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Black Creek Rifleman's Ration - Black Creek Historic Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Creek Rifleman's RationBlack Creek Rifleman's Ration

Educational use only; do not reuse.

23 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 23
Hads: 41
Avg: 3.71
pDev: 8.36%
Wants: 1
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Black Creek Historic Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: spinrsx on 05-30-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 23 | Hads: 41
Reviews by peensteen:
Photo of peensteen
3.37/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brownish-ruby colour, light bubbly head, no lace at all to speak of. Smell has lots of roast, coffee, huge helping of malts in heresome chocolate but not at the forefront, molasses, some leafy hop, a little anise. Taste is fairly roasted, some anise, while cold there was a bit of lactic sour edge, some cocoa powder with a burnt malt finish. Light cask like feel, light body, light carbonation. Honestly this didn't do it for me, I understand that this is supposed to be a traditional early 1800's style brew but I don't think I gained any appreciation for 19th century brewing coming out of this all it did was make me appreciate how far we have come since then.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of beerhunter13
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle from the LCBO, a brew made in honour of the war of 1812 and this year's bicentennial of that bizarre, but important conflict. BBD: October 2012

Poured into a nonic. Dark chestnut ruby, nice colour on this. Head retains well despite being initially unimpressive. Patches of lacing adorn the sides of the glass.

Nose is brown bread, molasses, caramel, toffee, bittering hops.

Decent brown ale, the extra hops were certainly needed to carry this one along, but the result was a nicely balanced brown ale. Nothing special, mind you.

An English brown ale is probably the most appropriate style to brew in honour of the War of 1812. After all, without the small contingent of British forces under the command of Isaac Brock, it is highly likely that the Americans' dastardly scheme to might have paid off. And this was probably the style of beer that fueled that victory. Not the prettiest, not the most flair, not likely to be remembered throughout the annals of history, but it gets the job done. So does this beer.

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Photo of CanuckRover
3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice well-stained oak brown. About a finger of head on it with decent lacings to the finish.

Lovely brown ale nose. Almost nutty, maybe part way to roasted chestnuts, with subtle milk chocolate notes.

Interesting starting note with an unexpected hoppy zing perking things up. The rest is standard Brown, nutty malt stopping just short of roasted. Satisfying caramel sweetness lingers.

This is a nice Canadian take on the Brown ale. Lively-ish hops made things a touch more interesting. Worth a go, and nice to have in the fridge if it's your style.

 560 characters

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.69/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

props to andrenaline for including this in our previous trade
A - a clear deep cedar brown, short brown head dissipated quickly to not much of a covering
S - big hits of nuts, caramel and brown sugar, mild roastiness towards the back
T - big cola syrup to start, followed by roasted nuts and toffee, touch of leafy bitterness late in the finish along with some charcoal
M - medium body, slightly prickly carbonation, touch of bitterness but a generally full finish
O - this hits all requisite style points and started to grow on me more as I got through the 500ml bottle, definitely worth a try or 2 if you can

 610 characters

Photo of DaveBar
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at the LCBO for just over $3.00 for a 500ml bottle. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- Opens well and pours a tiny half inch head that filmed out within a minute. Medium brown color and filtered clear

S- Caramel, burnt nuts, malt, hops and molasses

T- Rich burnt nuts. Nice blend. Has the body and smooth coffee and caramel flavor. Super good malt base and a touch of sweetness

M- Creamy and a bit tart

O- Nice brew. I enjoyed this one and it is a great winter brew.

Food Pairing

This nice little brew went well with...... Crème caramel


 566 characters

Photo of Stocean1
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured a two finger head upon a deep brown body, little retention, some patchy lacing

S - dark malt, some molasses and dark fruit, grassy and floral hops

T - follows the nose, some herbal and cocoa notes, well balanced although pretty straight forward

M - a little watery (like most from this brewer), light bitterness, light to medium body with some carbonation, a very easy drinking brew

O - not a bad brown ale, not overly complex but definitely drinkable

 466 characters

Photo of Rutager
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance. Pours a deep amber-brown with a skim of off-white head.

Smell. Toasty malts, chocolate, sweet caramel and a little vanilla.

Taste. Roasted malts, caramel, a little nutty and a tiny bit of bitterness in the end.

Mouthfeel. Medium-light body with lowish carbonation. A little bit thin for the flavours going on.

Overall. An easy drinker with some nice mellow flavors.

Thanks liamt07!

 400 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear deep brown color ale with a medium size foamy head with low retention and not much lacing. Aroma of caramel malt with some notes of nuts and light dry roasted ester is pretty interesting. Taste is a solid mix between some caramelized malt with clear roasted nuts and light dry roasted malt finish. Body is about average with medium carbonation. Solid for the style though additional body would improve this beer IMHO.

 440 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best Before NOV 2012. Poured in to tulip.

A - Medium translucent brown with a very thin film of light brown head.

S - Very nutty aroma with some bready malts and caramel.

T - Nutty flavour up front. Some caramel, toffee, maple and a slight bitterness round out the palate.

M - Light body with a slight creaminess. Moderate carbonation.

 339 characters

Photo of ThinkAgain
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of spinrsx
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml Bottle from the LCBO for 4$

Appearance - Reddish-brown colour with an average size fizzy beige head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some fairly good lacing. The head lasted for a few minutes.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, light hops

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and just a hint of roasted nuts. There is also a light amount of hops and some caramel. It ends with a somewhat sweet malty aftertaste with a touch of lingering hop bitterness.

Overall - A decent flavour and very drinkable; but not very exciting or different. I wouldn't pick this one up again with so many other good beers to chose from.

 696 characters

Photo of RedAleMan
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of liamt07
3.57/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the LCBO, 500ml into a tulip. Best before October 2012.

Filtered reddish mahogany, bubbly tan coloured head. Not much in terms of retention , but a bit of lace. Nose has some chocolate, a touch of roast, light nuttiness and some hops. Taste has some malt, chocolate, more roast/coffee beans and some gentle bitterness in the finish. Light body, almost watery and undercarbonated, almost like cask out of a bottle. A simple beer, not bad at all.

 457 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
3.74/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle from the LCBO; best before December 2012. I haven't had a single lame beer from this brewery, so hopefully the ball will keep rolling - I'm not all that picky about brown ales anyway.

Pours a deep, brown mahogany colour with some crimson highlights when held up to the light (doing this also reveals the translucent nature of the brew). The head is compact, dense, tan in colour and rather creamy; unfortunately it's a bit of a fickle creature. It vanishes quickly, leaving behind naught but a soapy cap on the surface - but at least it has the courtesy to leave some smudges of lacing behind on the glass. Nice enticing aroma, and fairly firm in terms of strength/intensity. Heavy on the malts as one might hope for a brown ale - with notes of cocoa, caramel, molasses and roasted nuts. Rather mouthwatering, actually.

And fortunately my mouth was not disappointed - this is definitely a yummy ale. Lots of roasted nutty malts, caramel and brown sugar sweetness, with a slight note of milk chocolate. This leads into the earthy, leafy hop bitterness that comes forward later in the sip. Dry, malty aftertaste with more cocoa; slight sourness. Rather light-bodied, with fairly mild carbonation for a very smooth feel going down. Drinkable as all hell, but kind of watery.

Rifleman's Ration isn't a must-try, but it's still a solid brown ale. Unfortunately I doubt I can justify getting it again anytime soon - it's good, but there are other browns of comparable quality available almost everywhere, and most of them are cheaper. If you see this on the shelves and are debating whether to get it or not - I would say it's at least worth picking up (whether you're big on the style or not), but it isn't something to go out of your way in search of.

[Updated Sept. 9 2015]

Another bottle from the LCBO; a fresh batch with a slightly different label. Not sure if it's as great as I remember, but this is still a solid, traditional English-style brown ale that goes down easily. The thin mouthfeel is the only disappointing feature, but it does sort of suit this brewery's old-timey theme. If their rations were anything like this, I doubt the riflemen had much reason to complain about them.

Final Grade: 3.74, a B grade.

 2,240 characters

Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of funkengruven
3.84/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had a couple of these in my cellar that I picked up last year, This poured a nice deep brown with very little head retention. Smell is rather nice, malty with a touch of hops. Taste is nice and rich, with a bitter finish. Mouthfeel is smooth, and easy to drink.

This went quite well with my roast beef dinner. A decent and typical English brown ale, I would get this again.

 375 characters

Photo of bryehn
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of Jotora
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.69/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Part of the black creek 4 pack.

Appearance - a very dark brown coloured beer is poured that is opaque and topped by a half finger of off white head. The head doesn't linger too long but does leave a little soapy ring around the glass.

Smell - hmmm, some coffee and roasted nut characteristics with just a faint aroma of dark fruits namely cherries.

Taste - like the nose, some moderate bitterness, some roasted characteristics with a trace of coffee and tobacco. Kind of unusual for a brown ale, but somehow works

Mouthfeel - moderate carbonation, but a creamy feel. Medium bodied and dry finish.

Overall - a pretty tasty and satisfying brown ale with sufficient presence to be noticed but also easy enough to drink that I won't hesitate to enjoy more at another time. A beer that gets better the more of it you drink, really enjoyed the last half glass. So far probably my favourite of the historic series, with only the dray horse beer left to go.

 954 characters

Photo of lgmol
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of andrenaline
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A new offering at the local LCBO, and a welcome addition to the selections...

A - Pours a nice golden brown colour with a ruby red hue, finger of head with decent retention and some sporadic lacing.

S - A tad mild, but hints of cocoa, caramel malts, touch of musty hops and leafy greens all come through.

T - Again a tad mild, but the caramel backbone and cocoa and espresso notes come through. The bitterness isn't overwhelming, which plagues many of the style, and it stays more sweet than sour. Some roasted nutty notes linger alongside a bready malt flavour.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and finishes wet.

O - This is a tasty brown ale that hits the basics of the style. I can see myself indulging in many more of these over the summer.

 742 characters

Photo of Wajohnst
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BuckyBeerBeaver
4.09/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

While wandering through the beer isles of his local LCBO, Bucky couldn't resist the patriotic appeal of Black Creek Brewery's Rifleman's Ration Ale ("RRA"). RRA is the first in a series of twelve ‘Historic Beers of Canada' to be released by the brewery. Each of the twelve distinct beers is designed to capture the feel and flavour of a specific era in Canadian history. Rifleman's Ration commemorates the years 1810 to 1819, to mark the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. The beer that is available commercially is brewed in partnership with Trafalgar Breweries through Pioneer Brewing Ltd.

RRA was purchased in a brown 500 ml bottle with a 'best before' date of January 2013 punched into the side of the label. The label displays the image of a 19th century British colonial soldier of the line, who, as part of his service, would have been issued with an extra paycheck exclusively for buying beer. British commanders approved of beer consumption (within reason) because it helped stimulate the regional economy through the sale of grains and hops by local farmers. RRA is 5.0% alcohol by volume.

Rather than drinking at room temperature as suggested on the label, I served it at cellar temperature which was a few degrees cooler. RRA poured a translucent dark brown/red, with ruby highlights when backlit. A very aggressive pour produced about 1/2" of fizzy tan coloured head, which quickly faded to a thin collar and film, leaving some very modest spotting and lacing down the glass. The beer's aroma, as you would expect for a brown ale, was dominated by chocolate and coffee malts. The flavour began with sweet, dark malts including chocolate, and finished with a mild coffee bitterness which lingered for just a few seconds. The carbonation was quite low and completely appropriate for the recreation of a naturally carbonated, 200 year old recipe, though possibly a bit undercarbonated for modern tastes. The mouthfeel was soft due to the low carbonation, and I would describe RRA as medium bodied. Overall, weighing the beer's patriotic appeal and enjoyable taste and aroma against a rather expensive $3.95 price tag, I'd add Rifleman's Ration to my 'occasional treat' list.

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Photo of Pmicdee
3.34/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

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Black Creek Rifleman's Ration from Black Creek Historic Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 23 ratings.