Tasted!: Post-St. Patrick’s Day Edition, with Keith’s Tartan Ale

Now THAT’S Over With…

…and yes, Alan, I did drink Scottish whisky on Ireland’s national day. Bowmore 12 Year Old Single Malt, to be precise, along with a seemingly less malty than it used to be 10W30 from the Neustadt Springs Brewery and, towards the end of the night, a lamentable Albino Rhino from the new Earl’s in downtown Toronto. (Not my idea, but when my hosts suggested it, I admit I was curious to see what was setting the entire Financial District a-buzz. )

My Scottish proclivities did not lead me to the new Alexander Keith’s Tartan Ale, however. For that, I awaited the dawn of this morning, or rather, the approach of this noon, and popped the bottle the good folk at Labatt so generously delivered a short while back.

Coloured bright copper, there is little to excite in the aroma of this 6.1% alcohol ale, other than light notes of caramel and candied orange. On the palate, it starts with about the same amount of excitement, offering a modicum of fruity malt in advance of a significantly — well, relatively speaking — more substantial body that boasts toffee notes balanced with some very lightly spicy hop, all leading to an off-dry and oddly smoke-accented finish. Overall, while it is certainly more boisterous in flavour than the ersatz Alexander Keith’s India Pale Ale, or the unpleasantly spicy Keith’s White, I find regrettably little in this brew to get excited about.

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