Monday, December 28, 2009

181. Stoudts Winter Ale

We’re hitting Stoudts up again pretty quick, I know, this being our sixth Stoudts beer and all, although I did miss number five. We’ve tried Fat Dog Imperial Oatmeal Stout, Oktoberfest, American Pale Ale, Scarlet Lady ESB, and Heifer-in-Wheat. And now it’s time for Winter Ale. I was also recovering from some sort of viral infection, most likely an unintentional Christmas gift from my nieces and nephew, who have a history of spreading plagues during the holidays. But anyway, as I tried to contribute some sort of input on this beer, Elli looked at me and said “you’re sick, you don’t know what you’re tasting.” Ah, true love.

Winter Ale is a clear dark amber with a thin ivory head. The nose is a combination of malt and slightly musty dark fruits, and the front starts rich and sweet with dry chocolate in the middle, finishing chalky and dry with hop bitterness. There is also some slight lager-esque graininess at the end, and some bready flavors to accompany the dry chocolate in the middle. Winter Ale has a creamy mouthfeel with a medium body and medium carbonation; the dryness and bitterness at the end are nice, although the dryness is a bit too alkaline. A good beer, especially as it doesn’t go on the usual spice tear that many winter beers do, but nothing particularly stands out—some of the darker fruits in the nose could have helped flesh out the body.

From the Stoudts website: “Although we change recipes every year, this winter warmer will always be a full bodied ale. ” [I saw this described elsewhere as a hoppy red ale, hence my label choice below.]


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