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Muskoka Harvest Ale - Muskoka Brewery

Not Rated.
Muskoka Harvest AleMuskoka Harvest Ale

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BA SCORE
88
very good

133 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 133
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 10.94%
Wants: 3
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Muskoka Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
Muskoka Harvest Ale was our brewery’s pioneering venture into our limited run series of beers. Now in its fourth year, our Harvest Ale marks the end of the growing season and the process of gathering mature crops from the fields.

Dry hopped and brewed using a selection of premium local ingredients, this ale has a rich malt backbone and a subtle grassy character reminiscent of the freshly cut harvest. It’s our way of celebrating another prosperous growing season. And we’re proud to share it with you.

(Beer added by: Viggo on 10-14-2009)
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Ratings: 133 | Reviews: 61 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of smlanglo
2.25/5  rDev -42.7%

Photo of ygtbsm94
2.5/5  rDev -36.4%

Photo of dipso123
2.75/5  rDev -30%

Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -23.7%

Photo of Viggo
3.13/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale ale made with 100% Ontario ingredients, cool!

Pours a clear light amber, some golden highlights, thin white head forms, quickly settles down to a thin ring around the glass, few lace spots stick as it settles to a thin ring.

Smell is alright, very sweet, sugary, some floral hops, light citrus, a bit of maltiness, but mostly overpoweringly sweet.

Taste is similar, very sweet, light citrus and floral, but not a whole lot going on, light malts in the background, not a whole lot of bitterness, lightly grassy.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. Not very good I don't think, way too sweet, and not much character besides that.

Photo of StarshipPoopers
3.2/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750mL swingtop. The bottle is pretty quality, it's nice that they include a good way to reseal the bottle if you don't want it all at once.

A - Nice appearance. A rich, dark amber with about a finger of white head. The retention is pretty minimal, the head quickly fades into a patch of film in the centre and a ring. It started out with great lacing but that too didn't last long. The appearance is definitely the best attribute of the beer.

S - It's hard to get a smell off of this. There are sweet malts that show through rather muted floral hops. I'm not sure where people are getting all of the individual flavours from, it smells pretty uniform.

T - Average. If one were to only drink Ontario beer then this would be considered good, but given the wide range of options available I can't help but be less than impressed. There is a hop aspect to the taste, but it is subdued and is by no means overpowering. The hops provide a subtle edge that follows through into the aftertaste as a slight bitterness in the throat. However The malts are present, as well as some subdued spices. Again, hard to put a finger on what they are exactly. Very light citrus and some grassy tones.

M - Average. Nothing special, nothing bad. Pretty light on the tongue, carbonation seems pretty average.

D - The lack of any real pull toward either the malts or the hops means that it is easy on the palate and the relative smoothness and mediumish carbonation makes it go down easy. However the lack of any real discernible taste reduces the drinkability.

Not a bad beer, but nothing really noteworthy. It is nice that it's an all-Ontario beer though, and I would say that it's worth trying once. But not something I really see myself going back to. One glass was enough, and I still have half of the bottle.

Photo of StephenRich
3.23/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The Muskoka Cottage Brewery, located in Bracebridge Ontario (pure cottage country) has a slogan that states "The taste of cottage country". Not only is that their motto, but it is also the idea behind their newest seasonal beer, the Harvest Ale. This could actually be the first of its kind from Ontario; all the malts and hops used in this brew were grown here in Ontario. I love the idea. This is the second year that Muskoka has released the Harvest, and this version comes in a very handsome 750ml swing cap bottle.

It is now floating through LCBO locations and will be available while supplies last at select pubs and restaurants. Muskoka has designed a richly hoppy and bitter pale ale at 6.4%. Right now it is probably the biggest, and most bitter pale ale offering available from Ontario in LCBO locations. It offers up different flavors than that of the typical American Style Pale ale, which I expect Muskoka would like to say is uniquely Canadian. I'm not sure what Ontario's hop farms are like, but I do hope that this inspired more brewers to create seasonal beers sourced locally - everyone benefits.

As mentioned, when you pull the Harvest out of your fridge you will have a 750ml bottle ready to enjoy with friends. This is actually what I would like to see most of all out of the Ontario Brewers - more unique packaging! The 750ml bottles are beautiful, and it really brings your beer up to a new level of aesthetic design and perception. Don't get me wrong, its what inside that counts, but packaging can help those who previously didn't look to craft beer to give it a shot.

I opened the Harvest cool around 8C (45F) and poured it slowly into a snifter. The pour was very smooth, falling out of the bottle with a heavy oily texture. It build up richly in the bottom of the glass showing creamy and silky lines and a gentle rumbling of dense foam. What I created was an glowing amber red beer with huge rays of bronze and sunshine beaming though it. It was transparent with a golden brown shimmer at every glance. The condensation on the outside of the glass fogged my view, but every wipe away revealed rich colors in depth and maturity. A creamy, and long-standing 2 inch head built up on the beer with a off-white, cream color fading to very light khaki. It peaked just above the glass with a dense cap and great retention. Ok, very well done so far Muskoka. This beer was a sight for sore eyes.

Those nose is richly bitter with a pungent mix of bitter and floral hops, light brisk notes of citrus, and a fresh earthy field like aroma. Waves of dark malts bring brown sugar and marmalade in and show reasonable depth, but lack complexity. Overall the nose is dry and bitter, slightly one sided, but seemingly very crisp and refreshing.

My first sip was mostly head, which had a great deal of rich flavors in it mimicking the nose. The next brought a lushly silky wave of beer with it and also a robustly bitter wave of hops. This showed a big and rich bitter sensation, but a relatively narrow flavor. It was potent and full, but only has subtle notes of citrus, soft floral flavors, and a round earthy bite.

Malts come in right down the center and briefly show pale malt sweetness, but quickly made into a more caramelized feeling. Lightly burnt brown sugar and biscuits round off my tongue and full my cheeks in a robust flushing of browned malts. This again was a bit more one sided than I would have liked to see. The balance between hop bitterness and malt sweetness was there, but I didn't love the hop flavors, not was I enamored by the malt.

The finish is crisp and very quenching bringing out the power of the hops in a dry, longstanding breath. Overall the beer is clean and slightly warming, with great construction and a unique take on a Canadian Pale Ale. It brings bitterness that we haven't seen before, but it is too one sided for me. I would have enjoyed more hop flavor compared to the hop bitterness, and a bigger range of malt sensation to bring juicy richness to my palate. Nonetheless, a great 2nd edition, and I will be excited to see what happens next year.

Pics at: http://wp.me/pNKWo-1gh

Photo of Tarks
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of JonnyBeers
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of SVD
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of zweird
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of tom10101
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of DaveBar
3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Purchased at the LCBO for $7.10 for a 750ml bottle. Served at 8deg C in a water glass.

A- Opened well. 3" of head then to a film. Nice dark golden brown color.

S- Very good. Peat and moss. Yeast. Caramel.

T- Bit of a let down. Not that good. Not impressed.

O- Ok but not great

Food Pairing

This ok ale matched with potato salad and hot sausage and rice with egg stir fry

Enjoy!

Photo of mdfb79
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 01/07/12 notes. Thanks to whoever shared this one at the last DC RB tasting. Poured into a tulip.

a - Pours a medium amber color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of wheat, grain, floral notes, light citrus notes. Not bad but a tiny bit bland.

t - Tastes of wheat, brains, bready malts, sweet fruity malts, nuts, and toasted malts.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall a pretty nice pale ale. Nose was a bit bland but the taste was much better. Worth checking out once.

Photo of bobsy
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had a pint of this at Volo, and while it looks like I enjoyed it more than viggo, I'd still say that its nothing special. Actually, I take that back - the flavour is nothing special, but the fact that its 100% local is. Here's their blurb: "To celebrate the harvest, our brewers have created this fine autumn ale from 100% Ontario grown barley and hops. Our first supply of Muskoka Harvest Ale is very limited and will only be available in draught to a select group of licensees."

Pours a light copper with a small white head, which dies to a film and only leaves a few spots of lace on the glass, which don't have good staying power either. I like the aroma, which has a nice floral hop bite to it, mixing in with orange peel and sweet malts. The flavour consists of a sweet malts background with gently bitter floral, citrus, and tea notes laid overtop. Its quite gentle and balanced, and reminds me of the bitters we get back in the UK. Mouthfeel is at a par for the style - medium-light weight with a moderate carbonation.

Overall, an okay beer, but not one I'd return too. Huge kudos to Muskoka for trying a 100% Ontario beer, though! This is a step in the right direction!

Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of yabud
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of Lunardr0ne
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured in to pint glass.

A - light amber colour, slightly transluscent, one finger of thick, bubbly white head.

S - A mix of crisp earthy bitter hops and some grainy malts that have a slight sweetness.

T - A standard pale ale palate. Some partly sweet cereal grain and buscuity malts and a nice crisp hop bitterness that is present throughout and lingers in the finish. Not much flavour comes through from the hops.

M/D - Light body, average carbonation. A solid EPA.

Photo of liamt07
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml swing-top into a couple of pint glasses, split with my girlfriend's father after Thanksgiving dinner this past weekend. BBD is stickered overtop the swingtop, reading January 31, 2011.

Poured a clear golden red, with a fluffy and billowing two fingers of offwhite/cream coloured head. Sticky lace and solid, creamy retention. Nose is of grassy and floral hops, sweet toffee and citrus (orange and mango). Taste is a dry and bitter hop attack, less citrus here with more bitterness. More of the aroma in the grassiness, and finishes a touch metallic. Toffee/sweet malt is somewhat evident as well. Mouthfeel is somewhat sticky, with a medium-light body and a touch watery; medium-high carbonation. Good drinkability, ABV is disguised.

Photo of tbeckett
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes.

A - Poured amber with strong carbonation and a one finger beige head. Bright. No lace and a film of retention.

S - Light oranges, earth, some toffee.

T - Earthy, fresh bread, caramel, toffee, and dark fruit. Seems like a hoppier version of an EPA.

M - Good carbonation, mild to full body, and a sweetish kinda finish.

O/D - Not bad. I guess it seems - like a few other people have pointed out - like a hopped up ESB or something of the sort. For $9 I won't be buying it again, but worth a shot once.

Photo of pnkHoody
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Fresh off a flight to Sudbury I headed for my favourite (read: the only) place to get a good beer in town: the Laughing Buddha. It's got a weird patio, the paving stones are on a ludicrous 30 degree slope and my table is threatening to fall over. I have sat my 750ml ("standard bottle" they call this size) of Muskoka Harvest on the heater (off) next to me, as it is the only stable structure in this place.

The beer pours a pretty rich orange gold with a dense, almost luminous yellow head that quickly settled to a half inch of scum. It smells somewhere between an IPA and a pilsner: decent amount of orange-rind hops but also a clean lageresque tang. The immediate taste is very promising, with a lot of rich yeasty bread. Orange juice is there too. Sweetness subsides to a baking-soda fresh bitterness. This doesn't linger, but it begs for another sip. Very drinkable and decent.

This beer was not on the menu. It's worth asking these guys for off-the-menu stuff as they make an effort to get a lot of things in. Great little beer oasis, this place, and dang fine pizza-pie to boot. I'd be surprised if I didn't sup another few of these before the week is out. Hell, I might have another tonight. Gotta find some comfort as a depressing two weeks away from my family stretches out in front of me.

Photo of peensteen
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber colour, one finger off white head, some lace left behind. Smell is sweet and biscuity, malty, floral hops, pine, slight subtle citrus, dry hops. Taste is of sweet malt, long bitterness, dry hop, caramel notes in the finish, pine/citrus aftertaste, light unpleasant metallic qualities. Medium-prickly carbonation, medium full body, lightly syrupy. Not bad but not as good as last year (at least thats how I remember it anyway)still decent but a bit of a let down.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'm a sucker for seasonal ales, so when I saw this one on tap I had to go for it. On tap at the University of Waterloo Grad House.

A - A terrific looking beer. Lingering, thick white head (about an inch) that leaves terrific lacing. Deep amber-red, a fine fall coloured draught. Good start!

S - Nothing to write home about. Hops and spices, perhaps a bit of nutmeg. Hard to detect.

T - For the first few sips the bitterness dominates, but after a third of the pint the sweetness takes over. Both hoppy and fruity, perhaps apple and a bit of current.

D - A decent ale, fairly drinkable as a session. However, as a previous poster mentioned, not particularly special. I'm not convinced there's much here to immediately identify it as a "harvest" ale, rather than simply a pale. Still, a fine offering from one of my favorite Ontario brewers.

Photo of EnemyWithin
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 4
Brown amber orange with half an inch of slightly brown yellow white head. Nice looking beer. Good lacing.

Smell: 4
Floral citrus hop aromas, with toffee brown sugar malt notes as well. Also a touch of grassy/grain. Citrus characteristics of the hops fades with time.

Taste: 3.5
Definitely a hops presence to the taste. Initially a slight grainy sweetness that opens up into a more noticeable presence of the hops. Mix of mildly piney, grassy, and caramel flavors. Finishes with the lingering bitterness at end. It smells more complex than it tastes.

Mouthfeel: 3.5
On the thin side, but not too drastic. Reasonable balance between sweetness of malt with astringency of hop. Mild to moderate carbonation, with a nice slight creaminess to it. Average if not above average.

Overall: 3.5
Very safe ale. Nothing overly aggressive or unique. There is a noticeable hops presence, but not a hop bomb by any means. Not a big beer, not a bold beer. A little hard to know what style exactly to compare/rate it against. I do find that is a bit underwhelming in what it offers in the taste profile. That being said, it’s not bad by any means; I think there’s a nice contrast of malt and hops and it’s a reasonable well constructed brew. Could benefit in being bolder in malt profile and alcohol content.

An accessible beer and good offering above and beyond a typical macro beer. Something a lot of people could like. Not a must have, but okay to try.

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Muskoka Harvest Ale from Muskoka Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 133 ratings.