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Cabin Fever Winter Ale - Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro

Not Rated.
Cabin Fever Winter AleCabin Fever Winter Ale

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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 dirtylou
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%

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 Exiled
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Exiled, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of beefandbean22
4/5  rDev +1.3%

beefandbean22, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%

A: 1/8" tan head over cloudy brown liquid.

S: Vanilla, cinnamon and caramel malt.

T: Vanilla and spicy hops up front and a finish of citrus, cinnamon, caramel and some chocolate.

M: Medium viscosity and a medium level of carbonation.

O: A nice usage of hops in this winter ale.

DaftCaskBC, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of davidexactitude
4.7/5  rDev +19%

My all time favorite winter ale.

Every year I anticipate it's release and every year I am satisfied. It's a classic winter ale perfectly balanced: not too heavy on winter spices and the alcohol is not overpowering (unlike some winter ales). Enjoy this ale with a variety of foods, winter foods especially: stews, potpies, etc. Cabin fever is also one of the only BB beers, that I feel, retains its flavor to the fullest when bottled, so you can enjoy it on tap or 22oz. It will keep you warm and happy.

davidexactitude, Feb 01, 2011
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 philbertk
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro--Cabin Fever Winter Ale--1998 22 oz. Bottle. 6.50% ABV. (3.75 / 5.0) Winter Ale. Told this was an amped version of the Scotch Ale. Cloudy red brown color. Very dry. Light spice front with assertive hints of hops. Not really Scotchy; tasty, but hard to Classify, Define, or Rate. Sampled 12/12/1998.

Boundary Bay Brewing Company--Cabin Fever--A Winter Ale--2010 22 oz. Bottle. 7.00% ABV. 55 IBU's? (4.25 / 5.0) Winter Ale--Roasted. Foamy dense lacy light tan head. Clear deep dark ruby brown color. Rich roasted spicy floral hop mild malt fruit front. Malty sweet spicy herbal hop infused crusty roasted earthy toffee mild fruit body. Rich malt hop spice cinnamon hint dry sweet mild hot end. Sampled 12/11/2010. Purchased for $4.75 @ Full Throttle Bottles, LLC, Seattle on 12/9/2010.

philbertk, Dec 12, 2010
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 barleywinefiend
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%

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 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 Mora2000
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%

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 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 blackc5
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%

Had this on-tap last night with dinner. Went great with the slow-braised lamb shank.

A - Pours a dark and deep brown - served with only a slight head. Very nice lacing however.

S - Very sweet and malty - caramel and molasses with plum and cherry. Some vanilla undertones as well.

T - Quite pleasing with a meal, this paired perfecting with the hearty lamb. It is sweet, but not cloying, and the malt really stands up nicely to the spice and dark fruit flavors. Just a hint of smokiness adds to the complexity.

M - Medium body with low carbonation. Very smooth and silky on the tongue, especially as it warms.

D - A greatly balanced beer that fits the style very well.

blackc5, Feb 22, 2010
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 John_M
4/5  rDev +1.3%

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 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 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 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 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 erikm25
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%

A: Poured into a pint glass at Brouwers. Nice hazed heavy gold with darkened crimson and tangerine hues. Seemed a little lighter but everything around me was dim so it was pretty tough to tell exactly. I probably should have paid better attention but I was with good company. Head was minimal as expected but still some reasonable lacing.

S: Aromas are very potent. Fresh green herbs, toffee, and citrus grapefruits. Fruits and brown sugar.

T: Great balance between smoky malts and a bittering hop finish. Heavy on the caramel with some dark fruits in the backdrop. Roasted, sugared, and spiced but with a great hops vibe happening throughout. Even some subtle raisin and what seemed to be chocolate tastes.

M: A decent medium, almost full, bodied beer. Great carbonation.

D: Notes taken from New Year's Eve. Started my evening and dinner off with this and was very impressed. Only had one pint since there were other things I wanted to try but I would love to get a growler (if possible) of this down the road.

erikm25, Jan 10, 2009
Photo of beertunes
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

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 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 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 RJLarse
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%

I bought a bomber of Cabin Fever Winter Ale at a grocery store. Poured in to a pint tumbler.

Pours a dark walnut color and is transparent, with red hues when held up to the light. Decent beige head caps the brew, and has good retention.

The smell is sharp and sweet. There is a peaty aroma, some fruity scents like plums, and a sweet scotch whiskey smell.

The taste is sweet like caramel or burned sugar, a bourbon-like flavor, with a bitter charcoal presence.

Mouthfeel is full-bodied but clean. Mild carbonation, some alcohol heat, and remarkable smoothness.

Slightly better than average drinkability on this one, mostly because of the ABV. It's too stiff to be sessionable, but certainly worthy of a slowly savored glass or two.

RJLarse, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of TheBungyo
3.95/5  rDev 0%

Pours brown and burgundy with a fuzzy head like the surface of a tennis ball. Nose is slightly spicey with hints of cinnamon, and caramel. Taste is full of big caramel, with a nice splash of pepper and toffee. I can almost taste what reminds me of cherry skins, but without the tartness or sourness one might expect. I can taste a bit of citrusy hops as well. It's nice but I'm definitely not wild about it.

Mouth is very very nice. It's smooth and velvety. While this is good, I just don't find the taste as something I really want to experience again.

TheBungyo, Mar 04, 2007
Cabin Fever Winter Ale from Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro
88 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.