Cabin Fever
Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro

Cabin FeverCabin Fever
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Style:
Winter Warmer
Ranked #18
ABV:
8.5%
Score:
87
Ranked #12,328
Avg:
3.98 | pDev: 10.3%
Reviews:
48
Ratings:
87
From:
Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro
 
Washington, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  4
Gots
  11
SCORE
87
Very Good
Cabin FeverCabin Fever
Notes: Hit the slopes and cozy up next to the fireplace with the perfect companion: Cabin Fever. Rich and malty with a balanced hop character, our Winter Warmer is, by nature, deceptively strong. With an extended conditioning period, Cabin Fever is blissfully smooth. This winter there’s no need to fear the cold. Warm up with a fever.

45 IBU
Reviews: 48 | Ratings: 87 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of superspak
superspak from Ohio

4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got in a BIF from beertunes. 12 ounce can into tulip glass, canned on 10/22/2019. Pours fairlyu crystal clear deep reddish orange/copper color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and fluffy light khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Thick foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big caramel, brown sugar, brown bread dough/crust, toasted biscuit, roasted nuts, pine, citrus peel/rind, wood, herbal, grass, and peppercorn; with lighter notes of toffee, cocoa, coffee, raisin, plum, fig, date, apricot, red apple, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready/light roasted malts, earthy hops, and light-moderate fruity yeast notes; with big strength. Taste of big caramel, brown sugar, brown bread dough/crust, toasted biscuit, roasted nuts, pine, citrus peel/rind, wood, herbal, grass, and peppercorn; with lighter notes of toffee, cocoa, coffee, raisin, plum, fig, date, apricot, red apple, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate pine, citrus peel/rind, herbal, woody, grassy, peppery, roasted bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, brown bread dough/crust, toasted biscuit, roasted nuts, pine, citrus peel/rind, wood, herbal, grass, peppercorn, toffee, cocoa, coffee, dark fruit, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready/light roasted malts, earthy hops, and light-moderate fruity yeast flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance, and no acrid/astringent flavors after the finish. Light-moderate increasing dryness from lingering hop/roasted bitterness. Medium carbonation and medium-plus body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready/grainy, and sticky/resinous/rindy, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is great. Minimal warming alcohol for 8.5%. Overall this is an awesome English winter warmer style. All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready/light roasted malts, earthy hops, and light-moderate fruity yeast flavors; very smooth and easy to drink with the modestly bitter/resinous/drying finish; not overly aggressive. Awesome balance of rich English malts and earthy English hops; with restrained fruity yeast. Mild residual sweetness with lingering resin dryness. A very enjoyable offering, and impressive style example. Reminds me of Deschutes Jubelale a lot. Could use a bit of age to tone down the hops as with that one.

Dec 24, 2019
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Many thanks to jhartley for this beer.

A- Dark burgundy colored pour with nice clarity and thin caramel colored lacing.

S - Earthy and nutty with toasted malt aroma and toasted malt sweetness.

T - Toasted nutty malt, some booziness with some resiny citrus on the very back end. Sweet finish with underlying citrus resin.

M - Medium body.

O - A nice Winter Warmer. Would be even better with a splash of Bourbon in the glass!

Jan 05, 2018
Photo of ssteakley
ssteakley from Washington

4.75/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A rare opportunity to find this in my favorite beer store here in Seattle. Not disappointed! Full bodied winter ale. Please bring more to Seattle! The smell and taste are near perfect to me.

Feb 07, 2016
Photo of Moose90
Moose90 from Washington

3.69/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served On-Tap

A — Pours a deep copper color into the glass, with an off-white colored head on top of it, leaving behind semi-consistent lacing.

S — Smell is strong and lightly sweet, notes of rich malts and spices, pretty prototypical winter warmer.

T — Bready, sweet, malt forward, little bit of a spice component, overall it is sweet and rich.

M — Medium-Full bodied, and warming on the way down.

O — Good overall, not one of my favorite styles, this one is fine though.

Dec 09, 2015
Photo of jeffeljefe
jeffeljefe from Washington

3.79/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

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.

Apr 06, 2013
Photo of Braz
Braz from Washington

4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I live only 3 hours from this brewery yet it is very hard for me to find.
Pours a pretty dark brown mahogany. Color of brandy. Thin head that recedes to edges of the glass.
Strong bread and sourdough notes with subtle citrus. Taste is balanced though I do wish the hops made a bit stronger appearance. This is more on the malty side.
Medium to full body. Maltiness stays on the palate for quite awhile but that suits most wintery beers in my opinion. Has a slight spice finish, from the hops I believe.
Very enjoyable.

Dec 13, 2012
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420 from Texas

4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Mar 31, 2012
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber from Washington

3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

Jan 14, 2012
Photo of oberon
oberon from North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Dec 23, 2011
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou from New York

4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
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

Dec 05, 2011
Photo of DaftCaskBC
DaftCaskBC from Canada (BC)

4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Nov 23, 2011
Photo of davidexactitude
davidexactitude from Washington

4.67/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Feb 01, 2011
Photo of Briken
Briken from Washington

3.46/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Dec 29, 2010
Photo of philbertk
philbertk from Washington

4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Dec 12, 2010
Photo of malty
malty from Michigan

3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

Dec 12, 2010
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend from Washington

4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
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

Oct 31, 2010
Photo of froghop
froghop from Washington

3.11/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 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.

Apr 29, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000 from Texas

4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Apr 27, 2010
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alcstradamus from Iowa

3.31/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Apr 15, 2010
Photo of blackc5
blackc5 from Washington

4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Feb 22, 2010
Photo of flagmantho
flagmantho from Washington

3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Feb 12, 2010
Photo of John_M
John_M from Oregon

4/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Feb 08, 2010
Photo of RedDiamond
RedDiamond from Oregon

2.8/5  rDev -29.6%
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.

Nov 10, 2009
Photo of mentor
mentor from Colorado

3.3/5  rDev -17.1%
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'.

Oct 18, 2009
Photo of midaszero
midaszero from Washington

3.34/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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

Feb 28, 2009
Cabin Fever from Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 87 ratings