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:
11
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 58 |  Reviews: 16
Photo of Sammy
2.53/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

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 Phyl21ca
2.74/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Can: Poured a light golden color lager with a medium size foamy head with minimal retention and some light lacing. Aroma of light sweet notes with very subtle cereal notes. Taste is quite bland with light sweet notes and some very subtle notes. Body is light with good carbonation. Bland tasting lager which might appeal to their target audience.

 346 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 liamt07
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of spinrsx
3.25/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

473ml Can from the Ottawa LCBO for $2.50

Appearance - Clear amber/yellow colour with an average size white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there isn't much lacing. The head lasted for around 2-3 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Bread/grains, corn, caramel

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, corn and caramel/toffee. There is also a light grassiness and some fruity notes.

Overall - Not a bad beer. A step up from basic macros for sure.. Kind of like a basic lager with a little more caramel malt tossed in. Refreshing and quite drinkable.. but forgettable.

 652 characters

Photo of bylerteck
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of StoutHunter
3.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of andrenaline
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of deonreds
1.5/5  rDev -54%

Photo of DaPan
3.11/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

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 TerryW
3.03/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bright gold under a moderate head that settles to a splotchy film. Surrenders some fairly good lace.

Grassy hops on the nose. Malty and crisp. No off flavours or funk of any kind, not excessively corny, so not bad for a cheap beer.

This is a very ordinary brew. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing great about it either. Very basic, clean drinking.

 349 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 cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -8%

Photo of SebD
2.81/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: It has a clear straw yellow color to it. It has an off-white head that dies down fast and leaves no lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of grainy malts, light honey and a faint grassiness.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some grainy malts, slight breadiness, honey and faint grassy hops.

Mouthfeel: It has a low/medium carbonation with a light and watery overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied by bland flavors and aromas.

 503 characters

Photo of GoHabsGo
3.25/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of StormAles
3/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of RedAleMan
3.25/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Jotora
3.25/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Bunman3
3.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Knowing that this is the "Official beer of the NHL Alumni Association" almost makes me want to avoid this beer. In general, retired hockey players are know for their love of "light" beer, and this certainly fits that category. It's not as bad as most of those beers. Really, its a decent lager with a bit of biscuity malt flavour. Definitely not the worst thing a person could drink, but nothing to set it apart from other quality lagers in this category.

 455 characters

Photo of kjyost
3.2/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of DaveBar
3.05/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Purchased at the LCBO for just over $2.00 for a 473ml can. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- Opens well and pours a medium head that is gone in 30sec. Medium to darkish gold color. Filtered clear

S- Decent hops and malt. Nothing to write home about

T- Has a good malt backbone but nothing special or anything that will stick out at you. Touch sweet

M- Dry but a bit of creaminess. Typical lager

O- Pretty good but will not buy again. Typical lager really. North American mass produced beer. At least there is no metallic smell or taste.

Food Pairing

This ok beer went well with...... Fish and chips!

Enjoy

 620 characters

Photo of Tivlavrie
3.75/5  rDev +15%

Photo of CurtisD
3/5  rDev -8%

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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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