Witchshark - Bellwoods Brewery
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Ratings: 90 | Reviews: 31 | Display Reviews Only:
4.63/5 rDev +11.6%
Bottled on January 30th, 2013 and bought from the brewery, Witch Shark pours a copper amber with orange hues and a slim white head (4.25). The boozy, pine, and grapefruit aroma (4.5) is followed by a rich sweetness and light caramel malt taste which is cut through by lots of big, sharp, almost acidic citrus and resinous hops (4.75). The strong bitterness is followed by a fair bit of alcohol heat, a syrupy body (4.25), and a lingering grapefruit rind taste. A wonderfully balanced beer between the big piney hops, the brown sugar sweetness, and the brazen booziness. This is a DIPA for those who really enjoy pine and resinous flavours that cannot help but remind me of Hercules DIPA by Great Divide Brewing Company (a somewhat polarizing interpretation of the DIPA, but one that I am particularly fond of). While not the tropical fruit combination which now seems to be emblematic of the style, Witch Shark is not to be over looked and is, at least in my opinion, one of the very best beers being brewed in Ontario (4.75).
02-07-2013 03:26:13 | More by Groulxsome
British Columbia (Canada)
4.49/5 rDev +8.2%
Appearance. Pours a rich and hazy amber with a finger+ of thick cream coloured head.
Smell. Very perfume-like pine with oranges and red grapefruits, A little lightly toasted caramel malt is there backing all those nice hops.
Taste. Sweet ripe oranges complete with bitter rinds, juicy red grapefruit, a bit of cedar, and some nice sweet light caramel malts.
Mouthfeel. Medium+ body with medium-low carbonation.
Overall. One of the best IPAs I've had in a while. Very juicy and clean with a nice oily bitter citrus rind finish. My kind of IPA right here, thanks again Liam.
06-15-2013 03:35:55 | More by Rutager
4.45/5 rDev +7.2%
The beer tastes strongly of roasted pineapple and so it's only fitting that it should look something like it too. The caramelized orangey-yellow colour is translucent and replete with highlights despite its coppered tone. Its froth is sturdy but covers only half of the beer's surface; it leaves lacing that hugs the glass like a lonely aunt at a family reunion.
Double IPAs tend to be, by their nature, very aromatic beers. Still, this bouquet reveals a fragrant and gargantuan hop flavour. The aroma is maddeningly citric, to the extent that one could name just about any tropical fruit (pineapple, lychee, mango, blood orange, lemon, grapefruit, etc.) and you'd jump up and scream “that’s exactly what I’m smelling!”
The mango, pineapple, grapefruit, papaya and passionfruit flavours are sure to put a smile on your face - they sure do put one on mine! Yet to be mentioned, though deserving of every the same credit as the fruit, is a pungent and earthy grassy-type element that is very redolent of pine. This sappy, resinous taste sticks on the finish like glue.
As far as the malt-to-hop ratio goes, the toasty, toffee-ish sweetness is a minnow among sharks, so to speak. Still, this beer is built like a Clydesdale, a true-to-form workhorse that has enough of a sturdy, bready malt-base to make the near double-digit alcohol seem like nothing; what should be a bitter as hell hop profile is somehow smooth as glass on the palate.
Californian brands may be the gold standard of juicy, vibrantly citrusy DIPAs but this Canadian offering may be one of the best examples of the style I've ever reviewed. It is a strong (9%) and intensely hopped ale that somehow - inexplicably - comes across as a gentle, social and pleasant drink. For a brewery that seemingly can do no wrong, this may be their best.
05-02-2013 04:23:51 | More by biegaman
4.41/5 rDev +6.3%
Appearance: It has a nice deep golden/orange color to it. It has a nice thick off-white head that dies down moderately slow and leaves some nice lacing.
Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of grapefruits, pineapple, plenty of dank pine resins, light bready malts and some sweet caramel.
Taste: Like the aromas, it has loads of grapefruit and pineapple (very tropical) along with some bitter pine resins, bready malts, and light caramel.
Mouthfeel: It has a low/medium carbonation with a very nice overall balance and feel.
Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied by great flavors and aromas. Maybe it's because I havn't had a good DIPA in a while but this thing is damn good.
04-24-2014 20:51:58 | More by SebD
4.41/5 rDev +6.3%
500mL bottle into a tulip glass. Colour is a lovely dark orange amber, quite hazy, with a nice big white head that recedes slowly and has really good lace retention.
S - a big explosion of citrus and piney hops. Lime/grapefruit, and crisp herbally pine, some caramel sweet backdrop. Also a bit floral, with a cool interplay of hop aromas over a firm malt base. Really nice.
T - starts with an refreshing gummy citrus note, and pine needles, leading to a super-smooth creamy body and crisp finish, then a lingering dry herbal and peppery aftertaste. The palate shows off some rich hop character, dry grapefruit citrus balanced with pine and firm malts. Then a zing of citrus acidity kicks in to wake it up. It is so well balanced and drinkable. Has a full upfront profile but goes down very subtly.
M - some moderate carbonation, only minimal of the 'slick' feel often in DIPAs. This is very refreshing and quenching and smooth through the body and then lingers on in a slightly herbal-oily aftertaste. Very full rich feel. Crisp and rewarding finish.
One of the more refreshing and smoothest DIPAs I've tried. Definitely has a big American hop profile with all the flavour and complexity you would expect, the bitterness here doesnt feel as overpowering and there is definitely a firm malt support. I love the combination as it is one hefty and satisfyingly tasty IPA. Seek it out.
08-02-2013 02:06:25 | More by mick303
4.39/5 rDev +5.8%
Pours bright orange copper with a frothy, pillowy off-white head. The glass is coated with chunks and sheets of lace on the way down. Citrusy hops and caramel, bready malts in the nose. Huge hoppiness in the first sip, lots of tangerine mixed with grapefruit, passionfruit, orange and lemon. Chewy cookie dough malts lay in the background, providing a balance but never stealing the show. The mouthfeel is quite full bodied with a moderate carbonation level. Moderate to high bitterness and some tropical hop frutiness lasts a long time in the finish. Alcohol is well hidden throughout, providing only some spicy complexity.
This is a fantastic DIPA, the best from Canada imo. Tonnes of fresh, juicy hops, great balance. Definitely seek it out if you're in Toronto.
11-05-2013 03:09:38 | More by CAMRAhardliner
Witchshark from Bellwoods Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 90 ratings.