Muskoka Harvest Ale
Muskoka Brewery

Muskoka Harvest AleMuskoka Harvest Ale
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American Pale Ale (APA)
Ranked #340
Ranked #9,807
3.96 | pDev: 10.35%
Muskoka Brewery
Ontario, Canada
Very Good
Muskoka Harvest AleMuskoka Harvest Ale
Notes: Muskoka Harvest Ale was our brewery’s pioneering venture into our limited run series of beers. Now in its fourth year, our Harvest Ale marks the end of the growing season and the process of gathering mature crops from the fields.

Dry hopped and brewed using a selection of premium local ingredients, this ale has a rich malt backbone and a subtle grassy character reminiscent of the freshly cut harvest. It’s our way of celebrating another prosperous growing season. And we’re proud to share it with you.
Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 177 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Larryfunnell
4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured with a better head if not poured dwon the side of the glass. The head that was there was white and long lasting. The smell tells you this will be quite a hoppy beer, and the taste confirms that. For me the was a bit of a sharp after taste that caused me to score it down a bit. Goof for an occasional beer.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours pale amber with a wispy shortlived head and frenetic carbonation streams. Bready, butterscotch malts and herbal, leafy hops in the nose. Cookie dough, chocolate malts, toasty caramel mixes with light herbal, grassy hops in the taste. Medium bodied mouthfeel. Light bitterness and lingering dark malts in the off dry finish.

A nice malty ale. Quite a clean yeast profile, almost like a Vienna Lager. Simple but good. Worth a try.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.81/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Muskoka Brewery "Harvest Ale"
11.5 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, "ENJOY BEFORE DEC 31 2017"
$1.83 @ Cherry Hill Wine, Liquor & Beer, Cherry Hill, NJ

Look: Hazy deep gold body with a bit of an orange-ish sheen beneath a full head of frothy white foam. Excellent head retention and very good lacing.
Smell: Sweetish golden malt with a touch of grassy hops.
Taste: As the aroma suggests, sweetish, grainy malt is threaded through with grassy hops and a light touch of citrusy fruitiness, and balanced by a solid bitterness. Dry finish as some residual malt quickly fades and gives way to grassy and lightly citrusy hops.
Feel: Medium bodied and gently crisp.
Overall: Fairly basic but bigger and stronger, and in this case, more bitter. Well brewed.

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Photo of Mysticmage
3.52/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a tulip glass. For an unfiltered pour only slightly cloudy. Decent collar that held up well throughout. Wheaty, grass but not as strong a nose as I prefer. Fairly bitter like an IPA which worked well for me. Decent feel throughout. A good fall brew which can be enjoyed into Christmas no doubt. giving it a Wizard’s wand up.

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Photo of patre_tim
2.89/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Golden hazy and highly carbonated, its topped with 2 fingers of white head.

Smells slightly fruity, almost of pumpkins, and a hint of cardboard, and pine.

Tastes like a heavy hitter, like a Euro strong lager with a big sweetness, alcohol, linen, and fruitiness. Tastes a little like an Octoberfest beer, then there's big grapefruit pith, dull bitterness, and urine as well.

Thick and syrupy body, with moderately low carbonation.

BBD of Dec 15th, 2017, I'm drinking this on Nov 27th, 2017, but it tastes to me far past its prime. Incongruent, almost gross flavour combinations, an off balanced feel, and a less than enticing smell, sorry guys, did I just pick up a bad one from Bala's 'The Beer Store'? Don't think I can finish this, and for me that's extremely rare.

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Photo of eberesford
3.74/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2017 - offering, this seasonal beer apparently changes slightly year on yeaePours slightly hazy straw colour with a 2cm head that settles into a 3-4mm head that leaves good lacing. Aroma: some sulpher when first opened although this dissipates quickly - grassy, herbal, nutty, raisins. Flavour: dried pale fruit, nutty, quite chewy, a signifficant bitterness that almost turns to the metalic. I am not tasting the grapefruit some have detected in other years, more English style hopping. Longish palate - an interesting, but not outstanding harvest ale.

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Photo of davidward
5/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the best harvest ale I've had. It has a wonderful, complex, floral texture with a hoppy earthiness that goes down real good on a warm, humid Muskoka summer day.

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Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Best before 12/4/16.Pours into a nonic a brilliant bronze color with a thinner but sticky light beige head atop.Aromas are lighter than expected,light piney hops and some caramel toffee.Flavors of buttery caramel malts intertwined with a good shot of resinous hops,a little alcohol sweetness is present in the back end.Quite a balanced brew a little old school with the big use of cascades,a big malt profile.A solid fall offering here.

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Photo of Act25
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Why so good? Borders on Stone Bastard, but easier, and more every day. Awesome brew. Could be my beer all winter.

A) Pours clear reddish amber with fine bubbles and tiny particles, nice one finger DENSE & CREAMY tan head retains well and laces manifold thick rings.

S) Abundance of herbal, leafy hops with melon, cedar, wood, grass.

T) Follows smell but AMPLE, and adds the nutty caramel and earthy notes that amplify the cedar and grassy long flavors.

F) Feels thick with good weight and matched carbonation, leaves a sticky but long finish that is pleasant kiss.

O) One of the best. Try 24.

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Photo of Rukeli76
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is a nice fall beer. Lots of resinous hop aromas and flavours with a solid malt backbone. The beer nerd in me would like some more information about hop varietals and sourcing, etc., plus maybe a little bit of experimentation from year to year.

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Photo of D-HopSupreme
4.34/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep red body with a fair amount of soapy, off-white head. The aroma is fairly floral with citrus rind and caramel around the edge. The taste hits the palate with a fairly neutral malt sweetness at the front of the tongue, with piney hops and bitterness encompassing the ends with citrus and toasty malt on the finish. For 7%, it still feels very smooth, though the carbonation is a bit overpowering here. Overall it's yet another great offering from Muskoka! These guys do not disappoint!

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Photo of BlairDoucette
4.69/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Serving type: 341ml bottle. Enjoy before DEC 04.

Appearance: not bad lacing, a nice looking amber almond colour. with an orange tint.

Smell: Pine and grassy smelling, with a hint of grapefruit tainted hops. Glorious hints of brown sugar and caramel.

Taste: Nice and sweet upfront with a very rich whole hearted caramel back bone, really good mouth feel. hops piney and grassy on the finish. medium to full body.

Overall: its an interesting beer with a very upfront taste. For someone perhaps that prefers lighter more crisp beers with less of a heavy finish on the hops (bitter), I wouldnt recommend this beer. The malt is very nice and well balanced. Price wise I'd like to mention atleast where I purchased this it was alittle pricey but I really like the idea of ''handcrafted with no preservatives''. It's a strong beer at 7.0 percent, & if you can take a nice strong ale with alot of character then i do recommend this and thank you for reading.

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Photo of PorterPro125
4.16/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type: 341 mL Bottle

A- Pours a clear, Deep Orange colour topped with substantial off-white head that stuck around for a good while. Decent amount of lacing.

S- Floral hops, Citrus (mainly grapefruit) and a good dose of caramely malt.

T- Resiny pine and grapefruit hops, caramel and bready malt.

M- Easy drinking medium body with moderate carbonation.

O- Excellent Harvest Ale with plenty of hoppy goodness to go around. A great beer to enjoy while the Autumn rolls on.

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Photo of kevinlater
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

355ml bottle into snifter. "enjoy before 04 dec 2015". consumed sep 23 2015

a: pours a deep, transparent orange, going towards ruby. nice tan head

s: grassy, floral, and piney with a heavy chewy, sweet caramel presence. ripe orange and grapefruit lie underneath. a very delightful aroma

t: rich malt - deep brown sugar flavours and chewy, freshly baked spicy rye bread. bitter floral and piney notes. the citrusy hop characteristics are present in the mid-palate -- pleasant and delicious, and less of an afterthought than in the nose. the finish is bitter but has lingering bread and caramel malt notes

m: medium, almost medium-plus mouthfeel, with medium-minus carbonation. creamy, oily, sticky, and chewy with a appropriately dry finish

o: very impressed by this beer. it's pretty malt-forward but still leaves enough space for the hops to shine. a real treat

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Photo of TheHammer
4.37/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: An almond brown with red notes that boasts quite a lot of sandy sediment in the body. An solid finger and a half of head that produced substantial lacing and moderate retention does a solid job of showcasing the beer.

Smell: There is a mixed bag of hops ranging from piney, earthy, flowery, citrusy and herbal (no grassy ones though) that stands atop a caramel malt backdrop with touches of orange peel, various spices and pumpkin in the far back. Warming tends to limit the spicier notes and bring out the hops more. Solid stuff here, only it might have just a bit too much hop presence.

Taste: Rich caramel malt that quickly bows to a fruitier orange, lemon, spice and floral notes with a touch of butternut squash oddly enough that then gives way to a mixed bag of floral, citrus hops that accent the dominate piney hop and resin taste. Good stuff, but a slight reign in on the hops I'd like to see.

Mouthfeel: The aftertaste is mixed, but the piney resin taste holds dominance which is a bit of a letdown. The transitioning is a little fast, but the carbonation helps out the entire beer and the aftertaste doesn't build upon itself which is a bonus.

Drinkability: On the heavier end of medium bodied, so I wouldn't want to put this back all night, but it walks the line between dry and refreshing very well. Easy to drink, with certainly enough the keep it interesting. Really the perfect fall drinker.

Final Thoughts: I may still lament the departure of the Muskoka Spring Oddity, but it's good to be reminded of why I still hold Muskoka as the best brewery in Ontario. This is an all around great beer that is perfect for a cool late fall fishing trip at the cottage. Two thumbs up on this one.

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Photo of mick303
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml corked bottle that took quite a bit of work to decork. Excellent head retention and lacing over a burnished caramel colored ale.

A- earthy dry hop notes, caramel malt, some rustic malty sweetness, baking spice, some drier citrus notes. Robust and complex.

T- some rich malt notes, dextrinous and rich English malts, more dry lemon and grapefruit and also earthy spice. Hops really play a nice role with a thorough earthy character. Dry caramel, mango, drying hay and apple, full and rich fruity character that compliments the malt character. Smooth bitterness throughout growing toward the finish.

M- quite robust and also a well balanced harvest ale, quite an assertive hop bitterness over the malts, very drinkable with a warming satisfying character.

All around this is a highly satisfying and balanced treat. Rich earthy and ripe fruity hops compliment a well balanced caramel malt character that remains really tasty. Good complexity.

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Photo of Franck
4/5  rDev +1%

Very malted at nose. Tofee ans treacle.
In mouth, it's sweet, round, dense. Sugars give their place to hops who give a great bitter taste with aromas of cantaloupe and grapefruit.
Long bitterness

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Photo of taxandbeerguy
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750 ml corked and caged bottle purchased frame the LCBO for just under $10. Served fairly cold into a pint glass.

Appearance - slightly hazy beer, amber and copper in color. A finger and a bit of head with a nice half finger of retention. Sparse lacing and a few visible bubbles.

Smell - a fine blended bouquet of flowers, some citrusy fruit, some caramel and butterscotch.

Taste - something akin to flower petals melded, with some bitter citrusy fruit, maybe a touch of grapefruit and passion fruit, with a hint of lemon, culminating in a fine slightly bitter finish. Balanced caramel malts throughout. A harvest like characteristic to the whole beer.

Mouthfeel - smooth slightly prickly mouthfeel, with a fair level of carbonation but seems soft and voluptuous in the mouth. Moderately juicy finish. Great feel.

Overall - a great beer that blurs the line between American pale ale and American India pale ale, as it has elements of both. Very delicious and a repeat purchase even given the hefty price tag.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.49/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Purchased at the LCBO for $7.10 for a 750ml bottle. Served at 8deg C in a water glass.

A- Opened well. 3" of head then to a film. Nice dark golden brown color.

S- Very good. Peat and moss. Yeast. Caramel.

T- Bit of a let down. Not that good. Not impressed.

O- Ok but not great

Food Pairing

This ok ale matched with potato salad and hot sausage and rice with egg stir fry


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Photo of randallpink
4.34/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

served from bottle into pint glass - 2013 vintage

A - slightly hazy copper/auburn, two fingers tan head that has great retention and slowly turns into a nice rocky covering to the beer, leaves amazing amount of lacing on the glass with amazing rings all the way down, passes medium amount of light

S - heavy on the caramel malts, toffee, biscuits. earthy and piny, grassy hops off the pour which make way to some more orchard fruit type of smells as it warms, citrus, pineapple, mango

T/M - malts, bread, caramel, toast, brown sugar,fruity hops, very sweet when it hits then tongue then the bitterness quickly takes over and dominates, herbal and piny hops linger in the mouth, medium mouthfeel, lowish carbonation, creamy, sticky, slightly astringent (as the hops take over from the sweetness of the malts), spicy bitterness, slightly dry finish

o - a wonderfully crafted beer! i've had quite a few of these over the past couple months and since this was my last bottle i decided to give it a review. all i can say is i can't wait til next year to get some more! so much happening in the complexity of this beer but doesn't seem crowded. flavours seemed to be popping up with each sip. would recommend and buy again!

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Photo of dreamchaser
4.34/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A slightly cloudy dark amber colour with a foamy cream-coloured head. Aroma of malt, spice and pine. Sweet and malty, with notes of pine hops, orange peel and a mild spiceyness. Highly carbonated and medium-bodied. Complexity and balanced mainly toward malts but still finishes with a nice dry hoppyness.

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Photo of Digimaika2
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(4.0) A: Clear copper coloured with a decently sized frothy beige head. Long lasting retention and good lacing.

(4.5) S: Pine, tart citrus elements, crisp apple, earthy peat, buttered bread, and toffee. What a great mix of aromas with a defined hop-like character and earthy qualities that contribute to the complexity.

(4.0) T: Similar to aroma with fresh grasses, spices, lemons, grapefruit, and a slight burnt wood taste all coming through. Complimented nicely with a robust and rich bread-like malt taste. Solid bitterness throughout with a mildly dry finish. Very good.

(3.5) M: Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation. Slight syrup like stickyness with a mildly viscous body.

(4.0) D: Very tasty with a great hop profile and fresh earthy qualities. I still prefer this on-tap if given the choice, but nonetheless, a very good harvest ale and something to look forward to in the Fall season.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle from the LCBO; listed at 7.0% (2012 edition). This is one I've been looking forward to for months, and fortune seems to be on my side as it was quite easy to find this year. One of the two Muskoka seasonals I have yet to try (or review).

Pours a beautiful, transparent amber-orange colour, with nearly two fingers of billowy, puffy off-white head seated atop the liquid. It's resilient stuff, hanging around for more than a few minutes before finally wilting into a bumpy, foamy cap on the surface - and as an added courtesy, it leaves behind a delicate web of lacing on the sides of the glass. Definitely a very fine-looking pint of beer, and the aroma is nearly equally impressive - plenty of orange, grapefruit and caramel; very floral, very fruity, and very enticing to boot.

Very tasty stuff; the hops are quite prominent, but the malts remain a fixed presence, particularly at the start of the sip. Their sweet caramel and vaguely nutty notes, though, are soon overtaken by pink grapefruit, lemon citrus and floral, slightly piney hop flavours. Finishes with floral hops and earthiness lingering into the aftertaste. Medium-bodied, with a slick mouthfeel and mild carbonation, making one very smooth-drinking ale. The abv is nowhere to be seen - this is absurdly drinkable stuff, and the large bottle is appropriate for gradual consumption over a crisp fall evening.

Final Grade: 4.33, an outstanding A grade. I anticipated that this would be pretty good, but probably not worth the nearly $9.00 pricetag. Still, this is easily one of the best American-style pale ales I've ever tried. If you are looking for a sturdier, relatively balanced ale with some hop bite to it then Muskoka Harvest Ale is a perfect choice for the coming autumn and winter months. Very impressed with this stuff; like all of their seasonals the big bottle is pricy but potentially worth it, especially if you plan to share with friends.

[Update Oct. 3 2013]

I've shared two bottles of the 2013 vintage over the last few weeks, and it is just as superb as last year's. I know that they started putting their Summer Weiss in six-packs recently, and I hope that a similar treatment is on the way for this one in the near future.

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Photo of leaddog
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 edition - 750mL, 7%

Appearance - Pours a dark amber with two fingers of bubbly foamy head.

Smell - Citrus/tropical fruits, caramalts, strong piney hops.

Taste - Piney earthy hops along with citrus, tropical and dark fruits. Nice caramel/caramalt flavour. Grassy bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with light to medium carbonation.

Overall - A unique EPA by Muskoka. The aromas almost suggest a dry-hopped American IPA. Well-executed brew that makes it to the top of my Muskoka favourites list, right next to Mad Tom IPA.

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Photo of rzarector
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden-amber colour with an off-white head that stays present until the last sip. Beautiful lacing here also. A sweet, piney smell makes up the aroma. Definitely some fruit flavours here as orange comes to mind, as well as some sweet malt. Overall a very solid pale ale and maybe best I've had from Ontario.

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Muskoka Harvest Ale from Muskoka Brewery
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 177 ratings