[Hoperative #14 Jared Whalen has submitted our first guest post and it’s a review! It’s also perfect timing since we just had a request for some Winter Warmer reviews. Thanks Jared!]
Let me preference this review by stating that I usually have a general aversion to beers that fall into the “Winter Warmer” category. The category itself brings to mind some of the bad experiences I’ve had with blasts of nutmeg, cinnamon, pine and a few bad experiences with pumpkin beer whilst in college, all things that I prefer for the most part to keep in my pies and potpourri.
Color: Very clear Medium Copper Brown
Head: Thick almost frothy, dissipates fairly quickly leaving some nice lacing.
Mouth Feel: Has a good bit of carbonation. It stings the tongue briefly but is very crisp.
Aroma: Sweet bread aroma with maybe a hint of citrus fruit.
Taste: The flavor is very malty and a distinct caramel stands out in this beer but there is a nuttiness that you might find in brown ale. There is a faint hint of chocolate probably from small amount of chocolate malt. The spice flavors that you expect from a winter warmer are there but they aren’t. It seems like the flavors aren’t actually from the spices them self but rather from some very spicy earthy hops. It’s a very malty beer but the hops cut it nicely while leaving the malt to dominate.
Summary: A great winter warmer whose flavor makes you think about the flavors of the holiday season with out having to consume something that is more closely related to pie in a bottle than to an enjoyable beer. The weather outside is frightful but this beer would be quite delightful next to a warm fire.