Cabin Fever
Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro

Cabin FeverCabin Fever
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Style:
Winter Warmer
Ranked #18
ABV:
8.5%
Score:
87
Ranked #12,403
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
Reviews by Derek:
Photo of Derek
Derek from Canada (BC)

4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
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!

Dec 19, 2005
More User Reviews:
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 aracauna
aracauna from Georgia

2.84/5  rDev -28.6%
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.

Jan 03, 2003
Photo of jreitman
jreitman from California

4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown in color with a red hue. Head was off white and faded fast after a frothy start. Fruity, floral hop aroma was most evident. Initally all I tasted was hops and a slight sweetness, but after the first few sips, the caramel and fruit character started to show through. Everything was in perfect balance. Finish was slightly dry with a good hoppy bite. A very well brewed beer.

Apr 19, 2003
Photo of Gusler
Gusler from Arizona

4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

Jan 01, 2004
Photo of Zraly
Zraly from Virginia

4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Holy moly.

This beer is aromatic alright. It's good-looking, too. The head appeared to be beige and the brew itself was a dark brown-red color. My better half said "It looks like the color of Coca-Cola". I think that is accurate, actually.

The smell is strong. The taste is strong. The herbalness of this ale really shines and comes across with a predominant grapefruit note. Layered around the citrus is the flavor of evergreen and alcohol. The finish is dry and bitter, and it warms your insides in an instant.

We entertained this drink with a hearty roasted onion and garlic bread followed by a spicy-ass gumbo. Oy!

Dec 30, 2002
Photo of freed
freed from Oregon

4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sweet Jesus this is an aromatic beer. Had a pint of cask conditioned last night, and halfway through it my saliva glands had gone dry.

This beer has a wonderful fresh hop aroma. Aroma might even be too subtle a word for it. It was a powerful smell, obviously it had been dry hopped. The pint had a hazy golden hue, nice head, and it left a foam lace on the inside of the glass. There may have been malty flavor, but it was absolutely trounced by the combination of bitterness and bright hop flavor. It was a very good beer to drink in glass, as I had trouble making my mouth swallow the last couple sips. Halfway through I noticed the effects of alcohol, but didn't actually taste it while drinking.

Also, don't start with this beer. You'll need another hop monster afterwards if you even want to taste it. It dominates your palate.

Dec 28, 2002
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 OldFrothingSlosh
OldFrothingSlosh from Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bomber courtesy of your West-Coast connection for great beer: RoyalT.

Poured a wonderfully deep, dark and "warm"-looking brown color with tinges of ruby-red at the edges. *Thick* and creamy off-white head that refused to settle down. Nice lacing of the glass. Aromas are toasty malt supported by a hefty leafy hop goodness. All of this is wrapped in a mixture of winter spices and some brown sugar. Flavor is more of the same. Big-time caramel malt up front, followed by a citrusy-grapefruit middle, and finishes with a smoky overtoned spicy end. A different concoction of flavors that really do the trick. Creamy smooth on the ol' palate. Rather brisk and dry finish, with some cinnamon-orange aftertaste. A flavorful and different winter brew. Well-done!

As always, kudos to RoyalT for another great beer.

May 11, 2004
Photo of JohnnyDuvel
JohnnyDuvel from Florida

4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a really nice "winter" beer, but seems more like a dark IPA to me. Not as thick and malty as a barley wine or old ale. Plenty of hop bitterness and fruity aromas and flavors. A very smooth beer. Pours dark, very dark. Nice head with good retention. Very fresh and crisp. I wish I had regular access to this one. Reminded me some of Indiga, but not as harsh. Thanks for coming all the way to Florida to bring me this beer, Rick!

Jan 04, 2004
Photo of canucklehead
canucklehead from Canada (BC)

4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
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

May 05, 2004
Photo of woemad
woemad from Washington

3.9/5  rDev -2%
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.

Apr 06, 2004
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT from Ohio

4.49/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

Dec 13, 2003
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 Pinz412
Pinz412 from Pennsylvania

3.86/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Jan 15, 2021
Photo of beerceller99
beerceller99 from Louisiana

3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle. Garnet color with a light tan head. Toffee sweet malt smell. Light - medium bodied and lightly carbonated. Smooth texture. Nicely balanced taste of sweet toffee, bitter coffee. Finishes with a medium bitter alcohol tang.
A pretty tasty winter time brew from the great northwest.

Jul 12, 2005
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 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 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 carln26
carln26 from Missouri

4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pored a dark hazy amber color with a thin head. The nose has malt in the form of toffee, a slight fig profile. Taste is a rich amber ale. Toffee peanut brittle, a little citrus finish. There is a bit of bitterness and alcohol on the finish. No heat, just a tang. The beer is a little muddled, but has a rich mouthfeel. Good drinkability. I like winter warmers with a nice hop profile, and this beer, while having more malt than hops, still displays the hops well.

Jan 15, 2006
Photo of Viggo
Viggo from Canada (ON)

3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

Feb 22, 2008
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GClarkage from California

3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Jul 07, 2014
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BDTyre from Canada (BC)

4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice, full flavoured winter warmer. The colour is a bit on the reddish side, but otherwise this is a nice shade of ruby brown.

Nice, rich malty smell with a bit of fruit zest in the background, likely from the hops. Sweet, almost syrupy notes. Traces of toffee, sweet butter and brown sugar. Certainly no end to variety of subtle flavours in this one.

Nice mouthfeel, good body. Not too heavy, and the carbonation is just right. Very yummy brew; I should have picked up a bottle or two.

Dec 21, 2006
Photo of TheBungyo
TheBungyo from Washington

3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Mar 04, 2007
Photo of jzeilinger
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
Cabin Fever from Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 87 ratings