Spring is fast approaching. Every craft beer drinker knows that it is during the cold months of Winter that some of their seasonal ales, stouts, barleywines, and strong lagers are best suited to be consumed in order to appreciate their full capacity. With that said, we don’t want to miss out either. We have been popping bottles and partying like rockstars to meet our deadline. Well, ok fine. Just popping bottles and more like taking notes. Focusing on Winter ales, here are some of the ones we’ve managed to get our hands on this season:
1) Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale is creamy and malty. Its dark amber color is accompanied by a thin lace that lingers for a minute. It is also smooth and the traces of hops and citrus are evident with a slightly bitter aftertaste.
2) Brooklyn Winter Ale is a fairly smooth beer to drink considering that it was brewed as a Scotch Ale Style; not your typical winter ale. Rusty orange in color and the lacing is minimal. The bold taste upfront gives you hints of caramel. For a regular beer drinker who isn’t used to drinking specialty beers, we would recommend this a try.
3) Smuttynose Winter Ale is a full-bodied, amber beer brewed with a special Trappist ale yeast. Stylistically reminiscent of a Belgian Abbey Double, it features fruity aromas and flavor, balanced by soft Crystal hops. Warming, mellow & pleasantly complex, Smuttynose Winter Ale is your perfect cold weather companion. -Smuttynose.com. Hints of spice and coffee. Average lacing and dark amber body. Mild bitterness and leaves with a soft finish.
4) New Holland Cabin Fever Brown Ale has a dark brown appearance accompanied with an off-white head that’s poor. The aroma reminds you that of burnt sugar. This is a full-bodied ale. Almost overpowering if you’re pairing it with food. Overall, it kind of reminds you of a porter or even a stout for that matter.
5) Bell’s Winter White Ale is not your typical winter seasonal ale. It is a wheat ale. Nice fluffy head that sits long. Hints of clove and banana are obvious, like any other wheat ale should. Full-bodied and well-balanced. It is one of the better wheats we’ve had. Bell’s does not disappoint, yet again.
Adam – New Holland Cabin Fever Brown Ale; a true winter ale. Full and bold.
Steph – Bell’s Winter White Ale; given that it isn’t your typical winter ale, it is a nice full wheat ale. Warms you up as much as your regular winter brews.
What about you? What is your favorite Winter ale?