CAMERON’S BREWING, Oakville, Ontario
Dark and Sticky India Brown Ale
ABV: 5.5% IBU : 45 SRM: 38 Plato: Finishing Gravity 2.6 Plato
Style: India Brown Ale
Cameron’s Brewing is celebrating their 20th anniversary and what better way to do that than by adding a new addition to their seasonal line ups. They’ve added Dark and Sticky Brown ale, an Indian Brown ale which is a blend of an American IPA and a brown ale in one.
It pours a rich mahogany hued dark brown with a pillowy, mousse-like tan coloured head. With each pour there is that unique aromatic release of West Coast and American citrus hops and the rich coffee and chocolate notes of a brown ale. This translates right into the flavour with a wow! The combination of the malt and hop choices just work. The choice of Columbus hops for some bittering and Falconers Flight (an aromatic blend of hop pellets are an exclusive proprietary hop blend created to honour and support the legacy of Northwest brewing legend, Glen Hay Falconer) and Idaho 7, where the sticky comes in! While the India Brown ale is not a very common style, I for one hope it catches on.
Cameron’s is doing something interesting here, trying to combine the hoppy intensity of an American style IPA with the mellow, roasty malt of a brown ale. To be honest, for my personal tastes, I’d rather keep the two apart. I love a good basic brown ale. It’s a good ‘comfort’ beer. And, as for West Coast style IPAs, while I rarely drink them anymore due to their ubiquitousness, there are still times when I want the punch of a crisp, hoppy IPA.
Dark & Sticky is dark, to be sure, and has that rich, chocolatey aspect common to New World brown ales. As for hops, it has a moderately intensive piney note on the nose (from the relatively new Idaho 7 and Falconers Flight). So I wouldn’t call it sticky, because, for me, that implies those dopey, resinous hops that are fairly common with many west coast inspired IPAs and DIPAs. I don’t like that style of IPA at all, actually, but I do like Dark & Sticky.
It has a freshness that I enjoy, finishing crisp and clean. Rather than being dank and dopey, it is more fresh and piney. The finish is bitter and clean with a minty, piney note and a lingering bitterness, balanced off with dark malt notes. But it is very dry, with no sweet, cloying malt notes It is a bit of a conundrum, but a good one at that.