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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 GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

GRG1313, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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
Photo of Mora2000
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to AmericanBrew for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a brown color with a tan head. The aroma is strong brown sugar with caramel and toffee. The flavor is very sweet brown sugar along with some raisins and oak. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, Apr 27, 2010
Photo of GClarkage
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

GClarkage, Jul 07, 2014
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a dark brown with good carbonation and a tannish heasd

S: Nose is spice, malt, and a touch of caramel.

T: When it comes to a Winter beer this is it!Some spice, chocolate, booze, lots of malt, booze. A nice citrus burst on the end.Enough to keep you warm and wanting more.

M: Well carbonated, medium body, booze is sharp

D: Oh so good

barleywinefiend, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

BillRoth, Mar 02, 2014
Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the brewpub, but this review is from the bottle. Draft version was probably a bit fresher tasting, but really, I detected very little difference between the two formats.

The beer pours a molasses brown color with OK head retention and lots of sticky lacing all around. The nose is pretty complex, with a considerable amount of spice superimposed upon the brown sugar. Otherwise, I get some cherry, light spearamint, licorice, vanilla, orange peel and nutmeg. Flavors pretty much replicate the nose, but with a hint of chocolate as well. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fairly decent finish. Plenty of flavor in this one, of that there is no doubt. Also, the hint of bitterness in the finish counters the moderate sweetness very nicely. Finish is fairly dry, which I appreciate. Drinkability is likewise pretty good, thought the boatload of spice in this bad boy wears on you after a while. Otherwise, the alcohol is well diguised, and this beer is not at all heavy or tiring on the palate.

A nice winter warmer, but probably not a beer I could see myself drinking during any other season.

John_M, Feb 08, 2010
Photo of Viggo
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 beertunes
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into straight pint glass at the brewery. Poured with less than 1/4 inch of head, the bartender knows this is how I prefer it served. The head left a solid, sticky lace. A typical for the style, deep brown with a very slight reddish tint. A sweet aroma with spice and hop notes. The flavor follows the aroma closely. A very strong malt foundation carries the spice and hop flavors to the back of the tongue. Very solid and comfortable body. Very drinkable, but use caution because this beer will smack you upside the head if you don't pay attention to it. This beer is slightly hot when brand new but smooths out after a few weeks. If you get a chance, make friends with this beer.

beertunes, Jan 09, 2009
Photo of Derek
4.6/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was purchased at the brewery (22 oz bomber). Perhaps the freshness played in its favor.

A: Ruby-black, plenty of off-white/tan head, good retention, some lace.

S: Fruitcake with a little chocolate & alcohol (sherry?).

T: This score is actually pushing an exceptional "5". It really is that good. Exceptionally well balanced, with plenty of depth. Fruitbread, raisin, prune, with a little molases and chocolate. A nice, warming, slightly alcoholic finish. Awesome.

M: Moderate to full body, fairly creamy. Moderate carbonation.

D: Exceptional. I could drink a gallon, but I'd regret it in the morning!

Derek, Dec 19, 2005
Photo of Gusler
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

The color a translucent sanguineous color with the head Herculean in size and creamy in consistency, the color a toothsome light tan with the lace a mile thick atmosphere to save the glass from oxygen deprivation. Nose has a splendid hop floral aroma, under pinned by sweet malt, crisp, clean and fresh, over used I know, well at least as far as I’m concerned. Start is ambrosial, nicely malted and the top fair to middling in its feel, finish benignly acidic, hops out front in their spiciness, dry and lingering aftertaste, a fine example of a hopped up “Winter Warmer”, my undying gratitude and thanks for this bottle from the “Bill Gates” of “Beer” RoyalT.

Gusler, Jan 01, 2004
Photo of dirtylou
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, split

appearance: served in a brooklyn shaker pint - dark mahogany-garnet body, moderate beige head with a light frothy lace

smell: dark fruit, brown sugar, chocolate, lightly hopped, winter spice

taste: it appears maybe the 2009 vintage was a bit off from the reviews - i had a 2008 vintage the other night at the winter beer fest that was fantastic and the 2011 i'm drinking today is also quite tasty. nice creamy body - caramel, brown sugar, holiday spice, booze, caramel malt, some hops, chocolate. at $4.99 a bomber, this delivers

mouthfeel: really nice body - medium and creamy, kind of a dry lightly bitter finish

overall: nice - will probably grab another

dirtylou, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of LiquidAmber
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 ccrida
3.03/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

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 twiggamortis420
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle courtesy of Libby pours a very dark brown color with a serviceably-sized tan head. Very nice lacing though and nice sheen and collar.

Nose is a nice array of malty scents...chocolate, toffee, caramel and granola bars. A little peak of hops and a nod of nutty yeast round things out quite nicely.

Mmmm, tasty...malty and rich. Sweet, but not cloying. Thick but very drinkable. All the malt aspects from the nose carry over to the taste. Just enough bitterness to keep it clean and the yeast is plenty evident with some brazil nut undertones and light fruitiness. Quite tasty, I am thoroughly enjoying it. This is what I expect in a winter warmer...hearty malts, deep and rich flavor and satisfying! I am envious of those who have a nice cold winter to enjoy this by a roasty fire.

twiggamortis420, Mar 31, 2012
Photo of RoyalT
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance – Deep, dark, ruby brown with some carbonation and a decent head.

Smell – The dark, roasted malt aroma is paired with a stiff, complex hopping. This one smells like a heavy hitter. All the aromas are big. The pine, citrus, and malt scents are there in force.

Taste – This was too good. The roasted malt came out with a little sweetness; maybe some maple and table sugar. The hops are full, complex, and very dry. The floral notes seem to be the major player here, but everybody shows up to this party. This is extraordinarily balanced.

Mouthfeel – A little on the bigger side of medium-bodied and quite dry. This one was chewy like a Marathon bar.

Drinkability – This went down better than just about any ale that I’ve had. The balance is truly remarkable.

RoyalT, Dec 13, 2003
Photo of RedDiamond
2.83/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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 canucklehead
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured big and dark with lots of white head. This beer really is full of hops and dark malts. Tastes like a heavily hopped Scottish ale eventhough that is against the style. I liked the drinkability as it was somewhere between a sipper and a gulper. The fact that this beer was a hybrid between a few winter styles gives a different character that sets this beer apart from other winter warmers

canucklehead, May 05, 2004
Photo of twelveinches
4/5  rDev +1.3%

twelveinches, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Exiled, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of Kopfschuss
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Kopfschuss, Oct 07, 2013
Photo of mentor
3.33/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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 woemad
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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 aracauna
2.83/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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
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Cabin Fever Winter Ale from Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro
88 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.