Winter Spiced French Toast | Decadent Ales

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Winter Spiced French ToastWinter Spiced French Toast
17 Ratings
Winter Spiced French ToastWinter Spiced French Toast

Brewed by:
Decadent Ales
New York, United States

Style: New England IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Spiced Double India Pale Ale with Maple Syrup, Allspice, and Madagascar Vanilla Bean added

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Ratings: 17 |  Reviews: 9
Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.99/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of superspak
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce can into tulip glass, canned in 1/2019. Pours very hazy/cloudy deep golden/amber/light orange color with a 1-2 finger dense and creamy off white head with amazing retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Thick soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big tangerine, orange juice, red grapefruit, lemon, peach, pear, pineapple, apricot, passion fruit, papaya, mango, melon, allspice, berries, citrus peel/zest, light peppercorn/pine, vanilla, cream, maple syrup, brown sugar, marshmallow, wheat, biscuit dough, light honey/toast, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus/fruity/topical hops, maple syrup, allspice, vanilla, and bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of huge tangerine, orange juice, red grapefruit, lemon, peach, pear, pineapple, apricot, passion fruit, papaya, mango, melon, allspice, berries, citrus peel/zest, light peppercorn/pine, vanilla, cream, maple syrup, brown sugar, marshmallow, wheat, biscuit dough, light honey/toast, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness. Mild pine, citrus peel/zest, herbal, floral, woody, grassy, spicy bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of tangerine, orange juice, red grapefruit, lemon, peach, pear, pineapple, apricot, passion fruit, papaya, mango, melon, allspice, berries, citrus peel/zest, light peppercorn/pine, vanilla, cream, maple syrup, brown sugar, marshmallow, wheat, biscuit dough, light honey/toast, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity/topical hops, maple syrup, allspice, vanilla, and bready malt flavors; with a solid malt/bitter/spiciness balance, and no cloying/astringent flavors after the finish. Lightly increasing dryness from lingering bitter/spiciness. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky/bready, and lightly slick/sticky mouthfeel that is great. Mild increasing warmth of 8.6% after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic flavored milkshake DIPA! All around outstanding complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity/topical hops, maple syrup, allspice, vanilla, and bready malt flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to drink with the mellowly bitte/spicy/drying finish. Great soft feel, not overwhelming on any aspect. Amazing balance of juicy Citra/Mosaic hops, maple syrup, vanilla, allspice, and wheat/oat/malts. Not overly sweet/heavy from lingering dryness. A highly enjoyable offering, and spot on style example as expected. Just as impressive as the rest of their milkshake IPA variations, but a bit more drying from spice.

 2,703 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16 oz. Can

Poured into a Tree House glass a pretty nice cloudy pale yellow/orangy color, pretty nice carbonation, with a pretty nice thick/creamy one-finger plus off-white head, which also leaves some pretty nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, malty, with a pretty nice citrus complex (orange, tangerine, mango, peach), nice vanilla/maple notes, nice diesel like. The taste is pretty nice hoppy, malty, with a pretty nice citrus complex (orange, tangerine, mango, peach), nice touch of vanilla/maple, pretty nice diesel like, nice little sweetness. Medium body, ABV hidden very nicely, with a nice little dry/bitter finish. Overall, this is a pretty tasty brew. Orange Julius! Addictive! MilkShake!

 709 characters

Photo of clayrock81
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a light orange-golden body with almost no head or lace. Aroma is more of just acidic, orange hops with some spice and that's it (bad/old can on my part?). Taste is much different than aroma as the beer is thick, full-bodied, slightly sticky, has some holiday-type spice and hints of brown sugar with a syrupy, almost cloying sweetness. Finish is slightly spicy and the booze is hidden.

 395 characters

Photo of nmann08
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DoghouseReilly3946
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Date: One day I will stop buying cans with nonsensical date codes, I will, I WILL DAMNIT! Early sampled this interesting beer on 1/30/19.

Appearance: Pours out lighter in color, but once it has all hit the glass Winter Spiced French Toast has an almost burnt orange hue. It's murky with light only creeping in around the edges and features an off white head that never really materialized to begin with.

Aroma: Wow, the nose is very reminiscent of a Belgian Pale Ale with a lot of spices and sweetness from the syrup that creates a crisp fruity ester quality, in addition to a sizable hop aroma. After it spends a few more minutes warming, more of the identifiable maple aspects leech out of the sweetness. Much like the Mango Coconut Smoothie I just had from Decadent Ales, Winter Spiced French Toast has a wonderfully aromatic and somewhat dank hop aroma, only much more pronounced. The hops seem to be lending a faint berry aroma as well. Also like Mango Coconut Smoothie, I get a good dose of the vanilla, bringing to mind those hard creme candies. The tasting notes on the side of the can indicate whipped cream aromas and flavors which I can't not smell now.

Taste: Pow, this one is weird. Okay, first this drinks much more in line with the style than any beer I've had from Decadent. It is clearly first and foremost a DIPA and it lets that be known with the first sip. A big, dank, resinous hop blast hits hard up front, followed by that familiar smack of those traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas spices, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and clove. After the initial rush of hops and spices, the sweeter maple syrup and vanilla aspects take hold, but never to a greater degree than feels necessary fo a dessert DIPA. Like the coconut did in Mango Coconut Smoothie, the vanilla and maple don't explode in an artificial way but are rather weaved all throughout the taste. What is very interesting to me is the balance of this beer. So often these wild beers go so heavy on the adjuncts that you are unable to tell you are actually drinking beer or they go so light on the adjuncts that you wonder if they are actually there or you have fallen victim to the power of suggestion. The mouthfeel is full and creamy, especially for the style and with an undetectable 8.6%, this could be dangerous. As it comes up to temperature, Winter Spiced French Toast intensifies all the way around. The maple becomes more sticky sweet, the spices seem to become more distinguishable from each other but the hops still retain their relitive dominate presence and give little quarter to the sweeter adjuncts. A very unique, well made, and fun to drink beer. It isn't one I would want all the time as it is still very sweet but because it is seven degrees and snowing outside, I find myself very content with this bold and balanced dessert DIPA. This was sort of the last straw for Decadent Ales for me as I had been disappointed by three of their beers in the past, all of which seemed to be far too sweet, loosing sight of the style they claimed to be, but I think they might be on to something with Winter Spiced French Toast.

 3,133 characters

Photo of teromous
3.32/5  rDev -19%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the bottom of the can: "DECWSFT 1/2 -AM 7836"

Appearance: The beer is too hazy to see through. There are a lot of suspended specks in the beer. It is a medium shade of gold with a very short white head that quickly fades into no retention or lacing. It's not much to look at.

Aroma: It smells a bit like maple syrup, a bit of brown sugar, and alcohol. It mostly smells of alcohol.

Taste: There is this vanilla cream flavor that comes through up front, then there is this slightly floral flavor which is interesting. The floral, potpourri-like character really clashes with the sweetness that the beer started with. Towards the end it picks up a bit of a creme brulee flavor which is interesting. The bitterness in the beer pushes out that finishing sweetness after the first sip or two so a palate cleanser is needed to get that sweet creme brulee flavor back.

Mouthfeel: It is a smooth beer with what borders on the lower side of medium. It has a medium bitterness and low carbonation. It is a very easy beer to drink.

Overall: This beer is likely to leave a person nonplus but satisfied. It is interesting and there certainly are enough good flavors in this beer to make it a worthwhile drink, but none of them really go well together. It tastes a bit like mixing potpourri, pancakes, and creme brulee together on a plate. It is odd but I would still recommend it to those who want to try something odd and interesting. It's not a beer I would likely buy again but it was interesting enough that I am glad that I did.

 1,530 characters

Photo of Knapp85
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Stofko1992
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Roguer
4.11/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Modest head production with good retention. Brew is a hazily translucent lemon-yellow/burnished-gold hue.

With the description, you might fear pastry stout on the nose, but it's a fairly straightforward DIPA based purely on the aroma. Hints of the maple syrup, vanilla, and allspice are barely noticeable beneath a hoppy front of pine, citrus peel, peach, and resin. A little bit of cinnamon and orange start to come through as it warms.

Wow, the palate is quite the change up! Everything - and I mean everything - comes through, really living up to the name. Vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, orange marmalade, maple syrup, pine, resin, white bread, lemon zest, pepper, basil ... it's really as though someone dunked Sixpoint's Resin into maple syrup and dry spices. It's confusing as hell - and it works.

Lively and bold on the palate; an excellent presentation of a very high ABV.

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Photo of alexsergio
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ichorNet
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed (and was bewildered by) Decadent's original French Toast DIPA, so of course I had to grab a can of the version with Madagascar vanilla and allspice added. Cuz if you're not going all-in, what are you even doing?

Pours a hazy, cloudy orange color with a thin ring of bone-white head. Just quickly comparing with my notes from my review of French Toast, I'd say this is slightly worse looking overall. No lace or legs to speak of, and the entire body is suffused with intense suspended solid matter. As I recall, regular FT was pretty much an opaque haze of orange, but this has a much more granular and, er... ugly appearance. Personally, I miss when IPAs looked like this instead of having the rather-ubiquitous uniform haze made popular by NEIPAs these days, but in the interest of remaining mostly-objective, I think this is probably going to come off as a bit more unappealing to most people. I still dig it, though.

The scent is initially not too impressive, likely due to temperature. This is really a sweet and spicy beer, so straight from the fridge it just doesn't have a lot of impact to my senses. Allowing it to acclimate to room temperature for about 10-15 minutes lets it really come to fruition. It has some fruity esters redolent of apricot jam and plum, which, when mixed with the intense maple element really get it into next-level territory. And it somehow still smells pretty hoppy. Slight spruce/grassiness with herbal and spice notes (obviously). Less chive and onion than regular FT, and much more vanilla/maple, but it's really just surprisingly well-done and cohesive. Again, this is a beer you have to actually let sit out, which might not jive with the "IPA" aspect, but it's worth it. My review for FT makes it clear I was confused by the nose of that beer, and maybe it's the fact that I knew slightly more about what I was getting into here, but this one just feels more cohesive.

The flavor profile is, well, bonkers! Maple and cinnamon spice upfront with a bit of nutmeg and vanilla in the mid-palate. Grainy and chewy, almost oat-like in its complexity and feel... less like French Toast Crunch cereal and more like a fluffy stack of French toast _actually_... it's pure front-loaded impression, but it's the kind I really appreciate and love a brewer achieving with aplomb. Slick with spicy, piney and herbal hops melding with the allspice (which gives off a rather-intense clove-like phenolic note here and there), rounded out by a slight ethanol hit toward the finish, taken in stride with even more maple syrup (warning: you must love maple to enjoy this beer even remotely... it's that intense), this is just a flavor sensation. It feels like pure wizardry to me.

The feel, as mentioned above is excellent for what is going on here. It never feels like too-heavy a beer despite the density of the flavor approach combined with the high-ish 8.6% ABV, and despite it being a sipper, I never really felt like it was difficult to drink. Challenging, sure... if only due to the weird and spectacular approach to adjuncts, but not something I would ever turn down. This is just magnificent. Hopefully I can get more. I recall Decadent being a bit hit-or-miss when they first started showing up in my area, but they seem to have fine-tuned their craft over time. Most of their recent ouevre has been quite great. They're likely to have a hiccup or two eventually, once again, just statistically speaking considering their experimental nature, but I'm happy to report that this is not that hiccup.

 3,547 characters

Photo of Unclevince
3.89/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of TLA
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of BEERchitect
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nothing quite screams IPA like maple, allspice and vanilla. Well, they do if you are the absurd brewers at Decadent Ales. Even as the winter rolls along, these cold weather flavors somehow find favor with the hops for a beer that's caught somewhere between breakfast and smoothie.

Burnt orange and cast in a pastel matte finish, the beer floats a foamy eggshell froth that lures in the senses with the utter decadence of maple. Secondary aromas of holiday spice, citrus and tropical fruit lead into a full creamy sweet taste of marshmallow, cereal and cookie dough.

The strong creamy sweetness of the beer is persistent though the middle palate even as the hops begin to combat the cloying taste and texture with suggestions of tangerine, pineapple and mango. Eventually a mild mannered bitterness comes through in the end with a peppery sharpness and the piquant taste of vodka.

Truly a milkshake IPA, the bold flavor of maple overcomes the entire session from sip to finish as the full bodied ale remains rich, creamy and dense with cereal grains to support the seduction of maple and fruit, deep into a medium long tea-like finish.

 1,137 characters

Photo of StoutElk_92
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Sweet floral fruity aroma with French toast and maple syrup sweetness. Whipped cream up front on the palate with sweet maple syrup, French toast, fruity, sweet, bready, vanilla, allspice, with some dank citrusy tropical hops.

 225 characters

Winter Spiced French Toast from Decadent Ales
Beer rating: 4.1 out of 5 with 17 ratings