Creemore Batch on Victoria Street in Toronto, currently closed, was a brewpub of craft-style Creemore Brewery, long owned as many know by the mega-brewer Molson-Coors Beverage Co.
Creemore lager and its line extensions, as well as various ales and dark beers, have been brewed either in Creemore, Ontario, the small-town home of Creemore Brewery, or at Batch in Toronto when it operated.
The winter before Covid-19 got legs in March 2020 an Imperial Porter Winter Warmer was brewed at Batch, 8.6% abv according to its Ratebeer listing.
At the end of last year, Creemore released an Imperial Stout at 8.3% abv. I’d think the two beers are related in recipe, as they taste quite similar: silky, with a fine bitterness and chocolate overtones.
Creemore calls the new beer New World Style, but I don’t see that: there is no citric or tropical hop taste, more a classic, flinty-stone hopping that dances on the tongue in the aftertaste.
There are no fruited or other additions, such as coffee or cocoa, to suggest a New World influence.
However, I was slightly let down by the beer. While high quality in ingredients and the brewing itself, the total flavour impact is quite restrained, at least drunk cold from the fridge (I’ll try it again at room temperature).
To my mind, a beer even at this strength – an export or double stout style in old terms – should show more taste impact. Possibly the idea was not to offend customers, not to offer anything full-bore.
But I’ve had many porters at 5-6% abv with more taste impact than this beer. If the same flavours in the beer now were simply boosted, say by 20%, the beer would be outstanding.
For its part, the Creemore line (lager, pilsener, kolsch, etc.) has retained full flavour characteristics. Indeed as I recall it, the Imperial Porter Winter Warmer was more assertive than this Imperial Stout.
So it is not as if the brewery is chary to make its beers full-tasted, but for whatever reason, that is not the case here, as I see it.