On a recent adventure to Brewery Creek, I picked up a selection of tasty beers to try. One of these beers was Whistler Brewing Co.’s Cheakamus Chai-Maple Ale.
A mild ale with all the freshness of maple syrup – and a little bit of springtime spice for good measure. This dark bronze ale is made with real maple syrup added right to the mash. Then, a trace of chai tea is added during the filtration process. The result is a highly complex, mildly spiced palate structure. One taste, and a simple truth is clear: complexity can be a very beautiful thing.
The Cheakamus label has a nice pastoral image of maple trees and scoops of chai tea. The beer pours a dark molasses-brown colour with an off-white head that is thick and foamy. There are bubbles; lots and lots of bubbles. The aroma is very strong with maple syrup. I’m already in love and haven’t even had my first sip yet.
My first sip reveals a nice balance of chai and maple. What is chai? Besides delicious, it’s a tea made of Indian herbs and spices, which often includes a different list of ingredients depending on who’s making it. This list can include: almonds, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, star anise, nutmeg, licorice root, and cloves. I definitely get some of the baking spice flavours coming through: a bit of nutmeg and cloves. I like that the Cheakamus is not sickeningly sweet and reminds me of maple syrup on pancakes. Delicious.
The beer has a nice tingly mouth-feel which carries the flavour. The maple leaves a lingering sweetness on the lips with an aftertaste that is creamy and sweet with a slightly dry finish. You should definitely try this one.