Black Creek Montgomery's Courage - Black Creek Historic Brewery
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Ratings: 21 | Reviews: 9 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by thehyperduck:
3.31/5 rDev +3.1%
500 mL bottle from the LCBO; best before Sept. 2013. Hard to believe I've made it to nearly 450 reviews without once trying a rye beer - but I guess it's time to pop that cherry. This is the third entry in this brewery's 'Historic Beers of Canada' series, a line of one-offs that I have so far been pretty satisfied with.
This brew is clear amber-orange in colour, and relatively deep in hue, with an aggressive pour generating slightly less than two fingers of dense, creamy, off-white head. Retention is respectable - it takes more than a few minutes to wilt down into a foamy, uneven cap, complete with sparkling bubbles and a solid swath of lacing left clinging to the edge of the glass. Looks pretty good. The aroma is surprisingly powerful, with a range of highlights that includes caramel, molasses and butterscotch sweetness, as well as sourdough and some light grassiness. I could swear I'm picking up some coffee too, but I think it's either a product of my wild imagination or a random convergence of the other individual aromas.
Lots of stuff going on in the flavour profile - a lot of which clashes, leaving the overall taste feeling a little muddled. Initially I can pick out some caramel maltiness, roasted nuts and treacle, as well as a lot of butterscotch/diacetyl - a flavour that generally doesn't bother me but it really sticks out like a sore thumb here. There is an underlying nuance of rye bread crusts, but it is quickly lost amongst the leafy, slightly citrusy hop bitterness that follows. Hop bitterness remains prominent into the finish, lingering into the aftertaste alongside a light spiciness. On the light side of medium-bodied, with mild carbonation that gives this beer a flat, neutral, somewhat slick mouthfeel - an intentional feature according to the label, but it doesn't really work that well here. Fairly drinkable, but not something I'd want to session.
This beer doesn't taste bad or anything, but there is definitely room for improvement. For one thing, the rye, which is presumably supposed to be the focus of this beer, is not a very prominent player in the flavour profile. The diacetyl does not help matters much - and combined with the limp, unreactive mouthfeel and somewhat overbearing bitterness, we wind up with a product that, while it is still serviceable, mostly just comes across as feeling a little haphazardly put-together.
Final Grade: 3.31, just barely eking out a B-. Montgomery's Courage, despite it's flaws, is at the very least an aptly named beer. The rebellion that this brew was made to commemorate was neither well-organized nor successful - making this beer a somewhat fitting tribute. A messy offering that doesn't get everything right, but remains tasty and inoffensive. Something tells me this stuff isn't going to get any better as it sits on the shelves for the next few months, so if you're interested in trying it, I'd do it as soon as possible.
07-05-2013 04:39:54 | More by thehyperduck
More User Reviews:
3.11/5 rDev -3.1%
A: Dark brown with an amber tinge, almost semi opaque but looks filtered with no carbonation, 2 fingers of beige head.
S: Malt, dark toasted malts, molasses, toffee, caramel, clean and much like a filtered American Amber in quality.
T: Dark toasted malts, very clean and linen like, again like a filtered less hopped American Amber in quality. Some toasted malt qualities, light burnt bitterness near the end like an English Porter. Light toffee essence but I’m not getting any sweetness.
M: Medium body, medium low, low carbonation, dry American Porter like finnish.
O: Not getting the rye on this, and I am a fan of rye beers. Its really like an okay porter. Very smooth. Love the history in it, and glad to have found this one out of season at the end of May as I wouldn’t have found it otherwise.
06-01-2014 02:06:33 | More by patre_tim
3.34/5 rDev +4%
500ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $4.75
Appearance - Copper colour with an average size off-white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some faint lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes before it was gone.
Smell - Malts, hops, caramel/toffee
Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel/toffee, and hops. There is also a chocolate sweetness.
Overall - A little astringent on the hop side of things, but a decent ESB tasting beer - not as much rye as I expected. Boring though and very overpriced for what it is.
04-06-2014 23:31:48 | More by spinrsx
3.64/5 rDev +13.4%
Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a crystal clear, copper coloring with only the slightest filmy white surface coating. Nose is supersweet, with toffee and caramel notes abundant with every sniff. Roasty and earthy notes, too. Very rich nose. Flavors are a little more balanced, but not by much. Roasted grains in the backbone, but they are quickly overwhelmed by caramel, toffee, and even some chocolate notes. Slight bitterness at the tail end of the palate, as well as hints of pepper spice, but the robust, rich sweetness carries on through. This is a definite malt-bomb. Smooth, mid-bodied with a slightly dry, slightly cloying finish. The beer is definitely malt heavy, but you can absolutely see the traces of hops and grain throughout.
07-31-2013 02:11:09 | More by GarthDanielson
3.06/5 rDev -4.7%
500 ml bottle from LCBO poured into a pint glass. $3.95 CDN if I recall correctly.
Appearance - Hazy, copper, amber beer. Even with a decent pour there was less than a half finger of head, which stays for a very short period. Some bubbles are present as well.
Smell - Sweet toffee, caramel vanilla and floral aspects maybe violets picked up in the nose. These all tack a backseat to the large rye presence however.
Taste - Big malty flavors, again the rye is particularly noticeable. Quick transitions to a very bitter taste, subsiding to a significantly less potent bitterness. Hop tastes come through a bit more as the beer warms a bit and once your tongue has been thoroughly coated, meaning I didn't notice them until halfway through the beer. Not being a big fan of huge malt trips, this was a bit of overkill. Diacetyl also really sticks out here. I just think a touch more sweetness may have made this more palatable.
Mouthfeel - Low carbonation, smooth mouthfeel, but actually a touch thin even with the bold flavors. At the same time the beer has heavy aspects that are "heavy" for the sake of being heavy. Somewhat dry finish.
Overall - Worth a try if you're interested in rye based beers. Looked interesting to me so I'm glad I tried it, but won't be repeating the purchase especially not at the price cost.
10-23-2013 16:23:12 | More by DenisKolkin
3.15/5 rDev -1.9%
The 3rd ale in their historical brew series...
A - Pours a clear amber colour, finger of head with little retention and some nice sheeting lacing.
S - Sourdough bread, milk caramel, butter toffee and grainy hop notes on the finish.
T - Bready malts come through off the top, butter toffee and sourdough come through with sour citrus rind lingering with a strong bitterness, which although fitting of the style is a bit overwhelming and is a tad offsetting.
M - A tad thin and watery, finishes with a touch of dryness.
O - Decent, but nothing special to brag about. The bitterness was a bit of a turnoff and the mouthfeel was just lacking. Worth a try, but not a repeat purchase.
06-15-2013 21:32:45 | More by andrenaline
3.38/5 rDev +5.3%
Montgomery's Courage is an orange-amber colour, perfectly clear (forgiving some chill haze and condensation on the glass), and also, as expected, completely flat. The lack of foam, however, has not prevented it from plastering the glass in strips of sticky suds. All in all, it's the most "modern" (read: filtered) looking of the "Historic Beers of Canada" series thus far.
The aroma won't be entirely unfamiliar to whiskey drinkers; rye is a strong grain and it has a distinctive spice, something like a very subtle clove or cracked black pepper crossed with pumpernickel bread. This example also has subtle suggestions of orange wedge, dried fruits and toasted nuts. It is definitively malty and rather pleasant, albeit a bit plain.
Montgomery's Courage is brewed in part with rye malt and it shows (err, rather tastes). If you've ever tried to imagine what Canadian rye whiskey tastes like without the alcohol and wood, look no further; this is a dead-ringer for Crown Royal, albeit with more graininess and a lot less heat (though the rye imparts a little spicy warmth of its own).
Black Creek really commits to the historic reenactment angle; I've yet to have a beer of theirs that's carbonated. No matter, what they lack in bubbles they typically make up for in malt (though this is expectedly a little thinner than the Porter, Stout, Rifleman's or Dray Horse - all dark beers). I want to claim a little pumpkin spices, though it's probably reaching a bit much.
Montgomery's Courage may be my least favourite so far, but I've enjoyed each and every one of Black Creek's Historic Beers of Canada and look forward to the decade comes next. It's doubtful anyone will find any of these beers very exciting, but they are well made (carbonation exempted) and considerably malty (read: flavoured). Worth picking up one bottle.
09-19-2013 02:27:43 | More by biegaman
2.16/5 rDev -32.7%
Appearance: Next to no carbonation in the body, and only poured with a half finger of head. However the head did stick around and produced ample lacing. The body is a clear amber brown.
Smell: There is a dominant dry sour smell to it. Like Rye bread mixed with sour dough. Caramel malt can also be detected in the background. Warming helped in out quite a bit in this department.
Taste: Starts with sweet caramel malt with a hint of dryness that turns to a dry hit of out of place grapefruit and earthy hops that is just excessively bitter.
Mouthfeel: The carbonation helps out the entire beer, but the lingering dry note which must be the rye, and sandy tasting hops don't want to leave. The transitioning doesn't make it very smooth either.
Drinkability: Way too dry, on the heavier end of medium bodied which I don't think is appropriate, the aftertaste conspires against it.
Final Thoughts: Well, this is my first Rye beer, and I can't say I was a fan. It kinda makes me concerned about that bottle of Cameron's RPA I have in my fridge. Maybe another Rye beer will give me perspective, but this got the drain after two thirds.
06-28-2013 15:45:18 | More by TheHammer
3.44/5 rDev +7.2%
This beer is all about the malts.
Pours dark copper with a short head that goes to a heavy film and leaves behind lots of spotty lace. Looks good enough.
Smell is straight up butterscotch from malt, sweet but not overpowering in any way. Merest whiff of hops. Slightly bitter from hops to drink, finishes with some sweet caramel before giving way to some lingering bitterness. Medium mouthfeel on the palate, just enough presence, not watery, not heavy.
Passably good, but sweet enough that you wouldn't drink a ton of these in a row. I like rye-based beers and this one has a little bit of what should be going on happening for it, but doesn't place enough emphasis on the rye. Still worth a try at least.
07-11-2013 15:53:58 | More by TerryW
Black Creek Montgomery's Courage from Black Creek Historic Brewery
77 out of 100 based on 21 ratings.