Sleeman IPA

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Sleeman IPA

Postby GregClow » Wed Nov 02, 2005 1:08 pm

Sleeman Introduces The Latest In The John Sleeman Presents Series: Sleeman India Pale Ale

GUELPH, ONTARIO - Sleeman Breweries Ltd. today announced the launch of Sleeman India Pale Ale, the second in a series of unique style brews called John Sleeman Presents. Sleeman has also answered a call from consumers by bringing back the very successful Sleeman Fine Porter, the first in the series that was launched this time last year.

"The goal of the John Sleeman Presents series is to introduce a variety of traditional, great-tasting beers and brewing styles from around the world to Canadian beer drinkers," said John Sleeman, Chairman and CEO of Sleeman Breweries Ltd. "This year's brew, India Pale Ale, which is inspired by page 46 in my grandfather's recipe book, has an abundance of hops, a distinctive flavour and a fascinating history. It follows last year's selection, Fine Porter, which has its own style and colourful history. Fine Porter was so popular that we decided to bring it back this year as a permanent member of the Sleeman line-up."

India Pale Ale was originally developed in the late 1700s when British breweries would send beer by boat to British troops and expatriates in India. However, because the ocean voyage took nearly five months and there were no means of refrigeration, the beer would usually arrive in a compromised condition. To help withstand the journey, brewers added extra hops that provided both a natural preservative, and exceptional taste -- thus the birth of the "India Pale Ale."

"As a result of the additional hops used in the recipe, our India Pale Ale is a distinctive ale of golden amber colour, with a well-balanced malt flavour and bold, "hoppy" floral aroma," said Ed McCallum, Sleeman Brewmaster. "It is characterized by a malty sweetness at the beginning of the palate and finishes with a hoppy, slight bitterness at the end. Sleeman India Pale Ale is best enjoyed cool, but not ice cold and not at room temperature, which was the case in the days before refrigeration was perfected."

The bold flavour and aroma mean that Sleeman India Pale Ale is big enough to stand up to rich entrees and sauces, but may prove a bit overpowering for delicate cuisine and seafood. It is therefore best paired with strong cheeses, stews, barbecue, and spicy curries.

John Sleeman Presents India Pale Ale and Fine Porter are wonderful additions to the rest of the Sleeman line-up, which ranges from the newly launched Sleeman Original Draught, to the always popular Sleeman Cream Ale and Sleeman Honey Brown Lager, in addition to Sleeman Clear, Sleeman Silver Creek Lager, Sleeman Original Dark, Sleeman Premium Light and Sleeman Steam brews. Both John Sleeman Presents brews come in the company's hallmark clear-glass bottles and the packaging, which was awarded Best in Show at the 2005 National Packaging Awards, conveys a feeling of prestige and history and makes an excellent gift.

John Sleeman Presents India Pale Ale and Fine Porter are available today in retail outlets in selected markets across Canada.

The launch is being supported by radio and print advertising, as well as in-store POS and case inserts in other Sleeman products.
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JerCraigs
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Postby JerCraigs » Wed Nov 02, 2005 1:53 pm

"slight bitterness" ain't gonna cut it... we'll see i guess.
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Postby northyorksammy » Wed Nov 02, 2005 6:28 pm

[quote="JerCraigs"]"slight bitterness" ain't gonna cut it... we'll see i guess.[/quote]

they spend too much on advertising instead of ingredients,
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Postby tupalev » Wed Nov 02, 2005 6:46 pm

slow down folks, no one has tried it yet! Well, except for a few Americans, where it appears to have been released already (see ratebeer - decent, not great impressions so far)...and this coming from someone who hated the porter...John may pull a decent beer out of his ass yet, but I'm not holding my breath...
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Postby SteelbackGuy » Wed Nov 02, 2005 7:41 pm

It has passed the lips of Dougshoenmaker.

I hold his ratings in high regard, and he says it is ok, so we shall see.
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Postby Josh Oakes » Wed Nov 02, 2005 9:24 pm

Holy crap! There's going to be a new beer in BC!
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Postby old faithful » Sat Nov 05, 2005 2:58 pm

I picked up a 12 and this is an excellent product, by far the most characterful of the Sleeman-branded beers.

It is medium-gold, with a good nose of fresh English Goldings (the only hop used per the label) and said hops are very evident in the taste.

The label states also that Canadian 2-row and English crystal malts are used and the blend is good, the malty taste is there but dominated by the lemony tangy Golding hop. 5.3% ABV. Nice subtle yeasty undertone, too.

This is English-style pale ale to the max, we can't ask for more.

In my view the beer tastes quite similar to Ron Keefe/The Granite's IPA (a cask (real) ale) certainly when Ron is using all-English Goldings. If the latter was available in filtered and fizzy form it might be hard to tell the two apart: a compliment to both beers since the Sleeman IPA claims inspiration from the famous 19th century family recipe book, i.e., both are probably good examples of the IPA style of the time (or two examples anyway).

Well done, John Sleeman, keep it coming and hopefully this will be available soon on draft.

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Postby Belgian » Sat Nov 05, 2005 10:11 pm

old faithful wrote:I picked up a 12 and this is an excellent product, by far the most characterful of the Sleeman-branded beers.
Gary Gillman

Let's hope.

If Old Fateful believes in this product it must be worth a try. He was dead on about Hockley Dark anyway, and seems to be quality-obsessive of English beer styles.
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Postby GregClow » Sat Nov 05, 2005 11:19 pm

Belgian wrote:If Old Fateful believes in this product it must be worth a try.


I don't know about that. Gary has heaped praise on several beers that I personally found to be somewhere between average and dreadful. In fact, I can't recall ever seeing him post something negative about any beer. C'mon Gary, tell us what you hate! :wink:

That being said - I tried a Sleeman IPA tonight, and while I wouldn't be as generous in my praise as Gary, I did find it to be a decent quaff. I don't know if I'd classify it as an IPA, but taken as a English-style Pale Ale, it's better than some I've tried.

I still think that most of their regular beers are terrible, but this beer at the Porter show that Sleeman can make an above-average beer if they want to. They're not world-beaters by any means, but they're solid & enjoyable.
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Postby old faithful » Sun Nov 06, 2005 9:16 am

Based on my reading over the years Sleeman IPA is a fine example of a 1800's IPA. I think one should not assume the very high hop rates of some modern IPA's were characteristic of the beers then when ready for consumption. Hop character is blunted after many months and after bouncing around in a hot ship those barrels would have produced at end of voyage a drink much like Sleeman IPA is now, in my opinion - hoppy but smooth and balanced. It is a very hoppy beer in fact, the Goldings flavour is big and bold and I don't know how much bolder it could be and still be a drinkable beer (beer should be drinkable, right, not just consumed in small sips that shock the palate).

As for other beers, I only give my opinion and don't ask everyone to agree or like, say Fischer lager or Wee Willy.

Are there beers I don't like? There are many. I don't like beers that are mishandled, excessively pasteurised, or too old. I dislike the "port" flavours of over-aged beer which to me is an unfresh taste. Almost any beer can end up tasting like this so no point to mention any particular kind. As for fresh beer, I don't generally like wheat beer styles. E.g. Grasshopper I find not to my taste, or Upper Canada Wheat. I like Denison's Wheat Beer and Biere de Chambly, they are the great exceptions. I don't like most beer over 5-6% ABV with the great exception of Imperial Stout which is a favourite style of mine, hence there are few reviews of mine in the barley wine or strong Belgian area. I don't care for Rodenbach, just can't get past the sour taste although I admire the style and its survival, from an historical point of view. I don't care for most commercial beers except sometimes a fresh draft Keith's or Export (or Michelob in the States). I don't like beers which emphasise a strong Cascade hop taste. Thus, say, Liberty Ale is something I don't much enjoy (although I always liked Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - go figure). Ron's Dry-Hopped Bitter tends to accentuate the U.S. hop of that type (the grapefruit pith-like taste) so when there (I will be at lunch time, in fact today) I prefer his fine IPA or Stout which have a more English character. Also, his Summer Ale was very good because again inclined (in the last 2 years) to an English palate.

I do like to be positive and encourage our brewers (all of them) so I don't find it worthwhile to spend time talking about beers I don't care for but in fact I am very selective about what I drink. Recently I had a Wellington County SPA on draft (a beer I have never liked in bottle). It was quite similar to the bottled, I didn't finish the pint. But again, I'd rather focus on the postive.

Gary

P.S. I must say trying Wee Willy again the other day it didn't strike me as good as when first released a few years ago, I believe the adjunct part of the mash may have gone up over the years. But then too, it is a nice beer with food, or to chase a shot of rye. It is well made with a "proper" beer taste, that's all I can say - and much better than most commercial beers which cost more money! Everything is relative...
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Postby GregClow » Sun Nov 06, 2005 10:59 am

old faithful wrote:I don't generally like wheat beer styles. E.g. Grasshopper I find not to my taste, or Upper Canada Wheat. I like Denison's Wheat Beer and Biere de Chambly, they are the great exceptions.


Comparing the Big Rock and UC wheat beers to the German & Belgian wheat styles is like comparing apples and oranges (or at least like comparing two very different types of apples). I find very little in the bastardized "North American Wheat" style beers that strikes me as unique or interesting - most of them seem to be a fairly bland & non-descript beer that just happens to have some wheat added to the recipe. Perhaps the palete ends up being a bit softer, but the aroma and flavour don't seem to develop any distinct qualities.

So I can't say that I'm surprised to hear that you dislike Grasshopper and UC but enjoy Denison's and Chambly. They really are very different beers, IMO.
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Postby old faithful » Sun Nov 06, 2005 11:19 am

I see what you are saying, but I think it is fair to compare them since they are all made in North America. And there are European ones I don't much care for, for example dark strong wheat beers. I don't like highly flavoured Belgian whites either, where the orange taste from coriander is too strong, I like those beers (I guess I do) unflavoured. I'm not a big fan of spiced beers in general but I like Portside's Celebration Ale (I think it is called, the one released approaching Xmas, I saw it the other day at Summerhill). There are plenty of micro lagers and ales that don't make a big impression on me. But there are so many good beers out there, why tarry on ones that are so-so?

Gary
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Postby GregClow » Sun Nov 06, 2005 2:34 pm

old faithful wrote:I see what you are saying, but I think it is fair to compare them since they are all made in North America.


???

How does the continent where the beers are brewed have anything to do with the comparison criteria? If that were the case, we could argue that it would be fair to compare Stone Arrogant Bastard to Steelback Blue Thunder.

Regardless of where they are brewed, North American style wheat beers are quite different to Belgian & German style wheat beers. For example, I think you'd probably agree that Denison's has a lot more in common with Weihenstephaner or Erdinger or Hacker-Pschorr than it does with Big Rock Grasshopper. Similarily, Blanche de Chambly is much closer to Hoegaarden or Brussels White than it is to UC Wheat.

old faithful wrote:I'm not a big fan of spiced beers in general but I like Portside's Celebration Ale (I think it is called, the one released approaching Xmas, I saw it the other day at Summerhill).


Do you mean Trafalgar Celebration Ale? Yeah, that's a nice one. They also did a Winter Warmer a few years back that I enjoyed even more. I don't know if they still make it - it's not listed on the LCBO site, but I think I might've got it direct from the brewery. Whatever the case, if you come across a bottle, give it a try.
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Postby old faithful » Sun Nov 06, 2005 4:40 pm

By the way I ended up at Wheatsheaf today instead of Granite, and can recommend the Guinness there, very good indeed.

Traflagar Celebration, yes.

I am not comparing any beers regardless of style, but rather wheat beers, all of which are made in North America. I didn't know before trying Grasshopper what type of wheat beer it is trying to be (if indeed it is). There are also wheat beers made in Europe I've had that were bland and not much better than Grasshopper.

When it comes to beer, I, like many others, like some and not others, in the end that is all I can say, and my preferences are not for everyone, to be sure.

By all means if any think Sleeman IPA is just average or whatever, that's fine, each has his own palate, but I enjoyed it a lot.

Gary
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Postby Derek » Mon Nov 07, 2005 12:02 pm

I had the IPA back-to-back with Durham County's Special Ale... very similar.

The IPA doesn't have quite as much hop flavour, but a little more bitterness.

Not spectacular beers, but decent/above-average.

Wee-Willy is certainly a high-value, bang-for-the-buck beer. I've drank a few cases myself.

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