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Mill Street Tankhouse Ale - Mill Street Brew Pub

Not Rated.
Mill Street Tankhouse AleMill Street Tankhouse Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

349 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 349
Reviews: 176
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 9
Gots: 28 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mill Street Brew Pub visit their website
Ontario, Canada

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

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-13-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 349 | Reviews: 176 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ecoastman
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drinkability - A decent local beer that I'd prefer during cooler seasons. I'll probably buy this one again if the price is right. One of the better Mill Street brews that I've tried from their season sampler pack.

Appearance - nice dark copper brown. Pours with a nice head and recedes to a thin layer with a little lacing.

Smell - A nice balance of sweet malt and hop aromas. Quite clean with a background of lychee nut.

Taste - nutty, slightly metallic, hoppy and tiny bit of the good funkiness. A bit thin on flavour but improves as it warms up a bit. Medium -high bitterness that lingers well after the taste.

Mouthfeel - medium body yet a refreshing watery texture that is slightly course with the dry bitter finish. It could use just a little more slickness.

ecoastman, Aug 26, 2009
Photo of decimator
3.15/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From the OCB discovery pack no. 2.
341ml bottle poured into a mug.

A - Poured a clear redish-brown with a 1/4" of creamy foam with some staying power.

S - Mostly sweet malts with some toasts and citrus fruits.

T - Toasted grains, some honey like sweetness, a bit of a tang and a some hop bitterness at the end.

M - Smooth and creamy with average carbonation.

D - One or two would be enough for me despite the good flavor profile.

decimator, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of ZorPrime
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Bobsy for this beer. Tasted on July 31st, 2009.

The beer color is slightly amber. Nice head after pouring, however it disappear quickly and a thin film remains. What remains stays and stick the glass nicely. The aroma is malty and slightly spicy. Taste is malts first and then I get some bitterness near the end. This is an excellent day-to-day beer in my opinion. It reminds me of La Rousse from Les Trois Mousquetaires here in Quebec. The beer is medium body and very refreshing. drinkability is slightly above good.

ZorPrime, Aug 14, 2009
Photo of johnnnniee
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at The Beer Store in Niagara Falls on our recent trip. Pours a clear reddish amber with a huge bubbly off white head that leaves lots of lace as it slowly recedes. Smells of grass, spicy and citrus hops, light caramel, and a slight mineral aroma. Taste is wow different. A bit of nutty chocolate right up front that I wasn't expecting from the aroma. Citrus caramel mineral and grass linger in the finish. Moderate carbonation, medium body. Wow this one is not what I expected. The mineral aroma and taste was a bit of a turn off for me, but the caramel nutty chocolaty was really nice. Good but could be better.

johnnnniee, Aug 14, 2009
Photo of wordemupg
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into pint glass aug 12 2009

A clear ruby red, half a glass of light tan head that had good retention and lots of lovely lace

S hops and sweet malts and a pine

T hops with caramel, very little citrus and a fair amount of malt quite nice not what i expected. one of mill streets best a decent ipa or at least thats what it reminds me of

M/D nothing to complain about a nice well rounded beer. good carbonation, thick enough, happy am i

i liked this beer start to finish, nothing crazy good but a nice one worth trying

wordemupg, Aug 13, 2009
Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A well-deserved (first) pint after another head-shrinking day at CIBC's downtown Toronto IT head offices (oh, right, let me be clear - fuuuck you, Michael!).

This beer appears a clear, bronzed medium copper hue, with two fingers of puffy, bubbly, and rather creamy off-white head, which leaves a splendid array of honeycombed lace around the glass as it slowly melts away.

It smells of sweet, fairly crisp biscuity malt, with some additional caramel and toffee notes, and earthy, grapefruit and orange rind citrus hops. The taste is zingy lemon zest, orange cream, a hint of fleshy grapefruit, lightly toasted bready caramel malt, and further grassy, faintly leafy hops.

The carbonation is a tad high, but settles as soon as I do, the body a decent medium-full weight, and more or less smooth (the hops here seem capable of making me care a little less about this particular metric). It finishes off-dry, the sort of muted citrus hops and grainy caramel malt performing that last dance lean-in.

A pretty enjoyable APA, one with which I've now even clinked glasses with a vendor's natural enemy - the client. Hey - they chose this (and paid for it, natch), duly aware of my proclivity, so they aren't all that bad, I suppose. Worthy of an alternate sort of mind-numbing session, this one is.

biboergosum, Aug 12, 2009
Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 341ml bottle poured into my nonic pint glass. Tankhouse appears a clear amber color with about two fingers of off white foam. Flavors and aromas consist of floral, grassy hops, a touch of lemon, lightly toasted grain, nice sweet caramel malt bring up the rear. Maybe a notch better than medium in both body and carbonation with a clean finish. A great sessionable ale.

ClockworkOrange, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of mintjellie
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear copper-red body with three fingers of off-white lace. Plenty of lacing action going on. Decent retention.

Smells like caramel malt, citrus, and pine. Nice aroma.

Caramel malt and a little bit of butter. Grapefruit, pine, and a little bit of fruit. Nice hop flavour with moderate bitterness.

Medium bodied, smooth carbonation. Balanced flavours and smooth body make this an easy drinker.

mintjellie, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of Bestuurder
3.45/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the No. 2 OCB Pack. Brown bottle serving. Poured a dark amber, caramel colouration. Fluffy pale white head, with a fine lacing throughout consumption.

Scent was of caramel with a noticeable nuttiness. Slight maltiness and off sweetness to the olfactory.

Flavours are balanced with a heavy caramel base and walnut notes throughout.

Decent palate feel, a bit high on the alcohol, but not overpowering.

Very easy to drink, good for a couple of pints. Higher on alcohol, but not substantially overbearing.

Bestuurder, Jul 19, 2009
Photo of MeisterBurger
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, burnt caramel amber with a chunky, sloppy, billowy head and oodles of spotty lace mixed with wonderful linear striations of lacing.

The aroma is all caramel with a nice piney, citrus. They claim they use cascades. And I believe them.

Taste is a delicately balanced juicy caramel malt with some sweet pineapple up against what I can only describe as a velvety and fully satisfying grapefruit bitterness. It's really nice. Not too bitter. And you get just as much of a hop taste as a hop bitterness. They did a really good job here. I love this beer.

Mouthfeel is smooth, medium, and creamy.

As for drinkability, there is a reason I have had countless bottles and pints of this beer. It's a damn good beer, one of Ontario's best, and thankfully as time goes on it seems to be showing up more and more and is a great fall-back option in a lot of restaurants and bars in Toronto.

MeisterBurger, Jul 08, 2009
Photo of Skidz
4.65/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours out bright amber and sits deep copper in the glass with a thick frothy beige head. Solid lacings all around.

Rich toasty malts are abound. Toasted hazelnuts and some slight hints of fig mingle with an underlying citrusy hops fringe. Maybe a bit of maple and raisin as well.

And the aroma flows right into the mouth... Malts are forward once again, lending their toasty character, but hops make a solid impression as well. Lemony grasses pucker at the sides while some more, perhaps, tropical fruity flavors intermingle. Well played.

The mouthfeel of this beer...my god. Imagine yourself in a hot tub, feeling the warmth cover your body. The jets of air pushing bubbles throughout the pool. Your leg rises in the current and a stream of bubbles move their way across your thigh, and you squirm with delight at their intrusion--that moment is where this beer is at.

Aside from being on the darker and nuttier side of the pale ale spectrum, this is an encounter most welcome. I wish there were more beers like this; the ones that surprise you with their finesse and delectability. Canada, your case is growing stronger.

Skidz, Jul 03, 2009
Photo of ritzkiss
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured at a local restaurant - chilled glass slowed down my enjoyment and review. Pours a dark copper, like a dark penny with hints of walnut brown. Light head leaves light lacing down the glass.

Smell has a hint of caramel butteriness, a slight citrus fruit note, pretty light.

The taste is solid without being spectacular. The Munich malts come through with a hint of metal and remind me a touch of an alt but the hops are more juicy with hints of citrus and a vague herbaceous quality, some spice, a medium-light body with good caramel malts, vibrant carbonation makes it a light beer with a bit more body than the average easy drinker.

Definitely solid but one to leave for outdoor BBQs with friends who are not avid beer drinkers.

ritzkiss, Jun 22, 2009
Photo of ludachris
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the first I chose from the 2nd edition of the OCB 6er I got thanks to TheHammer. I've had a few other Mill St.'s before and I'm sure I won't be disappointed.
Pours a rich deep amber with honey brown highlights and a finger and a half of light tan head. Decent retention and excellent lacing; marking each sip I take down the glass.
Nice smell of fruity esters, toasted malts, pine, citrus and spice. Seems pretty complex but not as pronounced as other APA's.
Dried fruit, buttery malts and caramel up front followed by some citrus, pine, spices and floral hops.
Creamy, smooth, very well balanced and medium bodied. Very drinkable and very refreshing.

Overall, another great brew from Mill Street. Fairly subtle but complex and excellently balanced. Would be more than happy to buy a 6er of this for a day.

ludachris, Jun 11, 2009
Photo of TheHammer
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the last bottle of my OCB Discovery Pack #2. Seeing as I've already had it on tap, this I saved this one for last. Besides, I finished off my pack of their wit, so lets see how the tankhouse bottle fares.

Appearance - Exceptionally good, poured with a solid finger of head that both laced and retained exceptionally. The beer itself boasts solid carbonation, but it wasn't out of control. The beer itself is a walnut color with a touch of amber, and despite being darker has decent clarity. It seems to be a bit brighter then the offering I got on Tap, but that could be a trick of the light. Either way, no complaints here.

Smell - One again, sweet malts dominate the experience with fruity hops. I'm getting a solid touch of caramel and toasted bread that compliments nicely. However, it seems a bit more subdued then the last time I had it and a little less diverse.

Taste - It starts with a nice sweet buttery malt flavor which then shifts to the fruitier hops that are a little tame but still solid and well balanced. It then ends with a smokey flavor with a touch of more spicy hops which seems a little out of place. Still good though, and I'd give it 3.75 if I could.

Mouthfeel - Once again, the mouthfeel impresses, with solid carbonation, a somewhat pleasant aftertaste that doesn't linger and leaving the mouth neither dry nor moist. The only complaint this time is the final transition to the spicier hops seems a bit out of place.

Drinkability - The beer went down smoothly, was actually quite refreshing with no gas or bloating issues. It's medium bodied, so it doesn't weigh down your gut, but that's about the only downside. It's not has heavy as I remember it though. That and it is a little bit on the sweet side.

Final Thoughts - After reading this review, and my previous one, I'm not that surprised with the differences between the bottle and the tap. It's still a solid beer, which I'd gladly have again. I really should visit the brewpub some day.

TheHammer, Jun 05, 2009
Photo of Genry
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 341 bottle into a glass mug.

Appearance is good - the only disappointing factor was the fat head shrunk to a paper-width after a minute. Good lacing, deep amber red appearance, a certain shade of cherry.

Aroma reminds me of cinnamon and caramel, with some toasty overtones.

Tastes malty, but the sweet malt is balanced by bitterness and a citrus flavor. Some fruit, and a bit of a nutty taste.

Solid beer, was pleasantly surprised. Will be having this again the next time I find myself in Toronto.

Genry, May 12, 2009
Photo of kkipple
2.78/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An American Pale? Shouldn't this be Canadian Pale? Not quite sure where this came from, an extra in a trade somewhere along the line... But I digress...

A. Pours a very red and rich autumn-leaf rust, with a fast-fading head and lots of active carbonation. Ok. No lace to speak of.

S. Sort of musty, sweet malts and grain. Caramel heavy, very little hop aroma. A little bready. Not bad though.

T. Initially sweet, but fades to rather messy caramel malt and dry hop bitterness, some seltzer-water minerally flavors crop up and the finish is a bitter, although not hoppy per se, muddled semi-dry caramel thing. Not that great. Probably an old bottle.

M. Decent body, still quite fizzy and full, finishes dry, unpleasant aftertaste. Should snap and pop, or at least fall off gracefully, but it's rather thick and clumsy.

D. Nah. This is why we need freshness dates on bottles, folks. I know this is several months old, and probably older, but there is no way of telling and it makes it tough to review. Alas! For now it is a sub-par example of the style and not even that fun to drink.

kkipple, May 10, 2009
Photo of Seanstoppable
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug a darkish red with about two fingers of sticky white head. Head retention is quite good, with plenty of lasting lacing as the beer went down. The taste is a good balance of hops and malts, a bit chewy with maybe a hint of spice. A little heavy, but what else would you expect from something called "Tankhouse Ale"? Leaves a bit of an aftertaste in the hollows of the cheeks to remind you it has been there. Smooth and drinkable, I enjoyed a few of these during a night of casual drinking.

Seanstoppable, May 07, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Coppery orange with sunny Sunkist edges. A standard pour has created three full fingers of foam that is midway between cream and ecru. And a fine looking lid it is. An abundance of attractive lace helps secure the higher score.

The nose is at least as malty as it is hoppy, which is a characteristic that doesn't thrill me when it comes to beer of this style. Those of you who crave balance will love it. Toasted malt come through, as does a whiff of hops that I would have been hard-pressed to have identified as Cascade.

Balance, balance and more balance. An Englishman might think that Tankhouse Ale is on the hoppy side. An American (this one) begs to differ. Nevertheless, just like MS Coffee Porter, MSTA is clearly well-brewed, drinkable beer. Maybe all those hoppy APAs have spoiled me.

There's plenty of barley onboard, with a flavor profile that tastes like a mixture of pale and toasted/caramel. Munich is probably in there somewhere. The hops provide some amount of grapefruitiness; but again, the classic Cascade flavor isn't that evident.

In the end, I've been won over by Tankhouse Ale's sheer competence. It's good solo and would probably sneak up to great alongside a big, juicy burger and fries. I'm sure it would be a standby if I frequented Mill Street Brew Pub. The mouthfeel is exceptional. Very few 5.2% ales are this lush and creamilicious.

Every one of my favorite APAs are dominated by hops. The fact that Mill Street Tankhouse Ale isn't and still manages to impress is a testament to the skill of its brewers. Thanks to biegaman for yet another quality Canadian brew.

BuckeyeNation, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of NightINgale
4.4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark amber/mahogany body, with a rich, light-tanned frothy head.

S: Quite hoppy, with notes of fruit and caramel. Some spiciness can also be picked up in the nose. Very promising.

T: Starts out with a pretty good hoppy bite, followed with some serious fruitiness and spiciness. The finish is dry, with some subtle caramel notes that linger on for a while. Very satisfying if you like hoppy beers.

M: Medium-bodied. The mouthfeel is amazing if you're into pale ales, like I am.

D: A proper pale ale. A top-of-the-line kind of brew. Not only this is a good example of the style, but it is also very well-balanced.

NightINgale, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of biegaman
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Varnished red cedar with a deep coppered hue. The beer is brilliantly clear and visibly well carbonated. Giant, boldly defined bubbles resemble a collection of air balloons hovering just above the surface, which is plastered in a foamy encrustation. The whole of the circumference of the glass has become caked in the crusty white stuff.

The aroma is quintessential of many a number of American amber ales. It has a big presence of darkly toasted grains and a healthy dosage of zesty, stinky Cascade hops. There's a drop of pine serum and a good deal of stinky, hemp-like herbals. It's nothing too dynamic, but there's a lot of nice aromatics at hand here.

The same could be said of the flavour; it's nothing mouth-watering but serves its purpose with a respectable performance. There's toasted grains, whole-wheat breads, a touch of caramel and a complimentary cast of bitter grapefruit piths and pungent herbal cones. It's far more reserved than its American counterparts (and unarguably not quite as delectable).

The carbonation is fine and a good dose of sticky, sappy hop bitterness survives. I'm not sure how many IBU's we're sitting at but I think we got off at the right floor - any more would overshadow the flavour and any less would make for a pretty lackluster mouthfeel. The beer is quenching and quite satisfying for a pale ale, even despite the mild disposition.

The issue I have with Tankhouse Ale, and I'm far from the only one, is its inconsistency. Apparently the recipe had to be tweaked when one of the brewery's founders left the company. Whatever the case, the beer has been terribly inconsistent over the years; zestful and generously hoppy at its best, weak and painfully bland at its worst.

I plan to keep rolling the dice. All said and done this is still (sadly) one of the hoppiest examples we have access to in the province of Ontario. Besides, it's not at all a bad beer. I'm fine putting some money down every now and then for a sixer or a pint of Tankhouse and in most cases, I'm content with the purchase.

biegaman, Apr 07, 2009
Photo of DoctorStrangiato
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 341-ml bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - very nice dark amber colour with medium-high carbonation. Little head with only a nice thin even froth.

Smell - smells of caramel, rich malty aroma, with dense fruit scents. A pleasing blend of grains and fruit.

Taste - strong, vibrant raisiny-malt flavours with just a nice long thick finish of mild bitters.

Mouthfeel - very smooth. Dark and complicated.

Drinkability - this is an enjoyable beer. I'd have a few. In fact I have, more than once!

DoctorStrangiato, Apr 07, 2009
Photo of ericj551
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up and the beer store on recent trip to Sudbury. Tankhouse Ale pours a deep copper with a nice white head. The aroma is toasty caramel with some dry dark fruits. The flavor starts crisp and malty without being too sweet. Bitterness comes through in the finish and some light citrusy, piney hops sneak their way out. This is a real solid offering from Mill Street, I will have to try some of their other beers next time I'm in Ontario.

ericj551, Apr 03, 2009
Photo of vikingmike
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A reddish, caramel colour

S: Floral Hops with caramel aftertones

T: Powerful hoppiness prevails here, with a malty backbone. However, there is a typical ale "richness" that is slightly lacking here.

M: Very smooth and drinkable.

D: I'm very impressed with this. I had tried the Mill St. Organic Lager before and wasn't thrilled, but this ale makes me want to try more offerings from them. I'd rate this excellent, except there is "something" missing that I can't quite put my finger on.

vikingmike, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of nighthawk
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

341mL bottle with no best before date, poured into pint glass.

A very large, rocky and yellowish head sits atop a mostly clear dark copper. Rings of lace are left all down the glass, and a nice cap stays until the finish.

Nose is a tug-of-war between sweet caramel malts and pine hops.

Taste has pine and floral hops up front, before mellowing to the malty caramel middle. Bitter hop finish that lingers pleasantly. Very nice balance going on here.

Smooth and medium bodied with a nice balancing carbonation.

Very drinkable beer, goes down beautifully. Can (and do) drink many of these in an evening.

nighthawk, Feb 07, 2009
Photo of CaptainIPA
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

P: Thank you to my big sister and her family for turning me onto the Ontario Craft Brewers' Discovery Pack No. 2: 6 assorted bottles. All the way from Toronto. Nice Christmas gift, EH?
#1 in a series.

A: Pours a rusty amber with a frothy and pitted, two-finger, tan-colored head with fair retention and sticky lacing.

S: Citrus hops, caramel, brown sugar, and a hint of tea.

T: Toasted malt upfront with suggestions of toffee, caramel, butter and brown sugar. Hops come out to play in the middle, contributing to a slightly bitter finish.

M: Crisp, medium-bodied, and moderately carbonated.

D: Quite sessionable. APA? Perhaps this should be classified as a CPA, as it skews more in the British Pale Ale tradition of malty, buttery and well-balanced.

CaptainIPA, Jan 06, 2009
Mill Street Tankhouse Ale from Mill Street Brew Pub
85 out of 100 based on 349 ratings.