Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 50, Lancaster Brewing Winter Warmer

I could not shake this cold feeling all day!  I basically work in a refrigerator all day and have been cold to the core today.  I need a winter warmer!

This beer is actually classified as an old ale.  Old ales are fairly malty sweet because all the sugars aren't all the way fermented out for one reason or another.  Then they were left to mature in vats for a long time.  They really have dark and sweet characteristics like malts, of course, and perhaps such fruits notes as raisin or black currant.  They are of high alcohol content and it's flavour is commonly apparent.  

Thank you Lancaster for using crimp top bottles!  Nice!  Also, thanks for donating a portion of the profits to the PA wolf sanctuary.  These folks need all the help they can get.  You wouldn't think there was a need here in PA, but there is.

The beer poured a beautifully clear red mohagany with a fine tan head that is slightly clingy and has some attractive lacing for how thin it is.  It dissipates and stays a nice thin ring around the glass with a small Friar Tuck cap in the center.

I opened this bottle at 45 degrees.  I instantly from the bottle smelled alcohol.  It is to be expected. The most noticeable aroma was of the malts and slight yeast.  As the beer warms up some others join the party like figs and maybe banana.  The alcohol is mildly noticeable in the aroma and if there are any hops they are barely noticeable.

Sweet malts carry you throughout the sip and along the way you will get some roasted malt flavours, a bit of figs, maybe some cherry, you will definitely taste caramel nearing the end as well as a nice hazelnut type flavour.  At the very end of the drink there is only the mildest of hop character, just enough to make you thirsty for another sip!  I do taste alcohol on my breath after the sip is over.  It's not unappealing, just noticeable.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly medium.  It's sweet and smooth, but not as heavy as I would think.  The carbonation is light, thankfully.  And the beer eventually finishes a little dry and peppery with faint hops.  It's pretty much overly sweet and not balanced well, but that is a description of the style now isn't it?

7 out of 10

I like this beer and would drink it again, especially off of tap to see if there is a difference.  Something about the flavour doesn't really attract me.  I almost taste bubblegum in a way and that has never been a favourite of mine.  I don't mean to be harsh on the score.  I don't know much about this style or how this beer is particularly brewed, but I gotta be true to my taste senses.  

Try it, see what you think!  Let me know as discourse is desirable!  And remember, life is too short to drink crappy beer!


No comments: