinnamon, raisins, and other sweet dark fruits noticeable. The malt profile is relegated to the background. Just when the combination of flavours threatens to become a bit too sweet, there is a mild delayed-impact bitterness in the finish to restore a balance. MBA is medium bodied with a natural carbonation level to enhance the experience, and an almost powdery mouth feel. All in all, a perfectly respectable spiced ale and certainly worth a try.

Rating 7.55/10

Encouraged by the quality of their stout, Bucky decided to sample Spearhead's Sam Roberts Band Session Ale (“SRB”). 4.5% alcohol by volume with no visible production or ‘best before' date, SRB came in a brown 355 ml bottle.

An attractive deep amber/copper colour with a bit of haziness to it and some visible carbonation bubbles, SRB poured with about 2” of off-white head that left some attractive lacing all the way down the glass. Solid marks for the visuals. Its aroma suggested that a bit of a hop bomb might be on the way, with a bitter grapefruit dominating the sweet caramel malts and hint of earthiness. While a grapefruit and lemon bitterness was distinct in the flavour it was not overpowering, and was kept in balance by a combination of the sweet light malts, a touch of pine and some sweeter citrus fruits in the background. The beer's carbonation level was average and well suited to the style, and I would describe SRB as light-medium bodied. After a less than stellar introduction to Spearhead's products, I'm warming up to this brewery. SRB, the Belgian Style Stout, and Moroccan Brown Ale are all distinctly flavourful brews…Spearhead isn't playing it safe hoping to appeal to the largest common denominator, but taking a chance with some fairly strong flavours. And it works.

Rating 7.95/10

Looking for a good stout to replace his beloved La Vache Folle, which the LCBO in its infinite wisdom decided not to sell this year, Bucky decided to sample Spearhead's Belgian Style Stout (“BSS”). BSS came in a brown 355 ml bottle with no visible ‘best before' or production date and was 5.8% alcohol by volume.

BSS poured a near black colour and was impervious to back lighting, with 1.5” of dense, crema coloured head leaving some modest lacing down the glass as it slowly faded to a thin collar and film. Its aroma was a tempting combination of dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee and that distinct Belgian yeast. The flavour very much followed the nose, with dark chocolate followed by the Belgian yeast, ending in an Italian-roast coffee flavour with a distinct espresso bitterness that lingered as an aftertaste. I'm not picking up any of the orange peel and coriander in the ingredients list, but it doesn't really matter since the core flavours and aromas of a good stout are all present. Medium bodied with a mellow carbonation and resulting soft mouth feel, this could become Bucky's ‘go to' stout for the winter months.

Rating: 8.00/10

A bit wary of this beer after his less than pleasant experience with their Moroccan Brown Ale, Bucky braced himself for a bottle of Spearhead Brewing Company's Hawaiian Style Pale Ale (“HPA”). Ominously, there was no date on the 355 ml brown bottle. HPA was 6.0% alcohol by volume.

With a cloudy golden/orange body and lots of fast rising carbonation bubbles, pouring produced about 2” of orange-tinged off-white head. The head faded to a thin collar and film, leaving some minor spotting down the glass. The beer's aroma was an interesting and pleasant mix of pineapple, grapefruit and pine. And now for the taste…is there another nasty surprise from Spearhead in store for Bucky? Thankfully…no. HPA begins with a sweet combination of malt and pineapple, which gives way to pine, bitter grapefruit, and lemon with a crisp, dry finish. A bitter grapefruit aftertaste lingers. HPA's carbonation is certainly on the active side and works well with the beer's flavours, which are a bit of an odd mix yet do work well together. HPA is light to medium bodied. Selling for $2.25 per 355 ml bottle at the time of writing, this beer is worth a try if you haven't sampled it already.

Rating 7.72/10

 
Beer Name Rating
Belgian Style Stout 8.00
Sam Roberts Band Session Ale 7.95
Hawaiian Pale Ale 7.72
Moroccan Brown Ale 7.55

 

 

 

 

 

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