That cannot be said for many breweries. Fortunately, it can be said about the latest seasonal from Beau's.
Channel Ocho, the latest from the Vankeek Hill brewery's Wild Oats series blends spices, chocolate, and hot peppers into a Mexican-inspired concoction.
Channel Ocho (8.9% ABV)Appearance: dark-chocolate brown with red highlights, and a creamy, beige head that settles to a thin cap and stays most of the way down the glass.
Beau's All Natural Brewing Company
Vankleek Hill, ON
Beer O'Clock rating: 4.5
Nose: chocolate, cinnamon, and cloves.
Palate: hot peppers (chipotle and sweet chili), chocolate, and spice, which start somewhat astringent in the first sips but grow complex as you swish the ale in your mouth. The finish is full and slightly boozy (not surprising, given the alcohol content), but is satisfyingly balanced, overall.
Overall impression: this is a serious strong, dark ale. It is complex beer without being overbearing. Though it is a strong beer, it does not overwhelm; there is no overkill in the flavours. The various ingredients marry well and make this an extremely enjoyable seasonal that I would gladly drink again.
I like a little zing in my life.
Channel Ocho is available at the brewery, at select pubs in the Ottawa area, and can also be obtained by Beau's BYBO service.