Brewery: Hopcity Brewing Co.
Type: Black Lager
Thoughts: The can design is what initially caught my eye – unfortunately for most breweries, I’m a sucker for looks and I often judge a beer by it’s cover. As well, while we’re on the topic of the can, I’m also noticing that this beer has won some awards. Gold medal in 2016 for the “World Beer Awards” and “Ontario Brewing Awards”. That’s a fairly impressive title, I would say. Now I’m excited.
After cracking it open and pouring into the glass, I’m noticing that the head is aggressive but dies quickly. It’s tan coloured and looks crispy but fluffy. Similar to the white foam you’d see on the shore of the ocean. The aroma is quite nice with citrus and hop at the front and a sweet chocolate milk undertone.
This feels and tastes like a stout, except not as intense. It makes me wonder how similar it is to the Tom Green beer – maybe a good entry point for stouts. After that, though, I get a really strong taste of alcohol and swishing around my mouth leaves it feeling really dry. This is 5% but it tastes and feels like a 9%! Odd. What’s more, I’ve swished it around my mouth a couple times now and I’m starting to wonder if I had tiny cuts in my gums or something because they’ve started stinging. OH man… FIVE PERCENT.
Every so often I get this really strong coffee taste, but it’s the sort of coffee that’s been brewed too strong. It comes and goes in a flash but it’s there for sure. Similarly, there’s a bitterness that flashes at irregular intervals. There’s no set point throughout the sip where it occurs but it never sticks around long and doesn’t appear in the aftertaste. The can says “bittersweet chocolate-coffee notes with slight hop presence”. I guess they nailed it.
Lastly, I’m giving this 3.5 stars because I did actually enjoy it. Is it a gold medal winner? Hard to say… depends on the competition at the time, maybe. But, once you get used it, it drinks quite nicely.