The Cloak and Dagger on College St has always appealed to me because it serves good beer, but is dark, dingy and unpretentious. (Not that the main places for quality beer are pretentious, but you won’t see someone at the Cloak whip out their tasting notebook.) There are downsides to the bar as well, namely loud music, but it has character and gives an option for a long stretch of road that has little to offer.
They also do a pretty good job of rotating some taps with seasonal offerings and even have a chalkboard menu especially for the beer geek. Ordering off that, I went for the Church-Key Holy Smoke, a smoked scotch ale that I have run across many times but always passed by. It poured with a lovely, cream head and what I can only describe as a brown, slightly translucent colour. (Another knock against the bar: too dark to see and appreciate what you’re drinking.) It didn’t smell as smoky as expected, but the flavour definitely came through. There was a definite firewood taste, as well as some peat. Nothing too overpowering, but nicely balanced. The taste was fleeting, but it was well crafted other than that.
Today: 500mL. Year-to-date: 36.78L.