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Cabin Fever Winter Ale - Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro

Not Rated.
Cabin Fever Winter AleCabin Fever Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

66 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 66
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 10.89%
Wants: 3
Gots: 5 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-11-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 66 | Reviews: 44 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of aracauna
2.83/5  rDev -28.4%

Dark ruby brown with white head that disipates quickly. SOme caramel, hay, alcohol, mild hop bite, weird sour fruitiness (prunes) that I've smelled in some other beers. Not as big in the taste. Less than impressive and a bit watery.

aracauna, Jan 03, 2003
Photo of RedDiamond
2.83/5  rDev -28.4%

For many years the arrival of Cabin Fever was a highly anticipated event on the Northwest beer circuit. It still is. And I was lucky enough to be in Bellingham on the first day of its release this year. I drank a pint at about 7pm. By 9:00 the bar was sold out.

I remember this beer from years past as exhibiting far more character and excitement than the beer I drank at Boundary Bay. This year my Cabin Fever emitted harsh, medicinal fusels and was somehow disappointing. The undercarbonation didn't bother me, though it didn't help. The beer was dark cinnamon color with no head or lace and had a nice spiced ending that seemed appropriate. But the harsh alcohol elements were a problem and the beer looked and tasted like it was past its prime, even on its first day of release. Disappointing. And a quick glance shows more recent reviews coming in with lower scores than in years past.

RedDiamond, Nov 10, 2009
Photo of ccrida
3.03/5  rDev -23.3%

Pulled from the hand pump at the Parkway Tavern, Cabin Fever is a murky dark chestnut with a small, large bubbled off-white head that leaves light lace.

Smell is soft sweet malt, some caramel, also something that smell unmistakably to me like a dish rag - at least it's not the old mildewy variety, more soapy.

Taste is a kind of a generic malty strong ale, I have to say I was expecting more from Boundary Bay from their Winter cask ale. I guess the soapiness is the hops, and their are really no off flavors, but I'm not loving it either. Swishing it around looking for more depth just opens up some fusels.

Mouthfeel is very smooth, thank you very much for cask conditioning this ale. It also keeps the body light, but the ABV dries it out.

Drinkability isn't too high. Cabin Fever drank stronger then it actually was. Not a lot of character, a bit hot, probably the first from Boundary Bay I've been disappointed with. Quickly glancing over the other reviews before I started mine, I sense I will be skewing the score, which I have not problem with honestly doing, but would perhaps attribute my experience to a cask that is no longer fresh??

ccrida, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of froghop
3.15/5  rDev -20.3%

pours a semi-cloudy dark brown with a red tint, a very small tan head, and good lacing.

smell is faint, some spice, some malt, and a touch of caramel.

taste is thick, nutty, spice, toffee, peanut butter in the back, and malt, ends on the oily side.

froghop, Apr 29, 2010
Photo of midaszero
3.3/5  rDev -16.5%

Asked a sample at Naked City and got handed a full pint so I figured might as well review it.

A - Cloudy amber with very little white head and lacing

S - Very sweet and malty nose

T - Very malty with some spice to it. Classic winter warmer

M - Medium body with medium carbonation

D - Ok. Easy to drink but only kind of enjoyable

midaszero, Feb 28, 2009
Photo of alcstradamus
3.33/5  rDev -15.7%

Reviewed from notes

Pours a caramel brown with a thin layer of head. The aroma is toast, cocoa, caramel, and some earthiness.

The flavor is somewhat watered down, but what is there is a nice mix of rye bread and ...well...rye bread. That is really the only descriptor necessary.

The body is on the light side of medium and carbonation is good. Overall this one tastes good enough, but does not stand out from the pack.

alcstradamus, Apr 14, 2010
Photo of mentor
3.33/5  rDev -15.7%

Four finger light copper head over a clear red-brown liquid. Smells dry grainy with strong grassy hop character. Some astringent tannin and the smell of a cabinet filled with old spices. Warming alcohol (some fusels) and very mild caramel.

Tastes fairly dry and thin. Caramel and light-colored fruits. Dried apricot and sweet version of tamarind. Alcohol combines with light grain astringency in the finish. Finish dries and aftertaste is grassiness from hops. Not to style and moderately enjoyable. Interesting, thick in the mouth, but light going down the throat and in the mouth after the swallow. Strong carbonation, which is not what I expect from a 'winter warmer'.

mentor, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of malty
3.35/5  rDev -15.2%

22 oz. bomber courtesy of a complimentary shipment of this brewery's finest offerings from BA beertunes - thanks buddy. This has been carefully stored in my fridge since this May.

Pours a completely elegant rich rosewood color with tiny suspended particles visible. A dense, creamy light beige head settles at 1/4". Not really any visible uprising carbonation to note. Full, dripping sheets of beige lace all the way down.

Sweet, rich dark fruits greet the nostrils with a friendly figgy handshake. Black cherries and concord grapes nod their cap also. Very Belgian Dubble-like nose. Caramel dipped apples play a strong role in the nose also.

Tastes exactly like it smells. There is a nice hop backdrop that cuts through the sweet & rich flavors. A savory spiciness creeps out from under the lush dark fruits, giving an almost rye malt grit. Tastes kinda boozy, which is surprising knowing it's only 7% ABV.

Mouthfeel is definitely heavy with an ultra soft and perfectly fine carbonated texture. Fruity/spicy finish.

Drinkability is good. A sweet sipper fore sure.

This is definitely a fireside sipper. Slow and easy, as it's a touch sweet for my taste. No rush for this one, as my fireplace is crackling and the snow is blowing as I type this. A good combination if I do say so myself. This style isn't something I'd purchase regularly, but I'm very glad to have received this from a cross country friend from BA.

malty, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of Bfarr
3.48/5  rDev -11.9%

Clear, dark mahogany with medium tan foamy head with good retention and lacing. Peaty, chocolate aromas. Taste follows but with an overhopped addition ending in a roasted malt finish. Thin yet chewy with low carbonation and a little sticky.

This seems to be a variation of their scotch ale. It's hopped more than I remember for previous years and it seems a poor choice of hops or some pale malts give it a bit of a phenolic finish. a nice sweet malt middle tries to balance out but the hops just take over. I really don't even remember it having this flavor on-tap.

Bfarr, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

GRG1313, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of Czequershuus
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Czequershuus, Apr 14, 2014
Photo of Kopfschuss
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Kopfschuss, Oct 07, 2013
Photo of GClarkage
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

GClarkage, Jul 07, 2014
Photo of TwoTrees
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

TwoTrees, Jul 30, 2013
Photo of snaotheus
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%

Pours a very dark brown with a light muddy head, little to no lacing. Not much carbonation.

Smells sweet, smokey, and scotchy.

The taste is primarily sweet, with caramel and toffee at the forefront and a little smokiness in the background.

Feels thick and clingy in the mouth (like it's too sugary), and almost feels flat.

Too sweet tasting for me, but not too bad a beer.

snaotheus, Feb 27, 2009
Photo of beerceller99
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%

22 oz. bottle. Garnet color with a light tan head. Toffee sweet malt smell. Light - medium bodied and lightly carbonated. Smooth texture. Nicely balanced taste of sweet toffee, bitter coffee. Finishes with a medium bitter alcohol tang.
A pretty tasty winter time brew from the great northwest.

beerceller99, Jul 12, 2005
Photo of Viggo
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%

On tap at the brewpub, visited with my pal Dan in Bellingham. This went perfect after a couple PBR's and a long walk, and would start off the most drunken night I've had in a long time.

Pours a hazy reddish brown, very thick off white head forms, settles down to a thin layer, leaves some solid lace rings on the glass. Smell is nice, sweet and caramelized, malts galore, some bread, brown sugar, light floral, dark fruit, quite nice. Taste is caramel, brown sugar, alcohol, light chocolate, flora, very malty, not too bad but a little one dimensional. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, almost syrupy, low carbonation, with some warmth. Pretty solid winter warmer, nothing to brag about but I could put down a few of these when its cold out.

Viggo, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of sloelco
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

sloelco, Sep 02, 2014
Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

BillRoth, Mar 02, 2014
Photo of jeffeljefe
3.79/5  rDev -4.1%

A: Clear, dark root beer color. head faded relatively quickly. nice lacing.
S: Biscuity, faintly sour, caramelly malt
T: Very chocolaty, sweet, malty, faint trace of citrus brightens it. Earthy, lightly carbonated..
M: Velvety, creamy medium full body. dark chocolate mousse finish
O: Very drinkable, if not a little sweet. Stays pleasant, hardly any alcohol or bitter/burned maltiness that winter ales sometimes leave me with.

jeffeljefe, Apr 06, 2013
Photo of LiquidAmber
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%

Poured into a Gulden Draak Tulip. Pours a dark red mahogany red amber. Lively half finger off-white head dissipates very quickly leaving a thin ring; no lacing. Very pleasant aroma of sweet malt, dark fruit, concord grapes, brown sugar, cinnamon and spices. Flavor is dry bready malt, dry fruit and spices. Assertive non herbal hops give a sharp bite to the finish. Somewhat dryer than I expected and I'd like a little more sweet malt. The astringency of the finish is reminiscent of rye, although that is not indicated as an ingredient. Light to medium bodied. An interesting take on a winter warmer. Worth an occasional revisit.

LiquidAmber, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of flagmantho
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

Had a pint of this on-tap last night at the Hooverville in Seattle.

Appearance: extremely deep amber brown with no head. Looked like a pretty solid malt bomb kinda beer.

Smell: appealing malt bomb aroma but for all that rather light. It could have been the rather cold service temperature, but even as I drank it the aroma never really picked up.

Taste: big, fruity, caramelly malt. Hints of plum, dates, cherry. Sticky. Plenty of noticeable alcohol but still good.

Mouthfeel: medium heavy body. Sticky, chewy, syrupy, but ultimately rather satisfying.

Drinkability: pretty damn good for a beer of such relative heaviness. I quite like it indeed.

flagmantho, Feb 12, 2010
Photo of bodybyadam
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

Enjoyed this one is 5oz sampler at Winter beer fest 06. This was the 06 brew.
A: Dark brown in color with 1" foamy head with slowly rolling carbonation.
S: Strong caramel malt nose, later to notice the roasted aroma as well. Can already tell the flavor will be complex.
T: Wow this is sweet, and that caramel malt jumps out at first but then the complexity comes to a more roasted flavor, and then the taste of many types of malt hitting my palate at once.
M: This thicker winter ale is chewy and thick, but in the end a wonderful blend for a smooth finish.
D: My 5oz sampler wasn't enough to tempt my palette. I had to get another. Not to do a second review but I also had an aged 05 bottle at the event that was pleasant but I much rather preferred the younger one. This is one of those winter warmers that you’ll want to enjoy all afternoon. Don't go anywhere afterwards because the higher ETOH may impair walking. Enjoy.

Elbows Up,
Adam

bodybyadam, Dec 28, 2006
Photo of woemad
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%

Big-ass 650 ml bomber purchased at Huckleberry's for $3.39.

Poured a very dark color that showed an amber redness when held up to light, but otherwside looked dark as night. Moderate, off-white head, with sheets of lace dripping down the glass.

Smell is of sweet, brown sugary malts and mildly floral hops. The malts are more dominant than the hops, but not to an unpleasant degree.

Taste is sweet, yet slightly bitter. While the sweet malts definitely have the upper hand, the hops are there in sufficient force to provide a stabilizing bitterness. There is also very slight notes of Juniper, in keeping with a winter beer. This keeps it from getting cloying. This is not as well-balanced as it could be, but it's close enough to be enjoyable.

Mouthfeel was just about right. Pleasingly substantial without being "weighty."

This is a nice winter warmer. I wish I knew the abv so I could see just how warming it is. This is not a beer to toss back in great numbers, nor is it meant to be.

woemad, Apr 06, 2004
Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev 0%

Poured a deep chesnut brown with a one finger light tannish colored head atop that never fully settled.Carame and vanilla in the nose along with a hint of roasted nut and CHRISTmas spice,the spice comes thru more on the palate.a lighter to medium feel in the mouth,caramel,vanilla, and some roastiness upfront flavor-wise with some nutmeg more prevelent,a nice drying somewhat leafy hopped finish.A solid winter offering,more of a subtly spiced winter warmer here.

oberon, Dec 23, 2011
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Cabin Fever Winter Ale from Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro
88 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.