Spark House Red Ale | Lake of Bays Brewing Company

BA SCORE
82
good
107 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Spark House Red AleSpark House Red Ale
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Crafted without artificial flavouring or colouring agents, Spark House gets its deep mahogany hue and distinctive taste from a unique blend of domestic and European hops and dark-roasted specialty malts.

Added by hopsolutely on 06-09-2011

BEER STATS
Ratings:
107
Reviews:
29
Avg:
3.61
pDev:
11.36%
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
22
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 107 |  Reviews: 29
Photo of Noelan
4.82/5  rDev +33.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Found this gem of a beer last summer and have had one per week since.

Look>4.75 Red, little head and moderate carbonation
Smell>4.5 Malt, caramel, chocolate and wood
Taste>5 Clean, slightly bitter, medium finish, ending in a caramel and wood flavor
Overall>4.75 One of my all time favorite beers. Always have a 6 pack in the beer fridge.

 340 characters

Photo of JasonThaler
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

Photo of Boo-urns
4.21/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of RQuigley
4.18/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

This tasting was opened as my Day 18th beer, in my Beer Advent Calendar for 2015. This is the 2nd year my wife has made me one of these and it is a great to open a beer every day.
Number 18 - 473ml can - 5% - 25IBU
A>4 Deep Redish, not much head
S>4. Hint of nut
T>4.25 Clean, very slight bitter, hit early. Not a whole lot of tasty. Nice clean finish
M>3.75 Lightly carbonated.
Oall>4.5 Do like this beer a lot, it kind of grows on you the more you have. Really need to test it more…..

Spark House Red Ale from Lake of Bays Brewing Co. Baysville ON.
rq @RorQuig

 573 characters

Photo of Guelphite
4.08/5  rDev +13%

Photo of TheBierdimpfe
4.04/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Deep cloudy brownish/dark amber color with a copper hue, and powerful activity. Thick slightly creamy beige 1 finger head, lasting around 10 minutes, with strong sexy legs.

Flavors of cookies, butterscotch, dark malts, burnt honey, chocolate, lemon, sharp grassy hops, herbal and floral spices. Balanced sweetness and sharpness. Malty, grassy, and a little woody.

Slick creamy full body with a perfect zesty amount of carbonation. Medium strength finish, ending with a bitter grassy herbal feel with sweet smoky honey and a lingering roasted malt feel.

Overall very good quality craft. Excellent flavors with great freshness. Well balanced and intensified. Highly drinkable and pleasant. Good quality ingredients. Excellent red ale.

 735 characters

Photo of MattCampbell
4.01/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Westvleteren12
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of Erik-P
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of beersareonme
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of bigox420
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of Vyronian
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of MichaelGennings
3.98/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

473ml can. 5% alc. 29 IBUs.

The beer has a decent off-white head and the body is a red/brown colour.

The smell is barley malt, brown bread, a bit of chocolate, and a hint of hops throughout. It's all very light.

The taste is much the same as the aroma. The roasted malt gives the beer a rich flavour that is quite delicious.

The beer is light to medium bodied and really smooth.

The finish is dry.

This is the second beer I've tried from this company. Both times I've been impressed.

 489 characters

Photo of bryehn
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice deep amber colour with ruby wisps. Moderate frothy white head that leaves spotty lace and settles as a big-bubbled collar.

Very deep, sturdy aroma. Dark malts, chocolate, coffee, black cherry, grains and earth.

Has a bready and chocolatey taste with a fruity accent that brings cherries and dates to mind. A solid bitterness arises in the finish, as well as a mineral water flavour.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Very heavy, grainy and earthy on the tongue. Notes of chocolate and coffee again in the aftertaste, along with a hint of burnt grain.

Quite hearty take on the style, would go best with roasted meats, potatoes and vegetables. Will definitely buy again.

 691 characters

Photo of The-Jolly-Imbiber
3.9/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Less than one finger of head which disappeared in under a minute. Appearancewise, a dark brown, or a very deep amber.

Fruity, raspberry aromas. Hints of caramel. I love the smell. It keeps inviting me to continue enjoying this beer to the bottom of the glass.

Nice taste. Mild sweetness which tails off into a moderate bitterness.

Little carbonation. Smooth and thin mouthfeel.

This is the best amber that I have tried so far (out of 4).

Update: Upped my rating of Taste a notch. Over the past few months, this has become one of my favourite beers.

 553 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Another of local, in-person trader tone77's many bottles. I marvel each and every time he comes by to drop off beer.

From the bottle: "In the heart of the forest, the spark house stands alone. Drawing its deep, smooth character from ... and roasted malts, this full-bodied red ale finishes dry and stands high above the rest."; "Brewed & Bottled in Baysville, Ontario Handcrafted in Small Batches".

A toast to the late Sparky Anderson! Spark up, lads! I'll be arcing and Sparking here shortly.

I got just over a finger of dense, mocha-tan head with reasonable retention from my pour. Color was a deep, coppery-red with NE-plus quality clarity and it reminded me of a former girlfriend's hair. Hers had a really coarse feel to it and it was like running my fingers through rusty wire. It even got her the nickname, "Rusty", which may have been why we drifted apart. What a beauty! The woman or the beer? Let's go with both. The nose was prevalently malt with a nutty quality to go with its inherent breadiness. Lots of sticky lacing appeared in the wake of the falling head. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste was almonds or pecans and freshly-baked bread. I remember a time when I used to eschew these types of beers in favor of heavily hopped IPAs but I feel like I now have a greater appreciation for this sort of thing. Finish was semi-dry with the yeast having done its job. I saw where they have begun CANning their lager, so if they expand and CAN this one, I would definitely recommend it.

 1,500 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.87/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Day 8 of the 2013 Craft Beer Advent Calendar. More brewing from up there in cottage country, eh? Critical mass can't be all that far off, then.

This beer pours a clear, dark red-brick amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and broadly bubbly off-white head, which leaves some decent melting iceberg lace around the glass as it duly recedes.

It smells of gritty, biscuity, and lightly toasted caramel malt, an oily dry nuttiness, a sweet, almost red berry-like fruitiness, a touch of hard water flintiness, and very subtle earthy, weedy hops. The taste is more of the same, but tighter and more focused - biscuity, bready caramel malt, almost salty bar-top nuts, dry, faintly buttered toast, a hint of bittersweet cocoa, and earthy, moderately bitter leafy hops.

The carbonation is a tad tight, but generally agreeable in its basic support duties, the body just on the lee side of medium weight, and adequately smooth for the style (just a wee twinge of hop play here). It finishes on the sweet side, the caramel malt, nutty breadiness, and lingering understated dark fruitiness calling the shots.

As far as Canuck amber ales go, this is all right - relatively robust in its tastiness, and no off-flavours. Worthy of a try, especially if you're the poor sap sitting in that lookout tower, searching for telltale sparks in the surrounding forest.

 1,367 characters

Photo of ronnyb
3.82/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Photo of ZachT
3.81/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of droogy
3.76/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wasn't expecting much of this one but after finishing was very impressed. Obviously going after the Rickards Red market and does a MUCH better job of it.

A - two fingers of head. very dark / amber colouring
S - Malty
T - Caramel, Malts, Not as watery as Richards; likely what that beer SHOULD taste like :)
M - creamy

head retention was awesome; tasted great throughout. a big recommendation for fans of Richards.

 415 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
3.76/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

341 mL bottle; no best before date. Courtesy of this year's OCB Holiday Sampler.

Pours a reddish-brown colour; deep in hue, but still translucent. At the surface is seated one finger of frothy, soapy, off white-coloured head that recedes over the next few minutes, leaving behind a coat of lace and thin, filmy cap at the surface. Pleasant aroma that definitely leans toward the sweet side, with plenty of caramel and bready malts, alongside notes of milk chocolate, toasted nuts, and a bit of earthiness.

This is a pretty tasty amber. Not exactly intense, but there's certainly a sizable blast of big malty flavour. Caramel and bready malts remain very prominent, some light toastiness, with nutty undertones. Finishes earthy and a little grassy, with everything except the slight earthiness failing to linger into the aftertaste. Normally a clean finish is fine with me, but for something that actually does taste reasonably strong for its alcohol content, it just gives off a watery vibe. On the thin side of medium-bodied, with mild carbonation for an otherwise smooth, enjoyable feel on the palate. Very easy to drink, as an amber should be.

Final Grade: 3.76, a B+. I can honestly say that Spark House Red Ale is indeed a respectable amber, nailing most of what I like about the style - and even if it's probably not the best amber Ontario has to offer, it's still up there on the list somewhere. Something that fans of the Rickard's Reds and Keith's Ambers of the world can use to jump into the shallow end of the Olympic-sized swimming pool that is craft beer. I won't be scrambling out for more of this anytime soon, but I'd certainly consider a repurchase if I were in the mood for a solid, highly drinkable amber ale.

[Updated April 19 2014]

Now available in tallboy cans, so I picked one up. I would consider this amongst the best malt-forward ambers in the province, and probably the highest-quality of all LoB's year-round offerings. Now that it's available in a convenient format, I will probably be grabbing a can or two of this on the regular. Malt fans should consider this one a no-brainer - it's simple, tasty and quaffable; an ideal session option.

 2,176 characters

Photo of MJ63
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Idrankthat
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of bigred89
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Kmat10
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Spark House Red Ale from Lake of Bays Brewing Company
3.61 out of 5 based on 107 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.