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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.

364 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 364
Reviews: 181
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 12.87%
Wants: 9
Gots: 40 | 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:
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 364 | Reviews: 181 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Skidz
4.65/5  rDev +24.7%
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.

Photo of ritzkiss
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of ludachris
4/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Photo of TheHammer
3.99/5  rDev +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.

Photo of Genry
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Photo of kkipple
2.8/5  rDev -24.9%
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.

Photo of Seanstoppable
3.88/5  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.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Photo of NightINgale
4.38/5  rDev +17.4%
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.

Photo of biegaman
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Photo of DoctorStrangiato
4/5  rDev +7.2%
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!

Photo of ericj551
3.91/5  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.

Photo of vikingmike
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of nighthawk
4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

Photo of CaptainIPA
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Photo of atomicbolt
4.27/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Starting off New Year's Eve early (one of many beers I'll ring in 2009 with). This was part of the second round of the Ontario Craft Brewer Discovery Pack mixed 6-pack collection, the first round was pretty tame but I like that the second round has some classics and at least a couple beers I've wanted to try.

Looks good, copper-brown with a sticky white head. Real hoppy kick in the smell, toasty, with some fruity malt sweetness.

Sweet malty kick to the taste, that subdues into a lightly bitter, burnt flavour. Lots going on in the taste, very enjoyable. Goes down smooth, but with a thinner and more carbonated mouthfeel than the creaminess I was hoping for. Leaves a crisp aftertaste, a little fruity, mostly bitter and perhaps coffee-tasting.

Overall, a drinkable and enjoyable brew. Out of the Discovery Pack this might be my pick of the pack, although I've got high hopes for Cameron's Auburn.

Photo of cratez
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours copper red in colour with a bubbly white head. Grainy lacing sticks to the glass nicely. Smell is American hops and a little bit of yeast. Taste is a beautiful mix of citrus, oranges, biscuit, and spicy hops with a light bitterness in the aftertaste. Lots of bread and earthiness as well. Mouthfeel is crisp, medium-bodied, silky middle with a smooth, balanced hop finish. Overall, I've been drinking Tankhouse more often than my other favourites as of late. It really is an ideal session beer. Hop heads should take note of the "pale ale" classification though: this is neither an IPA nor a pale ale on steroids. But that is the appeal of Tankhouse: its mild, balanced hop flavour and lower ABV make it a very drinkable pale.

Photo of 2roosters
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

It's a nice drink.

Great colour, thin pale head.

Pine and floral on the nose.

Fairly simple in the mouth, a bit hoppy but not as much as the nose would indicate. A touch more sweet than I like my "bitter".

Medium finish.

I had high expectations as this was new to the Vancouver market and there had been quite a bit of buzz about it.

As mentioned above, it's a nice drink but not one I'd seek out. I'd like to try it on tap.


Photo of EatsTacos
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this beer many times in a bottle, but then had it last night on tap at Chaucey's in London. Its a bit better on tap

Pours a dark amber/brown and is reddish against the light. Good head and it laces the glass as you drink it

Aroma is fruity, citrusy hops dominate

Flavour is very malty with good hop bitterness in the end. Burnt aftertaste. Hoppy, nutty, definately not a bland ale, there's a lot going on

Mouthfeel is very good, not too creamy, and not very watery. Good amount of carbonation on tap, I think the bottle version has a little too much

Drinkability I suppose depends on my mood. I don't think I'd turn down this beer on tap very often tho

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass the liquid is dark copper with ok carbonation. The head is ok 1 fat thumb, off white and little lace.

The smell is malty, mixed fruit and bread.

The taste is ok, fruits and light bread, some tart peach, light old coffee, and stale biscuit in the finish.

The mouthfeel is thin and the carbonation is ok.

The drinkability is just above BMC from my bottle , not a great pick but ok, I can see how a freash draft version of this brew could work better. I would seek it out if I ever get back to Canada. Prosit


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

Pours a very nice deep copper/red with a nice head that lasts.

Smells very hoppy, floral, burnt almost piney, very nice.

I absolutely love the taste, very hoppy, very complex, burnt aftertaste, caramel maybe some vanilla?

This is for sure Mill Streets best beer, on-tap it's even better, just delicious.


This beer is not as good as I remember it, not as hoppy or something...still has some nice body, but somethings changed...

Photo of SkinnyElvis
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to biegaman for this brew in a trade. Pours dark amber with a one cm head. Smells faintly of hops. Taste is a nice mix of malt and hops; very balanced. Mouthfeel is very smooth & this would be a nice session beer. Glad to have tried it.


Photo of thickerfreakness
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to viggo for this local extra. Taken from notes.

Pours dark amber with 1 inch off white head and leaves decent lacing. Smells of muddy, caramel malts and earthy hops. Taste is a nice balance of caramel maltiness and earthy hoppiness. They really blend well. Mouthfeel is average and drinkability is pretty good.

Photo of DefenCorps
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle received as extra in trade with Viggo. Thanks, Eric!

A: Deep copper with a 1-finger thick light tan head.

S: Mild pine hop presence with a definite pineapple component. Hint of sweet caramel.

T: Mildly hoppy with a combination of pine and earthy spiciness. Mild caramel presence with a toasted biscuit component

M: Medium finish, well carbonated

D: Goes down easy but not sure how many i'd drink.

Photo of seaoflament
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to grub for sending me this beer, glad I saved it for a warm day!

The bottle describes the color as a "fiery pale ale, copper-red" and that's a very good description. A good inch of foam sits on the top of the beer for a few moments.

Aroma is of toasted bread, spicy hops, and a few notes of sweet fruits, both tropical and dark ones (nectarine, raisins, and cherries). Caramel malts hide behind the toast and some bread dough in the finish.

The flavors seem well balanced, didn't get a single note that jumped out at me on the first sip, but the toast is noticeable. More toast and some bread crumbs on the second sip, this time with a slightly spicy finish. Not very flavorful but still very good.

The mouth-feel is great, very smooth with a soft carbonation and a clean finish. Easy to drink and a very refreshing beer that would make it great to session.

Mill Street Tankhouse Ale from Mill Street Brew Pub
84 out of 100 based on 364 ratings.