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Lead Dog Olde English Ale - Yukon Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Lead Dog Olde English AleLead Dog Olde English Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

31 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 31
Hads: 57
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 7.69%
Wants: 13
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Yukon Brewing Company visit their website
Yukon, Canada

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Phyl21ca on 07-12-2004

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 31 | Hads: 57
Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Roasty aroma, pours blackish with some white head and lace drops in glass following drinking up. Mollasses, licorice and some coffee grounds so characteristics of a porter, a brown, an old ale. Above average carbonation which works.Understated bitterness and maltiness. Drying aftertaste. Very decent English strong and reasonable 7% ABV.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear dark copper beer with a huge head with good retention. Aroma is quite malty with some noticeable roastiness. Taste is very interesting with some notes of roastiness coming in at first and ending with a balanced bitterness. No too complex beer overall, but a good example of the style.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341ml bottle. I recall this being my favorite of Yukon's products, back in those heady days before my current beer-tasting proclivity.

This beer pours a clear, rather dark reddish brown colour, with a finger or so of loosely foamy, kind of bubbly off-white head, which leaves some nice, mostly random, streaky parachute lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of lightly roasted caramel/toffee malt, a soft, crisp biscuit character, my mom's zucchini bread (earthy spices, bread, and brown sugar), and a bit of earthy, leafy hops. The taste is mildly roasted, somewhat bready caramel malt, a prominent oily nuttiness, some subtle alcohol edginess, and subdued leafy, weedy hops.

The carbonation is moderate, just a tad fizzy, the body a near full weight, and fairly smooth. It finishes just on the sweet side, the tinted caramel malt doing well in its old age.

A very tasty strong English ale, the booze more than sufficiently integrated, with a well rounded otherness. Still my favorite beer from the real north of our Great White North.

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Photo of liamt07
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from wordemuog, 12oz into a tulip.

Dark brien, mahogany hues when held to the light. Tab head, with moderate retention and lacing. Nose has some sweetish, bready malts, a bit of chocolate, molasses. Taste has some roast, toasty bread, some sweet and complex malt character. Dry finish. Medium feel, thats lighter at times. Medium low carbonation, no alcohol. Quite easy to put back, I'd have several of these.

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Photo of biegaman
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lead Dog Ale isn't quite as dark as a January night in the Yukon, but it takes staring at it straight into the light to find that it is, in fact, clear and that it does indeed have some colour beyond its blackish exterior. The pecan-brown blush is very attractive and emits a surprising amount of glossy highlighting for a beer so dark-hued. A good head forms but eventually collapses like a tent, its main post removed.

The bouquet has that super enticing blend of roasted nuts, chocolate, dried fruits and coffee that makes keeping your nose out of the glass for more than a few seconds at a time a very difficult task. Not overly sweet, not overly roasty - it is an unusually successful balance between dark porter-like elements (i.e., fudge, espresso) and somewhat lighter brown malt notes (i.e., toffee, molasses).

This "Olde English Ale" is indeed fashioned in a similar vein to many of Britain's celebrated strong ales (think Fullers Vintage or J.W. Lees). It nowhere near rivals these markedly complex and celebrated ales, mind you, but rather drinks like a simplified, made-to-order version of them. This is not to diminish its flavour, which is substantial in its own right, offering notes of pecan, molasses, golden raisin, roasted grain, cocoa and coffee.

Despite the abundance of malt flavour, the climbing alcohol content and the general makeup of a porter, the brewery's quite right about this beer's consumption not leading to an "overly full gullet". Of course, it's hard for me to fully put that claim to the test with only one bottle in my possession, but considering how quickly it's disappeared, I'd call it a fairly safe bet. If anything, it may be a wee thin for its flavour profile.

Lead Dog Ale has got to make the cold, dark, long Yukon winter more bearable. Or at least act as some token of consolation - you won't find it many places elsewhere. So while they might not have much sun, at least the people of the Yukon can rest easy knowing they have plenty of good beer at their disposal, Yukon Brewing makes darn sure of that. (Now if only they'd start looking after other people by distributing further south!)

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Chuckanut pint glass. Pours a dark, lightly hazy mahogany brown with a thin light khaki head that dissipates to patches with slight lacing. Aroma of roasty and bready malt, light molasses, nuts, hints of toffee; classic old ale aroma. Flavor is lightly toasted malt with a bit of char, coffee, nuts and light, subtle caramel. Medium bodied. A nice take on the old ale style (no obvious spicing, so I think this is more an old ale, as the name suggests, than a winter warmer). Mellow a smooth, a nice domestic take on the style and a good surprise from this far north brewery.

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Photo of Derek
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Amber brown, light tan head, some retention & lacing.

S: Spiced-up Christmas/fruit cake that's covered in alcohol; caramel; burnt toffee.

T: Fruit cake, spice, burnt caramel, roasted nut & orange rind. Balanced bitterness; alcohol is subtle.

M: Body is slightly heavier than moderate; smooth.

D: A nice winter warmer.

Thanks Bobsy!

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Photo of wordemupg
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

341ml bottle poured into 400ml dab glass on sept26 2009

A clear brownish copper with a thumb width of head that has only fair retention but even the final film left some lace

S some spice, burnt sugar and a tiny bit of booze

T the booze is a little more pronounced and it has some nice nutty flavor and toffee/caramel balance it out quite well.

M low carbonation and its leaning to the heavy side

D this one is perfect for this chilly fall night, overall several small things came together too make this one work

I'm stoked on this beer, this is one of the most underrated ales in western Canada. I like the stout and red ale from Yukon, but this one may be their best

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Photo of tbeckett
3.31/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle at Luxalune in Winnipeg. From notes.

A - Deep red pour. Bright with very mild carbonation. One finger of beige head left a little lace and a half finger of retention.

S - Caramelly, toasty malt.

T - Some smoke, caramelly, dark malts, dark fruit. Caramel there too. Sweet but seemingly mild.

M - Good carbonation, medium body, but close to light feeling, clean and sweet to finish.

O/D - Not overly interesting. Decent enough flavour, but just tame and sort of weak. Had higher expectations. Not bad, just not memorable by any means. An OK beer.

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Photo of papat444
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to wordemupg for this one.

Poured from a 341ml. bottle.

Appearance: A very dark body with blood red tints and a very light brown, thick head.

Smell: Wisps of roasted coffee, sweet caramel candy, nuts (skin and all) and images of a wood stove. Comforting.

Taste: Unsweetened chocolate, faint coffee, dark dried fruits, raw nuttiness, toasted oats and a bit of candy sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Creamy & rich with a tinge of robustness that could have cranked it up a notch. Nice light bittering in the middle through the finish.

Overall: A nice winter warmer that felt real good to taste.

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Photo of andrenaline
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a darek ruby red with a finger of beige head, decent retention and some sporadic llacing.

S - Roasted nuttiness off the top, some burnt sugars and caramel follow and finishes with a touch of leafy green hops.

T - Quite tasty, with the roasted characteristics coming through nicely alongside some dark espresso and burnt caramel. Touch of ABV sweetness is detectable and a bit of heat lingers on the palette with some faint leafy hops lingering.

M - Medium bodied ale, goes down surprisingly smooth and finishes with a bit of heat and dryness.

O - Easily one of the most flavourful offerings I've had from Yukon Brewing and no surprise that it is so well received. Full flavoured strong ale that is highly recommended. ABV is decently hidden, but is certainly not offensive.

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Photo of hopdog
3.18/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle shared courtesy of Josh (thanks!).

Poured a deeper orangish color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of caramel, roasty, nuts, and some cardboard. Tastes of toasted caramel, nuts, citrus, and lighter cardboard.

Notes from: 10/26/07.

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Photo of bobsy
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wonderful bottle with a picture of a husky on it. Almost like the Canadian North personified.

The pour produces a mahogany couloured body and a decent off-white head. There's good retention and some nice lacing. Malty, english strong ale aroma, with some raisin, dark fruity malts and treacle. Very nice, full, malty body. Lots of toffee and caramel at the fore, with alcohol soaked dark fruits, and some great roasty characteristics. There's also a slight hint off wood (not oak though) and a good level of bitterness. Its quite a rich and textured palate, which I really appreciate. Creamy, full-bodied mouthfeel with restrained carbonation.

This is a very solid beer - great flavours and a nice body. Yet another winner from Yukon, who also do an awesome red if anyone feels like tracking it down.

Thanks to BigBry for sending this one East.

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Photo of BigBry
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

6 pack of standard brown bottles, picture of a nice looking husky on the label.
Pour a deep, dark brown, with a foamy tan colored head that thins down to a floating cap of foam. Minimal lacing. NIce aroma of dark malt and dark fruits. Also some smell of brown sugar. Complex flavor, with roasted malt, prunes, and some sweet caramel. Just a slight touch of alcohol warmth. The flavor comes out even more as it starts to warm up a bit. Solid mouthfeel, creamy and full bodied. A great beer to enjoy during the cold weather.

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Photo of IronDjinn
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a pleasant surprise to find in regular distribution. Yukon Brewing makes mighty fine beers, it's always good to see more from them.

Came in a 6 pack, down to my last bottle.Pours out a deep, dark brown, almost opaque except for a deep mahogany nimbus around the bottom of the glass when held up to direct light. Spongy tan head that settles to a thin creamy cap.

Rich aroma of chewy dark malts, dark dried fruits, and a hint of blackstrap molasses, along with licorice.

The flavour is also rich, with roasted malt, molasses, figs and some licorice root. This is something of a malt bomb. Faint smoky traces long into the aftertaste, this one really lingers.

Full and creamy mouthfeel, it's a pleasure to roll over the tongue.

An absolute delight to drink, much credit to Yukon Brewing for finally making this one more accessible, it'll be a mainstay in my fridge for sure, at least through the cold weather.

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Photo of leaddog
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours with a thick white head. Dark black in colour and opaque.

Smell- Hints of roasted coffee, toffee/caramel and plum.

Taste- Moderate flavours of the roasted coffee, toffee/caramel and plum comes through in the taste. Slightly bitter at the end but doesn't take away from the flavours.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with good amount of bubbles. ABV is well hidden in this ale and it very drinkable for the style of beer.

Overall- A nice olde english ale from Yukon Brewing. One of my favourites next to the Espresso Stout. This ale is great to have to warm up on a cold winter day.

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Photo of ritzkiss
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle sent from wordemupg in CanCon BIF - thanks man!

Pours a dark russet, earthy brown with hints of auburn in the light, a nice finger of head off the pour which dies down to a thin collar that manages to leave some lacing down the glass.

Nose is dominated by toffee malt, earthy metallic notes, bread, and light spicing.

Toffee and caramel malt, day old coffee, earth (almost loam like), hints of cocoa powder, bread. Extremely dry and biting, sucks the moisture out of your mouth! Hint of the alcohol in the back but just barely, warming in the stomach hits you about half way through. Tingly carbonation, any less and this might stick in your mouth. Light sweetness runs through it but pales in light of the hop, malt roast drying that runs rampant along your tongue and cheeks. Lightish body, going for drinkable I believe though at 7% that could be difficult.

A really interesting beer. It would go well with food though I wouldn't call it sessionable. Well made, tasty beer.

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Photo of elricorico
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one looks almost like a porter, very dark brown, opaque except for the edges. My pour generated more than two fingers of creamy tan head, and a couple of minutes later, there is still more than a centimetre on top and lacing where it has receded.

The smell is toasty and malty. Like caramel spread over toasted bread. Somewhat straightforward, but nice.

I find the taste fairly stout-like in its roasted character. Plenty of caramel to the malt profile, mild bitterness to the finish. Alcohol is faintly apparent in the warmth of the finish. Tasty.

This beer has a distinct creaminess to it, it is very pleasant to the tongue. Carbonation is lighter than average, which works for this beer quite well.

A nice winter brew, malty and warming, but not without its balance. Well worth trying.

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Photo of Shadman
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark as an arctic night ale would be an alteranate name for this brew. Dark brownish-red with a fizzy off-white head and decent lacing.

Complex blend of dried fruit, dates, rum raisen & of course a bit of good ol' booze( it is 7% abv after all)

I'm sure if you asked a high brow craft brew drinker from a big city if it was possible for a beer from the Yukon ( think sled dogs and brothels) could be this well crafted...Rich, well balanced tastes that include dried dates, mild coffee, rum raisin. Alcohol barely warms inially. Finishes very much like a fine English Pale ale with a withering dryness. It's only after about 5 minutes that you realize the alcohol has bitten your tongue.

Almost chewy and full in body. Very smooth given the ABV.

My new winter ale to be sipped and savored ever time I have the fireplace going.

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Photo of Noxious26
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

341 ml bottle poured in a pint glass. Thanx BigBry!

Dark brown, almost black and hazy. Nearly opaque. Thin ring of light brown head.

Aroma is sweet malt and dried fruit (prunes and figs) with some bread like notes. Christmas loaf. Alcohol in the background.

Strong roasted malt with dried fruit highlights. The alcohol makes itseld noticed but doesn't overpower. Fairly steady throughout.

Medium-full bodied and mildly carbonated.

A nice strong ale. The scent does more for me than anything else. Well suited for a cold winter night.

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Photo of Bunman3
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really love the smoky subtleness of this beer. It really replicates that "English Pub" feel - lingering foamy head, delicious smell, roasted/smoky malt with minimal carbonation. This is a wonderful, balanced winter warmer that sticks to tradition. Lead on, lead dog, lead on.

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Photo of demcorhip
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to the fine trader markaberrant for sending this my way. Pours quite dark, a brown that is almost black, with garnet hues around the edges. Nice tight two finger tan head formed on a pretty gentle pour. Excellent head retention, and is already leaving sticky lacings as the head slowly recedes, and continues to do so as I work on emptying my glass.

Toffee, a touch of treacle and a hint of anise greets the nose. Slightly floral but a moreso earthy hop touch also presents itself.

Pretty good stuff here. A mild nuttiness is smothered in toffee and notes of treacle. Hints of smoke and anise also present. Metallic twang appears near the finish and gives way to earthy flavours of moist black earth and decaying vegetation. The metalllic flavours are easy to get accustomed to.

Medium in body, nicely attentuated, and hides its 7% abv well. Rich malts harmonize nicely with the hops. Mildly roasty and mildly astringent, making it very easy to go back for more.

For what this is this is a very drinkable ale, and is as sessionable as most if not any other 7% beers. The metallic notes almost detracted from this fine ale, but after a couple more sips the palate quickly adjusted. A nice and almost roasty strong ale, hopped according to the english tradition. Very well made, glad i got to try this one, and would certainly enjoy having this one again.

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Photo of markaberrant
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - almost black, the slightest bit of red flashes in the bottom of the glass when held to a light. Creamy tan head on top, sheets of lacing down the glass.

S - caramel, fruity, a bit of toffee, not overly powerful, but pleasing

T - more roasted flavour than I was expecting, but very nice. Burnt toffee with a bit of sweetness, some earthy hop. Aftertaste is dry and roasty, but balanced with enough sweetness. Tastewise, this could almost pass for a stout.

M - full creamy mouth, some dry astringency from the roasted malt in the finish. Low carbonation as it should be.

D - It's a treat to come across this style, especially when it is well done. I'm quite enjoying this, and looking forward to the next one. Still, I think it should be a touch more balanced towards caramel than roast flavours, but it's a minor quibble.

A fantastic brew, it definitely met my expectations. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Cwrw
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am behind the times in Calgary, but finally I stopped over at Willow Park and found this beauty, one which I have been wanting to try for a very long time. And folks, this does NOT disappoint. As I have come to expect from those folks in the Yukon, this is another classic beer with all the characteristics of its style, done with finesse, balance, and taste. Comes in a six-pack with the dog art on the front...low key. Popping the cap and in pours a hazelnut liquid with excellent head retention and a low carbonation. The smell is filled to the brim with enough malt to satisfy the sweet in me, and the hops keep it all in balance. I was very impressed with the aroma, but the taste absolutely blew me away with butterscotch, brown sugar, plums and dried dates, with just enough latent grass-hopping to keep it from being cloying. Plenty of coffee/mocha flavours here too...nicely roasted malts indeed. A little akin to their Midnight Sun in character. The similarity to a porter is apt too, because this has a whole cornucopia of salty, meaty tastes as well. Nice mouthfeel with a syrupy but decently enough carbonated feel.

Now I had this throughout the night with a bunch of other new beers, among them a bunch of other strong ales and Belgians and Double Ales, but by far this was the most balanced, flavourful and go-back-to beers of the night. Phenomenal. Yukon Brewing has never let me down. A treat.

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Photo of MMansfield
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle sent to me by BigBry. Thanks a lot for this surprise. I've been looking forward most to this one.

Appearance: Pours a lovely deep brown clour with a nice tight tanned head. Loads of lacing up the sides of the glass. Great retention.

Aroma: Roasted malt. Earthy tones, rich soil, coffee, molasses. Fruit aroma of prunes and dates. Sweet caramel also in there. Smell beautiful, like a cross between English and Belgian ales.

Taste: More of those deep deep earthy hints in the flavour. Rich roasted coffee, molasses. Also a bit of dark rippened fruit. Very sweet and fruity, but a good hop bitterness to balance it out.

Mouthfeel: Soft, and sharp as well. Carbonation level meets the style. Not a session beer, but has a good drinkability for a strong ale.

Final Statement: What a wonderful surprise from Whitehorse! This is one of the better Canadian brews I've tasted. It's a unique and very solid contribution, I just wish I could get it here in Halifax. I'd love to try the rest of their beers.

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Lead Dog Olde English Ale from Yukon Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.