June 11th

The one bad thing about Mondial is that it occurred at the exact same time that most of the summer release was hitting LCBO shelves, meaning that my reviews for most of the release were delayed until this past week. And while the Mill Street Lemon Tea Ale is not technically part of the summer release, it is hard to look at the beer as anything else – this is not a beer I would drink year-round. The ingredients for this wheat beer give a strong hint to the beer inside: lemon puree (bonus points for not using lemon juice), cane sugar, orange pekoe and earl grey teas.

The Lemon Tea has a small head for a wheat beer and a clear amber body. Initially, the aromas of soggy wheat and socks are quite off-putting, but it eventually shows some lemon coming through. The lemon dominates the flavour, but some tannic qualities show evidence of the tea. The malts also come through quite nicely, making sure that the lemon doesn’t overpower the senses. Overall, this is the beer equivalent to a nicely made iced tea. Refreshing, tasty and not overly sweet, as I had feared.

A couple of hours and one Arcade Fire concert later, I had a night cap of Samuel Smith’s Organic Raspberry Fruit Beer. Obviously this was another fruit beer, but one that uses raspberry juice and is also a blended beer (meaning that it is a combination of two different beers). The effect this creates is more of a Belgian-style fruit beer, with the intensely sweet fruit flavours offset by a tart finish. That is pretty much a one sentence summary of Samuel Smith’s ORFB, except it doesn’t do the beer justice. The raspberry tastes fresh and real, always a concern when juice is added. The beer is slightly syrupy, which is no surprise. Some may find it too sweet (like my darling girlfriend), but I wanted more. Unfortunately, the price ($5.50 a bottle) is a little prohibitive, but at least it is justified with a high quality beer.

Mill Street Lemon Tea Ale on Ratebeer

Samuel Smith’s Organic Raspberry Fruit Beer on Ratebeer

Today: 750mL. Year-to-date: 117.96L.

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