The Ottawa brewery's brewmaster tends to aim for big flavours, be it his IPA, his chocolate milk stout, his one-offs and seasonals, and even his radler-style beverage, Bongo, Lon likes flavourful ales.
Late last summer, I found a Big Rig ale, sitting among the chilled cans in the LCBO, and I picked it up. I hadn't seen it before and the name intrigued me, and it was a style that liked. And, although I wrote this review way back then, I decided to hold onto it, to save it for a rainy day, for when I found myself in a position where I was unable to drink beer, whatever reason it may be.
I didn't intend to hang onto this review for this long, but here we are and here it is.
Release The Hounds Black IPA (6.2% ABV)Appearance: coffee-black with a creamy, taupe head that pours foamy but settles to a thin but solid cap.
Big Rig Brewery
Nose: dark-roasted coffee and sweet prunes and a touch of black licorice.
Palate: bitter hops and coffee. It's clean and light, with a full but short-lived finish. I found a slight sourness at the back of the throat.
Overall impression: was this a sheep in wolf's clothing? Not really. While the "hounds" on the can look menacing, and while I found the body light for an IPA, the hops and coffee give this ale a bite that is not easily forgotten. At the same time, it's an easy-drinking IPA that should appeal to a wide audience.
It's a hound dog, all right. Release it from it's container.
Beer O'Clock rating: 3.5