Muskoka Mad Tom IPA - Muskoka Brewery

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Muskoka Mad Tom IPAMuskoka Mad Tom IPA

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very good

109 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 109
Hads: 370
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 9.44%
Wants: 19
Gots: 71 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Muskoka Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: heebes on 05-26-2011

Inspired by late night stories around the fire, Muskoka Mad Tom will instantly grab your attention. Dry-hopped with Chinook and Centennial hops, this IPA has a vibrant aroma, depth of flavour, and crisp citrusy undertow like no other. So brace yourself, and crack one open for old Mad Tom. This is an awakening in craft beer that gets more enticing with every sip.

62 IBU
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Reviews: 109 | Hads: 370
Photo of thehyperduck
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a six-pack picked up at the LCBO; best before January 2012. I have been meaning to try this one for a while.

Pours a slightly hazy amber-brass colour, topped with a thin off-white head that lasts for a surprisingly long time. It eventually wilts, leaving a soapy film on the surface and plenty of lacing on the sides. Great smell on this - totally dominated by grapefruit and lemony hops, with a bit of mango and pine needles. The malt aromas are very hard to detect through this, but they're of a biscuity caramel nature.

All sorts of light, juicy fruit flavour on the palate. Grapefruit is again the strongest but there is plenty of citrus in general, alongside peach, tropical fruit and earthy pine. As with the aroma, the malts take the backseat but provide just a bit of caramel sweetness. Grapefruit astringency from those resiny hops lingers on the palate long after my mouth is empty - this profound dryness is a good way to encourage another sip... Medium-thin bodied with minimal stickiness; maybe a bit of slipperiness on the tongue.

Good thing there are five more of these. Delicious stuff, a fabulous IPA that I can't find much to complain about. Definitely something I will pick up again, although they seem to have trouble keeping it in stock... no wonder!

[Updated Jan. 4 2014]

Over the past two years I must have had dozens of cans of this stuff and it is still one of my favourite OCB IPAs - so I decided to try it side-by-side with some of my other domestic favourites (Boneshaker, Red Racer and Baldwin Fisheye PA). Muskoka has a real winner with this one and I'm glad to see it has just as much citrusy, piney goodness as it did the first time I tried it. A quality IPA, definitely one of the best in the country in my opinion, although I'd argue Red Racer still has the edge.

Final Grade: 4.33, an A grade. (1,842 characters)

Photo of
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - light copper with vigorous visible carbonation and a thick, persistent head.

Smell - Citrus, fresh pine, tropical fruit, and mint.

Mouthfeel - medium body and creamy texture.

Taste - Caramel and toffee, orange, and lots of bitterness, especially on the finish. A bit of the pine comes through as well.

One of the better Ontario IPAs. (350 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a medium amber color ale with a nice foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of bitter and citrus hops is quite powerful on this one. Taste is a nice mix between some floral notes of hops with some citrus, piney and bitter notes clearly coming out; malt base is dry caramel and strong enough to sustain the malty base. Body is full with good carbonation. Very well brewed and quite pleasant. Probably one of the best IPA to be bottle out of Ontario. (483 characters)

Photo of paxkey
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

found one lone bottle sitting on the shelf.
i like the whimsical artwork on the bottle.

pours cloudy pale yellow , huge white head. almost looks like a witbier.

the hops on the nose are gorgeous. the usual suspects of citrus, mango, some malt sweetness. this smells tasty.

a lot of bitterness in this beer, hard to pick out other flavors through the bitterness. the bitterness dominates. its okay, but not awesome.

a little bit of creaminess on the mouthfeel. feels a bit heavy in the stomach.

not a bad beer, but the bitterness kind of overwhelms everything. (564 characters)

Photo of augustgarage
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy northyorksammy (thanks!). Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Nearly clear amber body with a small but lasting ivory head. Faint amoebic lacing, thin fast running legs.

Tangerine zest, evergreen, and mint in the nose - the C-hops come to the front - along with very faintly toasty pale malt notes.

Malty palate entry accompanied by woodsy/earthy/spicy hop flavors. Gentle astringency with lemon pith and vague pine coming on next. Slow moving, increasing bitterness offset by dry bready malt notes in the finish.

Medium-light bodied, rather creamy, with good carbonation.

Similar to many good NW versions of the style - is best served with food (a well made burger, salmon, etc) - but satisfying on it's own as well. (764 characters)

Photo of SebD
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of tropical fruit, grapefruit, piney notes with some caramely malts and a slight skunkiness.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a citrusy/grapefruit flavour with pine, some caramely malts and a lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice balance of flavours.

Drinkability: It's a smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavours and aromas. So far the best i've tried from muskoka but i'm anxious to try my Summer Weiss. (623 characters)

Photo of aletale
4.51/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased as part of a six-pack of bottles poured into a pint glass.

Pours a nice amber colour with about a half finger head that seems to want to stick around. A fair bit of lacing. Medium to fast carbonation.

This has got to be one the best smelling IPA's out there. A multitude of sweet fruits come to mind, as well as an underlying hoppiness. It is a lot to take in...

Now this is an IPA! The fruity and hoppy flavours balance out perfectly to leave a tasty, dry, almost graperuit-esque finish which is just fantastic. This beer packs a mighty punch.

Muskoka was not afraid to go all-out on this one, and I couldn't be happier. Probably my favourite brewery in Ontario right now. (687 characters)

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

An excellent addition to Ontario's nascent American Pale Ale scene.

Clear golden amber with decent head and carbonation level. Mouthfeel pleasant and lacking the oily slickness found in some of its counterparts.

Aroma is sweet with tropical fruits. Taste adds both citrus and pine elements to those tropical fruits, with a significantly lingering finish of "west coast" hops.

A delightfully drinkable beer and a resoundingly pleasant surprise. Well done, Muskoka! (467 characters)

Photo of jrenihan
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer is a murky orange colour, darker at the top. A large amount of frothy white head is on top, and has pretty good retention. Minimal lacing.

Nice citrus smell, fairly pungent. Grapefruit is there, I also get a hint of peach. Somewhat floral. A very slight hoppy bitterness is noticeable. Good smell.

Taste is not quite as nice as the smell. but is certainly a pleasant IPA. A bit of a juicy taste, and a moderately bitter aftertaste. A little bit of pine in the taste as well. The malt is fairly subdued- a bit of caramel in the background, but certainly overshadowed by the hops.

Nice mouthfeel. Light to medium bodied, with a nice subdued carbonation.

Overall, a good addition to the exploding world of Ontario IPAs. Definitely happy to see it in the LCBO. Not one of my favourite IPAs, but I am sure I will be buying more in the future. (847 characters)

Photo of Digimaika2
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden colour with a tall white foam head that recedes promptly. A bit of a creamy blanket forms with a nice ring around the glass. Good lacing down the glass.

S: Plenty of piney hops, bready malts, grapefruit, lemon, and a bit of nut aroma. Quite nice.

T: Piney hops quite potent in this, and I'm liking it. Bready malts are present but kept in the background. Citrus notes are appealing. Nice overall taste but feels pretty "safe", almost like this is being held back.

M: Fairly full mouthfeel for the style with a slightly oily texture (a good thing in my books). About average carbonation.

D: Good offering from this brewery, and I am looking forward to trying their other products. A decent IPA for Ontario and I'm happy to see this in the LCBO. Will be picking up again. (784 characters)

Photo of Mit
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a-Pours a golden colour with a slight haze to it. Decent head that doesn't dissipate super quickly.

s-Grapefruit/citrus smells from the hops. Very earthy smelling.

t-Solidly hopped IPA but has a nice malty backbone that keeps things from getting too out of whack.

m-solid for the abv of almost 7%

o-Def my favorite new beer of the season. It's become a regular feature in my fridge now that it's shown up in the beer store. (427 characters)

Photo of fostachild
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a medium golden yellow color. good head, foamy - goes quickly but leaves a thin film lacing.

smell was interesting and really nice. grass/floral aromas, very hoppy, citrus/grapefruit.

taste is hoppy, bitter, citrus again and also a sweetness to it. crisp, grainy - decent carbonation, and very drinkable. overall a good ipa, really enjoyed it, and would definitely recommend giving it a try. (399 characters)

Photo of cratez
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml bottle from a 6 pack purchased at the Wonderland & Southdale LCBO in London.

Pours a slightly hazed amber hue with golden edges, a thin ring of bubbly, eggshell white foam, and strands of lacing on the Duvel glass. Good head retention.

Smell is orange rind, peach, lemon zest, flowery and herbaceous hops, earth, and white grapefruit. Appetizing.

Taste is spicy, citric, and zesty hops, orange peel, nectarine, more earthiness, Fuzzy Peach candy, and a pithy, grapefruit bitterness to end. Very flavourful brew.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, juicy and oily middle, hops throw down an assertive, citrusy spiciness with a pithy and lasting bitterness and ultra dry finish. Solid.

Overall, this boiler plate IPA is a regular purchase for me and I'm happy to see it widely available in Ontario. Mad Tom is a shining example of what our local crafters can produce when they move away from making micros that are only slightly better than your typical macro lager. (971 characters)

Photo of liamt07
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from a 6 pack, purchased at the LCBO. After going through the 6 pack over the course of a couple weeks, I think this accurately paints of picture of my impressions of this beer. 341ml bottle into a tulip. No best before/born on date (c'mon!)

Pours a golden yellow, with a finger or two of white head. Medium sized bubbles, mild retention and a filtered body. Nose has some nice citrus, some pine, mild peach pits, slight spiciness and a touch of earthiness. Predominantly hop forward and an overall pleasant profile. Taste has bitter pine initially, grapefruit, citrus, some grassy notes and a light breadiness. Moderate bitterness and a medium mouthfeel, some stickiness here. Enjoyable, but not outstanding. Very nice to (finally) see a decent American style IPA hit the market here in Ontario, although Smashbomb is on its way! (838 characters)

Photo of MattyV
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Straddles the deep golden/amber colour spectrum, with a 1 finger frothy head. Aroma's a muted mix of piney and earthy hops, some sweetness with some citrus but alot less than expected. Very well-balanced with a good caramel malt backbone and a fair bit of bitterness and a fair bit of earthy/piney hop flavour. Medium bodied, rich and smooth yet still very easy drinking. It was much more English in style than I expected (I agree with others' likening it to Magnotta's IPA beefed up). It's great to see more Ontario brewers starting to brew quality IPAs. (555 characters)

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a sixer of this for the long weekend. Not sure how this one slipped under my radar - I've been eagerly awaiting the first real six pack of IPA in the LCBO for a long time.

Poured into a nonic. On the paler end of the India Pale Ale spectrum, a nice amber-golden with a decent fluffy head and some lacing patches.

Nose is a friendly citrus and earthy hop blast with a bit of orange peel, grapefruit, pine and caramel.

Powered my way through this six pack with great pleasure - this is one fine IPA. A bit more English than I'd expected, but still a damned tasty brew. Good lingering earthy bitterness, with the citrus and caramel at the forefront.

Slightly creamy, a bit of oil, nice zippy carbonation.

Muskoka has really done itself proud recently with its Summer Weiss and Chocolate Stout, and this brew is another fine addition to the family. Hopefully Mad Tom will keep lurking on the LCBO's shelves, because this could well become my default sixer. While not as juicy and potent as some of the big American brews, this is certainly on par with many an American IPA offering south of the border. Great stuff. (1,128 characters)

Photo of Roke87
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341 mL bottle, chilled and poured into a pilsner glass

Appearance- Pours a clear and light amber colour with about a pinky finger worth of white head that quickly dissipates to an above average ring around the glass leaving minimal to no lacing throughout till finish.

Smell- pine and resiny hop aromas right away the second this one is even opened you get a nice whiff of it mixed with a mild citrusy fruit smell as well. There is also a sweet aroma in the nose that I can’t really put a finger on as to what it exactly is, almost like a bubblicious bubble gum smell, but it adds a nice change to the typical IPA.

Taste- Again really a lot like the aromas, the tastes come through with a strong pine and resiny hop flavour right off the bat, bitter but not overly bitter like some IPA’s can be, and again balanced with a nice citrusy grapefruit flavour as well. Even on the palate I am getting that sweet flavour again, much like what I would say a sweet bubblicious bubble gum flavour.

Mouthfeel- Light to medium bodied this is an excellent ale that has a nice bitter taste to it but remains crisp, smooth, and almost too easy drinking, not overly carbonated but it sustains a thin white top to it right till the end.

Overall- There is pretty much only one word to describe this beer and it is; wow. I can’t believe something this good is actually brewed in Ontario! It is about time that we took a couple good steps towards catching up on what the rest of North America has been doing for years. I have drank some of the best IPA’s that this continent has to offer and to be honest with you, this is right along those lines as being in those categories, I mean it’s no pliny or double trouble, not even as good as a two hearted, but again it is a positive step in the right direction, I would say “One small step for IPA lovers, one giant leap for Ontario”. I am definitely picking more of this up tomorrow, this will be my go to this summer, finally I don’t have to drink to Michigan for a great IPA, it’s right in my backyard! (2,054 characters)

Photo of WeedKing4
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly dark, golden copper thats quite clear. Decent amount of head in the sam adams perfect pint glass. Very slight tastes of citrus, with some grassy pine notes. Could definately use some more hop character. Its not terrible...but i'm still expecting more flavour for an ipa. (287 characters)

Photo of allergictomacros
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pretty happy to see this on the shelves. For some reason, it's hard to find local IPAs in ontario.

A - Clear gold/orange w2ith a nice head of foam.

S - Nose is citrus, floral and lightly herbal. Little whiff of alcohol as well.

T -Juicy, bittersweet grapefruit with a heavy resinous twang. Yum.

M - Smooth with some heft and a little carbonated kick.

D - Very drinkable, solid brew. Maybe a bit above average for a single-i ipa. In this neck of the woods, its availability makes this a winner :) (502 characters)

Photo of cyrenaica
3.12/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500ml draught
6.4% ABV
I tried this beer on June 24, 2011 at "The Beerbistro" in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The beer poured a hazy golden orange colour with a creamy white head. Aroma was lemony, citrus, pine, and grainy malt. Mouthfeel was medium bodied with medium carbonation. Flavour was citrusy hops with a lemon lolipop taste to it, some grains, and a bitter finish. (371 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

355ml bottle, courtesy of tbeckett - thanks, man!

This beer pours a slightly hazy, medium copper amber colour, with two fingers of densely foamy, and somewhat bubbly dirty white head, which settles on a firm, agreeable schedule, leaving some front-row splash-victim lace around the glass.

It smells of semi-sweet caramel malt, hard toffee, equally sugary orange cream, obligatorily bitter grapefruit/pine hops, further muddled tropical fruit notes, a touch of aerosol pepper spice, and subtle hints of the underlying booze. Wow - is this really made in Ontario? The taste is strong grapefruit rind and bitter pine resin right up front, followed by a tamer bready malt, more biscuit than caramel, a dry tropical fruitiness (think pineapple cores), and a slightly differentiated lemon citrus zing, one rolled into a Limoncella-esque essence through forced association with the circling alcohol measure.

The carbonation is moderate, showing some palate-zinging frothiness here and there, the body a stolid medium weight, and as smooth as allowable under the hop alert circumstances. It finishes still pretty damned hoppy and bitter - I know there's some under-appreciated, rounded malt sweetness in there, waiting for word from the outside world, but at this point, I just don't notice (or really care, frankly).

4 years of work trips to T-dot, and I never encountered anything really quite resembling a west coast IPA, at least not from the craft brewers of Ontario (Beer Bistro or Volo's stellar imports notwithstanding). My hotel bar, on one occasion, had all the Muskoka offerings at the time on tap, and I tried them all, once. If they had offered this, then, they would have had to call the porter to drag my over-imbibed ass up to my room, every night I was a guest there. Anyways, a very good, big-boy IPA, I'm so finally glad to say. (1,845 characters)

Photo of evilinc
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm glad this exists and comes from Ontario.
I'm rating this according to my interpretation of the style, what I think is appropriate, and

***also based on what else is being offered in the Ontario marketplace.***

A- clear in the glass, not hazy one bit. I chilled it down really quick when I got home from the LCBO. Head exists well after poor, it fades but a thin layer sticks around the whole time. A little, but not much lacing on this one.

S- Beautiful for and Ontario beer. An IPA nose! Finally! Chinook and Centennial hops! (God bless the Centennial hop)

piney and citrusy are two things I believe an IPA should be, but that's just, like, my opinion, man.

T- Drinkable, hoppy and leaves a bit of a lingering hop oil, but not crazy strong. Nice bitterness but clean and not annoying in anyway for my taste. *(This is my first bottle ever of this stuff)

M- Slightly hop oily mouthfeel, I will be drinking this with meals regularly as long as it's available.

O- Like I said at the beginning, I'm glad this thing exists and is readily available. I feel it is a quality IPA, perhaps the first in this American IPA vein that has made it to the LCBO (note: I have yet to try a few Ontario Pales). So far, this might be my favourite Ontario Craft beer.


*Addendum* For what it's worth, it's 6.4%, and is well balanced I'd say. (1,340 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
3.49/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Extra from peensteen. Best before October 11th? Or October 2011? Hard to tell, as the ink is smudged. Served in a CCBW pint glass.

A - Pours with two fingers of creamy white foam that has excellent retention and settles to a thick cap, leaving behind chunky lace. Transparent golden body with lots of visible bubbles.

S - Lemon, pine, grass, toasted grain. Somewhat understated, and very English in character. I don't get nearly any of the citrus mentioned by the other reviewers - maybe very faint grapefruit peel.

T - Taste is a little better, with some orange zest and light sugary notes. Bitterness in the aftertaste is medium. Otherwise grainy and bready malt dominate. Not bad, but a bit dull.

M - Very resinous, with a dry finish and lots of residual hop oils. Carbonation is moderate and pleasant, and the body is medium and slightly grainy. No obvious alcohol.

D - Drinks lighter than the listed alcohol. Could use more dry-hop aroma. If this were advertised as an English IPA it'd get a very good score from me (probably an A-). As an American IPA it's pretty bland, particularly in the aroma department. Easy enough to drink though - could definitely have a few bottles. (1,186 characters)

Photo of peensteen
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale golden colour, lightly hazy, one finger of white head, no retention and no lace. Smell is hoppy, citrus and grapefruit followed by notes of pine, slight hint of a malt backbone is there also. Taste is dry and hoppy, lots of pine, citrus comes through, quite floral, grapefruit and pine in the finish. Good feel, slick and oily, medium to light carbonation. Solid Ontario IPA, I feel I will keep coming back to this quite often. (432 characters)

Photo of Columbanus
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Poured a light copper colour, good head retention with lacing. Strong hop aroma, perfume and flowers come to mind. Flavour is all about the hops, strong floural and citrus notes, distinctly American (American hops were used). Not much malt body, kind of thin given the 6.4% ABV. A clean, bitter finish. This is labelled an IPA, but is really more of an APA. If you like these American hops it's a very drinkable and flavouable beer. Great to see this brewed in Ontario. (469 characters)

Muskoka Mad Tom IPA from Muskoka Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 109 ratings.