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Muskoka Mad Tom IPA | Muskoka Brewery

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Muskoka Mad Tom IPAMuskoka Mad Tom IPA

Brewed by:
Muskoka Brewery
Ontario, Canada

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Inspired by late night stories around the fire, Muskoka Mad Tom will instantly grab your attention. Dry-hopped with Chinook and Centennial hops, this IPA has a vibrant aroma, depth of flavour, and crisp citrusy undertow like no other. So brace yourself, and crack one open for old Mad Tom. This is an awakening in craft beer that gets more enticing with every sip.

62 IBU

Added by heebes on 05-26-2011

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Reviews: 125 | Ratings: 437
Photo of wordemupg
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

473ml can poured into tulip 26/4/12 I gotta thank liamt07 for the top 100 Canadian tic

A clear golden liquid with just a few slow bubbles feeding a pinky finger of off white foam that just sits there. I turn my head and type all retarded like, slowly that is, I look back and wonder if time actually passed, a bathroom break finally reveals the surface of the liquid through the thin foam and leaves a thick triangular streak of foam on the no sip side of the glass

S the nose is impressive, guava, tangerine, pineapple with some spruce not pine a little lemon rind and a floral aspect add to the tropical citrus, I hate to do it but the five bomb's getting dropped

T not nearly as strong as the nose but still tasty, everything's still there but mellowed out just a little, a little bready malt but still pretty lopsided towards the hops, lemon rind I didn't smell

M medium bodied but its a little foamy, that being said that aspect seems to spread the rind throughout the mouth, leaves a slightly slick feel on the gums

O the perfect nose and something needs to be said for downing a pint of IPA before getting this deep in a review

smelling the empty can like a smoker scrapes resin for that last hit before bedtime only seems appropriate. this ones a bad ass IPA up there with my fav's from BC, thanks again liamt07 for this fresh gem

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Photo of spinrsx
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

473ml Can from the LCBO for 2.95$

Appearance - Clear copper colour with a large size frothy off white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some really good lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes.

Smell - Malts, caramel, hops, oranges, apricot

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel and hops. As well there is some fruity notes - oranges, apricots, and some grapefruit. It ends with a malty sweet aftertaste with a medium amount of hop bitterness.

Overall - I had to try this one from a can to see if it tasted any different. It really didn't taste that much different than the bottles I've had in the past. Regardless, it's still a very good IPA - especially considering what is available to me locally. My one gripe would be that it is a little too sweet to drink more than a few of, and the price is a tad high. For my money I'll stick with the Crazy Canuck Pale Ale which is 2.50$ a can and a little less malty/sweet and a little more citrus driven.

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Photo of bryehn
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

473 mL Can. Wide-Mouthed Wine Glass, 8C. BB: Aug 19, 2012. $2.95.

Pours a caramel brown colour with a bright amber tone. Large and soapy, off-white head that leaves a nice amount of lace and sticks around as a filmy collar.

Smells very fresh. Aromas of tangerine and grapefruit, with a solid, biscuit-like backing.

The taste has a solid, grainy body with extra bright citrus notes and a hint of chocolate. Nicely embittered finish that ties everything together.

Full-bodied mouthfeel with a medium carbonation. Very biscuit or bread-like on the tongue and then oily. Aftertaste has a lingering citrus bitterness and a subtle honey-like note.

Yeah, I don’t think I’ll ever buy this in bottles again if I can help it. It simply smells and tastes fresher and I can add a couple to my beer order without having to break the budget (and carrying space) on a 6-pack.

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Photo of ism
3.57/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

355 mL bottle poured into the hotel's mini-tumblers (about 160 mL). Attractive, bubbly white head, one-finger with consistent lacing. Isinglass-clear, dark straw color.

Nose of orange peel, a squeeze of grapefruit, a light floral, almost herbal note, and a biscuit earthiness. Average carbonation and appropriate for the style. Medium-thin body.

High-alpha acid bitters, nice complexity going on here. A pure, base bitter anchors the stage as citrus and herbacious notes dance upon it. Biscuit earthiness balances it out. Grapefruit and herbs in the short finish.

This is the "truest" Ontario-made American IPA I've encountered on my trip. It deserves to be a local favorite.

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Photo of BGDrock
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes:

Appearance: clear; deep gold turning to amber; good head that lasts several minutes

Aroma: sweet citrus - orange, tangerine; hint of spice

Taste & Mouthfeel: clean, crisp, with a pleasing hop bitterness - less like the citrus aroma, but again there is some tangerine flavour; herbal spices, like coriander, maybe some pepper; caramel malts make an appearance too

Overall: easy-drinking with an above average variety of flavour for an IPA; a refreshing beer to enjoy on the cottage deck

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Photo of beerbuddah
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have been drinking this for quite some, figured I should review it. Had many american IPAs, this beer definitely holds a candle to them, although it's one of a select few brewed up in Canada.

Appears like an IPA should, golden yellow with a hint of orange. The head is frothy and lacy, and it sticks around.

Smells like hops, some grapefruitiness there.

Taste is great. Very much like grapefriuts during the aftertaste. Bitter, yet drinkable.

Mouthfeel is very important to me. This beer has the right amount of carbonation.

overall, a delicious beer, and to me - the best of it's kind (would like some more to compare them to) in Canada.

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Photo of Groulxsome
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ok, this review is a bit of an experiment. I just got back from Southern California (drinking Firestone Walker, Pliny, Green Flash, Hercules DIPA - all beers with exceptional and above ratings on here) so I'm trying one of these straight away while those are still my standard be(e)rer. In a recent blind taste test (several weeks back) I preferred this over several Ontario IPA's (Duggins, Smash Bomb) and even Central City's Red Racer (which surprised me). Poured from a bottle into a tulip. Here goes:

A - It's got a great head which started really pillowy and came down only slightly with nice lacing. The color is a nice clear copper with a little orange, which is where I think it ought to be.

S - Pine, hoppy-grapefruit, some light sweet-honey malt. It doesn't have the big tropical fruits of a west coast IPA (mangos, passion fruit, melons, or papaya), but it's nicely balanced and there are a few hints of some of those fruits.

T - It continues with the piny grapefruit which gives way to some malty sweetness and hop sweetness (honey and tropical fruit). It's a little faint, maybe I'm looking too hard. It finishes with a great, deep grapefruit bitter. On the par, the best part of the taste is the rich grapefruit bitter.

M - A little lighter than I'd like, but with a nice sharp carbonation. A little alcohol burn to help with the grapefruit bitter.

O - Overall, this is a solid IPA that is certainly among the best of the style in Ontario. I think it straddles the line between being drinkable (which is really, really is) and being a top-tier IPA which could maybe help Ontario play (even field a player!) with the bigger guys in the North American beer-review world. Maybe if there was a double Mad Tom (Crazy Tom? Committed Tom?) where the tastes could be ramped up beyond what might be expected in Ontario this might help bump this "good" beer into the "exceptional" category. As it stands, an under-rated beer which should help break the unfortunate excuse "it's a great IPA for something brewed in Ontario."

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Photo of Caudalie
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a riedel red wine magnum beer glass

A: Pours a clear golden color, with a small persistant white head.

S: REally hoppy, grapefruits and orange peels. Nice

T: Pretty fresh, and dry, with a good balance. Hoppy, with lots of citrus fruits, and a good bitterness

O: Textbook american style IPA, this is well done. I'd drink this pretty often if it was available in quebec

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Photo of Derek
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Amber-bronze with an off-white head, good retention & lace.

S: Big American hop aroma, plenty of grapefruit, some pine and grass.

T: This is an assertive IPA, I believe it's over 60 IBU, though the rough bitterness from the chinook is often perceived to be more. It has some solid malt to back it up, but certainly not as sweet as some Ontario renditions.

M: Fairly full-bodied for an IPA, with a nice hop acidity.

D/O: Definitely one of the more assertive IPA's in Ontario. Good stuff!

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Photo of JOaikido
3.22/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

355 ml bottle.

A- Flat and slightly cloudy. Pale amber colour. Some lacing.

S- Grapefruit, sour fruits. Faint watermelon.

T- Strong grapefruit hops, fruity and bitter. Light malt giving an acceptable balance.

MF- Light body for the alcohol level.

O- OK, but not my style.

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Photo of eat
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A light cover of white head tops a hazy golden body. Spotty lacing. Head could be better.

Nice tropical citrus and pine on the nose, with a little grass, grapefruit and strong mineral character. Nice not-too-sweet caramel underneath.

Generously hopped, though not at all over the top. Tropical and pine blend transitions into a lightly-drying earthy grapefruit pith finish. Malt sweetness is sitting a little under where I'd prefer but at least doesn't have the opposite problem as so many Canadian IPAs do. Nice bit of toastiness. No alcohol shows.

I feel the body is a bit too light but at the same time I'm not really minding that at all. Light-moderate carbonation.

Very decent IPA. Maybe a little on the light side in flavour and body but this only aids drinkability. As an Ontario-brewed IPA I think I prefer Smash Bomb overall but not by much; it's too bad I moved back to Quebec right as these two were released as there are no bottled IPAs of this quality here.

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Photo of jbonapar
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Muskoka seems to be delving into more interesting beers than many of the other "Ontario Mircobreweries" these days.. Love it.

Pours a nice, golden ever so slightly cloudy ale. Wonderfull head with lacing ta'boot.

SMell is slightly subtle for an American IPA. Oddly, i just percieve the slightest amount of early hops. I am assuming they went more towards the bittering hop than the aroma/dry hop... but hard to tell.

Taste is wonderful, as an American IPA Should. Rich and bitter. Perhaps a bit less sweet than most AIPA's but still, a backbone of malt with a strong building hoppiness. Citrus and earth...A bit strong on the "bitterness" with perhaps slightly less flavor of the hop. Nevertheless, nice and enjoyable for the style.

Overall a really nice A-IPA, not my #1, but up for an Ontario Brew, very good indeed.

UPDATE: Had on tape, actually much better with way more hop flavor and aroma.

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Photo of NightINgale
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

355ml bottle...

A - Hazy medium amber/gold colour to the body. White fluffy head. Impressive lacing and head retention. From the way it looks, I'm getting a feeling it will be a nice IPA.

S - Aha! The scent is very citrusy, with a hint of pine and caramel. Definitely smells hoppy.

T - It starts with a hop kick, bringing a lot of citrus notes to your taste buds. Then you get a little bit of caramel sweetness. Hints of pine and tropical fruits in the juicy yet bitter after-taste. Very nice!

M - Light-to-medium body. Moderate level of carbonation. No alcohol in the taste. A little astringent, especially in the after-taste. Definitely very sessionable, for it does not get hefty nor too dry.

O - I'm impressed. This is an almost flawless, quality American-style IPA. Unlike many other Canadian IPA's, this one is virtually indistinguishable from real American IPA's, which can often be a good thing. Nothing crazy, nothing unique, BUT it's a very solid drinkable beer!

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Photo of abraxel
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very slightly hazy, golden yellow, with a prodigious white head that drops very slowly. and leaves generous lacing down the sides.

S - Some light, pleasant, pine and citrus hop flavor. Smells crisp and clean.

T - Nice hop bitterness, with that same citrusy pine flavor. For some reason it also reminds me of sugar snap peas, but I don't know why. The bitterness is at a great level, but I think it lingers a little too long after I swallow.

M - Thin-to-medium mouthfeel, lowish carbonation (in contrast to the voluminous head).

Overall, this is definitely above-average, but I've had plenty better. I'll enjoy the the rest of the glass.

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Photo of GabesAles
4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: very nice looking orange IPA with some haze, which is typical in many american IPAs... nice head, usualy stays till the very bottom

Smell: very nice nose to this brew, you can smell the cascades come right through

Taste: one of my favorite canadian IPAs... very nice citrusy hop profile, nice strong bitterness.. beautiful balance of strong flavors.

Mouthfeel: good mouthfeel, although i have had better, i'm still very satisfied with it's mouthfeel

Overall: great brew, commonly found in my fridge!

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Photo of Intrinsic
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

MT IPA almost has the same colour as a Belgian IPA. Its very light looking with plenty of carbonation. The head doesn't last very long, but it leaves nice lacing.

Its only very lightly scented with hops characterized by a zesty citrus and pine quality. Nothing particularly amazing here, but it all comes together very nicely.

This may be one of the most refreshing IPAs I've ever had. The pine and citrus flavoured hops are mingled together in a way that doesn't overpower at all. In fact, its reminiscent of Stone. I'm quite impressed.

The body is very light and leaves a not-too-dry bitter finish - honestly, this beer has a lot going for it. I think its underrated and I would recommend it to any fan of IPAs.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a six-pack picked up at the LCBO; best before January 2012. I have been meaning to try this one for a while.

Pours a slightly hazy amber-brass colour, topped with a thin off-white head that lasts for a surprisingly long time. It eventually wilts, leaving a soapy film on the surface and plenty of lacing on the sides. Great smell on this - totally dominated by grapefruit and lemony hops, with a bit of mango and pine needles. The malt aromas are very hard to detect through this, but they're of a biscuity caramel nature.

All sorts of light, juicy fruit flavour on the palate. Grapefruit is again the strongest but there is plenty of citrus in general, alongside peach, tropical fruit and earthy pine. As with the aroma, the malts take the backseat but provide just a bit of caramel sweetness. Grapefruit astringency from those resiny hops lingers on the palate long after my mouth is empty - this profound dryness is a good way to encourage another sip... Medium-thin bodied with minimal stickiness; maybe a bit of slipperiness on the tongue.

Good thing there are five more of these. Delicious stuff, a fabulous IPA that I can't find much to complain about. Definitely something I will pick up again, although they seem to have trouble keeping it in stock... no wonder!

[Updated May 8 2016]

Another tallboy can, best before Aug 7 2016. Unfortunately I don't drink this beer nearly as much as I used to, but that has more to do with the blossoming of alternative Ontario IPAs rather than any sort of decline in quality with this one. Muskoka's Mad Tom is well-made, but its array of earthy, piney, floral, citrusy flavours are pretty bog standard these days - the beer scene in this province just has so much more to offer in 2016 than it did in 2011.

Final Grade: 4.08, an A-

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Photo of
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - light copper with vigorous visible carbonation and a thick, persistent head.

Smell - Citrus, fresh pine, tropical fruit, and mint.

Mouthfeel - medium body and creamy texture.

Taste - Caramel and toffee, orange, and lots of bitterness, especially on the finish. A bit of the pine comes through as well.

One of the better Ontario IPAs.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a medium amber color ale with a nice foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of bitter and citrus hops is quite powerful on this one. Taste is a nice mix between some floral notes of hops with some citrus, piney and bitter notes clearly coming out; malt base is dry caramel and strong enough to sustain the malty base. Body is full with good carbonation. Very well brewed and quite pleasant. Probably one of the best IPA to be bottle out of Ontario.

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Photo of paxkey
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

found one lone bottle sitting on the shelf.
i like the whimsical artwork on the bottle.

pours cloudy pale yellow , huge white head. almost looks like a witbier.

the hops on the nose are gorgeous. the usual suspects of citrus, mango, some malt sweetness. this smells tasty.

a lot of bitterness in this beer, hard to pick out other flavors through the bitterness. the bitterness dominates. its okay, but not awesome.

a little bit of creaminess on the mouthfeel. feels a bit heavy in the stomach.

not a bad beer, but the bitterness kind of overwhelms everything.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy northyorksammy (thanks!). Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Nearly clear amber body with a small but lasting ivory head. Faint amoebic lacing, thin fast running legs.

Tangerine zest, evergreen, and mint in the nose - the C-hops come to the front - along with very faintly toasty pale malt notes.

Malty palate entry accompanied by woodsy/earthy/spicy hop flavors. Gentle astringency with lemon pith and vague pine coming on next. Slow moving, increasing bitterness offset by dry bready malt notes in the finish.

Medium-light bodied, rather creamy, with good carbonation.

Similar to many good NW versions of the style - is best served with food (a well made burger, salmon, etc) - but satisfying on it's own as well.

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Photo of SebD
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of tropical fruit, grapefruit, piney notes with some caramely malts and a slight skunkiness.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a citrusy/grapefruit flavour with pine, some caramely malts and a lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice balance of flavours.

Drinkability: It's a smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavours and aromas. So far the best i've tried from muskoka but i'm anxious to try my Summer Weiss.

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Photo of aletale
4.51/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased as part of a six-pack of bottles poured into a pint glass.

Pours a nice amber colour with about a half finger head that seems to want to stick around. A fair bit of lacing. Medium to fast carbonation.

This has got to be one the best smelling IPA's out there. A multitude of sweet fruits come to mind, as well as an underlying hoppiness. It is a lot to take in...

Now this is an IPA! The fruity and hoppy flavours balance out perfectly to leave a tasty, dry, almost graperuit-esque finish which is just fantastic. This beer packs a mighty punch.

Muskoka was not afraid to go all-out on this one, and I couldn't be happier. Probably my favourite brewery in Ontario right now.

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

An excellent addition to Ontario's nascent American Pale Ale scene.

Clear golden amber with decent head and carbonation level. Mouthfeel pleasant and lacking the oily slickness found in some of its counterparts.

Aroma is sweet with tropical fruits. Taste adds both citrus and pine elements to those tropical fruits, with a significantly lingering finish of "west coast" hops.

A delightfully drinkable beer and a resoundingly pleasant surprise. Well done, Muskoka!

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Photo of jrenihan
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer is a murky orange colour, darker at the top. A large amount of frothy white head is on top, and has pretty good retention. Minimal lacing.

Nice citrus smell, fairly pungent. Grapefruit is there, I also get a hint of peach. Somewhat floral. A very slight hoppy bitterness is noticeable. Good smell.

Taste is not quite as nice as the smell. but is certainly a pleasant IPA. A bit of a juicy taste, and a moderately bitter aftertaste. A little bit of pine in the taste as well. The malt is fairly subdued- a bit of caramel in the background, but certainly overshadowed by the hops.

Nice mouthfeel. Light to medium bodied, with a nice subdued carbonation.

Overall, a good addition to the exploding world of Ontario IPAs. Definitely happy to see it in the LCBO. Not one of my favourite IPAs, but I am sure I will be buying more in the future.

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Muskoka Mad Tom IPA from Muskoka Brewery
3.89 out of 5 based on 437 ratings.
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