Friday, January 7, 2011

Never Summer Ale

Tasted following an intense yoga session with Bryan Kest. I took the day off from running to give me some recovery for my 3k tomorrow and from the workouts the last 2 days. This was out of the Winter Beer Around the World package from World Market that my dad got me. Snifter poured.

Appearance: Thick bronzed colored pour into the glass. Color is just that, but deeper and clouded (chill haze?). Head is a strong off white/tan foamed head that pours a good two fingers worth but slowly dissipates. Uniformed lacing as the head dies down.
Aroma: Carameled sweetness with hints of nuts and sweet chocolate. The malt sweetness of this beer is highly apparent only with a slight dark fruit finish. Some cinnamon makes an appearance along with some other spices, and maybe even rye. Quite a complexity.
Taste: Starts sweet and moves to a climax at the back of the tongue by which the flavor spikes with the carbonation only to leave a brief bitterness. Malted caramel and maybe chocolate make up much of the sweetness along with brief touches of toasted barley. Some candied flavor to it but also complete with a bittering finish that melds well into the hop bitter profile. A great winter warmer. The finish also incorporates some very mellowed spicing like rye and allspice. MMM!
Mouthfeel: Thick and full bodied. The carbonation is relatively low, but still enough to manufacture and enhance the complexity. Very smooth
Overall Impression: Probably consistently the best winter beer I've personally been able to find. I tried it last year and it was really hoppy, but still maintained the bright and mild spicing and flavors just as this years has. The full fledged malt flavors are completely balanced by the finishing alcohol/spice/hops. Complexity is overwhelming. Get this if you see it and let me know what you think!


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