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Before launching this beer, the boardroom suits at Rickard's must have asked the question: Will Joe Six-Pack have the guts to call for a "Cardigan" in public? Frankly, I thought I was the only male since Ward Cleaver to own such a garment. Still, the image fits, because this is a seasonal, spiced lager designed for autumn imbibing. And I imagine Rickard's, a Molson brand, did some serious due diligence on the focus-group front. The Molson connection is bound to prejudice many a craft-brew aficionado against the beer. Some who try it will find it too tame and light in body compared with punchier microbrew offerings, many of which feature pumpkin in the recipe to add sweet depth and underpin such classic spiced-beer ingredients as cinnamon and nutmeg. I'm impressed, though, because I had been expecting less spice. Cinnamon, nutmeg and clove are pronounced in the aroma, if less so on the palate. It's lively with carbonation, refreshingly dry and, at 5.5-per-cent alcohol, easier-drinking than some craft-brew counterparts. A cardigan, but not woolly.

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About the Author
Life columnist

Beppi Crosariol writes about wine and spirits in the Globe Life and Style sections.He has been The Globe's wine and spirits columnist for more than 10 years. In the late 1990s, he also wrote a food trends column called The Biting Edge.Beppi used to cover business law for ROB and previously edited the paper's weekly technology section. More


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