I have to hurry up while it’s still winter!
A cloudy brown glassful with a very brief light off white head. The aroma is of caramel and oaky vanilla, tons of malt and just a hint of alcohol. The flavor is of rich raisiny malt, definitely wine-like, and the raisin reminds me of Italian Amarone, one of my favorites. The finish is smooth and balanced with just a note of hops mixed with the malt and raisin. This is an ale that many wine drinkers–like my wife–would love. Ale with 50% aged in Pinot Noir and Oregon oak barrels. “Affectionately known as ‘Super Jubel’, Jubel 2015 is an imperial take on our festive winter ale. Originally planned as a once-in-a-decade ale; we just couldn’t wait another five years.” This was one of my favorites of 2015! If somehow you can find it, the 10.4% ABV will let it age for some time.
A Schwarzbier, pouring dark cola brown with a generous light tan head. Starts with a lightly roasty, malty aroma. It delivers more roastiness on the palate with a chocolate hint and a mix of German and American hops. The finish continues these, drying at the end. 5.6% ABV
“2015 Double Bastard Ale aged in Templeton Rye Whiskey Barrels” Cloudy dark amber in the glass with a brief tannish head. There is rich malt and whiskey on the nose with rye spiciness. It’s a filling mouthful of malt, rye and caramel carrying into the finish with a solid shot of hops on the end and a solid shot of alcohol as well. 12.7% ABV
This pours a rich chestnut amber with a medium tannish head. The nose is dark malty with only a hint of bourbon. Even the flavor is more toffee and caramel than bourbon, but there is an oakiness and some alcohol heat. A creaminess comes into the mouthfeel and then a bitterness emerges and carries into the finish, joined by hop spiciness. “Quite refined, unlike you.” 8.1% ABV
This IPA has an apricot nectar look with a moderate persistent off white head. Citrus-piney hops hit as soon as the cap comes off. It arrives as a big bitterish hoppy mouthful and the lemon peel citrus stays bitter through the finish. I like this but it’s sort of a one trick pony. 7.2% ABV
Clear gold with a brief white head and light effervescence. The aroma seems almost like a Belgian single, lightly yeasty and estery, crossed with the flavor of clean biscuit malt and light spicy hops. This one is a straightforward lager, a summer beer, but in a winter with a 70 degree Christmas Eve, I’ll happily drink it. 4.8% ABV