So I drank this last week, but it was so good I felt I had to share it with you. This pint is from the first keg of Turtle Island Brewing Company who contract brews out of Broadhead Brewing Company. The owner and brewer is JP Fournier who's also known for organizing National Capital Craft Beer Week, WinterBrewed and hosting the Ottawa Beer TAP Society dinners - clearly beer is a passion of his.
The brew that we were sampling was the first rendition of a Montmorrency Cherry Ale called Mon Cheri Ale or SMASHed Cherry or Mon Cheri SMASHed Cherry Ale (still working on the name) brewed on the larger system at Broadhead. While I'm sure moving from a homebrew system to a larger commercial system has its challenges it certainly didn't affect the quality of the beer.
Pouring a red-brown colour the inaugural brew offers a misleading aroma of stickly sweet cherry and caramel, but on first sip you're treated to a well-balanced blend of caramel, subtle hop spice and a cherry tartness that leads into a dry finish. As it warms up (if you can let it) the flavours deepen offering warmer spices and more of a cherry punch.
Turtle Island Brewing Co. will launch this cherry ale as well as a honey brown ale in the next few weeks at select restaurants and bars. I've sampled JPs homebrews before and I'm really excited to see what he has in store for us.