Pengo Pally
Bush Pilot Brewing Company

Pengo PallyPengo Pally
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Bush Pilot Brewing Company
Ontario, Canada
4.08 | pDev: 6.37%
Jan 21, 2020
Jul 07, 2015
Pengo PallyPengo Pally
Notes: The Arctic herbs for this brew were hand picked in the Nunavik region. After obtaining a small sample batch of several herbs (Labrador, Small Labrador, Crowberry, Ground Juniper and Cloudberry, we experimented with different combinations and ratios. In the end, we settled on three herbs: Labrador tea (Rhododendron Groenlandicum), Small Labrador tea (Rhododendron Tomentosum) and Crowberry leaves (Empetrum Nigrum).

Our long-time collaborator, brewmaster Ryan Morrow brewed a balanced yet complex saison-style beer infused with these exotic herbs. Sip Pengo Pally on its own, or with a nice summery meal of cedar-planked salmon, served over wild rice or mushroom risotto and steamed fiddle heads.

We sincerely hope you will enjoy both the beer and the story behind it. Cheers!
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Rated: 3.74 by bikko from Canada (ON)

Jan 21, 2020
Rated: 4.2 by kier from Canada (ON)

Jul 27, 2018
Rated: 4 by Jotora from Canada (ON)

May 21, 2018
Rated: 4.12 by Simon212 from Canada (ON)

Jan 02, 2018
Rated: 4.56 by StormAles from Canada (ON)

Jun 29, 2017
Rated: 4.04 by ikidunot from Canada (ON)

Aug 23, 2016
Rated: 3.81 by peensteen from Canada (ON)

Mar 16, 2016
Photo of biboergosum
Reviewed by biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
750ml bottle, with more northern Canadian lore depicted on the label, i.e. the first bush pilot of Inuk heritage and his ride (with some cool native text front and center). Made with Crowberry and Labrador tea, two Arctic herbs, apparently.

This beer pours a rather hazy, pale golden yellow colour, with a teeming tower of puffy, loosely foamy, and fizzy bone-white head, which leaves a bit of sudsy arched lace around the glass as it slowly but surely abates.

It smells of grainy and crackery pale and wheat malt, aged lemon, overripe peach, and bruised banana fruity esters, a strange bit of mint-adjacent herbaceous character, ground white pepper, and some plain earthy, leafy, and floral bitterness. The taste is weirdly green and floral straight off, like something you're not supposed to step on (but do) when hiking in the mountains (almost soapy, but more perfumed, I suppose), with some semi-sweet grainy pale malt, a twinge of spicy wheat, um 'flakes', more mixed stale fruit juice, subtle yeast, generic white and black pepper dust, and some further leafy and herbal bittering that could be either hop or Arctic flora in origin.

The bubbles are quite invasive and incisive on my waiting palate, what with their sassy frothiness, the body a decent medium weight, and more or less smooth, depending on how you approach your expectations for the base style. It finishes off-dry, the malt reminding everyone gently how they keep this household running, yadda, yadda, yadda, but it is still those wacky tundra herbs that continue to inform one's impression here.

There's a pleasantly rendered saison simmering quietly here, as implied, but yeah, the spiced and herbal thing is what's really worth talking about. Overall, it's not over the top, but just different enough to make my Western urban educated ass wonder a bit more about the 'real northern' part of the Great White North - y'know, in that Canadian Heritage Minutes TV spot sense, and I mean that in a good way.
Dec 27, 2015
Rated: 4.24 by joemcgrath27 from Canada (AB)

Nov 23, 2015
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Rated by Bwedwards from California

4.54/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Beautiful taste. Cloudy golden look, apricots when sipping and herbs on the long long finish.
Oct 25, 2015
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Reviewed by Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Bottle: Poured a hazy blonde color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some good amount of lacing. Aroma of rustic malt and light herbal notes is quite enticing. Taste is also a great mix of herbal notes with rustic malt and light residual sugar notes. Body is full with limited filtration and good carbonation. I love the dry finish and the level of attenuation of this beer.
Oct 20, 2015
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Reviewed by kevinlater from Canada (ON)

4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
750ml capped bottle into snifter. "best before oct. 16" on the label. consumed oct 6 2015

a: a beautiful opaque golden yellow topped with slightly off-white head

s: juicy lemon, peach and banana blended well, not overpowering. mild-to-moderate white pepper spice, with wheaty-bready malt. unique herbal, earthy notes which i'm guessing are the arctic herbs? i've never had crowberry and/or labrador tea herbs so it's not like i know what they smell/taste like lol. really wonderful aroma though

t: slightly tart lemon up front with a bit of peach juice. clove and white pepper follow afterwards, but are underneath the fruit flavours. then come the herbal, leafy flavours which are pleasant. what i'm enjoying a lot is that the phenolic characteristics of the beer are very mild. some wheat malt flavours towards the end, with a moderate-ish bitterness. lingering lemony tartness

m: medium-bodied liquid and medium belgian-style bubbly carbonation amount to an amazing medium, almost medium-plus mouthfeel

o: a super impressive, easy-going saison with a slight herbal twist. yes, it's expensive ($10/750ml) but i'd say it's worth it
Oct 06, 2015
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Reviewed by Sammy from Canada (ON)

3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
A couple of months’ aging. Somewhat gusher. Bold taste: fresh tasty malting with lots of bold spice. Refreshing. Not too yeasty and thankfully not overly peppery.
Sep 25, 2015
Rated: 4.43 by MarkhamPete from Canada (ON)

Sep 19, 2015
Photo of Electros
Reviewed by Electros from Canada (ON)

4.14/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Package: 750 ml bottle.

Appearance - Medium cloudy golden colour, great head retention.

Smell - Floral citrus notes.

Taste - Very unique and hard to describe. Crisp, refreshing, a spiciness that I can't put into words up front, will a hardly no after taste. Interesting...

Mouth-feel - Very light, goes down so smoothe.

Overall - This is a cool brew with a great back story of herbs hand pick from Nunavik, one of three northern Canadian Territories. Definitely this is a must try.
Sep 12, 2015
Rated: 3.98 by RedAleMan from Canada (ON)

Sep 06, 2015
Rated: 3.36 by SikSyko from Canada (ON)

Sep 04, 2015
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Reviewed by taxandbeerguy from Canada (ON)

4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
750 ml bottle purchased from the LCBO for $9.95 CDN. Served cold into a Sam Smith's pint glass. Saison beer with Arctic Herbs? Sounds interesting and worth a try.

Appearance - Pale hazy bright golden color, with plenty of carbonation and a titanic three plus fingers of fluffy white head even with a gentle pour. Great retention and some super sticky lacing left behind.

Smell - Not a lot when cold, but as it warms, some juicy fruit flavors of orchard pear and fresh peach come through. Some candi sugar and a some herbal tones that are a little different, but quite pleasant and aromatic.

Taste - Light tasting, with some small elements of citrus being nectarine and maybe lemon. Also leafy hops are slow forming but noticable and a smattering of arctic herbs to give the beer as slightly different spicy characteristic as well as some herbal flavors.

Mouthfeel - Smooth with soft carbonation, light body and juicier than expected finish. Some heat from a combination of the booze and the herbs.

Overall - A very solid and unique saison, which I would be certainly happy to enjoy again, and would repeat this purchase if the prices were just a smidgen lower.
Aug 19, 2015
Rated: 4.05 by KrisDLSmith from Canada (ON)

Aug 16, 2015
Rated: 4.27 by DebbieK81 from Canada (ON)

Aug 13, 2015
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Reviewed by andrenaline from Canada (ON)

4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Hazy straw colour, thin layer of head with some retention and no lacing. Citrus rind and grainy wheat on the nose. Lemin rind and tart citrus flavors dominate with fruity yeast esters and hints of bubble gum on the finish. Given the obscurity of the artic ingredients it's difficult to identify the flavors they impart. A very tasty Saison, but not worth the $10 price tag IMO.
Aug 07, 2015
Photo of thehyperduck
Reviewed by thehyperduck from Canada (ON)

4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
750 mL bottle from the LCBO; the packaging date is a bit smudged but I'd guess May 23 2015. Served slightly chilled.

Pours a foggy golden-yellow hue, capped off with one finger of dense, creamy white head that displays superb retention. Ten minutes in, it's still going strong, though it's a bit lumpier, with a nice swath of lace left stuck to the glass. Unusual aroma that is kind of all-over-the-place; I am mostly getting a mixture of lemon zest, grassy hay, grainy pale malts and berry fruitiness. A touch yeasty, and mildly peppery, but also quite herbal and leafy. Lots going on; not sure what to expect from the first sip.

Delicious, and just as complex as the nose implied. Grainy, wheaty malt provides some background sweetness, but the flavours of juicy orange and lemon zest demand your palate's full attention from the get-go - evoking a distinct tartness that really gives this brew a nice kick. Notes of berry, green apple and stone fruit also come through, but the flavour profile becomes much more herbal on the back end. Quite grassy and slightly floral, with some spruce resin and an herbal, leafy bitterness that interacts nicely with the peppery spice and phenolics that characterize the finish. Ends off-dry, with some lingering yeastiness. Medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation levels that supply an agreeable level of prickliness on the tongue. Feels quite smooth, with absolutely no sign of the 6.5% whatsoever - exceedingly drinkable, and really just pretty impressive in almost every respect.

Final Grade: 4.3, an excellent A grade. Pengo Pally's price tag might cause some hesitation - but have no fear, as it is most assuredly a unique, tasty twist on one of my favourite Belgian beer styles. As others have said, this saison has a difficult-to-pinpoint, 'green', herbal sort of flavour - one that really makes you appreciate the effort that went into obtaining the ingredients used in its creation. I wouldn't say that this beer is as adventurous as Johnny May himself, but it's still an interesting and worthy take on this increasingly popular beer style. My wallet will hate me, but I'll probably grab another bottle for short-term cellaring.
Aug 06, 2015
Rated: 3.98 by spinrsx from Canada (ON)

Aug 04, 2015
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Reviewed by DaveBar from Canada (ON)

4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
Purchased at the LCBO for around $9.00 for a 750ml bottle. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- Opens well and pours a huge white head that lasts forever. Lightish to medium gold color and nice and unfiltered.

S- Lots of hops here. Very Hoegaarden like. but a bit more greenery to it. Juniper berries.

T- All the above and more. Nice brew overall and no heat period so be careful. Just a well rounded brew that is balanced, nothing sticks out at you

M- Tart and dry

O- Very good brew but expensive in the 750ml format. If in a can I would buy a lot and slowly consume over the months but at this price point it's now and if I see it on tap

Food Pairing

This nice little brew went well with....... Various pasta and potato salads sitting outside picking while BBQ'ing.

Aug 02, 2015
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Reviewed by EricVonStein from Canada (ON)

4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
cloudy golden yellow with several inches of good frothy head that sticks to the glass and floats like clouds.

First hit on the nose is lemon and fresh funky must from the yeast. white grape juice. bit of green hay. hint of baking spices, maybe coriander? Hard to pin. Fresh and springy scents.

Taste is lemon and sour apple and almost floral notes, nice balance of yeasty barn funk and fruity fresh apricot. Spices are more pronounced here. light grains at the end.Trying to pinpoint the herbs advertised, they may come through as the slightly "green" and tart flavours that are a bit different from other saisons ive had. Looking into it more online, I find that using herbs (including juniper, common in the north) as a bittering agent, called Gruit, has been around as early as 1100's before hops took over as the bitters of choice.

Nice mouthfeel and lots of bright carbonation attacking your tongue.

Overall really impressed with this! Great flavours balanced well and with a twist that sets it apart a bit as different - the slightly tart sour character.

Also a really great and ambitious project to incorporate herbs from our nations north (seriously, google where Nunavik) into a brew - the story behind the beer is that the first, and apparently legendary, Inuk (i.e. Inuit) bush pilot, Johnny May had Pengo Pally or "I miss you " in Inuktitut written on his plane, hence the name of this beer.
Aug 02, 2015
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Reviewed by Bugs318 from Canada (QC)

3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
A: hazy orange-ish amber with a decent fizzy white head.
S: Nose wafts some Brett mimicking notes perhaps from the herbs. Complemented by some pepper, spicy phenols, and a touch of cereal grains. A fine nose.
T: Starts a bit too malty sweet, though it dries up nicely with that pseudo-dust and quite dominant floral hops and mild phenols. Yet, some of the sweetness remains.
M: The carbonation is present but feels a little soft on the palate, with a medium body.
O: a fine, if unexceptional offering with some great qualities, particularly the nose and Brett mimicry.
Jul 29, 2015
Rated: 3.98 by Bf_89 from Canada (ON)

Jul 18, 2015
Pengo Pally from Bush Pilot Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 27 ratings