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Mill Street Tankhouse Ale - Mill Street Brew Pub

Not Rated.
Mill Street Tankhouse AleMill Street Tankhouse Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

184 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 184
Hads: 398
Avg: 3.76
pDev: 18.62%
Wants: 10
Gots: 60 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mill Street Brew Pub
Ontario, Canada | website

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) | 5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-13-2003

Like traditional pale ales, Tankhouse Ale has a deep copper-red colour. We use five different malts to produce a complex malty texture. The most dominant character of our Pale Ale is the hop. The spicy Cascades is used to give an assertive hop flavour, aroma and bitterness to our ale. The result is a satisfying and complex-tasting beer. Our brewmaster developed this recipe 20 years ago and it has remained his favorite drink of choice.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 184 | Hads: 398
Photo of Mellonius
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap in a half pint glass at the Mill St Brewery in Ottawa.

Nice orange-reddish liquid with a fair amount of carbonation, formed a 2 cm creamy head that dissipated soon.

Smell is that of caramel malt, some sweetness and a bit of fruitiness.

Mouthfeel is soft and dry, light bodied. Tastes pretty much like so many other beers in that same style that I have tried. The hops are pretty well thrown in and create a good balance. Quite sessionable.

Not memorable, but not bad at all. I'd have no problem drinking it again and again. Just not unforgettable.

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Photo of justiceavocado
2.78/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Gift from an old friend in Canada, sent to me via my brother. From a 341mL bottle into a tulip.

A – Not sure what to expect from this one. Pours a clear reddish-orange with a good amount of visible carbonation, head dissipates in less than a minute, but lacing hangs out averagely well.

S – Crisp lemon and lime hops, but not orange or spices. Not particularly clear, but that's expected for the style.

T – Nose is slightly sweet lemon, followed immediately by smoky malts, finish is a mix of both, resulting in a kind of pine wax bitterness. Not boozy at all. Kind of a one-dimensional taste, upon reflection, just pine bitterness, and not much else. Not the worst quality, but not the best, either.

M – Velvet carbonation, lots of thin bubbles, almost like a bottle-conditioned belgian with sugar, which is weird for the style, like it was forced. Leaves a dry resin for a bit after a sip.

O – The bottle claims this is brewed with "a staggering amount of hops," but I don't know what the story is. I don't taste so much of a balance as a full-on bitterness with no aromatic or fruit or malt to balance it out. Again, it's one-dimensional. I prefer a beer to commit, really bring a strong presence – which might be a lot to ask of a 5% pale ale, but I've had others that fit my preference more nearly than this does.

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Photo of rarbring
3.56/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An amber clear ale, off-white with good lacing and some curtains.

Smelling citric, lemon, grape-fruit and pine needles.

Tasting of toffee, grape-fruit juice and crushed lemon seed.

Little carbonation, small bubbles, smooth with a medium body, a dry finish.

A good well balanced APA. Nice hop charatcer.

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Photo of TheBeerGuy101
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a gem of a brew...

Deep copper in color and very light lacing.

The aroma is complex. Dark-Bitter Chocolate. Light Caramel, Heavy Roasted Malt. Hoppy. Slight Coffee. Floral. Spicy. Smokey.
One of the better smelling ales in my opinion!

The flavor of Tank house is easy drinking, crisp, pungent in malts, slight sweetness, slight bitterness - Almost woody like.
It's extremely well balanced.

This brew would pair well with an aged cheese.
I had with an extra old cheddar and some dry roasted, slightly seasoned peanuts.
If you like a spicy, smokey malty and hoppy brew, you'll certainly fall in love with this drink!
From start to finish, this one pleases every time.

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Photo of GraemeCampbell
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

341ml bottle poured into a Mill St. tulip.

A: Copper brown with a reddish hue. Off-white head that has nice lacing as you drink.

S: Does not to this brew justice. It is far fainter than the taste and is the only pitfall of this otherwise fine beer. Faint sent of malts and caramel.

T: Very nice and distinct taste that I have grown to love. Malty with hints on caramel and enough hops to balance it out. A slightly bitter finish that I love. Always consistent and a pleasure to taste.

M: Nice crisp carbonation that fades quickly enough not to mask the finish of this finely crafted ale. An almost smooth mouthful that is very enjoyable.

O: A staple in my beer fridge and my personal favourite drink with all factors considered (Everyday drink, price point, flavour preference etc). When reviewing/drinking other red/brown ales, Tankhouse sets the standard that is normally tough to match.

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Photo of h20mbh
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark copper in color. nice head. medium carbonation. very clean looking if that makes sense?

hops. slightly woody in smell.

tastes like it smells. enjoy the after taste which lingers. dry. more hops than malt, but that is what I like.

somewhat light, but that wood like smell/taste seems to add a certain density to the mouthfeel.

great brewski. i mean great. can i say great again? not perfect but every category scored a 4/5 so can't ask for much more. one of my new favorites. highly recommend for an ipa lover, or really anyone looking to try something different than highly questionable "premium" macro lagers.

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Photo of canadrian
3.74/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - The beer pours a rich copper colour. Crystal clear in clarity. A light, cream coloured head tops the brew, made of moderately tight bubbles. One and a half fingers. Head dissipates fairly quickly but lacing lingers quite a while longer (though it was absent in the later half of the beer). Small bubbles steadily rising from bottom of glass to meet the cap hint at a nice level of carbonation.

S - Grapefruit notes, slightly metallic, from the Cascade are first noticed on the nose. A malt aroma is also present, slightly biscuity and toasty.

T - Bold, tart grapefruit flavour up front from the Cascades. Malt flavours (slightly roasted) evolve subtly but become more pronounced as the initial hop flavour disapates. Nice bitter finish.

M - Medium bodied mouth feel. Moderately tingly due to carbonation.

O - A nicely balanced, nicely flavoured APA which would session well, though can be enjoyed as a sipper as well.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Appearance – Clear copper colour with an average size fizzy off white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation visible and there is a decent amount of lacing. The head lasted for 6 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel, hops, cereal

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel and some cereal. There is some hop bitterness.. but not as much as I remember tasting when I had it previously from a bottle. There is also a bit of a grassiness. It ends with a malty sweet aftertaste with just a touch of bitterness.

Overall – This one wasn't as good as I remember it being. Perhaps I ran into an older out of date keg. Regardless, it's still one of the better better beers made in Ontario.

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Photo of SebD
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice clear copper/amber color to it. It has a nice off-white head that dies down moderately and leaves nice thick lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of citrusy hops with some sweet caramelly malts and some fruity notes.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a nice citrusy, piney/earthy hop character to it that brings a slight bitterness and has some bready, fruity and caramelly malts.

Mouthfeel: It has a med/high carbonation with a nice overall balance and flavor.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

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Photo of dgilks
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear dark copper colour with a smooth offwhite head. Poor head retention.

Malty aroma with a distinct grassy hoppiness. A touch of citrus. Interesting.

Moderately malty with some nice caramel tones. Moderately-low bitterness with a dose of resinous, citrus hops. Okay.

Medium body with moderately high carbonation. A little gassy.

A decent APA. A little middle of the road but it ticks most of the necessary boxes.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.4/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Marce in Toronto. Pours dark amber with a thick white head and lively carbonation. Aroma is of caramel malt and hints of hops. Medium, tangy body. Grapefruit hops dominate the palate while caramel malt provide some balance. Medium finish is dry. Nothing special brew.

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Photo of Converge
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle poured into a 16oz pint glass.

A - Just under two fingers of thick, off-white head. Deep amber-orange and brown. Looks good. Bits of spotty lacing follow a nice soapy cap of foam down the glass.

S - Lots of leafy hops, with some nice caramel malt and brown sugar balancing it out. Smells very enticing.

T - Very good balance of citric and earthy hops with a nice malty backbone of caramel, bread, and spices. Simple but balanced and enjoyable.

M - Good carbonation and a medium bodied feel. Pretty creamy on the palate.

D - A nice and balanced APA with an enjoyable hop presence.

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Photo of david18
3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had a large draft of this on a recent trip to Toronto. I tried a lot of beers on that trip. I didn't love any of them but this was a little better than most.

Appearance is a copper to amber color. Darkish head with a lot of active carbonation.

Aroma was more malty than hoppy, especially for a pale ale but overall a nice aroma.

Flavor was also a bit more malty than hoppy but pretty balanced and not bad.

Overall a pretty good beer. Nothing outstanding but good.

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Photo of aletale
4.09/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased as a six-pack of bottles...

This beer pours a deep, clear copper colour. There is very minimal head even on a fairly aggressive pour, which was slightly disappointing.

However, the nose more than makes up for it. This resembles some of the more flavourful IPA's I've had in this past. A brilliant scent of spices, some bright fruits, as well as some hops come to mind.

A very interesting drinking beer. It is hoppier than the nose would indicate, leaving a nice dry aftertaste. On the front there is a very spicy, fruity, and perhaps even nutty bite to this beer. Very unique, to be sure. Plus, with it's medium/light carbonation, and lack of alcoholic 'bite' the beer drinks quite easily. I'd be tempted to chug it if it wasn't so flavourful.

Mill Street Tankhouse Ale drinks like a traditional English pale ale, with a few extra surprises. Definitely reccomended.

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Photo of Rutager
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a very clear, amber-brown with a half finger of bubbly off-white head.

Smell. Toasty caramel malts and a little hops underneath.

Taste. Caramel malts and earthy hops. Nice lingering light bitterness.

Mouthfeel. Medium-light body with medium carbonation. Crisp and refreshing.

Overall. Good, easy drinking pale ale. I could go for another one of these.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The first widely available APA in Ontario, and my introduction to Centennial hops. A frequent "session ale", seems odd to be reviewing it now after so many years of enjoying it...

Dark red-hued amber with a long-lasting, cream-coloured head. Decent level of carbonation and pleasant mouthfeel; no oiliness whatsoever. Hoppy aroma, pure "C" with citrus and pine notes. Well balanced taste, with caramelized malt sweetness blending into a "west-coast" bitter hop finish.

Excellent flavour palate for 5.2% ABV sessionability. A very drinkable beer that should appeal to many.

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Photo of Kartoffeln
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark (but clear) coppery orange with a sizeable, foamy, tan head. Retention is solid: the head takes its time diminishing to a patchy cap of foam, and leaves the slightest bit of spotty lacing.

S: Caramel, biscuit, and roasted malts provide a well-rounded base for nuanced hop aromas - a clean and fresh floral, slightly grassy, and generally earthy character punctuated by spicy and citric (notably grapefruit; probably Cascade hops) notes.

T: Caramel and biscuit malts lead the sip, slightly bready and toasty, along with earthy, pine-like, floral hops. Segues into a more roasted malt and citrus/grapefruit hops with a bit of woodiness that complements the roasty malt.

M: Either on the heavy end of light-bodied or light end of medium-bodied, with light, creamy carbonation. The clean, bitter grapefruit/roasted malt finish balances the taste perfectly.

D: A great APA with exceptional balance and complexity to make it worth sipping as well as sessioning.

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Photo of Rijtjeshuis
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In a nonic glass.

LOOK (3.5/5) All in all, a pretty standard appearance for the style. It poured a nice coppery-red which was very clear. The head was nice and fluffy and sustained itself for an average time and left some good lacing. There was some really evident carbonation that was nice, but it faded pretty quickly.

SMELL (3.5/5) The smell was good example of the style. It was dominated by hops, with a somewhat earthier aroma. Some maltiness balanced the hops, and this was a mostly bready/biscuit with some toastier notes. A crisper finish.

TASTE (4/5) Similar to aroma. Some nice malts to begin, and obviously finishing with a strong earthier hop flavor. This finish was long, fading into a moderate bitterness.

FEEL (3.5/5) It was medium, but had a slight oily feel that coated the mouth in a long-lasting way that worked well with the drawn-out bitter end.

DRINK (4/5) I liked it a lot, I was happy to drink the glass. Its a nice rich brew that offers an experience at each mouthful. Good for sessioning.

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Photo of fostachild
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a clear brown color with a slight yellowness to it. lots of foamy head, which fades to a sheet of lacing lasting the entire time.

smell has strong hops. citrus and piney aroma. bitterness to it as well.

taste is creamy and also has a nice bitterness. hops very present, and a bit of malt. very slight sweet/fruit taste to it. well carbonated, well balanced, and good drinkability - could easily have several in one sitting.

i've had this on many occasions and it never disappoints. this beer has such a distinct taste, and is really enjoyable in my opinion.

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Photo of tbeckett
3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint at The Manx in Ottawa. From notes.

A - Poured a dark copper with no visible carbonation, no head as it was poured all the way to the top, no lacing and no retention. Bright.

S - Fruity hops with fruity malts as well. Caramel came out too. Nice and inviting with balance.

T - Piney and fruity hops. Fruity malts with caramel, dark bread, and biscuits as well. Kinda like an ESB.

M - Mild carbonation, medium body and a slight bitterness in the finish.

O/D - Less hops than I remember in the bottle. It's quite nice and seshable while being smooth and flavourful.

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Photo of Stocean1
3.66/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - poured a two finger pillowy head - decent lacing - deep copper/amber color - good retention on the head

S = earthy malt, grass, stale biscuit

T - malty, earthy, spicy up front - a little bitter in the after taste - grassy - not much citrus

M - medium body and decent carbonation - a little dry

O - one of the first beers to turn me onto craft, would have received higher marks 6 months ago but given some of the recent pale ales I have sampled it is not quite adventurous enough for my taste

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.79/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Picked from a six-pack containing 6 different Mill Street brews. The first pick was rather average; hopefully the second will raise my eyebrow a bit more.

Pours a dark copper color with a one finger head with reasonable retention. Within a few minutes it has faded, and patchy, foamy lacing remains in varying density across the surface for the duration of the drink. Lots of lacing. Looks tasty enough. Smell is quite nice with a very firm citrus/grapefruit hop presence. Some sweet malts underlie this but the hops are definitely at center stage as far as smell goes. Promising so far.

OK, my eyebrows are raised. This is a really well-made APA. A slight biscuity malt sweetness, followed by a strong earthy, leafy hop flavour and spiciness. Grapefruit bitterness/dryness persists in the finish. The hops are definitely in the forefront here. Mouthfeel is a little creamy, with low to moderate carbonation. Very palate-cleansing.

I really like this beer, and am now eager to try some more stuff from this brewer. Not sure if it's a good session beer as I could see the hops starting to ruin your palate after a few. Still, it's a delicious treat and is highly recommended.

[Updated Oct. 28 2013]

I've had this at least a few times over the past 2-3 years, mostly because Tankhouse is in virtually every one of the Mill Street sampler packs. This is the first time I've actually picked up a six-pack of it, though, with there being very few other craft beer options locally. While I still feel that this is a solid pale ale, with a tasty backbone of biscuity malts and caramel combined with a respectable hop bill, it's just not particularly memorable. This is one of my favourites from Mill Street, but there are too many great APAs on the market right now for this to be something I return to with any sort of frequency.

Final Grade: 3.79, a B+.

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Photo of marty21
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark very dark copper with one finger worth of soapy off white head. Settles to a thin cap and left a few spots of lacing.

S: Lot’s of hops up front with a strong caramel malt. It also has a bit of a earthy and chocolate smell that blend together.

T: A little bit of hops but the caramel malt and that earthy/chocolate taste come through more prominently.

M: Light carbonation with a medium body.

O: This is the second beer I’ve tried from Mill St. and I really enjoyed this one. I could drink this all night long and wouldn’t get bored of the aroma or taste. Also with the 5.2% Abv it would be great for a session beer. I wouldn’t have a problem picking up a 6 pack of this either.

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Photo of steven9000
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance- Clear copper color with a 1 finger off white head. Bubbles clinging to the glass.

smell- definitely get the hops up front followed by some sweet malts and slight caramel.

taste- essentially it tastes like a English pale ale or ipa. There is slight bitterness on the end of the palate. It actually tastes like a mix of Anchor Liberty Ale and a mild English pale ale or ipa.

mouthfeel- Average. A little watery for my liking. medium carbonation

Overall- This was a good beer. Not something great but pretty good. Honestly i wouldn't buy this again since i like those west coast heavily hopped IPA's and Pale ales much better since they are alot more hop forward then this beer and also the hop variates are different. I dont like much of piny IPA's i more like pineapple notes and citrus and grapefruit flavors in my IPA's. Still my favorite Canadian IPA is the red racer IPA.

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Photo of spree92
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I has been a while since I have had one of these. First time since joining BA.

A- A solid copper color with red accents. There was a small off-white head that left a thin film on top through the whole beer. Visually, it appears that it would be heavily carbonated with all the bubbles continually rising from the bottom of the glass.

S- Oily hips with an earthiness to it. Slightly spiced with cloves or something with a little bite. Just a touch of malts, heavy caramel, finish the well balanced beer.

T- I thought the carbonation would be overpowering but it is well hidden. A nice mix of the hops and malts blend this very well. I think the malts jump to the forefront and calm the spices down a touch.

M- I find this to be a full bodied beer that sticks to the mouth. Lingers around and slowly turns into a sweet, chewy heavy beer.

O- Overall, it is a good sign if I say I would buy this again,which I would. A really good beer from a good Canadian brewery.

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Mill Street Tankhouse Ale from Mill Street Brew Pub
85 out of 100 based on 184 ratings.