Muskoka Harvest Ale | Muskoka Brewery

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88
very good
65 Reviews
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Muskoka Harvest AleMuskoka Harvest Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Muskoka Brewery
Ontario, Canada | website

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Viggo on 10-14-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
65
Ratings:
153
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
16.07%
 
 
Wants:
5
Gots:
19
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 65 | Ratings: 153
Photo of Digimaika2
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
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 +10.5%
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 +2.8%
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 +2.8%
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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Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 edition - 7% ABV
A: Deep orange-umber, fully clear and boosted a full 2 fingers of off white head.

S: Hoppy up front with sweet candy, followed with field notes of fresh cut pumpkin and wet leaves.

T: Some mild bitters up front somewhat like an ESB, followed with deep caramel and toffee. Some enticing musk flavours that are reminiscent of fall and harvest. This beer is like the sophisticated uncle of a pumpkin ale.

M: Medium bodied with just a few pricks of carbonation that hint at pepper spice. The thick coating leaves a sweet and bitter finish, begging for another sip.

O: As mentioned this brew feels like a sophisticated uncle of pumpkin ale, there is a strong suggestion to harvest flavours and thicker mouth feel thats warm and inviting. This is a great fall brew - looking forward to another bottle, if I'm lucky.

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Photo of decimator
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a pint glass. ABV 7%. (2012 vintage)

A - Poured a deep copper with amber hues. 3cm cream coloured head slowly dissipates. Lots of lacing.

S - Sweet, dark fruit, dried apricots, citrus notes, hint of grass, hint of floral and alcohol notes.

T - Light caramel sweetness, grains, some citrus, pine, some spice.

M - Medium-heavy body, medium-low carbonation, creamy, sticky, bitter aftertaste. Alcohol is just noticeable as the beer warms up.

O - The mixture of 4 different hops give this one an interesting flavour/aroma profile. Decent Ale overall.

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Photo of papat444
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

***2012 Vintage***

Thanks to jrenihan for this one.

Poured from a 750ml. bottle (ABV 7%) and shared a little with my wife.

Appearance: A slightly opaque bright copper body with some great head that kind of creates a moat around a mound of foam in the middle. Side of the glass is slathered with lacing.

Smell: Sweet, sticky hops, bit of grass but mostly a nice, long, juicy aroma reminding me of mango & orange.

Taste: This leans to the resiny, mildly sweet hops. A touch of spice in the finish with some pine rounds things off.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth, like drinking a pint in a pub. Low on bitterness but enough to make things interesting.

Overall: Wonderful ale. Straddles the line between a pale ale & a bitter. Balanced perfectly and one i wished they made year round.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.46/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 01/07/12 notes. Thanks to whoever shared this one at the last DC RB tasting. Poured into a tulip.

a - Pours a medium amber color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of wheat, grain, floral notes, light citrus notes. Not bad but a tiny bit bland.

t - Tastes of wheat, brains, bready malts, sweet fruity malts, nuts, and toasted malts.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall a pretty nice pale ale. Nose was a bit bland but the taste was much better. Worth checking out once.

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Photo of kjyost
4.26/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Undated 750 mL bottle, poured into a Duvel snifter at ~6C. Bottle received in trade, I think from TheSevenDuffs. Thanks!

A: Copper, clear, nice white head comes up, but then disappears rather quickly to a slight, unlacing ring.
S: What a stellar nose! Bready and biscuity malts, fruity esters and underneath all that? Citrusy hops... A little bit of everything and none of them so strong that it drives away the others.
T: A nice bitter bite along with a malt sweetness battle it out. Much more bitter than I was expecting (thinking this would be something like an Oktoberfest), but I am happy with it. Light hop flavours.
M: Carbonated to an appropriate level (medium to medium-strong and not biting).
O: A surprising beer. Nice and hoppy, well worth having at least once.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another gem from joemcgrath27... Thanks bud!

A - Pours a slightly hazy copper colour with a reddish hue, finger of head with decent retention and some sporadic sheeting lacing.

S - Leafy citrus hops, slightly musty, hint of cotton candy and some caramel on the finish.

T - The fruity citrus hop notes dominate, leafy and earthy. A unique bitterness lingers on the palette and the caramel and toffee notes come through on the finish.

M - Medium bodied, though could come across a tad thin, goes down smooth and finishes nice and wet.

O - A tasty ale that boasts loads of flavour, and certainly captures the essence of the style. I'll be going out of my way to procure more if this next fall once it hits the shelves at the LCBO.

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Photo of slitherySOB
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL flip top bottle. The colour is a hazy copper, with a bit of autumn gold. Sadly, their is very little head to speak of. Perhaps a half to 3/8 finger worth. Smells. Delicious. A definite biscuit aroma. Some floral and citrus aftertones. Tastes just as it smells, with a heavy taste of biscuits and caramel. Grapefruit lingers on the tongue. Mouthfeel is full and creamy. Low carbonation. Overall, a pleasant pale ale.

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Photo of IronDjinn
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 750 ml brown bottle, flip-top cap. Pours out a hazed deep copper hue, chunky off-white head that settles to a thick cap.

Dry toasty malt on the nose, mild caramel, sweet pink grapefruit and tangerine.

Sweet orange and grapefruit notes up front in the flavour, dry toasty grains and dry spicy hops in the middle, clean leafy, grassy hop finish.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel, full creamy smooth texture, low carbonation.

Solid Pale Ale, seems more American from the present hop bill than an English style, most likely listed wrong.

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Photo of fostachild
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

enjoy before 16 jan 12.

perfect clear amber colour. lots off foamy light beige head - leaves behind a nice even lacing for the remainder of the beer.

floral hoppy smell. citrus, grass, malt, fruit. all very subtle but you didn't have to dig - really nice.

nice hoppy taste, citrusy/fruity, caramel, malty backbone. very well balanced, incredible drinkability.

overall i was very impressed with this - everything just seemed to blend really well. don't know if it would qualify as an english pale ale (seemed to have more IPA characteristics) but i enjoyed every sip and would highly recommend giving it a try.

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Photo of SebD
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice orange/copper/amber colour to it. It has a nice off-white head that dies down moderatly and has some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of earthy and floral hops with some grainy and caramely malts and some citrusy notes.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a very nice sweet malt flavor with caramel notes. The floral hops give it a nice lingering bitterness with some citrusy and grapefuite notes.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavours and aromas. Another great beer from Muskoka.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draft

Appearance - The beer pours a hazy copper colour with a an average size frothy beige coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due to the darkness of the beer and there is some very nice lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, hops, caramel

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts mixed with caramel and some rye. There is also a bit of a citrus flavour and a good amount of hops. It ends with a malty/caramel aftertaste with some lingering hop bitterness.

Drink - I remember this as being a bit better last year, but it's still a very good brew. I can taste a bit of their Mad Tom in this beer for sure. I was happy to try it fresh on tap. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of fresh green Cascade hops with nice citrus and light resin notes is very well balanced. Taste is also a nice mix between some floral green hops notes with light citrus and resin notes back by a solid malt backbone with semi-dry caramel notes. Body is full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Another well balanced beer by an Ontario brewer who keep surprising me.

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Photo of
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark copper topped by a solid cm of dense, long-lasting foam.

Smell - citrus hops aromas with a touch of grassiness, grain and caramel.

Taste and Mouthfeel - Gently carbonated and smooth in texture. Very balanced flavours of sweet, toffee-like caramel malt and subtly bitter, citric hops.

This is a very good interpretation of the British-type pale ale in a North American style.

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Photo of EnemyWithin
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 4
Brown amber orange with half an inch of slightly brown yellow white head. Nice looking beer. Good lacing.

Smell: 4
Floral citrus hop aromas, with toffee brown sugar malt notes as well. Also a touch of grassy/grain. Citrus characteristics of the hops fades with time.

Taste: 3.5
Definitely a hops presence to the taste. Initially a slight grainy sweetness that opens up into a more noticeable presence of the hops. Mix of mildly piney, grassy, and caramel flavors. Finishes with the lingering bitterness at end. It smells more complex than it tastes.

Mouthfeel: 3.5
On the thin side, but not too drastic. Reasonable balance between sweetness of malt with astringency of hop. Mild to moderate carbonation, with a nice slight creaminess to it. Average if not above average.

Overall: 3.5
Very safe ale. Nothing overly aggressive or unique. There is a noticeable hops presence, but not a hop bomb by any means. Not a big beer, not a bold beer. A little hard to know what style exactly to compare/rate it against. I do find that is a bit underwhelming in what it offers in the taste profile. That being said, it’s not bad by any means; I think there’s a nice contrast of malt and hops and it’s a reasonable well constructed brew. Could benefit in being bolder in malt profile and alcohol content.

An accessible beer and good offering above and beyond a typical macro beer. Something a lot of people could like. Not a must have, but okay to try.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - mildly hazy copper amber, respectable fluffly head retained very nicely with random clumps of lacing
S - a mix of grassy and orange citrus aromas, light toffee in the background
T - gentle orange citrus up front, then fresh grass, biscuity and earthy flavours round it out, all flavours are subtle but the sum is greater than the parts in this case
M - medium to light body and medium carbonation, juicy and slightly bitter
O - this is a solidly built ale where the individual flavours are gentle but the combo makes for a nice full flavour that goes down very easy, this would be something I would drink regularly were it available

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Photo of marty21
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear copper orange with two fingers worth of foamy off white head. Settles to a thin cap and left a good amount of thick lacing.

S: Good hoppy aroma up front with some caramel malt in the background. A very inviting aroma.

T: Good amount of hops with caramel malt and earthy tastes. Has a bitter finish that lingers for a bit.

M: Light to medium carbonation with a lighter body.

O: This was only my second time trying a beer from Muskoka. The other being their Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout. But I’ve enjoyed them both. I wouldn’t say this is the best pale ale out there but it’s pretty tasty.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml flip-top bottle, apparently a slice of all things craft beer in On-tar-i-ari-o, and a bit of a strange and unquestionably new find on discerning Alberta liquor store shelves. The label imagery is very reminiscent of the Henry Ford Museum displays that I toured just last week in the Motor City.

This beer pours a clear, dark reddish copper amber hue, with two fat fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and bubbly ecru head, which leaves a sagging ring of dried suds lace around the glass as it lazily settles.

It smells of semi-sweet caramel malt, biscuity toffee, a bit of oily citrus, a muddled tropical fruitiness, and perky grassy, leafy, and piney hops. The taste is more biscuity, bready caramel malt, thin toffee pudding, a mild orange and grapefruit citrus tartness, and still prominent herbal, piney, and grassy hops. No real sign of the 14-proof alcohol as of yet.

The carbonation is average in its frothy bearing, and yet quite agreeably so, the body a staunch middleweight, and generally smooth, with a suggestion of nascent creaminess as things warm up a tad. It finishes somewhat crisp and certainly bready, a slight undertow of a hallowed booze tug perceptible amongst the lingering, and pleasantly bitter noble and new-world hops alike.

A harvest ale that comes off as a mishmash of ESB and well-bred APA qualities - leave it to the colonies to play around with that (or get it right - your mileage may vary). Anyways, the welcome, gratuitous additional hopping creates aspirations that push this beyond the normal pale ale (oh yeah, they went there), and gives a fitting example of the (thankfully) evolving Upper Canada beer scene. Dude.

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Photo of evlu1441
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked this up because it was new, and I liked the bottle.

It pours a medium to light reddish-amber, with a thin creamy head. Lots of carbonation rising up to the top.

The aroma is creamy and slightly hoppy, with some distinctive earthy aspects.

The flavour is lightly malty and rather intensely hoppy right off the bat. Some vanilla and spicy noted develop, and the hops meld nicely with the malt flavours and create a balance across the tongue. It's a bit too intensely carbonated for my tastes, but still a nice beer.

Overall, this is worth checking out. It's a good beer, though a bit overpriced in this reviewer's opinion.

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Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The glass looks almost like a blend of cheetah-print and cheap red lipstick (a sure disservice to a beer that is far more attractive than whatever kind of image that description might conjure). By all accounts, this deep but clear and shimmering beer is highly aesthetic and pours with a head nearly as tall as the neck on its swing-top bottle is long. Lacing is thorough.

The brewery tries real hard to sell the dry-hopping, but I’m not buying it entirely. Don't be mistaken, the beer is perceptibly well hopped and exudes a bitter, grassy, resinous hoppy bouquet. But there's enough malt in there to drown hop cones of any size and, as the colour suggests, more than just the hop harvest was meant to be showcased.

Indeed, malt plays no small role in this production. Lots of toasty, rich caramelly grain comes through in the taste, finishing with a hint of sherry. (That aftertaste, by the way, like Pavarotti on a treadmill, is fat and goes absolutely nowhere.) Of course, hops are up in that too; rank pineapple, bitter herbals and pine serum are noted as well.

Muskoka Harvest Ale 2010 and 2011 vintages don't compare identically, but the differences are negligible and the enjoyment and quality are the same. This is a well balanced recipe, providing both sweet malt and bitter hop, both in generous portions that are, well, well proportioned. It is, in other words, a very enjoyable 750ml to work your way through.

The beer has plenty of 'green' hoppiness that results in just the right number of IBUs. Likewise with the amount of toast: enough to instill a firm, nutty sweetness but not so much as to go overboard with it. And, again, likewise with the alcohol: 6 and some odd percent is reasonable, but enough to add a bit of an exclamation mark to the whole thing.

I hope to see this offering on the shelves every autumn as it's quickly become part of my fall-time drinking rituals. Like the Autumn Wind, this is a beer that "is a pirate, blustering in from sea. With a rollicking song he sweeps along, swaggering boisterously...big and bold, the trees all shake and quiver and quake as he robs them of their gold. He'll knock you 'round and upside down and laugh when he's conquered and won."

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Photo of wordemupg
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml pop-top bottle poured into tulip 17/9/11

A clear amber with lots of tiny bubbles and very tiny suspended particles, nice three finger light tan head retains very well leaving several thick rings

S loads of herbal/leafy hops with some melon and citrus with even a little chewing gum

T no gum but other then that I taste what I smell with a little nutty caramel and the earthy notes come out even more

M thick for the color and the perfect amount of carbonation, leaves a slick almost slimy coating in your mouth but its not a bad thing

O 4.25 would have been used once or twice if it were an option for smell or taste so the 4.5 drops here too make up for it. very easy too drink and a pretty well rounded brew

I could drink another big bottle of this with no problem at all, I like the earthy hops in this one and I'm a little surprised it doesn't have a higher rating BA. give this one a go this fall

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Photo of jrenihan
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 edition.

Amber colour, almost two finger-widths of slightly off-white head. Head is thick and has pretty good retention. Some lacing.

Nose consists of biscuity caramel malt and fragrant, floral hops with some light, sweet fruit.

Taste is quite malty. Biscuit and caramel. Fairly sweet. Has a slightly fruity flavour to it. Finishes with some bitterness. Has a bit of an earthy flavour, which I often find to be the case with English pale ales/IPAs. Pretty good.

A little high on the carbonation for me. Medium bodied.

Pretty tasty beer. Don't think I will need more than the one this year, but have certainly enjoyed the one.

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Muskoka Harvest Ale from Muskoka Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.
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