Monday, 3 December 2012

Got Wood? Rickard's Oakhouse does.

As we see that winter is approaching, and I'm down to try the latest and greatest and all old favourites of Winter Ales, I stepped aside this past weekend. I stepped into a realm which I rarely cross into -- I got myself to try a new lager.

I saw a sign that said "Oakhouse", it's the Rickard's winter lager. Yep, Rickard's Oakhouse winter lager (5.5% Alc.). I know they already have their "Cardigan" winter ale, but since I've already put a winter ale on this blog, I decided to go for the winter lager. The questionable folks over at Molson decided to market their new creation, and it perked my taste buds enough to make me want to try it.

My hopes were that it would taste like a proper North American lager; don't get me wrong, I don't mean European lager (there's a difference). If you've ever had the Lion's Gate lager from Steamworks, you'll know what proper middle-ground North American-style lager tastes like. This is my chance to see if Rickard's can live up to its name.

I was really excited to try it, seeing as I do enjoy the traditional Rickard's line-up of Blonde/White/Red/Dark.

As pictured, I ordered the Oakhouse on tap. Honestly, it smelled like a regular lager; I wasn't expecting anything bad nor good. I took my first sip, and it felt like an 'oaked' (is that a verb?) lager, like it was brewed with wood chips from an oak tree. Macro-brews, with their cheap pricing, are not expensive enough to be brewed in an actual oak barrel.

Along with the wood-like taste, the bitterness of the beer was cancelled out by a bit of smoothness (best way I can put it), smoke, and a bit of sweetness, though just a very slight hint of sweet. My guess is they tried to put a faint bit of Christmas spices into this, and they don't stand out at all. However, it all works great with the oak taste, and the mild carbonation.

Overall, this is a lager with a bit of a twist. It'll definitely go down smooth, and it is chuggable just in case you lose another game of flip-cup.

I downed two pints in a matter of minutes, and if it weren't for my wallet, I would have had more. Even though this brew is pretty mainstream, Rickard's has a delicious reputation that it likes to live up to. If you ever get that "I don't know, I've never had it, should I?" feeling when you see this advertised at a restaurant, the answer is yes.

Contrary to most people's opinions on this Oakhouse winter lager, I quite liked it - even though I'm not a lager person. This is one of the top domestic lagers I've had.

The Rickard's Oakhouse gets a solid 8.0 / 10

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