True North Copper Altbier | Magnotta Brewery

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True North Copper AltbierTrue North Copper Altbier
30 Ratings
True North Copper AltbierTrue North Copper Altbier

Brewed by:
Magnotta Brewery
Ontario, Canada

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
An ultra-premium all-malt and traditional German-style ale at 5% alc./vol. Deep copper to light brown colour with an aromatic focus on malt elements of fresh baked biscuits and toast. Malt initially dominates the palate with typical Altbier flavours of biscuits, followed by an intense yet pleasant hop bitterness. A slightly dry body and reduced ale fruitiness is achieved by extended deep-cold aging. Can be served with beef soups, spinach salad, roast chicken, pork tenderloin, falafel, chocolate cake, and smoked cheeses.

Added by NeroFiddled on 07-27-2002

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 30 |  Reviews: 25
Reviews by NedShakeshaft:
Photo of NedShakeshaft
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found the fridge kind of bare last night and couldn't be bothered to cross the river. The Beer Store in Fort Erie ON is walk-in style and has a surprisingly good selection of Canadian craft beer. Haven't had a Magnotta brew in over 10 years, and never this one. Sort of forgot about them.

Poured an off-white, "dirty dubbel" head that disappeared in less than a minute leaving just a hint of a ring. Swishing did revive it. Copper brown color.

Smelled yeasty to me. I could definitely detect some malt beneath and spice overtop. A nice surprise, more complex than I expected.

The balance continues to the taste. Caramel malt sweetness counteracted by just the right amount of bitter hops. Finishes on the bitter side and lingers, but the spice sticks around to help it out. Well done. I don't think I've had a real altbier before, but it tasted like I imagined the style, for what it's worth.

It was a bit thinner than I expected. I guess I was expecting something closer to an abbey ale in terms of feel, probably because of the yeast presence. Still pleasant though, and easy-drinking, I could happily crush several.

Very satisfying, easily worth the $19.50 for the 12-pack. Better than a lot of Canadian crafts for which I've shelled out $24. Very impressive, hope to (re)try all of Magnotta's offerings.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of wjimson
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark amber brown colour with no head, pour into pint glass. Not much of a smell. Very malty taste with a bit of a root flavour, accompanied by a lingering bitterness and a tad of tartness throughout. The high degree and malt and hop flavours makes this beer very satisfying. Thin mouthfeel, slightly metallic. Will definatley drink this one again.

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Photo of Sammy
2.61/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

So-so beer when you are stuck on x-mas day with no store open and a craving for a little beer. Quality of national brand. A bit different: some malt, some kind of fruit, some deep copper color. Not a beer to have in abundance. Harsh aftertaste. Overrated.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.17/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An excellent interperatation of a lighter bodied Dusseldorfer Altbier. Wonderful deep copper color and a thin but tight, light cream head. A light malt & hop aroma (in fresher examples). The malt flavor is very gently nutty; with some soft fruity expressions from the fermentation. It's bitterness is well balanced and finishes refreshingly dry.

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Photo of traumaqueen
2.75/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of ritzkiss
3.66/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle pours courtesy of Bobsy.

Pours a crystal clear copper color with a finger of nice foamy head, which reduces but leaves a solid lacing on top and down the glass courtesy of the tiny bubbles racing to the top. Looks great!

Smell is all malt, a little bit of bread as you progress.

Taste is creamy and smooth. Some malts, a little more bread, clean hops in the background, hints of restrained esters (strawberry, ??), a light light touch of caramel. Slightly metallic mouthfeel (it IS a copper altbier), well carbonated.

A nice smooth, easy drinker that most people would have no problem downing a few. Really, a solid beer. Thanks again Rob!

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

Pours a somewhat cloudy copper body, with a smallish white head, good retention. Aroma is fruity, nutty and some malt. Taste was very pleasant. A blend of nut, caramel, then some sweet fruitiness, ended by a dry bitterness from hops. Nice feel on the palate, and extremely drinkable. Smooth mouthfeel, nice and light on a summer's day.

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Photo of RedAleMan
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of BigBry
3.52/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

341 ml bottle, as shown below.
Deep copper, crystal clear and a thin cream colored head.
A light malt aroma, bit of hops come through.
The malt flavor dominates, a bit nutty. Finishes with some fruit. Slightly metallic aftertaste.
Appropriate carbonation level, well balanced, and finishes dry.
I was hoping for a bit more malty base, I have had better Altbiers.

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Photo of Voonder
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks bobsy for this!
Pours dark amber color wirh off-wite head. Smell - very malty, some caramel, bread. Very pleasant aroma. Taste - bready, malty upfront, a little hoppy bitterness, come caramel is there as well. Great! Extremely smooth and creamy, very drinkable. I could see myself enjoying 6 pack of it.
Thanks again Rob!

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Photo of Wintermute
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a big biscuit coloured head. The head dissipated fairly quickly leaving only a small ring of bubbles around the rim by the finish. No lace to speak of.
Copper coloured and very clear.
The aroma is malty and sweet with a noticeable lager smell. The hops aroma is well balanced with the maltiness. The hops seem to be of some European variety.
Light to medium body with a nice creamy texture.
There’s a nice malty and sweet taste. There’s also that slightly sour lager taste in there.
It starts sweet, then the bitterness comes through, but the finish is kind of empty. Although the finish is fairly clean, the hop bitterness lingers and builds up after a while.

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Photo of karait95
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A copper color with a small head that dissipates a little fast not leaving a layer behind, almost not retention to the glass but a lot of color inside.

S: Faint toasted aroma not very complex but nice.

T: A nice toasted and sweet flavor that change to a light bittersweet in the mouth, you can feel some caramel at the beginning.

M: Really nice combination of sweet starting with bitter ending that changes slowly and get complex in the middle, refreshing but intense flavor and sensation.

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Photo of Mindsquall
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A thank you to Pootz for recommending this one.

This poured a nice amber brown with a head that reduces to a nice thin layer on the top of the glass.

Smell is malty, with some metallic notes.

This stuff tastes pretty good, the hop bitterness is very evident, with a caramel-malt finish.

Quite smooth, this brew seems to have some characteristics of beers matured in wood, it's quite nice.

This is very easy to drink, carbonation is just right, and balance of flavors is there.

Two thumbs up for Magnotta for producing a fine example of the Altbier Style.

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Photo of Derek
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Copper with a light tan head, some retention, light lacing.

S: Earthy mineral, caramel, beer-nuts and pleasant fruity esters with a light spicing.

T: Malty caramel with a good bitterness to back it up, earthy, grassy/peppery spicing is VERY German & I like it, slight fruityness, hints of nut & chocolate. Not as bready as a German brew, but quite nice.

M: Moderate body has a slightly prickly acidity and a dry finish.

D: Quite drinkable.

Thanks bobsy!

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Photo of treque
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reddish hue as name says copper, creamy beige head with good retention with constant carbonatation,

some yeast, metalic and hop aroma

Same characteristics on the taste as mentioned on smell

Nice surprise, really an altbier like if you were in germany

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Photo of Pmicdee
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My second attempt at this beer. Even better than before. And it was damn good the first time

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Photo of pootz
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Came in a twist top bottle, no date code...instructions to "keep refridgerated". I assume this is unpasturized beer with no preservatives.

Poured a clear red copper color with a 2 finger sticky, rocky off white cap that had fair retention. Moderate corbonation makes this Altbeir's flavors easy to deliver on the tongue. Aromas of toasty caramel, nuts, spiciness..a pleasant nose to this German ale.

Starts malty with nutty-sweet toasted malt departures then it goes creamy on the palate when the hops create some balance in the malt pronounced medium body....finish is moderate duration, wet with the toasted nut biscuit malts slowly giving way to a hop drying...a very nice local brew...not too complex, toasty-malty, creamy and drying finish..great staying power on the hop mix ( Hallertau/spalt/tattenag) from a mash boil and wort boil...if this is a good rendition of an Alt style ( German old ale) I’m a believer...I like this beer, can recommend it and will buy more.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Ontario Alt (the only one I know of) is part of Magnotta's 'high end' line which includes a Hefe and an IPA.

It pours a dark copper with orange glints, it looks great when held up to the light. The head is the color and consistency of cappucino froth. It has good retention and leaves an intricate lattice-work of lace patches. The aroma is biscuity and toffeeish. Herbal Noble hops also show in the nose. The taste is robustly malty with more toffee and biscuit but also a good measure of fruit (berries? prunes? apples?). A leafy, woody hop flavor lies in the background. Bitterness shows in the middle and contends with the heavy malt profile. The finish is more bitter than I was expecting, especially as the beer warms. The mouthfeel is thick and coating with prickly, active carbonation.

This was better than I excpected. It has a great malt flavor and lots of complexity. Though my experience with the style is very limited, Im sure this is a good Alt.

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Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured copper with tan head, one finger, left a nice large bubble ring around the glass, some lacing, wispy, clouded surface looked very inviting. Slight dark red hues danced about. I thought there was a pitted fruit nose but it was not very pronounced. Taste was quite good, balanced malt and muted bitterness was drawn out and finished quite nicely. Possibly a bit of tangerine in there to mark a hop presence, but with balanced acidity. Swirling the glass, even one third full, produced a fresh head with staying power, I have to say I was impressed with this offering from Magnotta.

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Photo of Shadman
3.46/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another beer I need to thank Bobsy for.

Nice bright copper color..maybe that's why they put that on the label. Good off-white head, rich, slightly creamy.

Pleasant arioma. Rich caramel malt. Nice floral fruitiness.

My inital reaction to the taste was wow...very malty with the malt being that harsh 'overdone', for a lack of a better definition, microbrew malt that I am starting to dread. However as the beer warmed and settled down a bit I found it improved greatly in taste. The buscuit malt toned down and some of the caramel seemed to be more apparent. Good hop bitterness.

Nice ale smoothness to it and certainly worth a try.

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Photo of DrJay
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Deep amber brown colour. Good clarity. Very thin cream coloured head off the pour. The aroma is very malty, with plenty of sweetness and caramel coming through along with some grainy character. Basically no hop character in the aroma. Many of the malt characteristics from the aroma carry directly through to the flavour (there doesn't seem to be nearly as much caramel), but they're slightly muted and there's more here as well. There's a light, but somewhat harsh, hop bitterness underneath all that malt that carries through nicely to the finish. And there's some hop flavour that both earthy and reminds me of the noble hops used in some european lagers. The finish is fairly well-balanced with elements of the hop bitterness and malt evident. Medium carbonation and medium/light body. Carbonation adds to crispness rather than smoothness of texture. Overall, an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of biegaman
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh plated copper with dazzling tone and resilient clarity. Its toasty, caramel-infused colour is quite something to behold into the light, especially since clarity is left completely unhindered. A light sprinkling of bubbles demonstrates the only signs of carbonation; the beer's top is utterly bare less a thin, hardly visible string of floss that confines it.

The nose is an explosion of toasty, crisp Munich malt. It is equal parts sweet and grainy. It is very neutral. There's a touch of fruit and a smidgen of caramel but both are heavily restrained, these notes only become slightly detectable after some warming.

The flavour is also fairly simplistic, again with the same ratio of one part sweet-one part grainy. There's isn't much note of hops although the beer does posses a fairly hard-line bitterness. If this were art it would most certainly be considered minimalist. Not taking away from its quality or enjoyment but this is beer stripped down to its most fundamental features.

It might be ironic to liken the altbier to a facet of Modernism given that the beer originates in Düsseldorf, Germany in the 1800's and the name itself ("alt"meaning "old") refers to making top-fermented ales the old fashion way. Then again, altbiers are often lagered so the beer itself is a bit contradicting in its own right.

The metaphor fits because this really is beer stripped down to its most fundamental features. It drinks exactly as it should: bitter and sweet, quenching, substantial yet endlessly quaffable. Appreciating beers for their simplicity and only serving the purpose which they should (to be drank) seems an art lost on or not understood by today's beer aficionados.

I've never been to those parts of Germany where I would be served a Düsseldorfer Alt or a Sticke Alt Latzenbier, so when I drink this New World rendition I can't be sure of just how well they've mimicked the style. Nevertheless, when they print on the cap "Classic European Style" I think the brewery is doing more than just stating a matter of fact, it seems they're indicating that they understand a thing or two about beer and how to brew it.

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Photo of Electros
3.84/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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

Been overloaded with hoppy beers lately, and figured it would be nice to give something else a try. Pulling things from my fridge, I retrieved this, which I had recently received from MeisterBurger.

Pours a dark pinkish copper color with a finger and half of frothy white head. Head settles down fairly quickly, until it becomes a thick film on top of the beer. Plenty of lacing down the side.

Scent is very malty, with some hints of chocolate.

Taste follows scent. Nice caramel malt and chocolate character. Rather than a very strong taste, it is more mellow. Very earthy overall, with the earthiness lingering a bit after you swallow.

Very easy to drink. My glass emptied much too rapidly. Would pick up a few bottles of this, given a chance.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful copper color, very clear, with a frothy inch and a half of head, which dies down to a film that sticks around for the long haul. Minimal lacing.

The aroma is malty, chalky and sulfery. Grainy. A little spicy.

The taste is toasty caramel malt with a biting hop bitterness. It's grainy in the middle. It has a quick finish that leads to a dry, metallic bitter aftertaste...maybe almost minty. Some of the sulfur in the aroma is present in the taste with a hint of chalkiness. There's a mild fruitiness that's hard to place and as it warms a slight bit of vegetal comes out.

Mouthfeel is medium with a good amount of carbonation.

A good drinker, easily sessionable.

I've just read what I wrote and I'm really not doing this beer a modicum of justice. Let's just say, if you've ever had any doubt about this beer as I have, it's worth committing to a twelve pack. You'll like it. Trust me. ;)

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True North Copper Altbier from Magnotta Brewery
Beer rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 30 ratings