December 8, 2009

Weyerbacher Winter Ale

As I wrote a couple of posts ago, now is a great time of year for Christmas beers. Last night I had the chance to try a Weyerbacher Winter Ale. I appreciated this ale for a couple of reasons. First, it's called a Winter Ale rather than a Christmas ale. Now, I love the holiday season as much as the next person and don't want to get in to a heated debate over whether you should say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays". But the bottom line is - I don't celebrate Christmas. And I do enjoy beer. So this seems very inclusive (which, I should point out, doesn't mean I won't enjoy a beer called a Christmas beer. It was just nice to see one that wasn't). Second, it's got a really good taste at a low ABV - both of which I'll get in to more below.

Weyerbacher is a great brewery located not to far from me in Easton, PA. They make one of my favorites - the Double Simcoe IPA (which I'll be reviewing soon). I've also had their Imperial Pumpkin ale (one of the best pumpkin ales I had) and the Harvest Ale, which is really wonderful and made from hops that they harvest themselves.

But back to the Winter Ale. It pours a nice hazy, deep brown that shows some red when held up to the light. The smell is that of winter - nutmeg, allspice, roasty chocolate malts. I really enjoy the flavor of this beer - I think it's nicely balanced and not overwhelming... anything, really. Some of the other Christmas beers I tried were so malty - a little too malty for my taste (which shouldn't be surprising, given my love for the hops!). This one is very, very drinkable to me. Notes of chocolate, some toffee, caramel malt came through with just a bit of hops in the background.

Earlier I mentioned the ABV - it comes in at 5.6%, making it very easy to enjoy more than one on those long, cold winter afternoons you're stuck inside. Not surprisingly it's only available November - January, so be sure to grab one while you can.

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