Church Key Brewing Co.
Holy Smoke is a strong Scotch ale flavoured with peat-smoked whiskey malt. The brewery opened in 2000 in the town of Campbellford, ON, halfway between Toronto and Ottawa. The brewery is located in an 1878 Methodist Church. Church-Key ales won 3 gold medals at the 2004 Canadian Brewing Awards.
Alcohol (wt.): n/a
Alcohol (vol.): 6.25
Original Gravity: 1056
Final gravity: 1012
Malts used: Canadian 2-row, peated, dark crystal, chocolate
Hops used: willamette, chinook
Will make a believer out of drinkers convinced that beer and smoke don't mix. If beer is proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy, Holy Smoke teaches us that she is abundant and diverse, offering something for everyone. I'm devoted to the deep cocoa color, tan lace-like head, and powerful bbq nose. The complex, velvety, balanced flavors of roasted malt, floral hops and sensual smoke are etherel. Sounds like I'm preaching? Take the faith. Drink holy smoke and baby back ribs. You'll be converted.
Java colored with a cappuccino-like head. After some encouragement in the glass, a modest whiff of smoke, but not an especially peaty one (no Laphroaig, this). A slender and delicate beer. On the tongue: smoke, some sweetness, a little hop bitterness and some biscuity notes. A short and smoky conclusion with some lingering shortbread and burnt wood. I am not sure where this beer is coming from. It’s too slight for Alaska, too alcoholic for Franconia, too dry for the classic Alsatian ‘whisky malt’ style.
Dark brown, ruby tones when held to the sun, tan head quickly dissipates. Earthy, peaty, smoky nose, with an underlying burnt toffee pudding sweetness. Smokier flavor, definite impression of bacon, more peat and a bit of mesquite. Traditional beer notes also emerge, dark fruits and sweetish caramel. The final impression is smoke, enough that this isn’t a beer I’d drink by itself. Instead, I’m saving a bottle to try with mesquite-smoked brisket, perhaps lathered in a sweetish barbecue sauce spiced with chipotle.