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Top Shelf Classic Lager - Lake of Bays Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Top Shelf Classic LagerTop Shelf Classic Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
76
okay

39 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 39
Reviews: 10
rAvg: 3.21
pDev: 20.56%
Wants: 0
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Lake of Bays Brewing Company visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American Pale Lager |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: thehyperduck on 10-18-2013)
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Ratings: 39 | Reviews: 10 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Vyronian
4.25/5  rDev +32.4%

Photo of qpaladeau
4.22/5  rDev +31.5%

Photo of dreamchaser
4.06/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

The aroma is striking in its authentic lager qualities - strong hops. Its appearance is also of a classic lager - fast dissipating thin head and a very, very clear, very bright yellow. The taste is solidly lager-like - thin, refreshing and very acidic with a corn-like sweetness that lingers. Unfortunately it lacks any originality.

Photo of WillAndSarah
4/5  rDev +24.6%

Photo of bluebombers
3.76/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of Subliminal64
3.75/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of KrisDLSmith
3.75/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of Tivlavrie
3.75/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of thehyperduck
3.74/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

473 mL can picked up at the LCBO; best before March 2014. A new addition to the shelves at my local LCBO, this appears to be Lake of Bays' second attempt at brewing a craft lager, and I'm hoping for a better showing than the last effort. Apparently this is the new official beer of the NHLAA, with part of the profit being donated to programs for retired NHL players (in addition to whatever else the NHLAA does). Served ice cold.

Pours a lovely bright golden colour with a twinge of amber, and topped with one finger of frothy, bone-white head that slowly recedes over a period of minutes. Some nice, sticky lacing is generated during this process, with a thin cap being the final remnant. The aroma is pleasant, with hints of bready malts, toasted biscuits and caramel. There's a mild, grassy hop presence, too - so mild that it's kind of easy to miss. Oh well, the malt bill is still clean and enticing.

Pretty tasty stuff, with no real surprises. It starts off a little grainy, with bready malts and biscuits soon coming into the mix as well. Some caramel, honey-like sweetness comes through next, with the flavour finally finishing on a blend of toasted malts and caramel, with a light touch of the grassy, somewhat earthy noble hops mentioned on the packaging. Light-bodied, with moderate carbonation that gives this lager a firm bite without bloating. Fairly flavourful for a 4.5% lager, and extremely drinkable.

Final Grade: 3.74, a B. I could tell just from sniffing this stuff that it was a big step up from their last attempt at lagering. Top Shelf Classic Lager earns the right to call itself a craft-quality lager, and it is definitely not just an overpriced budget beer. Reminds me strongly of Railway City's Canada Southern Draft, another light OCB lager that uses noble hops on top of a quality malt backdrop. There's nothing groundbreaking here - it's just a pale lager - but it's a yummy one that would make a great staple at the cottage next summer, or even in front of the HNIC broadcast this winter. If I were Lake of Bays, I'd stop wasting tank space on Rock Cut and use this as their flagship lager.

Photo of biboergosum
3.73/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

473ml can, with a name that could have two, equally flattering meanings here in the hockey nirvana otherwise known as Canada.

This beer pours a clear, medium golden yellow colour, with three fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and somewhat caked bone-white head, which leaves some sparse tree branch lace around the glass as things evenly subside.

It smells of crackery, doughy pale and caramel malt, black pepper, a soft lemon rind sourness, a hint of dry honey, and tame earthy, grassy hops. The taste is more bready, slightly yeasty and doughy pale malt, a touch of honeyed caramel sweetness, subtle and muddled citrus notes, and more earthy, sort of weedy, and grassy hay-like hops.

The carbonation is moderate in strength, and mostly just cheekily frothy, the body medium-light in weight, and pretty smooth, no real interlopers to be found here. It finishes somewhat off-dry, the doughy malt persisting, alongside a fading fruitiness, and weakening earthy, floral hoppiness.

An enjoyable enough, well-made lager, nothing screams out adjuncts or any other cut corners. Maybe a tad sweet overall, but that's due more to the waning hops, than to any issue with the maltiness. Drinkable, and even recommendable - the NHL Alumni Association could do a hell of lot worse in choosing their official beer.

Photo of liamt07
3.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Brody1714
3.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of andrenaline
3.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of tbeckett
3.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Exeter
3.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of kvadiat
3.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.49/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

473 ml can purchased from LCBO for $2.45 CDN. Served cold into a Keith's pint glass.

Appearance - crystal clear rich gold color. Thin half finger of fizzy white head is poured but dissipates almost instantly. A few effervescent bubbles rise to the top.

Smell - big doughy aroma and a few mildly sweet malt aromas. A sweetened molasses aroma blended with some sort of dried fruits, maybe dates or figs. Rather sweet smelling but aromatics are good here.

Taste - pretty much like the nose with a little less of the figs and dates and a little more of the bready flavour. Some honey seems to be melded into this brew too.

Mouthfeel - fairly soft feel, medium carbonation gives it a nice light yet refreshing and satisfying feel.

OverLl - really pleasantly surprised by this, a bit on the sweet side, but solid flavour and great blend of aromas and use of carbonation.

Photo of TheHammer
3.48/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured with a thumb of head that did not lace but did retain decently. The body is a generic yellow lager with slow carbonation.

Smell: Fairly standard stuff, straw, grain, and bread malt with a slight grassy hop note. As it warms a sweet corn smell becomes more dominant. Nothing to write home about but quite good.

Taste: Sweet as the starting malt has an almost shortbread like quality to it which eases into a slightly more grainy experiences with a light dust of hops. Just a fairly well done Lager

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is a bit thin which I don't like, but the transitioning is decent and the sweet straw malt aftertaste is good, but starts to cloy a bit near the end.

Drinkability: No issues going down, although I've had smoother Lagers and this is a little bit too sweet and has a slight acidic note after it's gone down.

Final Thoughts: All in all, not a bad Lager and stands out decently despite it's flaws. Not a lot wrong here, so I would recommend it yes.

Photo of the_rick0524
3.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of spinrsx
3.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

473ml Can from the Ottawa LCBO for $2.50

Appearance - Clear amber/yellow colour with an average size white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there isn't much lacing. The head lasted for around 2-3 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Bread/grains, corn, caramel

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, corn and caramel/toffee. There is also a light grassiness and some fruity notes.

Overall - Not a bad beer. A step up from basic macros for sure.. Kind of like a basic lager with a little more caramel malt tossed in. Refreshing and quite drinkable.. but forgettable.

Photo of RedAleMan
3.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of WCW
3.23/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of kjyost
3.2/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of TerryW
3.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bright gold under a moderate head that settles to a splotchy film. Surrenders some fairly good lace.

Grassy hops on the nose. Malty and crisp. No off flavours or funk of any kind, not excessively corny, so not bad for a cheap beer.

This is a very ordinary brew. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing great about it either. Very basic, clean drinking.

Photo of MJ63
3/5  rDev -6.5%

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Top Shelf Classic Lager from Lake of Bays Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 39 ratings.