Sometimes a beer comes along that you know you just have to review even before you open the bottle. Case in point: Yukon Brewing’s latest bomber seasonal, Charming or Tedious.
I knew I had to review it for a couple of reasons. First, it is the initial offering in their 20th anniversary series. They plan on releasing a new beer each month in 2017 to celebrate 20 years of doing the impossible – brewing beer in Whitehorse and finding a way to actually make money doing it.
Plus, it just so happens their 20th anniversary coincides with a little birthday that is Canada’s 150th, which they are honouring by actually calling the series the Canada 150 Series, rather than the 20th Celebration or some other such name.
Who can turn down such a beer? Certainly not me.
So I cracked it open. The beer is a Maple Wee Heavy. They have added a bunch of maple syrup to accent this malty Scottish strong ale.
It displays as a deep mahogany brown beer. It builds a tight, light tan head that also offers a bit of lacing surprisingly. Quite clear and overall totally fits the look of a Wee Heavy. The aroma starts with a rich burnt caramel, follows with hints of chocolate and an earthy maple sweetness, accented by a dark fruit character.
The flavour starts with a classic Wee Heavy character. the front is rich caramel, brown sugar and dark fruits reminding me of plum and raisin. I may also detect some clove, but can’t quite trust that. The middle sharpens up a little bit and brings a more earthy sweetness which slowly evolves into a noticeable maple syrup. The finish is fairly broad and offers both a dark sugar sweetness and a hint of dark roast dryness. The overall impression is sweet, full-bodied and earthy.
I think I could take to this 7.3% beer without too much persuasion. As a Wee Heavy alone it might lack malt complexity, but the added maple changes the nature of the beer and gives you something else to focus on. I still feel it could use a bit more sharpness in the finish just to balance things out, but as it stands it is an interesting beer. I would happily accept another.
The name almost seems to be taunting the consumer to choose between the two extremes – charming or tedious. If that is the case, I choose Charming.