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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Keith's White - Brewed to Tradition???

I was my local LCBO the other night and I came across the new cans of Alexander Keith's White Ale and I decided to scoop one up to try; even after reading Greg Clow's review of it on his TasteTO website. And he ended up pouring it down the drain.

Cracked the can just before dinner and poured it into the attractive Erdinger Weissbier glass and watched the head billow up before quickly, and I mean quickly, fade away back into the glass. It lasted about a minute or so. There is not much in the way of the nose. All I really picked up was a hint of straw, some very slight spices, and a hint of orange juice. The taste of the first drink didn't surprise me, I wasn't expecting much, but this doesn't taste like a Belgian White at all. It tastes like their Traditional Lager with a handful of spice and some orange juice extract thrown in the boil at the last minute. Not much in the way of carbonation, sweet up front and lame on the finish, no real inclusion of coriander. I didn't dump it down the drain, I was tempted, but I didn't enjoy finishing it. And like Clow, I too found it to be a bad example of the style.

There was one thing about the can that caught my attention though - the Stag's Head. It's a new version of the Stag's Head, a new sleeker, angrier looking Stag Head that shifts away from the traditional logo used by Keith's that has withstood significant changes for literally one hundred years. Out with the old, in with the new, I guess.


Nicolas said...

White stands for the can color.

3 Dog Brewery said...

My buddy brought one over to my house to try. I thought it was lame.I drank it, but I will never buy it.

Stephen Beaumont said...

Take a second look at that can, Troy. No where on it will you find the word "wheat," just as there is zero evidence of that grain, be it in malted or unmalted form, in the flavour.

I recently tasted this beer on two separate occasions for my forthcoming City Bites column, and IMO, your description of regular Keith's with added spice is likely pretty damn close to the truth.

Troy Burtch said...

Nicolas - Good note.

3 Dog Brewery - I hear ya loud and clear.

Stephan - I really believe that. And you are absolutely right, no where does it mention its a Belgian style. There is no mention of it on their website, or the press release that went out to CNW. It just mentions 'brewed in the traditional white ale fashion.'

Nicolas said...

Did your sink enjoyed it? If yes it should become a fan of Keith's white on facebook! (

Silca said...

This stuff is awful. I know a lot of people hate white beers. period. But I actually love Rickard's white.
I choked my way through the can of keiths.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny that Keith's stopped makeing the Trad and started making the White... guess that must have just added some OJ to the beer they already had to try to sell more... lol... this is a very lame version of what should be a white and is a dissapointment to Canadian beer drinkers as Keith's prides itself on it's heritage (especially the east coast)

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