Autumn LCBO Craft Beer Release – Stouts and Porters

With the constantly improving seasonal releases from the LCBO, it’s no surprise the Autumn Release is full of fantastic Stouts and Porters to warm up to this fall.

I’m going to go ahead and assume that you know that short of visiting a local brewery, the LCBO is your destination for awesome craft beer. Yes, we can argue for hours on end on “what to do with the LCBO”, but for now, let’s rather focus on a much more important question: what you should buy the next time you find yourself with a thirst to slake.

Fall leaves

It’s that time of year

Since I started writing this blog, one of the most notable transformations has been the LCBO’s craft beer releases. They were already good when I first got invited down to Cooper St to sample the release in Sensory Evaluation Room B. Now these releases are of epic proportion. They have grown in size, and feature beers from some of the most notable up and coming craft brewers globally. Fall is a particularly hefty season for them, with four releases all coming out within about a month of each other. There’s the autumn release (the topic of today’s post, eventually), as well as the Oktoberfest and Halloween releases, and the Mikeller Brewery Feature. Phew. By the way, drinking your way through 30 samples of beer isn’t nearly as ideal as it probably sounds. I’m drinking a delicious white from Flatrock Cellars as I type this…… Because of the sheer volume of beers and such, I thought we should attack them categorically. And so, finally, let’s talk the Autumn release, or as I’m calling it, “The Kevin Pleaser” after my cousin who loves him a good black beer.

There are 14 beers in this release, ranging from pretty straight-forward Anchor Porter from San Francisco to the sublime Porter Baltique from those masters of bottle conditioning at Le Trois Mousquetaires. Bottles can be had for less than $3 or nearly $15. They will be rolling out shortly. Here’s what I’m thinking:


Well, the Porter Baltique is sublime, but I’m going to give the nod to a new one to me. Amager Bryghus Imperial Stout had delicious notes of burned sugar and smoke. Heavy body with just a note of heat from it’s impressive 10.5 abv, there’s an amazing depth to the beer, with jammy dark fruits, spices, herbal hops and more wafts of smoke floating through. Just lovely.

Buy Lots

Smuttynose Robust Porter (not listed on the website yet, but it’s SKU is #907444). A nicely roasty porter with a notable mineral bite that would lend itself perfectly to the classic porter and oysters pairing. The estimated price is in the $2.40 range for a 355ml bottle, a great value for such a nice beer.

Other Standouts

Check out the lovely – if slightly pricey – Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout (#381137), with it’s classic big rich oatmeal body and great balance of leafy hops and a sturdy roast malt. Grab some of the O’Hara’s Irish Stout (#697821) for a beautiful dry Irish stout. Light bodied but with wonderful black malts adding their charred bitterness and clean snappy finish. And if you didn’t just buy every beer that comes in from Hitachino Nest in Japan, give your head a shake, and make sure you pick up a few of their lovely Espresso Stout (#379826). There is big pop of coffee with a hint of it’s own acidity that cozies-up with a big rich malty Imperial Stout that shows some leathery notes and spices. Not what I would expect from a Coffee IS, but charming and a great slow-sipper.

There are multiple more beers in the release and many of them were very good. Hit up your local LCBO and see what they’ve brought in. It’s a great release with a heap of very tasty beers.

One Trackback

  • By Harvest Ale — Muskoka Brewery — Toronto Beer Blog on September 25, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    […] chris | Published: September 25, 2014 In the onslaught of all the new fall beers at the LCBO, it’s easy to overlook those classics that also come back every fall, like Muskoka’s […]

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