Mill Street Distillery Ale - Mill Street Brew Pub

Not Rated.
Mill Street Distillery AleMill Street Distillery Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

42 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 42
Reviews: 15
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 10.92%
Wants: 0
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mill Street Brew Pub visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: CAMRAhardliner on 04-04-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 15
Reviews by TheHammer:
Photo of TheHammer
3.74/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I got this in a Mill St mix pack. One thing I will give Mill St. Credit for, they've finally started mixing up their mix packs. I mean it still has their staple Tankhouse and the Oraganic Lager, but this pack they finally got removed that boring stock ale from the pack.

Appearance: A dull, cloudy copper body boasting slow thin carbonation with a half finger of head the retained exceptionally well, but did not lace.

Smell: Abundant caramel malt behind a layer of dried herbs and nutty walnut notes with a hint of plumy yeast. Warming helped it's case out a bit more.

Taste: Starts with mild caramel malt that turns to a more fruity and nutty plum, apple and walnut taste which is then punctuated by spicy herbal hops. Great work here at keeping that hop end spicy enough to be interesting but reigned it well enough not to cloy.

Mouthfeel: Well the carbonation on this one is a little lax, but it makes up for it with exceptional transitioning and and spicy caramel aftertaste that it makes work. Points though do get deducted for the lacklustre head.

Drinkability: Medium bodied and it settles down well. The aftertaste doesn't seem to cloy making easy to drink for a while and while it's not lager smooth, it certainly has it's own charm. All in all I had no issues getting this down.

Final Thoughts: At the time of this review, this beer was classified as an English Brown Ale. If so this is the spiciest English Brown I've ever had. Upon reading the bottle and the Mill St website, this is classified as an old ale, which is what I reviewed it as. I would certainly recommend this one, as it's a pretty solid beer. It might not be a knock the ball out of the park, but it's still a beer I wouldn't turn down. Thumbs up.

More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
4.04/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml bottle, part of the current mixed pack available here out west, which to Mill Street's due credit, is a real mixer, with at least two newbies at every turn. Nice retro photo of T-dot's Distillery District, circa 1875.

This beer pours a slightly glassy medium bronzed amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, and broadly foamy off-white head, which leaves a few upward swaths of ebullient seaspray lace around the glass as things quite slowly abate.

It smells of biscuity, semi-sweet caramel malt, a pleasant generic nuttiness, mild fruity yeast, and leafy, herbal hops. The taste is rather sharply biscuity, and grainy pale and caramel malt, more indistinct dry nuts, a subtle drupe fruitiness, and edgy grassy, herbal, and lightly spicy hops.

The bubbles are soft, and generally just playfully frothy, the body a decently innocuous medium weight, quite smooth, and even somewhat creamy amongst the mild biscuity zippiness. It finishes off-dry, the sweetness of the malt hard to dismiss yet, though it still lends itself well to balance with the lingering fruity hops via its sexy, yes - biscuity character.

While not really all that 'old' of an ale in disposition - neither musty, dank, or particularly boozy - this resonates more wholly as a proper ESB than many, many pretenders of the sort. Tasty, malty, and just hoppy enough to engender my desire for another, and since I'm not about to procure another mixed pack, I will instead quietly rue my lack of any immediate exposure to said entertainment district.

Photo of thehyperduck
3.72/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

355 mL bottle courtesy of their winter sampler. According to the label, this beer is brewed in the style of an old ale, and it is now listed at 5.8%. Not sure if they've just re-purposed a previously-used beer name or if they've tweaked an old recipe (this used to be an EBA), but I guess I'm about to find out. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours an amber-orange colour, somewhat hazy and topped with one finger's worth of frothy, off-white head. Retention isn't great; after a minute or two, most of the foam has wilted away, and the only remnants are a thin collar with some scant lacing. The aroma is fairly subtle and mild - boring, even. Toffee and caramelized sugar sweetness are strong contributors, in addition to some bready malts and leafy hop notes. A little barleywine-esque, except without those raunchy, boozy undertones I hate from that style.

Pleasant, balanced flavour profile, though I'm not terribly inclined to think of it as a brown ale. It leans heavily on the malt side of the equation, with plenty of toffee and toasted, bready malt goodness in addition to some orchard fruit. The hop bill is decidedly English in nature - not terribly surprising after noticing terms like 'Fuggles' and 'Goldings' on the label - with lots of leafy undertones gradually coalescing into an almost tea-like astringency toward the finish. A light, honey-like sweetness lingers briefly in the aftertaste, with some light bitterness continuing past this. Medium-bodied, with a slick, somewhat buttery mouthfeel and mild carbonation combining to make an exceptionally smooth-drinking ale.

Final Grade: 3.72, a relatively high B. I'd consider Mill Street's Distillery Ale one of the brewery's more worthwhile offerings - though whether it bears any resemblance to the 2007-08 brew by this same name is a question I am unable to answer. I am definitely getting a few old ale vibes from this beer (as well as a few barleywine ones), so while this is clearly an English-inspired ale, there's no way everyone is going to be satisfied with whichever category it gets crammed into. Semantics aside - this is nicely balanced, with a smooth mouthfeel that contributes to this one's high quaffability. I'd get it again, as it makes for a satisfying, reasonably sessionable tipple for the winter months.

Photo of Derek
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The brew pub has this posted as "175th Anniversary Brown Ale".

A: Amber-brown, off-white head, very little retention, light lace.

S: Spice, caramel & nut.

T: Spicy, nutty, burnt caramel, good bitterness for balance, grainy, hints of nutshell bitterness. It's decent, but it doesn't do a lot for me. It could use some fruity esters from a British yeast.

M: Moderate body, residual sugars leave a slight, syrupy sweetness, but the finish is dry.

D: Decent.

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Part of the Mill Street taster's pack from the LCBO. Bottle also reads 5.8% which is a little more significant than what is listed here. Served cold into a pint glass.

Appearance - Dark copper with reddish flashes in color. Generous finger of off-white head with tons effervescent bubbles spread throughout the glass. Decent retention time on the head and some sparse lacing left on the glass. Pretty tasty looking so far.

Smell - Mild hop bite and slight caramel notes were the first things I noticed here as well as the strong floral notes. Nothing overwhelming here or awe inspiring but not off smells and solid foundation for good beer.

Taste - Some spiciness which are assisted by the hops and some earthy undertones here as well. Slight bitter aftertaste. Quite refreshing and palate cleansing. Some heat and maybe a trace of ginger amplifies this heat even more. The caramel aromas translate here into some flavor but are lost a bit in this hoppy heat although they do work well together.

Mouthfeel - The heat and coolness of the beer simultaneously leaves a tingling effect on by tongue. Medium bodied, and squarely in the middle because it is neither thin nor heavy. in any way whatsoever. A little bit of booziness alluded to in the labelling comes through and assisted by the spiciness. Fairly high carbonation.

Overall - This is not really a English Brown Ale that I am used to since the spicy notes are fairly unique here and I haven't come across them in other Brown Ales. So it may be a touch misclassified. Even still in my mind one of Mill Street's better offerings as this is something I would drink frequently. However shares a fair amount in common with the Tankhouse Ale which i feel is even better so that may be why this hasn't been frequently available. Anyway one of the better beers in the taster's pack.

Photo of crwills
3.21/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"175th Anniversary Ale" from the brewpub - I gather that and the Distillery Ale are the same. Not horrible, but my least favourite of the night. Bit watery and lacking in flavour. Some biscuit and tobacco notes. Improves as it warms. Mild, dry aftertaste. Nice looking beer, though - very dark, semi-clear, with a solid long-lasting white head.

Photo of Viggo
3.18/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Billed as the 175th Anniversary Ale, served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear brown/orange, thin white head, leaves some decent lace on the glass, settles to a thin ring. Smell is sweet, some caramel, oats, nuts, light roast, pretty weak. Taste is malty, light fruits, oats, grainy, sweet finish, some nuts. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation, pretty weak flavour but goes down easy.

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a new beer brewed to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Distillery District in Toronto, where the brewpub is located. I had a taste and decided to pick up a growler.

This beer is dark copper, maybe darker than Tankhouse ale, I was even thinking of classifying it as a Brown Ale. The tan head is tightly packed and relatively short lived. Lots of lace patterns stick to the glass. The aroma is of husky roast malts, chocolate and some hop herbalism. The taste is reminiscent of Tankhouse ale, just more malty and less hoppy. There seems to be a more earthy feel than a citrusy feel to the hops. Dark chocolate and coffee flavors show as the beer warms. The mouthfeel is light with high carbonation for a growler. The finish is nicely bitter and malty, with almost a peaty feel.

A decent beer, maybe a variant of Tankhouse Ale? I like the Tankhouse ale more though, this lacks the citrus hops.

Photo of canucklehead
3.79/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Starting to really love the Mill St mixed 6 at it always gives 3 interesting beers not readily available. The Distillery Ale is great , an old ale ( low by usual ABV for the style) that drinks like a big ESB. You can taste the fuggles hops and the mouthfeel is nice and thick. Could drink a lot of these and sadly with these mixed packs this beer is usually not to be seen again.

Photo of biegaman
3.77/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Distillery Ale is a dead ringer for cognac - pour it into a snifter and no one will bat an eyelash. Its deep colour has tones of caramel and honey and showcases perfect clarity (as much as its darker complexion will allow). It looks good but the total lack of head is a disappointment.

The aroma has an enticing malty sweetness; it pulls the nose to the glass with the power of an industrial-strength magnet. It has gooey notes of caramel and a hint of Christmas fruitcake. An inkling of gingerbread spice and black tea too. It's layered without being over-the-top.

There's nothing that says Old Ales must be high in alcohol - this one is only 5.8% - but every example of the style must have enough maltiness to suit a warm fire and a cozy armchair. It must be sufficiently rich to emulate toasted nuts, dried fruits and toffee cake. This one doesn't have enough of those flavours to induce salivation but they're all there in small quantities.

Though not officially a winter seasonal, Distillery Ale has all the potential for being the darling of Christmas parties everywhere; its rum cake and butterscotch sweetness, toasted nuttiness and dried fruit-like esters are perfect holiday qualities. It is also light-bodied enough to serve as a social sipper (and appeal to the broader, mainstream demographic).

An Old Ale is an appropriate style of beer to celebrate the re-opening of Toronto's historic Distillery District - too bad it took them another 6 years to brew it again. This is a nice little offering that warrants serious consideration for at least seasonal production (especially, I'd suggest, for the traditional Christmas market that takes place around the brewpub every year).

Photo of Eric_Standard
3.25/5  rDev -9%

Pretty good, nice bitterness and acidity, but the bitter notes linger a bit too long. Moderate carbonation, rich head.

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. A gentle orange-copper color with ample beige foam that settles down relatively quickly. Aroma evokes buttery oranges, toffee, carob, herbal licorice, and perhaps just the barest hint of must. Palate recalls pancakes and marmalade, perfumed oolong tea, cashew brittle, a touch of copper penny and leather. Thickish body but falls short of syrupy, slick and chewy with a pleasing tangy spice to provide a sweetness-thwarting foil. More fizzy than bona-fide English examples but still moderate in this regard. Finishes quite sweet and juicy but with a notable English hop earthy bitterness as well. Perhaps my favorite Mill St. rotational offering but is it really an old ale? Not exactly a Fuller's Vintage or similar brew with regard to cellar must character and rich malty complexity, but in the ballpark nonetheless, with sweet cake malts and a decent dose of fruity, earthy hop flavors. A latter-day "stock ale" perhaps.

Photo of bobsy
4.43/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A growler from the brewpub, shared with the inlaws. Sweet, bready aroma. Nice deep red body, with a frothy tan head. The flavour was oddly stout-like, with hints of coffee and roasted malts. Medium bodied and smooth, with decent carbonation. This is definitely one of Mill Street’s better brews.

Photo of TerryW
3.49/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Looks pretty good. Clear, the colour of dark tea. Pours a moderate head that manages to live on as a heavy cap, some little lace.

Actually smells pretty good, a nice mix of malt and fruity hops.

Sweet up front, but quickly becomes dry and then metallic in character. A malty brew, just a little too much metal for my taste. Passable, but not memorable.

Photo of mick303
3.38/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a tulip glass , coppery brown colour, very hazy hazy, decent initial head and retention, lacing is alright but nothing outstanding.

S - notes of lemon, leather cleaner, caramelly nuts, light florals that are quite intense (hence the cleaner character). Grain character is strong with almondy, coffee, nutty caramel notes. Light with a bit offbalance amount of strong citrusys sulfur notes.

T - sweet caramel malts then the english hops come to give an earthy leafy notes. Lots of creamy bready malts, nutty, hazelnut, brown sugar, with a hint of light booze. Just a bit weak all around, overall its a bit light, mostly caramel maltiness but without much depth, some mild hopiness. It does improve with some warmth though so give it time.

M - full creamy malt, smooth bitterness with a touch of earthy bitterness, not enough to really satisfy but there is a smooth carbonation to complement the solidly malt body, finish is dry, lightly bitter and with a lingering dry caramel.

This didn't really deliver for me, I get the idea of a 'session' barleywine, but this was an underperformer. Came across as just a bit watery and weak, balance wasn't there at points. Overall it was drinkable and satisfying but the flavour was not as complex and interesting as I expected. Not one I would seek out again soon, but would have again, maybe on tap for comparison.

Mill Street Distillery Ale from Mill Street Brew Pub
82 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.