500ml bottle. A winter ale made with coffee and milk sugars. Poor ol' Frosty on the label - he just can't seem to hold his beer!
This beer pours a very, very dark russet brown colour, with rampant cola highlights, and four fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and meekly creamy beige head, which leaves some neatly stacked layers of bleeding webbed lace around the glass as it gently settles.
It smells of citrusy and piney hops right up front, followed tightly by some charred caramel malt, muddled dark dried fruit - prunes and raisins, mostly - well-ground coffee beans, a hint of bittersweet chocolate, and a suggestion of metallic alcohol. The taste is still good and hoppy, the orange cream and pine resin bitterness now more integrated into the big roasted caramel, dry toffee, and treacle-tinged malt, with some Nordic licorice, black coffee, condensed milk, further earthy and leafy hops, and lapping booze warmth.
The carbonation is supportive up front, with little required, and none supplied thereafter, the body a wavering medium weight, and plainly smooth, a turtling creaminess giving it the old college try. It finishes off-dry, the malt waning a fair bit, as the coffee, weirdly complex hops, and general alcohol warmth happily take up the slack.
My idea of a winter warmer has more to do with a strict interpretation of the name itself, rather than any fanciful idea of holiday spices or overwrought malt sweetness. So, in that vein, what we have here is a nice coffee-addled, WARMING ale. Easy to drink, and easy enough to confuse its peppy hops with the aromas wafting about from the recently chopped-down fir tree now making its home in my living room.
500ml bottle. Hopus Tall Tulip glass. Bright deep brown in color, brown tints to the light. Tan head is creamy & shows fairly good retention. Toasted, herbal, anise & toffee aromas, hints of dats & prune, chocolate & coffee on the back. Roasted & toasted malt, slight coffee & licorice flavors. Medium body. Soft carbonation. Oily to watery texture. Herbal bitterness, notes of dried nuts, citric zest & coffee grain provides astringency into a long bitter finish. Toasted sweet malts & dark berries on the aftertaste.