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Muskoka Harvest Ale - Muskoka Brewery

Not Rated.
Muskoka Harvest AleMuskoka Harvest Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

62 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 62
Hads: 140
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 7.93%
Wants: 5
Gots: 13 | 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:
Beer added by: Viggo on 10-14-2009

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.
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Reviews: 62 | Hads: 140
Photo of TheHammer
4.37/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: An almond brown with red notes that boasts quite a lot of sandy sediment in the body. An solid finger and a half of head that produced substantial lacing and moderate retention does a solid job of showcasing the beer.

Smell: There is a mixed bag of hops ranging from piney, earthy, flowery, citrusy and herbal (no grassy ones though) that stands atop a caramel malt backdrop with touches of orange peel, various spices and pumpkin in the far back. Warming tends to limit the spicier notes and bring out the hops more. Solid stuff here, only it might have just a bit too much hop presence.

Taste: Rich caramel malt that quickly bows to a fruitier orange, lemon, spice and floral notes with a touch of butternut squash oddly enough that then gives way to a mixed bag of floral, citrus hops that accent the dominate piney hop and resin taste. Good stuff, but a slight reign in on the hops I'd like to see.

Mouthfeel: The aftertaste is mixed, but the piney resin taste holds dominance which is a bit of a letdown. The transitioning is a little fast, but the carbonation helps out the entire beer and the aftertaste doesn't build upon itself which is a bonus.

Drinkability: On the heavier end of medium bodied, so I wouldn't want to put this back all night, but it walks the line between dry and refreshing very well. Easy to drink, with certainly enough the keep it interesting. Really the perfect fall drinker.

Final Thoughts: I may still lament the departure of the Muskoka Spring Oddity, but it's good to be reminded of why I still hold Muskoka as the best brewery in Ontario. This is an all around great beer that is perfect for a cool late fall fishing trip at the cottage. Two thumbs up on this one. (1,718 characters)

Photo of mick303
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml corked bottle that took quite a bit of work to decork. Excellent head retention and lacing over a burnished caramel colored ale.

A- earthy dry hop notes, caramel malt, some rustic malty sweetness, baking spice, some drier citrus notes. Robust and complex.

T- some rich malt notes, dextrinous and rich English malts, more dry lemon and grapefruit and also earthy spice. Hops really play a nice role with a thorough earthy character. Dry caramel, mango, drying hay and apple, full and rich fruity character that compliments the malt character. Smooth bitterness throughout growing toward the finish.

M- quite robust and also a well balanced harvest ale, quite an assertive hop bitterness over the malts, very drinkable with a warming satisfying character.

All around this is a highly satisfying and balanced treat. Rich earthy and ripe fruity hops compliment a well balanced caramel malt character that remains really tasty. Good complexity. (950 characters)

Photo of Franck
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Very malted at nose. Tofee ans treacle.
In mouth, it's sweet, round, dense. Sugars give their place to hops who give a great bitter taste with aromas of cantaloupe and grapefruit.
Long bitterness (196 characters)

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750 ml corked and caged bottle purchased frame the LCBO for just under $10. Served fairly cold into a pint glass.

Appearance - slightly hazy beer, amber and copper in color. A finger and a bit of head with a nice half finger of retention. Sparse lacing and a few visible bubbles.

Smell - a fine blended bouquet of flowers, some citrusy fruit, some caramel and butterscotch.

Taste - something akin to flower petals melded, with some bitter citrusy fruit, maybe a touch of grapefruit and passion fruit, with a hint of lemon, culminating in a fine slightly bitter finish. Balanced caramel malts throughout. A harvest like characteristic to the whole beer.

Mouthfeel - smooth slightly prickly mouthfeel, with a fair level of carbonation but seems soft and voluptuous in the mouth. Moderately juicy finish. Great feel.

Overall - a great beer that blurs the line between American pale ale and American India pale ale, as it has elements of both. Very delicious and a repeat purchase even given the hefty price tag. (1,013 characters)

Photo of DaveBar
3.49/5  rDev -10.7%
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! (387 characters)

Photo of randallpink
4.34/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

served from bottle into pint glass - 2013 vintage

A - slightly hazy copper/auburn, two fingers tan head that has great retention and slowly turns into a nice rocky covering to the beer, leaves amazing amount of lacing on the glass with amazing rings all the way down, passes medium amount of light

S - heavy on the caramel malts, toffee, biscuits. earthy and piny, grassy hops off the pour which make way to some more orchard fruit type of smells as it warms, citrus, pineapple, mango

T/M - malts, bread, caramel, toast, brown sugar,fruity hops, very sweet when it hits then tongue then the bitterness quickly takes over and dominates, herbal and piny hops linger in the mouth, medium mouthfeel, lowish carbonation, creamy, sticky, slightly astringent (as the hops take over from the sweetness of the malts), spicy bitterness, slightly dry finish

o - a wonderfully crafted beer! i've had quite a few of these over the past couple months and since this was my last bottle i decided to give it a review. all i can say is i can't wait til next year to get some more! so much happening in the complexity of this beer but doesn't seem crowded. flavours seemed to be popping up with each sip. would recommend and buy again! (1,221 characters)

Photo of dreamchaser
4.34/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A slightly cloudy dark amber colour with a foamy cream-coloured head. Aroma of malt, spice and pine. Sweet and malty, with notes of pine hops, orange peel and a mild spiceyness. Highly carbonated and medium-bodied. Complexity and balanced mainly toward malts but still finishes with a nice dry hoppyness. (304 characters)

Photo of Digimaika2
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(4.0) A: Clear copper coloured with a decently sized frothy beige head. Long lasting retention and good lacing.

(4.5) S: Pine, tart citrus elements, crisp apple, earthy peat, buttered bread, and toffee. What a great mix of aromas with a defined hop-like character and earthy qualities that contribute to the complexity.

(4.0) T: Similar to aroma with fresh grasses, spices, lemons, grapefruit, and a slight burnt wood taste all coming through. Complimented nicely with a robust and rich bread-like malt taste. Solid bitterness throughout with a mildly dry finish. Very good.

(3.5) M: Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation. Slight syrup like stickyness with a mildly viscous body.

(4.0) D: Very tasty with a great hop profile and fresh earthy qualities. I still prefer this on-tap if given the choice, but nonetheless, a very good harvest ale and something to look forward to in the Fall season. (903 characters)

Photo of thehyperduck
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle from the LCBO; listed at 7.0% (2012 edition). This is one I've been looking forward to for months, and fortune seems to be on my side as it was quite easy to find this year. One of the two Muskoka seasonals I have yet to try (or review).

Pours a beautiful, transparent amber-orange colour, with nearly two fingers of billowy, puffy off-white head seated atop the liquid. It's resilient stuff, hanging around for more than a few minutes before finally wilting into a bumpy, foamy cap on the surface - and as an added courtesy, it leaves behind a delicate web of lacing on the sides of the glass. Definitely a very fine-looking pint of beer, and the aroma is nearly equally impressive - plenty of orange, grapefruit and caramel; very floral, very fruity, and very enticing to boot.

Very tasty stuff; the hops are quite prominent, but the malts remain a fixed presence, particularly at the start of the sip. Their sweet caramel and vaguely nutty notes, though, are soon overtaken by pink grapefruit, lemon citrus and floral, slightly piney hop flavours. Finishes with floral hops and earthiness lingering into the aftertaste. Medium-bodied, with a slick mouthfeel and mild carbonation, making one very smooth-drinking ale. The abv is nowhere to be seen - this is absurdly drinkable stuff, and the large bottle is appropriate for gradual consumption over a crisp fall evening.

Final Grade: 4.33, an outstanding A grade. I anticipated that this would be pretty good, but probably not worth the nearly $9.00 pricetag. Still, this is easily one of the best American-style pale ales I've ever tried. If you are looking for a sturdier, relatively balanced ale with some hop bite to it then Muskoka Harvest Ale is a perfect choice for the coming autumn and winter months. Very impressed with this stuff; like all of their seasonals the big bottle is pricy but potentially worth it, especially if you plan to share with friends.

[Update Oct. 3 2013]

I've shared two bottles of the 2013 vintage over the last few weeks, and it is just as superb as last year's. I know that they started putting their Summer Weiss in six-packs recently, and I hope that a similar treatment is on the way for this one in the near future. (2,226 characters)

Photo of leaddog
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 edition - 750mL, 7%

Appearance - Pours a dark amber with two fingers of bubbly foamy head.

Smell - Citrus/tropical fruits, caramalts, strong piney hops.

Taste - Piney earthy hops along with citrus, tropical and dark fruits. Nice caramel/caramalt flavour. Grassy bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with light to medium carbonation.

Overall - A unique EPA by Muskoka. The aromas almost suggest a dry-hopped American IPA. Well-executed brew that makes it to the top of my Muskoka favourites list, right next to Mad Tom IPA. (536 characters)

Photo of rzarector
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden-amber colour with an off-white head that stays present until the last sip. Beautiful lacing here also. A sweet, piney smell makes up the aroma. Definitely some fruit flavours here as orange comes to mind, as well as some sweet malt. Overall a very solid pale ale and maybe best I've had from Ontario. (315 characters)

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 edition - 7% ABV
A: Deep orange-umber, fully clear and boosted a full 2 fingers of off white head.

S: Hoppy up front with sweet candy, followed with field notes of fresh cut pumpkin and wet leaves.

T: Some mild bitters up front somewhat like an ESB, followed with deep caramel and toffee. Some enticing musk flavours that are reminiscent of fall and harvest. This beer is like the sophisticated uncle of a pumpkin ale.

M: Medium bodied with just a few pricks of carbonation that hint at pepper spice. The thick coating leaves a sweet and bitter finish, begging for another sip.

O: As mentioned this brew feels like a sophisticated uncle of pumpkin ale, there is a strong suggestion to harvest flavours and thicker mouth feel thats warm and inviting. This is a great fall brew - looking forward to another bottle, if I'm lucky. (839 characters)

Photo of decimator
3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a pint glass. ABV 7%. (2012 vintage)

A - Poured a deep copper with amber hues. 3cm cream coloured head slowly dissipates. Lots of lacing.

S - Sweet, dark fruit, dried apricots, citrus notes, hint of grass, hint of floral and alcohol notes.

T - Light caramel sweetness, grains, some citrus, pine, some spice.

M - Medium-heavy body, medium-low carbonation, creamy, sticky, bitter aftertaste. Alcohol is just noticeable as the beer warms up.

O - The mixture of 4 different hops give this one an interesting flavour/aroma profile. Decent Ale overall. (577 characters)

Photo of papat444
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

***2012 Vintage***

Thanks to jrenihan for this one.

Poured from a 750ml. bottle (ABV 7%) and shared a little with my wife.

Appearance: A slightly opaque bright copper body with some great head that kind of creates a moat around a mound of foam in the middle. Side of the glass is slathered with lacing.

Smell: Sweet, sticky hops, bit of grass but mostly a nice, long, juicy aroma reminding me of mango & orange.

Taste: This leans to the resiny, mildly sweet hops. A touch of spice in the finish with some pine rounds things off.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth, like drinking a pint in a pub. Low on bitterness but enough to make things interesting.

Overall: Wonderful ale. Straddles the line between a pale ale & a bitter. Balanced perfectly and one i wished they made year round. (785 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.46/5  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. (558 characters)

Photo of kjyost
4.26/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Undated 750 mL bottle, poured into a Duvel snifter at ~6C. Bottle received in trade, I think from TheSevenDuffs. Thanks!

A: Copper, clear, nice white head comes up, but then disappears rather quickly to a slight, unlacing ring.
S: What a stellar nose! Bready and biscuity malts, fruity esters and underneath all that? Citrusy hops... A little bit of everything and none of them so strong that it drives away the others.
T: A nice bitter bite along with a malt sweetness battle it out. Much more bitter than I was expecting (thinking this would be something like an Oktoberfest), but I am happy with it. Light hop flavours.
M: Carbonated to an appropriate level (medium to medium-strong and not biting).
O: A surprising beer. Nice and hoppy, well worth having at least once. (774 characters)

Photo of andrenaline
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another gem from joemcgrath27... Thanks bud!

A - Pours a slightly hazy copper colour with a reddish hue, finger of head with decent retention and some sporadic sheeting lacing.

S - Leafy citrus hops, slightly musty, hint of cotton candy and some caramel on the finish.

T - The fruity citrus hop notes dominate, leafy and earthy. A unique bitterness lingers on the palette and the caramel and toffee notes come through on the finish.

M - Medium bodied, though could come across a tad thin, goes down smooth and finishes nice and wet.

O - A tasty ale that boasts loads of flavour, and certainly captures the essence of the style. I'll be going out of my way to procure more if this next fall once it hits the shelves at the LCBO. (732 characters)

Photo of slitherySOB
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL flip top bottle. The colour is a hazy copper, with a bit of autumn gold. Sadly, their is very little head to speak of. Perhaps a half to 3/8 finger worth. Smells. Delicious. A definite biscuit aroma. Some floral and citrus aftertones. Tastes just as it smells, with a heavy taste of biscuits and caramel. Grapefruit lingers on the tongue. Mouthfeel is full and creamy. Low carbonation. Overall, a pleasant pale ale. (435 characters)

Photo of IronDjinn
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 750 ml brown bottle, flip-top cap. Pours out a hazed deep copper hue, chunky off-white head that settles to a thick cap.

Dry toasty malt on the nose, mild caramel, sweet pink grapefruit and tangerine.

Sweet orange and grapefruit notes up front in the flavour, dry toasty grains and dry spicy hops in the middle, clean leafy, grassy hop finish.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel, full creamy smooth texture, low carbonation.

Solid Pale Ale, seems more American from the present hop bill than an English style, most likely listed wrong. (535 characters)

Photo of fostachild
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

enjoy before 16 jan 12.

perfect clear amber colour. lots off foamy light beige head - leaves behind a nice even lacing for the remainder of the beer.

floral hoppy smell. citrus, grass, malt, fruit. all very subtle but you didn't have to dig - really nice.

nice hoppy taste, citrusy/fruity, caramel, malty backbone. very well balanced, incredible drinkability.

overall i was very impressed with this - everything just seemed to blend really well. don't know if it would qualify as an english pale ale (seemed to have more IPA characteristics) but i enjoyed every sip and would highly recommend giving it a try. (613 characters)

Photo of SebD
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice orange/copper/amber colour to it. It has a nice off-white head that dies down moderatly and has some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of earthy and floral hops with some grainy and caramely malts and some citrusy notes.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a very nice sweet malt flavor with caramel notes. The floral hops give it a nice lingering bitterness with some citrusy and grapefuite notes.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavours and aromas. Another great beer from Muskoka. (638 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draft

Appearance - The beer pours a hazy copper colour with a an average size frothy beige coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due to the darkness of the beer and there is some very nice lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, hops, caramel

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts mixed with caramel and some rye. There is also a bit of a citrus flavour and a good amount of hops. It ends with a malty/caramel aftertaste with some lingering hop bitterness.

Drink - I remember this as being a bit better last year, but it's still a very good brew. I can taste a bit of their Mad Tom in this beer for sure. I was happy to try it fresh on tap. Worth seeking out. (775 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of fresh green Cascade hops with nice citrus and light resin notes is very well balanced. Taste is also a nice mix between some floral green hops notes with light citrus and resin notes back by a solid malt backbone with semi-dry caramel notes. Body is full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Another well balanced beer by an Ontario brewer who keep surprising me. (487 characters)

Photo of
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark copper topped by a solid cm of dense, long-lasting foam.

Smell - citrus hops aromas with a touch of grassiness, grain and caramel.

Taste and Mouthfeel - Gently carbonated and smooth in texture. Very balanced flavours of sweet, toffee-like caramel malt and subtly bitter, citric hops.

This is a very good interpretation of the British-type pale ale in a North American style. (398 characters)

Photo of EnemyWithin
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
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. (1,466 characters)

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Muskoka Harvest Ale from Muskoka Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.