Tasting Notes: Nickel Brook Head Stock

As we are faced with unseasonably warm temperatures in the North for this far too brief time I felt that a beer post was in order, being the venerated May 2-4, an obscure backwoods Canadian tradition of drinking beer in honour of Queen Victoria, for the freeing of our people from bondage. It is in fact my civic duty to toss back a cold-one. The cold-one I chose is Head Stock I.P.A. This beer is crafted with #Science at home in Ontario. The can sports an impressive mash-bill of five malts and four hops. It weighs in at 7% and is not meant to be drank in vast quantities.

So I poured it into a very special chalice, a Sleeman glass that I won in a contest, limited edition, can-not be had for purchase, master-piece of modern glasswork. I am not a fan of Sleeman beer, but I am a big fan of this glass. The beer pours an amber burnt-orange, the foam is frothy, clingy and lacy. The bouquet is of lemon and grapefruit, caramelized orange-rind, with a hint of pineapple.

The ale feels heavy in the mouth, viscous, bitter-pine, and grapefruit, on the pallete, tropical fruit notes of the flaked wheat in the mash, caramel malts from the barleys. The alcohol is strong though it is masked well by the extreme assault on your bitter taste buds. You know you are drinking beer when you drink this beer…This is a pretty serious new-world I.P.A. I love it!

I don’t do number ratings but it would surely score highly under any objective measure. This is next-level craft beer…You’d better be a fan of bitter-hops, and pine in your beer, if you are though take this out for a spin, it wont disappoint. It is a suitable to honour a Queen on May Two-Four in my books…


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