Top Shelf Classic Lager | Lake of Bays Brewing Company

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79
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58 Ratings
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Top Shelf Classic LagerTop Shelf Classic Lager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Lake of Bays Brewing Company
Ontario, Canada
lakeofbaysbrewing.ca

Style: American Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by thehyperduck on 10-18-2013

BEER STATS
Ratings:
58
Reviews:
16
Avg:
3.26
pDev:
19.94%
 
 
Wants:
1
Gots:
10
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 58 |  Reviews: 16
Photo of DaveSutula
4.83/5  rDev +48.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A much nicer lager than I expected. I would call it a Helles, although it might be just a tad dark for that. There's a malty sweetness that holds up brilliantly in the can even though my sample is over 5 months old...

 219 characters

Photo of Vyronian
4.25/5  rDev +30.4%

Photo of qpaladeau
4.22/5  rDev +29.4%

Photo of dreamchaser
4.09/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

The aroma is striking in its authentic lager qualities - strong hops. Its appearance is also of a classic lager - fast dissipating thin head and a very, very clear, very bright yellow. The taste is solidly lager-like - thin, refreshing and very acidic with a corn-like sweetness that lingers. Unfortunately it lacks any originality.

 332 characters

Photo of WillAndSarah
4/5  rDev +22.7%

Photo of Boo-urns
3.95/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of headlessparrot
3.77/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Fine: I'll say it. I *enjoy* this beer. It's an interesting take on the American "pale lager" genre, but goes a slightly different route by using wheat (rather than rice or corn) as its "adjunct" of choice. The result is a sweet, wheaty, soft, biscuity, and only slightly hoppy/herbal beer (quite orange and almost cloudy in appearance, with quick-dissipating head); some slight orange/citrusy notes also pop up.

It's not what I was expecting, and actually differentiates itself from many other pale lagers. Enjoyable, if not striving toward greatness.

 553 characters

Photo of bluebombers
3.76/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of Subliminal64
3.75/5  rDev +15%

Photo of KrisDLSmith
3.75/5  rDev +15%

Photo of Tivlavrie
3.75/5  rDev +15%

Photo of biboergosum
3.74/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

473ml can, with a name that could have two, equally flattering meanings here in the hockey nirvana otherwise known as Canada.

This beer pours a clear, medium golden yellow colour, with three fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and somewhat caked bone-white head, which leaves some sparse tree branch lace around the glass as things evenly subside.

It smells of crackery, doughy pale and caramel malt, black pepper, a soft lemon rind sourness, a hint of dry honey, and tame earthy, grassy hops. The taste is more bready, slightly yeasty and doughy pale malt, a touch of honeyed caramel sweetness, subtle and muddled citrus notes, and more earthy, sort of weedy, and grassy hay-like hops.

The carbonation is moderate in strength, and mostly just cheekily frothy, the body medium-light in weight, and pretty smooth, no real interlopers to be found here. It finishes somewhat off-dry, the doughy malt persisting, alongside a fading fruitiness, and weakening earthy, floral hoppiness.

An enjoyable enough, well-made lager, nothing screams out adjuncts or any other cut corners. Maybe a tad sweet overall, but that's due more to the waning hops, than to any issue with the maltiness. Drinkable, and even recommendable - the NHL Alumni Association could do a hell of lot worse in choosing their official beer.

 1,303 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
3.73/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

473 mL can picked up at the LCBO; best before March 2014. A new addition to the shelves at my local LCBO, this appears to be Lake of Bays' second attempt at brewing a craft lager, and I'm hoping for a better showing than the last effort. Apparently this is the new official beer of the NHLAA, with part of the profit being donated to programs for retired NHL players (in addition to whatever else the NHLAA does). Served ice cold.

Pours a lovely bright golden colour with a twinge of amber, and topped with one finger of frothy, bone-white head that slowly recedes over a period of minutes. Some nice, sticky lacing is generated during this process, with a thin cap being the final remnant. The aroma is pleasant, with hints of bready malts, toasted biscuits and caramel. There's a mild, grassy hop presence, too - so mild that it's kind of easy to miss. Oh well, the malt bill is still clean and enticing.

Pretty tasty stuff, with no real surprises. It starts off a little grainy, with bready malts and biscuits soon coming into the mix as well. Some caramel, honey-like sweetness comes through next, with the flavour finally finishing on a blend of toasted malts and caramel, with a light touch of the grassy, somewhat earthy noble hops mentioned on the packaging. Light-bodied, with moderate carbonation that gives this lager a firm bite without bloating. Fairly flavourful for a 4.5% lager, and extremely drinkable.

Final Grade: 3.73, a B. I could tell just from sniffing this stuff that it was a big step up from their last attempt at lagering. Top Shelf Classic Lager earns the right to call itself a craft-quality lager, and it is definitely not just an overpriced budget beer. Reminds me strongly of Railway City's Canada Southern Draft, another light OCB lager that uses noble hops on top of a quality malt backdrop. There's nothing groundbreaking here - it's just a pale lager - but it's a yummy one that would make a great staple at the cottage next summer, or even in front of the HNIC broadcast this winter. If I were Lake of Bays, I'd stop wasting tank space on Rock Cut and use this as their flagship lager.

 2,126 characters

Photo of superspak
3.53/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16 ounce can into lager glass, no can dating. Pours fairly crystal clear medium golden yellow color with a 1 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of cracker, biscuit dough, light honey, herbal, light pepper, and floral/grassy earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of pale malt and light earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of cracker, biscuit dough, light honey, herbal, light pepper, and floral/grassy earthiness. Mild herbal, grassy, spicy bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of cracker, biscuit dough, light honey, herbal, light pepper, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice robustness and balance of pale malt and light earthy hop flavors; with a nice malt/bitterness balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Lightly increasing dryness from lingering bitterness. Very clean on lager flavors, with zero yeast notes present. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately bready/grainy/creamy, and slightly sticky mouthfeel that is good. Zero warming alcohol as expected of 4.5%. Overall this is a very solid pale lager. All around good robustness and balance of pale malt and light earthy hop flavors; very smooth, clean, and easy to drink. Met all of my expectations. Clean and flavorful pils malts, with just enough earthy hops to balance the body and sweetness. A fairly enjoyable offering.

 1,550 characters

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.52/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

473 ml can purchased from LCBO for $2.45 CDN. Served cold into a Keith's pint glass.

Appearance - crystal clear rich gold color. Thin half finger of fizzy white head is poured but dissipates almost instantly. A few effervescent bubbles rise to the top.

Smell - big doughy aroma and a few mildly sweet malt aromas. A sweetened molasses aroma blended with some sort of dried fruits, maybe dates or figs. Rather sweet smelling but aromatics are good here.

Taste - pretty much like the nose with a little less of the figs and dates and a little more of the bready flavour. Some honey seems to be melded into this brew too.

Mouthfeel - fairly soft feel, medium carbonation gives it a nice light yet refreshing and satisfying feel.

OverLl - really pleasantly surprised by this, a bit on the sweet side, but solid flavour and great blend of aromas and use of carbonation.

 869 characters

Photo of liamt07
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of Brody1714
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of andrenaline
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of bylerteck
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of Exeter
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of kvadiat
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of TheHammer
3.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured with a thumb of head that did not lace but did retain decently. The body is a generic yellow lager with slow carbonation.

Smell: Fairly standard stuff, straw, grain, and bread malt with a slight grassy hop note. As it warms a sweet corn smell becomes more dominant. Nothing to write home about but quite good.

Taste: Sweet as the starting malt has an almost shortbread like quality to it which eases into a slightly more grainy experiences with a light dust of hops. Just a fairly well done Lager

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is a bit thin which I don't like, but the transitioning is decent and the sweet straw malt aftertaste is good, but starts to cloy a bit near the end.

Drinkability: No issues going down, although I've had smoother Lagers and this is a little bit too sweet and has a slight acidic note after it's gone down.

Final Thoughts: All in all, not a bad Lager and stands out decently despite it's flaws. Not a lot wrong here, so I would recommend it yes.

 992 characters

Photo of Tyler_V2
3.46/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Jaisell
3.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of tapir163
3.38/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have read a few good and a few bad reviews of this beer. I would have to say it's not a bad beer at all, actually better than I originally expected. It's simple, just a lager without the adjunct taste. Light, malty and a decent amount of carbonation. Has an odd taste, a tad metallic but maybe that's just the tall can. I don't know what people want out of a lager, but for my simple taste, it does a commendable job.

 419 characters

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Top Shelf Classic Lager from Lake of Bays Brewing Company
3.26 out of 5 based on 58 ratings.
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