Lighthouse Brewing in Victoria BC recently released a special new beer to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the confederation of Canada. Called 150 Heritage ale, this malt-forward wee heavy is infused with subtle notes of maple, smoke, and rye.
We Proudly join the rest of Canada in celebrating the country’s 150th birthday. At the same time, we’d like to shine a light on the heritage of this nation’s lighthouse keepers, who have quietly served mariners on both coasts. For example, Newfoundland’s Cape Spear Lighthouse was tirelessly manned for over 150 years by several generations of the same family, the Cantwells. A tip of the watch cap to them and all Canada’s Keepers. This beer honours them with a malt-forward flavour infused with maple (for Canada), smoke (for oil lamps), and rye malt (for colour).
This beer poured out a ruby-brown colour with half a finger of effervescent white head that faded quite quickly and left a light ring of lacing.
The nose was primarily smoky and peaty, with secondary aromas of sweet maple and doughy malt, along with a hint of spiciness from the rye.
The palate was really malt-forward and decadent, with rich maple flavour and just the right amount of peaty smokiness, along with a touch of rye spice.
The mouthfeel was full-bodied and smooth, with moderate carbonation. The finish was off-dry, due to the addition of rye to offset the sweetness of the maple.
I love a good Scotch ale. It’s one of my favorite styles and it drives me a little nuts when Canadian breweries try to put their stamp on it by dumping maple into it. You typically end up with a sweet and cloying beer that leaves you feeling like your tongue has been coated in syrup. This is not the case here, though, as the addition of rye to the recipe really tempered the sweetness of the maple to make it finish off-dry. A very smart move!
I also love a bit of peat and smoke in my scotch ales and here it really complemented the richness of the malt and the sweetness of the maple to create a wonderfully balanced Scotch ale that I think is the best Lighthouse beer since Numbskull.
This was like eating a stack of pancakes, topped in bacon, and drenched in maple syrup.
Overall Rating: 4.25/5
Serving temp: 12-14C
Food pairing: Haggis with a side of poutine (how could I not?)
Glassware: Tulip; thistle