Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Belgian Cherry IPA - Mill Street Brewing (Canada - Ontario - Toronto)

Belgian Cherry IPA - Mill Street Brewing (Canada - Ontario - Toronto) 7.0%

A Belgian candi sugar-esque sugary aroma that is beyond caramelized onto the sticky not quite roasty sweetness of a glaze. Slightly tart smelling cherry tones as well and some subtle Belgian yeast tones that are floral with a bit of earthiness.

The flavour is much the same but with more tartness from the cherry: the Belgian candi sugar and floral yeast characteristics provide a nice counterpoint to the cherry. No surprises tasting it after considering the aroma but it is a bit surprising to not detect any appreciable hop flavours in either based on the name. I guess Mill Street is aiming for a Belgian style, cherry version of an English style IPA; now that's a mouthful of a name. English IPAs have more muted hops flavours than the hoppier and better known North American IPAs.

The flavour is quite nice but I do have a bit of an issue with the name: when there is so much else going on in the name (and the flavour) why not a simpler name like Belgian Style Cherry Ale? Mill Street is more or less creating a style here so I would prefer a name that doesn't confuse the lineage even further by calling it an IPA. The cynic in me wants to ascribe the use of the IPA tag to the marketing department as a way to draw in hopheads.

All that said, if you like cherries this beer makes good use of them. Additionally calling it a Belgian style beer is certainly legitimate in my opinion as the sugary flavours and the yeast tones fit the style nicely.

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