Review: Left Field Brewery - Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale

Brewery: Left Field Brewery

Location: Toronto, Ontario

Style: Oatmeal Brown Ale

ABV: 5.5%

IBU: 35

Available at: LCBO

  Just behind Stouts and Barley Wines comes a close contender for my favorite beer style: Brown Ales.  While we have a few mainstays that are readily available at plenty of LCBOs, such as Amsterdam's Downtown Brown and Neustadt's 10W30 (both of which are just great representations of the style,) I'm always on the lookout for new Brown Ales to try.  My local LCBO (#624 - Innes & Tenth Line location) always carries an amazing stock of new brews to try.  And this past week was no different when I walked in and was recommended to try today's beer, Left Field Brewery's Eephus.

   As with all of Left Field's beers, Eephus is a baseball-inspired name.  The term is used to describe a rarely used slow pitch meant to catch the hitter off-guard.  I don't see the link between the name and the beer, but it's some fun trivia for those of us who aren't huge sports fans.  Now let's dive into and see how it is!

  Pouring a dark brown with an outer edge of mohagany, this brown ale carries a thick soapy beige head with great retention that leaves behind lots of lacing when it finally dissipates.

  Dates and raisins come out up front in the aroma with hints of coffee, caramel and lightly roasted barley following closely behind.

   With a strong dark fruit aroma I'd expect a lot of sweetness in the flavour profile.  However, I was pleasantly surprised to find this to be way closer to a traditional English Brown Ale.  Huge roasted malts, mild milk chocolate, notes of fresh-ground coffee, lightly toasted bread, cereal and hints of caramel on the backend.  All delivered in a full and creamy body that coats the tongue very well.  A light bitterness from the roasted malts and coffee notes pleasantly lingers, reminding you of the robust and well-balanced beer you just imbibed.  

   In the end this beer just does it for me.  This is just a solid, solid Brown Ale that makes me wish I'd bought 6 instead of 2.  An absolute must-try for any fellow Brown Ale enthusiast!

-James