Canaster Winterscotch Ale | KleinBrouwerij De Glazen Toren

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Canaster Winterscotch AleCanaster Winterscotch Ale
Very Good
145 Ratings
Canaster Winterscotch AleCanaster Winterscotch Ale

Brewed by:
KleinBrouwerij De Glazen Toren

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.70%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Name : “One used to praise their beer, which was called Canaster, it was drink and food, even for a long trip”

Added by goodbyeohio on 01-04-2006

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Ratings: 145 |  Reviews: 80
Reviews by Philousa:
Photo of Philousa
3.02/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This one went the way of a geyser when I opened it. Had to rush to the sink! Lots of tan head sits atop a cinnamon colored cloudy beer. Reminds me of milk chocolate. Sweet aromas: rich caramel, confectioner's sugar, and some hops (hop types are indiscernible, but there none the less). This tastes much like a red ale. I'd guess this was their base if I didn't know they made a Dubbel with the same name. Coppery, sweet, and BBQish. Yes, this is the first time I've used that word to describe a beer. Warm and easy to drink. Very smooth, but thick. Creamy feel. Great way to show off the yeast.

I'm questioning what type of beer this is. Labeled as a Scotch Ale, I would have to second guess this description. It also says it's a Winter ale, and I would question that as well, since I didn't get any spices other than cinnamon, and that barely came out at all. Although I don't know how to categorize this beer, it was surprisingly good. I didn't go into it with high expectations, and I'm grateful for that. I wouldn't buy it again, but it was a good experience and I'm happy I tried it.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Ryan011235
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Petrus glass on 12/30/12

The appearance is a cloudy brown with caramel highlights. The head is fizzy and rises quickly to three fingers before deflating leaving lace in the shape of flames flicking up the side of the glass.

The aroma is welcoming. Notes of grassy and slightly herbal hops, biscuit dust, pastry crust and apple pie drizzled in caramel. Hints of grapes and figs.

This doesn't taste like I was expecting. The hops are strong and have a spicy, herbal presence. Malts aren't hurting, what with bread, caramel and toasted sugars and all, but overall this is drier than I would have expected. Hints of pepper. The hops exhibit more grassiness after a while. Faint fruit notions.

The feel is on the high side of medium (though at times it seems watery); the body is a little slick and sugary but not overly so. Carbonation is high but settles to a moderate level. The finish is spiced and dry.

All in all, Canaster took me by surprise; I reckon that was easy to do since I had no particular expectations. This is probably worth a shot if you like semi-sweet, spicy/herbal things. I didn't let it chill in the fridge very long, which was a good idea.

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Photo of Radome
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served from a 750 ml bottle bought in Brussels.

A - The beer was attractively packaged in wrapping paper, but when I unwrapped it, I was dismayed to see that the beer had leaked a bit from below the cap. The leak was dried and obviously old. There was still a good carbonation when it was opened, so maybe the beer's ok. I had stored it in my cellar on its side since buying it, so there should not have been any environmental problems to cause the leak. The beer is an opaque, murky, deep brown. The head is off-white, very fluffy and thick.

S - The aroma is all about malt. Toasty biscuits, graham crackers, molasses, prunes and figs. But there is also a crisp earthy hop aroma in the finish that adds complexity. There is a metallic smell that I'm not sure should be there, maybe a result of the cap leak. No obvious notes from Belgian yeast.

T - The malt dominates again, with bready, Munich malt flavor, prunes/raisins/figs and brown sugar or molasses notes. Like the aroma, there is a hit of earthy hops late in the palate that breaks the sweetness and adds complexity. A hint of alcohol in the background. No noticeable yeast characteristics. This beer does have a taste profile similar to a Scotch ale, rather than a typical Belgian Dark Strong Ale.

M - Thick, creamy body. Tingly carbonation. A hint of alcohol burn. Medium hops bitterness.

O - This is an enjoyable strong Scotch-type ale. I was worried I had a ruined bottle when I saw the "leakage", but it turned out well. I would be interested to see if an undamaged bottle would be even better. I marked down the appearance score because of the cap problems, but otherwise I scored this one pretty highly.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.29/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

750ml opened with no gushing.

Hazy to cloudy deep brown, beautiful looking brew complete with a 1 finger of off white foam and pretty lacing.

Smells of candi sugar, pitted fruits, toasted malt that is almost smokie, booze.

Toasted malt and fruits are up front, gets a bit sweet from the candi sugar, an inherent booziness in the taste(heck, it's called Winterscotch), finishes slightly bitter with more booze.

The foam has subsided but it's still nice to look at. I see the abv is at 9.5% abv but to me, it drinks stronger and so I need to slow this session and review down a bit.

Initial thoughts are that I'm going to score this on the low side as I have done with most beers of the style, which I am taking as Wee Heavy based on the name/label and how it is listed on the brewery website. Waiting and slowly sipping will perhaps bring out my palate familiarity and maybe something nice will happen to change my mind.

Medium bodied in general, a tad too much carbonation for my palate, the mouthfeel is only okay.

All right, I have given Canaster every chance I can to shine for me and it doesn't. It's not a terrible brew, it just does not inspire me to think aboot buying another bottle. Oh well, it has it's fans and that's cool.

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Photo of Kraken
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Poured from a capped 750ml into a Fin Du Monde tulip glass. Firm pour evokes a myriad of very fine bubbles that settle quickly to an uneven skim. What remains of the head seems to cling to the side of the glass quite well. Color is a deep murky ruby brown.

Nose- Admittedly this was poured a little cold. A deep and powerful essence of raisins, figs and dates. Alcohol is prominent in the nose along with notes of burnt caramel.

Palate- Dark fruits, vanilla, coffee, coco and burnt caramel. Individual flavors are identifiable but not over powering. Slightly cloying, lasting notes of vanilla. Very good. Exceedingly dry finish with no hints of booze.

Mouthfeel- Dry, very active, slightly cloying.

Drinkablilty- Find yourself a fire and curl up with this fine sipping brew.

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Photo of pat61
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant dark chestnut under a 3” cream colored foam cap that dissipates to a thick, clingy film.
S: Has a yeasty aroma with rich malts, fresh bread, bread crust and kettle sugars.
T: Initial malty sweetness finishes lightly tart. Complex layers of malt include bread, bread crust, kettle sugars, light caramel and spicy grains. Traces of fruit – plum and a little raisin and a slight wine note.
F: Very creamy, smooth and soft in the mouth. Has above average natural carbonation with slightly above medium body. Slight alcohol warming.
O: A little more fruit than typical and a slight wine character but this is probably due to the abv. More caramel flavor may be due to the grain bill.

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Photo of ADR
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gushing, seeping bottle, had to pour quickly, but I've seen worse. Dark opaque brown with a little light coming through at the bottom. Floating sediments. Lots of upcharging bubbles on the perimeter. Flattish beige head of 1/2 an inch. Sheets of lace, but incomplete on the glass. Decent aroma, figs and dark brown sugar, no real yeastiness. Plenty carbonated in early sips, mouthfeel about medium and not particularly sticky. Sweet and full flavor, not as fruity as I anticipated, slightly spicy with nutmeg and showing elements of rum-soaked raisins and molasses with a bitter catch of dry husky hops to the back side of the profile. Finish is as full as the beginning, maybe a bit lacking in complexity. If you let this sit and sit, the carbonation evens out, initially it comes of as a bit much in the stomach. Overall, an interesting beer.

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Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a turbid brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head sticks around for a while before settling into a thin pancake on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of dark fruits with hints of toasted malt and milder hints of tart green apple.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Everything is subtler than the smell lets on, with lightly toasted malts joining dark fruits. It ends with fruit flavors that are both sweet and tart.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a good thickness with soft carbonation that makes this go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. There are no flavors that make this really stand out but it's easy to drink.

Overall this is a solid beer but not one I'd be overly excited to have again. Still, it's worth a shot.

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

75 cl bottle shared with my wife at the Brugs Beertje in Bruges. The beer poured a deep, dense brown body with a thick off white head, solid lacing. The aroma of the beer was malty and citrus. Nice. The taste was malty up front with some slight sweetness, some other fruit notes. There was a nice carbonation body to this beer. Well rounded.

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Photo of RomanW70
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2/11 @ Julians. Pours deep caramel ruby with minimal tan lacing. Looks thick. Aroma of dark fruits, cherries, caramel, candied sugar, and wine. Taste has strong sour cherry notes, with dark fruit and yeast. Has medium-high carbonation. Less thick than it looks. Clean finish. Overall, this is a good beer, but it lacks complexity and the taste doesn't live up to it's aroma or appearence.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bought very recently (Bestway in Greensboro, NC) but this was bottled on Dec. 3, 2007, so it has a little over 4 years of age on it. Comes in a neat paper wrapper, which sort of sold me, but really I was just looking to try a Belgian that was new to me. (btw, this bottle says 9.5% Alc/Vol.)

Pours a crackling dirty-white/light-tan head. Starts huge each pour, dies quickly each pour. And I'm pouring a little at a time as this is one of those that, while not a gusher, sees the foam rising in the bottle like a thing possessed. Color is an opaque, milk chocolaty dark brown.

Aroma is potent, and reminds me of how blown away I used to get when I was discovering Belgians years ago. Candied dark fruits (raisin, date); super-earthy yeast (but not funky); mineral hints; holiday/pie/sweet spices. And so ridiculously Belgian.

I wonder if the beer has lost something over the years? I "get" the basic taste profile, but it all seems a bit washed out, or pale, or distant somehow. Just traces of everything the big aroma promises (the dark fruit; the yeast; the mineral; the spiciness). Not overly sweet, and really pretty balanced all around, except for the too-dominant mineral taste. It's even good, just seems to lack that pizzazz of a truly great Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

Same with the feel, which is bubbly with spritz, but generally feels a little on the thin side. It's nothing terribly detrimental, although something a little rounder and slightly thicker would have probably helped the taste.

It's really the nose that impresses me most on this, and though the taste is fine, the fact that it doesn't quite follow through with the energy and liveliness of the aroma makes it less memorable in the end. Glad to have tried it.

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Photo of mattfancett
2.2/5  rDev -43%

Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A winter warmer. Pours with a huge head. Mild tabacco and smoke aroma. The scotch is a purposeful butterscotch and chocolate and fig flavour. Lovely after fish.Smooth drinking,good medium plus mouthfeel, suitably carbonated. not something for every night, but good for a cold night.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The third beer the brewery has released, and the third of theirs I'm reviewing.

9.5%; bottled on February 28th, 2008. Carefully poured from a 750mL bottle into my Gordon Highland thistle.

This was a slow gusher, sending a steady stream of rocky angry bubbles up through the neck of the bottle. Mauve taupe body with a wheat colored head, dusted and speckled with chocolate and sepia (yeast?). The foam is creamy, dense, and persistent, though lacking the volume and texture you would normally expect from a BSDA. Thick sandy lacing bookended by varnish-like legs. Chunky sediment lurks along the bottom of the glass like a school of jellyfish.

Rich carmelized malt aromatics with hints of cinnamon, and vanilla. Faint chocolate and coffee notes emerge as the beer warms.

Light toast, currants, soda bread, and rye join sweet sourdough starter, roobois, and smooth alcohol esters into the full peppery finish. There is an underlying floral element reminiscent of jamaica or chicha morada throughout. Could do with a little roast or smoke flavor, but is otherwise wonderfully balanced and subtle.

Full bodied, rich, creamy, with excellent carbonation and nice warmth from the ABV. Not as effervescent as many a BSDA, but more active than most wee heavies...

A unique Belgian twist on a Strong Scotch Ale, this is a hybrid that works quite well, showing that De Glazen Toren is capable of transcending tradition even while digging into the mysteries of the past.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle

A- Poured into a snifter. Be careful when popping the cap on this one, a lot of foam gushed out immediately but was under control after I poured some in a glass. I have had this same gushing problem with other beers from this brewery as well so it seems to not be limited to this bottle. Pours a dark brown color with a light tan head that possesses amazing lacing and retention.

S- The aroma is loaded with sweet bready malt, brown sugar and caramel with just a touch of hops. This is a very nice malty aroma that I could sit and smell all evening.

T- The taste like the aroma is deliciously malty with dark overripe fruits, candied sugar and caramel. This beer is so incredibly smooth and delicious!

M- The mouthfeel is perfect! Medium bodied with a wonderful mouthfeel and a perfect amount of carbonation.

D- Despite the high ABV, this one hides the alcohol dangerously and is a very easy drinker. Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. Highly Recommended!

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Photo of qcbrewer
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of Doppelbockulus
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very hazy brown color. There is a lot of yeast present which made opening the bottle very interesting. I only opened the cap enough to hear the fizz and poured the whole beer that way to avert a foam over, and there was still a ton of foam.

Aroma includes syrupy pancakes and fruit. The character suggests a lot of grape and grain, though I am pretty sure there were no grapes used in the brewing of this beer. There is even a little melon in the smell.

I find the flavor very pleasing. The flavor has a caramel sweetness combined with a touch of tart and very mild spice character.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly flat, but when pouring a beer through a cap to avoid a disaster much of the carbonation will go away. This isn't a bad thing though. The beer has a little tingle left and is very soothing and smooth.

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

Photo of russpowell
3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a super effervescent auburn with 3+ fingers of tan head. Good lacing & average head retentions, really murks up towards the end

S: Sour notes, not much else, some green apple peels show as the yeast is mixed in from the bottom of the bottle

T: Brown bread, caramel & a touch of phenols up front. Faint woody hop notes as this warms, slight sourness, cherries, brown sugar & dryness. Finishes dry with sour Bourbon/Peaty Scotch notes, cherries & faint figgyness & green apple peel

MF: Thinnish with over carbonation. Starts to thicken up as this warms, carbonation drops way off too

An alright Belgian dark, I was hoping for more

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Photo of Beertracker
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL capped bottle at 48 degrees into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A: It pours an opaque dark brown color with a two finger head of light tan color that is thin but recedes into a thick, clump border that leaves wet lacing but doesn't hold the walls of the glass.

S: Caramel, sweet figs and dates, a little citrus, and barely discernable Belgian yeastiness. This isn't very bold and does not seem like a BSDA or a Wee Heavy.

T: Sweet caramel, ripe banana, cherries, figs, cloves, and citrus. This is a very contradictory beer.

M: it has medium body thickness with some prickly carbonation and then a mellow and smooth aftertaste - another contradiction.

O: This is tough to discern as a style but is it good nonetheless. It should be enjoyed at a warmer temperature and would be much better in the winter for its warming qualities.

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Photo of nyrblue2
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of puboflyons
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the paper wrapped 750 ml. bottle. Sampled on August 12, 2015.

The pour is reddish-brown with a big, foamy tan head.

The aroma is malty, dank, and musty like it came out of a cellar. It did in my case.

The body is medium to full.

The taste is sweet and malty with a peppery or maybe slightly boozy finish. Definitely a sipper.

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Photo of bonbini26
4/5  rDev +3.6%

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Canaster Winterscotch Ale from KleinBrouwerij De Glazen Toren
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 145 ratings