Beer Buy: Weyerbacher Winter Ale

January 22nd, 2012


Winter warmers, which is what us beer geeks call these winter ales, tend to be richer in flavor, higher in alcohol and generally bigger than beers we drink any other season. Weyerbacher, an Easton, PA brewer who has made a name for themselves with big, Belgian-style ales, has, somewhat surprisingly, gone in a different direction here. (I expected at least 8% abv in a Weyerbacher winter warmer, but this is only 5.6%) Instead of the big, over the top beer, they’ve come up with a roasty, malty, wonderfully smooth brew that can be enjoyed one at a time or in a session. The truth is that this is a somewhat simple beer. It’s not going to change your life. It is, however, darn delicious, which is why it is my “must buy” winter ale every season.

It starts out with aromas of molasses, vanilla and a hint of nutmeg. The taste is dominated by chocolate malts, coffee, and a bit of licorice. A hint of root beer essence (but not overwhelmingly so – I don’t even like root beer) and maybe just a hint of cherry as well round it out. Not much hops here, but some effervescent carbonation cleans off the finish. Simple, but delicious and a great “house” beer for your Winter season.

This beer doesn’t require much attention to enjoy. It just tastes great. I was going to write that if you prefer big, Belgian-style or hoppy, complex ales, this beer probably isn’t for you. But that’s not really true. Even if you love them big & bold, you can’t drink those every day. Everybody needs a “house” beer, and this is mine during the cold winter months. Give it a try!

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