There was a time in Canada, in Quebec anyways, when beer store refrigerators were filled with nothing but macro brands like Labbatt, Molson and O’Keefe. If you wanted to drink something exotic, you bought a Guinness and you couldn’t have craved a craft beer because there weren’t any. The minute craft beers started to appear, I was on board. Never a fan of run-of-the-mill beers, I needed something different. Unlike many beer aficionados, my introduction to beer wasn’t through IPAs, which I’ve often been told was the steppingstone for many beer aficionados. No, instead, I fell in love with stouts, Saisons, barrel aged and good old fashion Trappists.
Sure enough, I discovered Sawdust with their Long Dark Voyage to Uranus, a stout, so when Sawdust released Lone Pine, I had to try it. From the very first sip, it was obvious that my knowledge and appreciation of IPAs had yet been explored and was quite limited. To this day, I have Lone Pine to thank for discovering Canada’s Red Racer IPA, Mad Tom IPA and St-Ambroise IPA, to name only a few. I guess one might say that I’m a late IPA boomer and in many ways, Lone Pine was “my first IPA love”. I’ll never forget you, baby.
Look: Hazy amber with generous head.
Smell: Lone Pine has a delicious hoppy smell paired with an apricot and citrusy bouquet (love the word ;). Set up a tent in a wooden area bordered with pine trees, peal yourself a nice rosé grapefruit then breathe in the air, that’s the smell of a Lone Pine IPA from Sawdust Brewery.
Taste: Consistency is important and I understand that a craft beer may vary from production to production and year to year in fact, variation (within reason) is a testament to craft brewing. I tried this beer last summer and enjoyed it so much that I proclaimed it one of Canada’s best IPA. Unfortunately at the time Beergonaut had to be put on hold for a handful of reasons and I never published the review. Well, a year later, I am happy to say that Lone Pine hasn’t lost its charm. Hops, citrus and pinecone are very present from the first sip. The bitterness is fantastic, good attack yet not jaw clenching. I appreciate the fact that the 6.5% alcohol level wasn’t overpowering. My session was interrupted by a teenage boy trying to light up my BBQ and when I finally returned to what was about 1/4 of a glass left, the beer had warmed up and I have to say, that it tasted a little more like a savoury pastry with light sweetness, it was quite enjoyable. Last, the American West Coast hops selection are also true to form, the citrusy caramel kick throughout and more towards the end is exactly what I like in an IPA.
Finish: Lone Pine has a dry and bitter finish with good carbonation that makes this beer a topnotch product.
Context: As far as an IPA goes, this beer delivers what it promises in its name; the pine aspect. It’s a great IPA and continues to impress me.
Repeater: Yes, absolutely.
Pairing: I drank this beer with great burgers on the BBQ and a nice simple salad. It’s a great grilled food beer
Price: $5.25 for 650ml
Availability: All year round, yet may be not in the winter.
Beer type: IPA
Brewery: Sawdust City Brewery
Country / Region: Ontario Canada
That’s it for now folks… More reviews to come this week.