Follow beer writer, Troy Burtch, as he explores the wonderful world of craft beer and the pubs that serve it. Great Canadian Beer is a place to come to catch up on beer news, read tasting notes, check out event listings, and for pub previews and reviews.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wild Rose Seasonal Imperial IPA

We’re dying for IPA’s here in Ontario. Sure we have Granite’s Hopping Mad, Durham County’s Hop Head/Addict, Heritage (Scotch Irish) Sgt. Major’s, Magnotta's True North IPA and Grand River’s recently released Curmudgeon. Not a lot considering the number of breweries operating in our home province, and even less as only one of these beers mentioned can be found for sale at the LCBO and one at the Beer Store. All the others must be purchased and consumed at select pubs, bars and restaurants.

The east features a number of well-balanced IPA’s in both the American and English styles. Propeller’s IPA is always magnificent, Picaroon’s Yippee IPA is respectable, so is Garrison’s Imperial IPA along with the Dementia IPA series produced by Pump House. Quebec also has a number of breweries pumping out some beauties. As well, the provinces west of Ontario have seemed to notice the popularity of the style south of the border and breweries like Phillip’s, Swan’s, Half Pints and R&B all sell some outstanding IPA’s.

Which brings me to one of Alberta’s newest beers. Wild Rose Brewery, located in Calgary, spent the late months of the fall brewing up a new Imperial IPA to be included with their other seasonal releases and was launched on January 16th to much anticipation. Tina Wolfe, marketing director at Wild Rose, mentions that IPA’s are one of the fastest growing styles in the craft beer industry and “we wanted to offer our patrons with this seasonal treat.”

The brewery states the newest addition to their growing seasonal line-up is created in the style of a double IPA but made with a unique Albertan twist as it features select Alberta two-row barley and crystal malt that compliment three varieties of hops (Cascade, Chinook and Bravo). “The seasonal Imperial IPA joins our other seasonals like our Cherry Porter, and will be part of our goal of releasing a new seasonal every couple of months,” stated Wolfe.

I was lucky enough to obtain a few of the 500ml bottles of the new beer and last night I finally got around to popping the swing top cap and savouring all it offers.

The orangey – copper beer pours into the pint glass producing a large billowy white head that looks stunning. It takes minutes to finally dissipate which allows my nose to enter the glass without getting a noseful of foam. What I did get is pine needles. Strong pine needles and fresh cut wood; like walking through a bush. I don’t pick up to many citrus notes in the nose, a little kiwi and maybe some tangerine. Big hop flavour in the taste but a big malt backbone that stands up to the hops and at times smooths things out. I got more hop up front before it gave way to more citrus notes of orange and sweet grapefruit. The alcohol is evident (8.5%) as it sends a warming sensation down my lungs, thinning out as I drink on. I’m liking how ‘big’ this beer is, yet how balanced it is and how drinkable it could be. An A in my books.

Wild Rose has been around since 1996 starting out as a draught only brewery. They now brew and bottle four year round beers with their Velvet Fog, Brown Ale, WRaspberry Ale and WR IPA. They also produce a variety of draught only ales for purchase either at their brewery or at select pubs in the area.

Wild Rose Brewery and Taproom
Currie Barracks #2
4580 Quesnay Wood Drive SW
Calgary, Alberta T3E 7J3

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