Winter Beeracle – Dead Frog Brewery (Aldergrove, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: B+

Winter Beeracle – Dead Frog Brewery, 7.5% ABV – 650ml., (Aldergrove, BC, Canada)

on the front side label:

“Our Winter Beeracle is a warm, deep mahogany ale with rich, complex malt flavours and a sweetness to compliment the season. The warmth of the beer is punctuated by deep malt flavours from chocolate malts, a hint of vanilla in the aroma and flavour, and a dry citrus finish. All the flavours come together to create a rich, delicious winter ale.

Ingredients: Water, malted barley, hops, yeast, vanilla extract, orange peel
Malts: 2 Row, Biscuit, Cara 60, Chocolate
Hops: Cascade, Perle”

  • Style: (spiced) Winter Ale
  • Taste: Vanilla malt sweet goodness
  • Where I got it : Firefly
  • How much: $7 (after 10% off) – 650ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: probably not
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Who here has tried licking a steel street post in the middle of winter? (Fyi don’t do it…) Pours beer bottle brown with barely any head, thin ringed retention, several slow streams, minor lacing.

Nose: lots of vanilla (extract) and sweet malts. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: crisp, vanilla malts

Mid-palate: fizzy-crisp, (lvl-7) malty sweetness, underlying citrus acidity, (MAIN) huge vanilla extract, caramel malts, minor citrus oils, sweet chocolate

Finish: lingering vanilla, malty bright sweet, subtle soft hopped finish

Summary: This is an unexpectedly delicious, brew. It is quite aggressive with the vanilla flavouring but works out well with the orange and sweet malts to balance it out. Recommended to try at least once.

Black Mammoth Winter Ale – Fernie Brewing (Fernie, Canada)

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  • My Rating: B

Black Mammoth Winter Ale – Fernie Brewing, 8% ABV – 650ml, (Fernie, BC, Canada)

Ingredients: water, malted barley, hops, yeast, cocoa, curacao orange peel.

  • Style: (flavoured) Strong Ale
  • Taste Profile: milky sweetened coffee -> chocolate/citrus/roast -> creamy/light sour/bitter coffee finish.
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $7, February 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yah it’s solid for the price
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours extra dark brown with a nice foamy head, good retention, micro CO2, sticky lacing, non-visible activity. Sweet malts and light roast on the nose.

Attack: 6/10-sweetness, creamy/silky mouthfeel throughout

Mid-palate: sweet malts, light roast coffee, creamy chocolate, citrus overtones

Finish: silky buttery mouthfeel, light sourness, light roast-med bitter coffee long finish

Robust, flavourful, full-bodied, and balanced brew from Fernie. Good value for such a delicious beer.

Winter Spice Ale – Big Rock Brewery (Canada)

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  • My Rating: C+

Winter Spice Ale, 6% ABV – 341ml, (Calgary, AB, Canada)

On the front label:

“Brewed with both pale and caramel malts, it gives off an amber glow and, upon first sip the depth of flavour is revealed: notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and a hint of ginger. This season brew has an alcohol content of 6% and is sure to warm your heart!”

  • Style: (Winter) Spiced Ale
  • Taste Profile: sweet caramel -> malts/cola/cinnamon/root beer -> fizzy/light malt bitter finish
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $13/6pack mixed, December 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no, not amazing enough

Tasting notes: pours clear beer bottle brown with a small quickly dissipating head, no retention, a few streams, largish bubbles. Sweet malts with cinnamon and nutmeg on the nose.

Attack: 7/10-sweetness, caramel

Mid-palate: cola, cinnamon, hints of ginger, caramel, root beer, and malts

Finish: mostly clean, slightly fizzy, very light malty bitter, just a touch of roughness on the palate.

A very nice and clean brew – nothing spectacular but easy-going and very drinkable.

Jubelale Winter Ale (25th Anniversary) – Deschutes (Oregon, USA)

Jubelale Winter Ale (25th Anniversary) – Deschutes, 6.7% ABV – 12 fl.oz., (Bend, Oregon, USA)

from ratebeer.com:

“Jubelale is classified as a “Strong Ale” or an “English Olde Ale,” and has ties to the traditional Celebration Ales of England. Characterized by a very large malt body and pronounced bitterness, Jubelale contains five different varieties of hops and a healthy amount of caramel. The perfect ale for surviving the long, cold nights of winter. Our tradition is having a different local artist design our Jubelale label & packaging each year. October – December – draft and bottles ”

  • Style: Strong Ale
  • My Rating: C
  • Taste Profile: Creamy malted bittersweet caramel -> hoppy/burnt roast/cola -> long lingering heavy dry bitterness.
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $16/6pack, April 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not fully

Tasting notes: pours dark amaretto brown, decent foamy head, ringed retention, sticky lacing, some slow streams. Caramel malts on the nose. Drinks with a thick creaminess up front, quickly turning caramel hoppy bitter balanced by 4/10-sweetness, burnt roast, cocoa, finishing long lingering dry hopped bitter. Medium complexity, med-high depth, good carry, okay transitions, okay drinkability. The heavy bitterness is taxing on the palate.

Bifrost Winter Ale – Elysian (Seatte, WA, USA)

Elysian Bifrost Winter Ale (Seasonal), 1 Pint 6 fl oz, 7.6% ABV, (Seattle, WA & Ft. Collins, CO)

On the side of the label:

Winter Ale

“Bifrost is our lively winter seasonal – bold with citrus and earthy hops and balanced with smooth malt character.”

  • My Rating: C+
  • Why I might like it: good medium body, bold and complex
  • Who I recommend it to: IPA lovers
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek / W.16th
  • How much: <$10 , Q1/2011

Beer Tasting Notes: pours cloudy orange, semi-thick lasting head, sticky lacing, micro carbonation, and a plethora of champagne bubble strands. Subdued malty orange nose. Velvety mouthfeel, predominantly bitter orange peel citrus mixed in with a bitter dry hopped finish (reminds me of a med IPA). Long lingering bitter finish, medium-high body, medium complexity, medium-high depth. A well-crafted solid beer but not the flavour profile I particularly like. But it is something I can definitely appreciate.