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Spark House Red Ale - Lake of Bays Brewing Company

Spark House Red AleSpark House Red Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

49 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 49
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 11.92%


Brewed by:
Lake of Bays Brewing Company visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Crafted without artificial flavouring or colouring agents, Spark House gets its deep mahogany hue and distinctive taste from a unique blend of domestic and European hops and dark-roasted specialty malts.

(Beer added by: hopsolutely on 06-09-2011)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 49 | Reviews: 20 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by thehyperduck:
Photo of thehyperduck
thehyperduck

Ontario (Canada)

3.76/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

341 mL bottle; no best before date. Courtesy of this year's OCB Holiday Sampler.

Pours a reddish-brown colour; deep in hue, but still translucent. At the surface is seated one finger of frothy, soapy, off white-coloured head that recedes over the next few minutes, leaving behind a coat of lace and thin, filmy cap at the surface. Pleasant aroma that definitely leans toward the sweet side, with plenty of caramel and bready malts, alongside notes of milk chocolate, toasted nuts, and a bit of earthiness.

This is a pretty tasty amber. Not exactly intense, but there's certainly a sizable blast of big malty flavour. Caramel and bready malts remain very prominent, some light toastiness, with nutty undertones. Finishes earthy and a little grassy, with everything except the slight earthiness failing to linger into the aftertaste. Normally a clean finish is fine with me, but for something that actually does taste reasonably strong for its alcohol content, it just gives off a watery vibe. On the thin side of medium-bodied, with mild carbonation for an otherwise smooth, enjoyable feel on the palate. Very easy to drink, as an amber should be.

Final Grade: 3.76, a B+. I can honestly say that Spark House Red Ale is indeed a respectable amber, nailing most of what I like about the style - and even if it's probably not the best amber Ontario has to offer, it's still up there on the list somewhere. Something that fans of the Rickard's Reds and Keith's Ambers of the world can use to jump into the shallow end of the Olympic-sized swimming pool that is craft beer. I won't be scrambling out for more of this anytime soon, but I'd certainly consider a repurchase if I were in the mood for a solid, highly drinkable amber ale.

[Updated April 19 2014]

Now available in tallboy cans, so I picked one up. I would consider this amongst the best malt-forward ambers in the province, and probably the highest-quality of all LoB's year-round offerings. Now that it's available in a convenient format, I will probably be grabbing a can or two of this on the regular. Malt fans should consider this one a no-brainer - it's simple, tasty and quaffable; an ideal session option.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2012 13:26:23 | More by thehyperduck
More User Reviews:
Photo of ArrogantPrick
ArrogantPrick

Ontario (Canada)

3/5  rDev -12.8%

04-17-2014 20:48:59 | More by ArrogantPrick
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boszormeny

Ontario (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

03-12-2014 22:14:13 | More by boszormeny
Photo of The-Jolly-Imbiber
The-Jolly-Imbiber

Antarctica

3.9/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Less than one finger of head which disappeared in under a minute. Appearancewise, a dark brown, or a very deep amber.

Fruity, raspberry aromas. Hints of caramel. I love the smell. It keeps inviting me to continue enjoying this beer to the bottom of the glass.

Nice taste. Mild sweetness which tails off into a moderate bitterness.

Little carbonation. Smooth and thin mouthfeel.

This is the best amber that I have tried so far (out of 4).

Update: Upped my rating of Taste a notch. Over the past few months, this has become one of my favourite beers.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2014 04:51:55 | More by The-Jolly-Imbiber
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Erik-P

British Columbia (Canada)

4/5  rDev +16.3%

12-14-2013 08:06:23 | More by Erik-P
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Yanka

British Columbia (Canada)

3/5  rDev -12.8%

12-11-2013 08:02:27 | More by Yanka
Photo of JeanDuteau
JeanDuteau

Alberta (Canada)

3.49/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A browner beer than I expected, given that it is named House Red and is an Amber Ale. Poured with a decent head that thinned quickly. It had a very sweet smell that was intriguing. The taste was darker than I expected with chocolate overtones and a slight bitterness. It had a slightly unpleasant aftertaste but overall was an enjoyable ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2013 02:56:31 | More by JeanDuteau
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Westvleteren12

Newfoundland (Canada)

4/5  rDev +16.3%

12-09-2013 23:08:42 | More by Westvleteren12
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Vyronian

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +16.3%

12-09-2013 14:30:47 | More by Vyronian
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Day 8 of the 2013 Craft Beer Advent Calendar. More brewing from up there in cottage country, eh? Critical mass can't be all that far off, then.

This beer pours a clear, dark red-brick amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and broadly bubbly off-white head, which leaves some decent melting iceberg lace around the glass as it duly recedes.

It smells of gritty, biscuity, and lightly toasted caramel malt, an oily dry nuttiness, a sweet, almost red berry-like fruitiness, a touch of hard water flintiness, and very subtle earthy, weedy hops. The taste is more of the same, but tighter and more focused - biscuity, bready caramel malt, almost salty bar-top nuts, dry, faintly buttered toast, a hint of bittersweet cocoa, and earthy, moderately bitter leafy hops.

The carbonation is a tad tight, but generally agreeable in its basic support duties, the body just on the lee side of medium weight, and adequately smooth for the style (just a wee twinge of hop play here). It finishes on the sweet side, the caramel malt, nutty breadiness, and lingering understated dark fruitiness calling the shots.

As far as Canuck amber ales go, this is all right - relatively robust in its tastiness, and no off-flavours. Worthy of a try, especially if you're the poor sap sitting in that lookout tower, searching for telltale sparks in the surrounding forest.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2013 04:41:22 | More by biboergosum
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Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

12-09-2013 04:00:56 | More by Derek
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ZachT

British Columbia (Canada)

4/5  rDev +16.3%

12-09-2013 02:03:35 | More by ZachT
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schopenhauerale

British Columbia (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

11-19-2013 20:25:37 | More by schopenhauerale
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DamageCase76

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

11-04-2013 12:18:56 | More by DamageCase76
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smekermann

British Columbia (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

10-26-2013 10:32:21 | More by smekermann
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MJ63

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +9%

10-26-2013 00:32:46 | More by MJ63
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Kmat10

Alberta (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +9%

10-21-2013 17:16:59 | More by Kmat10
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GoHabsGo

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

09-22-2013 19:57:04 | More by GoHabsGo
Photo of kelvarnsen
kelvarnsen

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

09-02-2013 13:12:18 | More by kelvarnsen
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WillAndSarah

Ontario (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

08-10-2013 18:12:22 | More by WillAndSarah
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JG_McNaulty

Ontario (Canada)

2.25/5  rDev -34.6%

08-06-2013 14:49:00 | More by JG_McNaulty
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

3.89/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Another of local, in-person trader tone77's many bottles. I marvel each and every time he comes by to drop off beer.

From the bottle: "In the heart of the forest, the spark house stands alone. Drawing its deep, smooth character from ... and roasted malts, this full-bodied red ale finishes dry and stands high above the rest."; "Brewed & Bottled in Baysville, Ontario Handcrafted in Small Batches".

A toast to the late Sparky Anderson! Spark up, lads! I'll be arcing and Sparking here shortly.

I got just over a finger of dense, mocha-tan head with reasonable retention from my pour. Color was a deep, coppery-red with NE-plus quality clarity and it reminded me of a former girlfriend's hair. Hers had a really coarse feel to it and it was like running my fingers through rusty wire. It even got her the nickname, "Rusty", which may have been why we drifted apart. What a beauty! The woman or the beer? Let's go with both. The nose was prevalently malt with a nutty quality to go with its inherent breadiness. Lots of sticky lacing appeared in the wake of the falling head. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste was almonds or pecans and freshly-baked bread. I remember a time when I used to eschew these types of beers in favor of heavily hopped IPAs but I feel like I now have a greater appreciation for this sort of thing. Finish was semi-dry with the yeast having done its job. I saw where they have begun CANning their lager, so if they expand and CAN this one, I would definitely recommend it.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2013 00:15:40 | More by woodychandler
Photo of atr2605
atr2605

New York

3/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-pours a deep red amber with an off white head with decent retention
S-roasted malt and a bit of sweetness
T-toasted malt with a dry biscuit malt flavor in the finish with nice hop bitterness supporting the malt
M-medium bodied
O-a well balanced beer that is very drinkable but not the best red ale I have had

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2013 01:04:24 | More by atr2605
Photo of TerryW
TerryW

Ontario (Canada)

3.19/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear chestnut red under a moderate head. Some lace. Looks better than your average brew.

Nose is malty and a little sweet. Noticeable graininess. Similar to taste, sweet up front, but gently bitter and slightly metallic to finish. Grassy to taste. Moderate body. Better than a macro, but nothing special.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2013 00:36:06 | More by TerryW
Photo of decimator
decimator

Ontario (Canada)

3.23/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

341ml bottle poured into a pint glass. ABV 5%.

A - Pours a clear reddish brown with a thin off white head. Some lacing.

S - Caramel, bread, some nuttiness, earthy.

T - Malts upfront with caramel, bread, & hint of toast. The finish has a a mild earthy & grassy bitterness.

M - Average carbonation, medium body, dry finish.

O - Decent tasting beer that's certainly drinkable. Above average.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2013 02:13:29 | More by decimator
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Spark House Red Ale from Lake of Bays Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 49 ratings.