Friday, June 6, 2014

Stealthy Brew

Many of the beers that I drink and like are bold, with lots of flavour. Take a full-bodied stout, a hoppy IPA, or a malty scotch ale. Big, in-your-face ales that hit you right away.

If a beer's flavours are light, almost watery, you can bet that my review of that beer won't be favourable. If I even choose to write about it at all.

(Lately, I'm reluctant to write about beer that I've rated as a 2, or lower.)

There are some beers that don't grab me right away but sneak up as I drink them.

Such as the latest flavoured beer I tried.
Ginja Ninja (5.5% ABV)
Granville Island Brewing
Vancouver, BC
Beer O'Clock rating: 3
Appearance: pale apricot with a white head that leaves a fine lace and a solid collar.

Nose: ginger and honey.

Palate: light hops, ginger; slightly yeasty, with a light finish that at first came off as thin.

I like non-alcoholic ginger beer but I often find the alcohol version too sweet, too cloying. Not so with Ginja Ninja. The ginger is there (it's 100 percent real ginger) and the aroma of honey gives it good flavour, but I found this ale quite tame in the mouth. With my first few sips, I found the flavour subtle, almost washed out.

But this ale builds as you drink, and I found that the finish stayed longer the more I consumed. It's almost like the beer snuck up on me, stealthy-like.

Like a ninja.

Where I thought I would be disappointed, I ended up enjoying this ale. On a hot day, it's a refreshing choice. It's not about to be a favourite with me, but I'd happily drink it again.

This is a seasonal beer and, having come out in the LCBO only within the past few weeks, I imagine it will be around for the next couple of months. Then, like a ninja, it will disappear without a trace.