Bench Creek Brewing Legend Extra Old Ale Old Ale at 11.8% ABV | 45 IBU (C$20.10 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, no packaging date or best before, best after 24-Dec-2017, acquired 13-Dec-2017, reviewed 28-Feb-2018)
Appearance: clear medium amber with one finger of fluffy ivory head diminishing gradually to a thin cap and ring, spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: sweet and boozy toffee, stone fruit, vanilla, earth. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter warming finish. (4/5)
OK, Bench Creek, time to wow me. After White Raven and Apex Predator you’ve shown your facility for A/IPAs and A/DIPAs (and Apex is damn near an apex, I might add, with an eminently respectable nine out of ten… though we won’t mention certain APAs or Rye IPAs, will we?) so let’s see what you do with a hugely alcoholic Old Ale. (And, no pressure, but you’ve put yourself in some fairly rarified atmosphere by putting a “best after” date on your label. Ballsy move, lads, ballsy move.)
Sidebar: I’ve driven through Legend, on the way to Foremost and Manyberries. Can’t say the original settlers lacked for ballsiness themselves with naming like that, could you? You could also do Sweetgrass, Milk River, and Dunmore on that loop, and if you can’t come up with a dirty interpretation of a Friday night using that, well, I’m deeply disappointed in you all. You should be ashamed.
Right! Back to the beer!
So. Yeah. Wowed. Erm. Not… really? I mean, yeah, it’s good… ish… But it falls short of great… ish… It might benefit from some extended cellaring to smooth things out, but it’s not particularly harsh now – it’s just not particularly interesting. On the other hand, it gets you good and squiffy in short order, so that’s all to the good, yeah? (15/20)
7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com