Based in Guelph, Ontario, Royal City Brewing has been open since 2014. And, with a couple of years under their belt, this young brewery has already secured a couple of Ontario Brewing Awards. With a number of brews on offer, it can be difficult to pick which one to try. But, having never tried a Smoked Honey ale before, I picked one up in the interest of science.
Royal City Brewing Company: Smoked Honey Ale – First Sip
Smoked Honey pours a dark cola-brown with a bit of head that dissipates and leaves very little foam behind. I smell burnt caramel as I take my first sip and taste a licorice bitter-sweetness. This brew is surprisingly thin with very little carbonation, providing a watery mouthfeel with just a bit of fizz. Smoked Honey’s honey flavour is more noticeable to me than its smoked flavour, which is very subtle.
Royal City Brewing Company: Smoked Honey Ale – Last Sip
Almost chewy with sediment at the bottom of my glass, this is a full-bodied beer. The bottle that advertises this brew’s natural cloudiness tells no lies. The bottle also suggests enjoying this brew with hard or smoked cheeses, barbecue, and soft fruit. But, because of its semi-sweet flavour and heaviness, I suggest enjoying this brew with a mild-tasting soft cheese. That said, in terms of the barbecue, this beer’s sweetness also helps it also pair well with steaks or and roasted vegetables.
In 500-mL bottles at 5.5% ABV, this is a beer that’s best highlighted as part of a beer-drinking menu rather than being the main beer-drinking fare. Although you’ll certainly impress your friends if you serve this at your next barbecue, you’ll probably also get a few odd looks. You’ll want to pour this beer into a glass since its aroma is one thing that makes this beer unique.