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Al's Cask Ale - C'est What?

Not Rated.
Al's Cask AleAl's Cask Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

28 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 28
Reviews: 23
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 10.82%
Wants: 1
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
C'est What? visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  4.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
A balanced pale ale with citrus aromas dominated by Cascade hops.

38 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-09-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 28 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mhaugo
4/5  rDev +3.1%

mhaugo, May 18, 2014
Photo of Jotora
3/5  rDev -22.7%

Jotora, Jan 09, 2014
Photo of liamt07
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

liamt07, May 16, 2013
Photo of CurtisD
4.5/5  rDev +16%

CurtisD, Apr 09, 2013
Photo of MattPS
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

MattPS, May 26, 2012
Photo of dgilks
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear dark golden colour with a creamy white head. Good head retention. Nice.

Light floral hops with a touch of earthiness. Very light malt. Fine but not exceptional.

Smooth maltiness with a touch of earthy, floral hops. Tastes like EKG with a hint of citrus to me. Moderate bitterness. I quite like this. A really nice cask ale with good flavour without being overwhelming.

Medium body with moderately-low carbonation. Good.

A really solid craft ale. Bitter yet smooth with a good dose of English hops. It isn't the same as I remember it being two years ago but this new formulation is still nice.

dgilks, Aug 08, 2011
Photo of kwjd
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on cask at C'est What. Pours a cloudy, golden colour with a finger of white head that sticks around. Some mild lacing down the glass. Smells of floral and citrus hops with a lot of caramel. Flavour isn't too bitter, but there is some bitterness balance to the sweetness. Very smooth mouthfeel. A nice cask conditioned ale.

kwjd, Nov 24, 2010
Photo of Travlr
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear golden yellow with a biggish head for a cask ale, great lacing.
S: Fresh grass aroma with some lemon and black pepper, slight background of citrus.
T: Bitter beginning, dry finish. Nice malt and hop balance.
M: Medium body.
D: Mellow cask ale, served a bit too cold, but drinkable overall.

Travlr, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of BigBry
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a pint while visiting bobsy at C'est What. Wanted to try the house brand, rather than something I could get elsewhere. Deep golden color with a thick creamy white head. Slightly yeasty and fruity. Nice bitter taste, grapefruit hops. Clean finish. A very good sessional, everything I expected from an ESB.

BigBry, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of mrmanning
3.03/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tapped a deep golden/cloudy yellow with a foamy froth of head. Nose is of fresh apples and white grapes with a malty essence that reminds me of toffee. Pretty weak as far as the nose goes. Taste is fruity malts with a nice dose of bittering hops and a splash of caramel. Yeasty, fruity finish, a bit watery, with a bubble gum aftertaste. Half pint at the brew pub.

mrmanning, Nov 16, 2009
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on cask at C'est What in Toronto. Apparently contract brewed at Durham (along with other C'est What house brews). This ESB was a winner, it brought strong recollections of Fullers on cask in London. This was reddish copper colored with a thick slab of solid-looking foam. It had a nice bready aroma, strong malty notes with a little floral hops (not much). The taste was toasty, bicuit type malt with a slightly bitter yet tasty bitter bite in the back end. Creamy body and solid coating mouthfeel, just delicious, refreshing, and supremely drinkable.

TurdFurgison, Sep 19, 2009
Photo of biboergosum
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer appears a hazy, light apricot colour, with a minor amount of soapy white head, which leaves nary a speck of lace as it wafts away. It smells very faintly of white biscuit grain. The taste is bready, fruiity malt, and light earthy hops. The carbonation almost distracts from the flavour discernment, in the sense that I could barely detect it. This is one smooth beer. The body is fairly full, and this beer finishes dry, with a velvety grain essence, that reminds me of fields of ripe wheat, or something...

biboergosum, Aug 16, 2009
Photo of bobsy
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The Englishman in me really appreciates this drink. Deep golden pour with a creamy white head. Fruity nose with a bit of yeast thrown in. Crisp bitter taste, with a big dose of grapefruit. Clean on the palate, and very easy going down. A great choice for a session beer.

bobsy, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of allergictomacros
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Served a hazy peach, with a short head. Really good staying power on the foam, sticking around to the end.

S - Nose is somewhat mild, with citrus note - mandarin oranges and grapefruit. A hint of honey and funky yeastiness as well.

T/M - Grapefruit comes through with a yeastiness. Bitterness and hops are mild. Very soft and creamy, with a fairly dry finish.

D - Pretty well balanced, and very drinkable brew. Nothing stands out as being off, or spectacular either.

allergictomacros, Sep 18, 2007
Photo of BrewSomerville
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had a pint of this @ C'est What?... It was brewed by County Durham Brewery specifically for the bar.

Aroma: Faint, but citrusy. I smell peaches too.

Looks: Bright, clear golden/yellow. Small white head. Good retention & lacing.

Taste: Very citrusy especially considering that this is an ESB. Bready, biscuity malt characteristics. Green apples. Moderate hop bitterness, but it's noticeable.

Mouthfeel: Very fine, very subtle carbonation. Light- medium bodied.

Overall, I would say that this Beer has it's qualities best appreciated in the warmer seasons. Not what I am used to in an ESB, it tasted more American than British.

BrewSomerville, Jul 22, 2007
Photo of Niniimaa
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was the first beer I had in Ontario and at C'est What?. Was expecting more hops from a Pale Ale (even IPA). Ultimately found Ontario lacking overall in the hops department. This was an acceptable Cask Ale and was very drinkable. An even pale ale taste and recommended from a Cask standpoint.

Niniimaa, Jan 11, 2007
Photo of gbarron
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the cask, served in a full imperial pint.

A - light golden/honey colored, almost with a light orange hue. Head is frothy and bubbly white, small. Slight haze.

S - tangy citrus hop aroma, pineapple, slightly sweet hop smell. Grainy, bready malt notes as well.

T - a very American-style ESB with pronounced citrus hop flavors, pineapple sweetness, even a little pine. The hop flavor and ctrusy bitterness/tanginess are present and assertive but well balanced against a grainy, bready, yeasty malt backbone. Flavors are very light, none outshining the other too much, although the hop content is evident. I'd almost make this more of an IPA.

M - very, very smooth and light, creamy body due to the cask conditioning Carbonation is very low.

D - very tasty little beer, light and highly drinkable.

gbarron, Aug 21, 2006
Photo of Dithyramb
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really nice little cask conditioned IPA sampled on location in a half pint glass. Pale super hazy yellow with a creamy off white head. Nice retention and lacing. Citrusy aromas.
Grassy and earthy hoppy IPA that went down smooth and creamy. Reminded me of several British ones I had over the other side of the pond.

Only negative comment was that it was advertised on the menu as a west cost IPA type brew. I could see some west coast folks taking offense. Would have been better described as a british style IPA. On that note, it was spot on.

Dithyramb, Jun 14, 2006
Photo of Derek
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear, golden-orange, slight haze; creamy, off-white head, some retention, great lace.

S: Hoppy aroma (earth & grass with a slight hint of citrus); slight sulfur.

T: Some fresh hops (earth, grass, citrus); a little bready (pale malt). Not a ton of flavour, yet the alcohol isn't perceptible.

M: Smooth, light to moderate body and carbonation.

D: Good drinkability.

Derek, May 23, 2006
Photo of Viggo
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy golden, perfect tight white head, lots of lace. Smell is sweet and malty, good floral hops, some grapefruit and a hint of chocolate. Taste is grassy hops, grapefruit, yeast, very deep maltiness with a sweet finish. The body was a little thin even for a cask, low carbonation and smooth mouthfeel combine for a good cask ale.

Viggo, Jul 23, 2005
Photo of GreenWBush
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale copper. Remarkable frothed head that lingers and leaves large swaths of lace. Creamy aroma of English malts and subtle west-coast hops. The flavor is interestingly off-key: hints of spiced clove and slight lemon. The weird spiciness on the palate seems out of place and forefront, yet the other flavors in the beer stay so constant and pleasant the positives win in the long run. Tasty cask ale…again, nothing to be tracked down or lusted for – just sturdy.

GreenWBush, Jul 01, 2005
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is Cest What's house cask ale.

It pours a hazy orange glow with a puffy little ivory head and excellent lacing. The aroma is of lemon and citrus with sweetish malts and a bit of astringency. The taste is very fruity with citrus and lemon drop candy notes. In the middle a tart slightly sour taste emerges. Its kind of like sour milk. The finish is hoppy with more sourness. The mouthfeel is crisp and light with a 'live yeast' feel.

This is an ok bitter. All three times I sampled it the flawed sour taste was present. I have no idea if its caused by oxidization or improper fermentation etc, but the other cask ales at Cest What never taste like this.

Still, this beer has potential and the off flavors certainly dont render it undrinkable.

BTW, Cest what cask beers are very cloudy (do they even use finings?).

CAMRAhardliner, Jan 20, 2005
Photo of ecoboy
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is the second cask-conditioned ale I've tried in Canada (the first was at Kingston) that falls into a "nothing-really-like-it-in-America" category. CAMRA delight with that hop tea character that is an acquired taste. Translation: not necessarily my cup of tea, but I can see how it can be for others. Hides its alcohol extremely well. Hue is somewhat ciderlike, and that may be the best descriptor, as there is a [not-sour] apple component to the malt character. Finish is "wet," or whatever you'd like to call the opposite of dry.

No complaints, only curious glances...

ecoboy, Aug 17, 2004
Photo of baiser
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pumped from a cask. Was a clear, smooth, golden colour with a small head. Appearance was nothing special.

Smelled of fruits - citrus.

Despite it's average appearance and aroma, the mouthfeel had me hooked. It was full-bodied and smooth smooth smooth!
Extremely unexpected. Minimal carbonation, and it was served at a good, relatively moderate temperature. I would not have guessed it was 6% abv. A nice hoppiness comes out as you down the pint.

Notes: Very impressed with this one. Althought I haven't had many cask conditioned ales, I highly recommend this one. Could drink it all night.

baiser, Jul 10, 2004
Photo of canoehornpoint
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wonderful beer. Too bad there were so many to try here or I would have stayed and drank this all night. Pumped from a cask. Medium to dark gold, slightly cloudy with a dense head. Slight citrus aroma, very pleasant but not pronounced. Fresh, full bodied but at the same time refreshing. Beautiful balance of citrus hops and specialty sweet malt. Finishes well also with a balance of maltfullness and hop. WONDERFUL

canoehornpoint, Jun 07, 2004
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Al's Cask Ale from C'est What?
87 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.