Great Lakes / Amsterdam Ezra | Great Lakes Brewery

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Great Lakes / Amsterdam EzraGreat Lakes / Amsterdam Ezra
Very Good
20 Ratings
Great Lakes / Amsterdam EzraGreat Lakes / Amsterdam Ezra

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewery
Ontario, Canada

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Sammy on 11-11-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 20 |  Reviews: 9
Photo of DamoTO700
5/5  rDev +26.6%

Photo of StormAles
4.36/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of andrenaline
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of bylerteck
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of Cycle69
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of kevinlater
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bomber into nonic pint. can't find a date code

a: a hesitantly vibrant pale yellow with about a finger of nearly-white head

s: typical saison notes -- spicy, yeasty, and citrusy, but there are some nice apple notes too. some slight funk. not the most potent aroma but it still makes me want to take a sip asap

t: oh yeah this is great. spicy, funky yeast and lemon up front, then a crazy tart apple presence emerges mid-palate adding a level of intriguing complexity and giving a really fruity and sour punch. i'm thinking granny smith or pink lady apples? slightly malty on the back end. finishes dry with the tartness tapering off

m: medium mouthfeel. pretty high carbonation but it's appropriate. love it

o: a damn good saison, the cider barrel-aging works wonders here

 777 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%

Ezra may have been aged in cider barrels but its deeper golden colour and slightly tarnished complexion make it look more like apple juice than Spirit Tree's dry cider. And the foamy head that doesn't seem to subside, well, that's a dead giveaway for a beer. Considering its composite parts each spent between three months to a year confined to the dark insides of a barrel, this has retained a remarkably bright glow.

I'll just cut straight to the chase: I think this beer is brilliant. What two tastes pair better than sweetness and spice? And what flavours are more complimentary than cinnamon, clove, nutmeg on the one hand and cereal grains, tart green apple skins and stewed baking apple flesh on the other? This is breakfast and dessert!

It is actually a fact that both Saisons and cider have farmhouse origins and the two actually overlap in multiple ways: both are characteristically marked by underlying tartness, lively effervescence, suggestions of sweet orchard fruit, good acidity, and strong refreshment. And the natural pantry spice notes of the ale's yeast only further accentuate the connection by conjuring autumn-themed thoughts of apple pie and mulled cider.

Aging beer in wooden barrels is not a new practice. Ask the Belgians, they've been doing it for centuries. But when the concept hit North America the craze was all about one thing: bourbon. It wasn't long before everyone and their mother were shoving into bourbon barrels whatever they could: stouts, porters, barleywines, dirty socks, old trophies, everything and anything. These early, unabashedly experimental days resulted in near as many misses as hits.

And for myself, like many others, the bloom came off that rose fairly quickly. But fortunately brewers soon realized there could be more to barrels than just bourbon; the renaissance of sour beer opened new horizons and the use of wine, rum, and other spirit barrels brought flexibility and diversity to a realm otherwise dominated by buttery vanilla and rough-hewn wood.

Some still believe that barrel-aging will prove to be a passing fad. I doubt this very much. And while these cynics are likely to roll their eyes at a blended cider barrel-aged farmhouse ale, I believe Ezra is evidence of the unwearied potential of barrel-aged beers. It is a testament to the genius of a technique that, if done thoughtfully and tastefully, can offer uniqueness and unbound appeal. Not everyone has the necessary imagination and skills, but Mike Lackey of Great Lakes clearly does.

 2,526 characters

Photo of liamt07
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at WVRST, Great Lakes Movember Project X. Served in a tulip.

Paler golden yellow, light white head with mild retention and light lace. Nose lightly sour, some white wine, lemon, slight barrel with a touch of funk, green apple and pear. Taste is sour, light lemon, green apple, slight funk. Medium feel, a bit spritzy and a pucker in the finish. Flavourful and refreshing, light enough to consume large quantities of. This is being aged via the solera method, can't wait to try future iterations of this.

 511 characters

Photo of BeerWatcher
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A bomber from the LCBO. Pours a semi-transparent straw colour. Very thin white head rapidly dissipating. Aromas are of light citrus and white wine. Tastes are peach, pineapple and more white wine. Overall, having been aged in cider barrels, they’ve had a positive effect on this one, making it a kind of marriage between beer and white wine. Quite delicious and very drinkable.

 379 characters

Photo of korguy123
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of taxandbeerguy
3.99/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

30th anniversary for GLB edition of this brew. Seems to be essentially the same beer, being a cider barrel-aged saison. This rendition was 6.2% ABV (2017) and purchased from the LCBO for $10 per bottle. Served fairly cold into a tulip.

Appearance - Pours a marginally opaque, pale golden brew. Topped with two fingers of loose and modestly retaining head. Minimal lacing and carbonation appears rather low.

Smell - Earthy and funky with a distinct and persistent apple note to the aroma. Middling sweetness and smells a cross between a Belgian pale and cider. Aromatics not really to my liming but they are fairly strong.

Taste - Middling bitterness, some earthy barnyard flavors, apples, then some wood starts to show up. Finishes with a peppery note and subtle undertones of cedar and even a brief moment of bubblegum. Complex stuff.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation is there, but body is quite light. Finish is exceptionally dry. Fits really well with the flavor profile.

Overall - Ezra certainly isn't my favorite beer, but it;s undeniably unique and a well crafted beer that has achieved a great feel especially given it's flavor profile. Certainly worth a sample if it's still in stock, at the very least, find a friend and share a bottle if only to experience this unique treat.

 1,283 characters

Photo of peensteen
3.96/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy blonde colour, one finger of white head, goos retention, lots of lace. Smell is quite funky with lots of tart fruit, apple, lemon, spicy points, light oak, some acidic/balsamic as well I also got a little bit of chlorine at times. Taste is full of tart apple and fruit, spice, lemon, yeasty funk, quite tart throughout, more fruits in the finish. Light-medium drying carbonation, medium-full feel. Solid stuff here, tons of apple and fruity funk, very drinkable and enjoyable.

 481 characters

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

I likely had the first or second sample at WVRST tap takeover.This was the collaboration saison with Ian of Amsterdam (although not credited on official list) aged in an apple cider barrel. The cider gives it a ice sour edge. The initial smell and taste is very winey. saison spices come through definitely in the secondary. Golden yellow.

 339 characters

Photo of hunterjames
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a hazy golden color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of rustic malt with light spicy yeast and the cider barrel notes are subtle but still distinguishable. Taste is also dominated by rustic malt notes with some peppery yeast notes and some cider barrel notes are also distinguishable. Body is about a average with good carbonation. Very enjoyable if maybe a tad too sweet for the style.

 444 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of cyrenaica
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz draught
6.2% ABV
Bar Hop (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
June 13, 2014
The beer poured a dark mahogany colour with a creamy tan cap. The aroma was funk, tobacco, and fruity notes. The mouthfeel was average bodied with average carbonation. The flavour was tobacco, some roasty malt, grass, and coffee. Quite good.

 320 characters

Photo of stevergca
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of BakaGaijin
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

Photo of Pmicdee
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Great Lakes / Amsterdam Ezra from Great Lakes Brewery
Beer rating: 3.95 out of 5 with 20 ratings
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