Spiced Dark Ale | Alley Kat Brewing Company

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Spiced Dark AleSpiced Dark Ale

Brewed by:
Alley Kat Brewing Company
Alberta, Canada

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Note: Non-commercial limited edition given to clients from the brewery.

Added by wordemupg on 12-16-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 3 | Ratings: 3
Reviews by IronDjinn:
Photo of IronDjinn
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Neil and Lavonne Herbst at Alley Kat, along with the whole brewery staff, for what is the best Xmas card one can receive, a specially brewed limited edition bottle of beer. Also thanks to Jim at Sherbrooke for passing a bottle along to me, although Mike and Kelly at Little Guy Liquor get a nod for offering me one too after the fact.

I was also fortunate enough to have sampled the cask version of this ale as well, am curious to see the comparison between the two. I even guessed the extra unmentioned "secret" ingredient, even before I took a sip. The head of marketing from Alley Kat was sitting right next to me to confirm, at first by loudly shushing me. It's cardamom by the way. Really, there's only so many Xmas spices typically used, it was an educated guess...

Comes in a 650 ml brown bottle, gold foil around the cap and neck. Pours out a clear ruddy copper hue, thin creamy off-white head that settles to a thick cap.

Aroma gives off the impression of gingerbread with sweet bready malt and some toasty notes, augmented with sweet cinnamon, some nutmeg, ginger, and mild cardamom (they must have thrown a lot more extra into the casked version).

The malt is milder in the flavour, and much crisper. The middle offers up a little bit of caramel and diacytl, the latter of which works well for this brew, adding a hint of shortbread. The finish is clean with crisp toasty malt, while the spices start to shine in the aftertaste already, along with more of a shortbread character that coats the lips.

The mouthfeel is medium-full, with a creamy full texture, and moderate carbonation that kicks in when it's needed most.

While I'm still pining for last year's Orange Chocolate Porter I still managed to make good friends with this year's offering by the time I reached the end of the glass. It's not intense or overwhelming by any means, however that scaled back approach presents a clean ale full of nuance that quietly unravels itself the more you sip it. Stop by the brewery around the holiday season if you can to pick up a bottle for yourself to try. On my behalf ask them if they can make some more of the Orange Chocolate Porter again too.

 2,173 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650ml bottle. Alley Kat's second annual holiday special, made for their friends and supporters, and brewed with 'secret spices'. I like a wee challenge...

This beer pours a crystal clear, bright medium copper hue, with two fingers of puffy, soapy pale beige head, which leaves some nice fragmented lace around the glass as it duly settles. It smells pretty much just like those gingerbread cookies still sitting on the counter from well before Christmas proper - sweet bready, caramel, ginger, nutmeg, and a bit of cinnamon. Makes me want to revisit said tin of cookies. Anyways, the taste is moderately sweet bready, pastry-esque malt, a lessened, but still plucky spice component - nutmeg and cinnamon stepping over the weakened ginger, a bit of vanilla cream, and soft earthy hops. The carbonation is quite sedate, the body medium weight, and generally smooth. It finishes off-dry, the bready malt and spices knowing they've got a good gig, and they stick to it.

A comforting, tasty, very appropriate sending-off to the season, and to 2011. Thanks, Jim at Sherbrooke, and of course Alley Kat for continuing to wow we YEG beer drinkers throughout the year!

 1,160 characters

Photo of wordemupg
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bomber poured into tulip 15/12/11

A clear golden copper with lots of tiny bubbles barfing off the bottom of the glass, big long lasting light tan head leaves thick partial rings of lace followed by some chunks of lace that stick out from the glass, looks pretty sweet

S faint herbal hops, lots of nutmeg and allspice, smells like a pumpkin pie

T what I smell but with a slight metallic penny like flavor, not a bad thing though but I preferred the smell, maybe some faint cinnamon

M pin prick bubbles cream it up a bit and a spicy lingering finish works well for it

O not a bad spiced ale much like many others I've had over the years

I could drink this again but I doubt I'll ever see it again, nothing too really set it apart from other spiced ales but that been said I enjoyed it and it went down pretty fast

 839 characters

Spiced Dark Ale from Alley Kat Brewing Company
3.87 out of 5 based on 3 ratings.
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