Collingwood Brewery “Kingpost ESB”, Collingwood, Ontario, Canada (Alcohol 5.8%) LCBO $3.00 (473ml)
Forever on the search for a beer between 5 and 6% alcohol (my personal sweet spot) with a discernible malt character, I was delighted to come across this can of ruby/copper-coloured Extra Special Bitter from the Collingwood Brewery, previously known as the “Fireside” ESB before the rebrand.
Pouring with a medium-sized beige, moderately lacey head, this British style beer has low to medium carbonation that has reasonable retention. I’d recommend that you serve this a little warmer than straight from the fridge, as aromatically it becomes quite delightful after warming up in the glass. Once it is allowed to open up fully it has a rich and expressive bouquet of malted barley, roasted nuts, fudge, and just a squeak of citrusy hops.
On the palate the story is much the same, but the rich malt character is so much more exaggerated, particularly when served a little warmer, as if you are consuming this well chilled it actually doesn’t taste of very much at all. I served myself one that had been stored in our sub-zero mud room. and thought that I was drinking a different beer entirely. There’s a pleasant bitterness here, but nothing too aggressive, as it’s well tempered by the rich, biscuity malt character which lingers deliciously on the extremely persistent finish.
Probably my favourite British-style Canadian beer thus far, but I’m certainly open to any suggestions from our readership.
Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And he thinks that was a great beery discovery.