Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Liver Punisher vs. MSN City Guides: Winter Beer Round Up

MSN things-to-do section "City Guide" recently ran a feature on popular winter beers. After reading it over I thought I'd make my response.

MSN: http://cityguides.msn.com/articles/cityarticle.aspx?cp-documentid=22635986&gt1=24000

Now, I haven't tried all of these, but I've had a few so far this year, let's see...

Great Divide Hibernation Ale: Not too shabby, but nothing fancy or new. Robust, malty start and slightly bitter finish. A solid ale, for sure, but not totally worth the price.

North Coast Brewing Co. Old Rasputin Imperial Stout: This is available pretty much year round so I'm not sure why it's on the winter beer list, unless it's because it's one of the best beers being made in America today. It's dark, and rich with great maltiness and subtle coffee/dark chocolate notes. An Imperial Stout, once brewed exclusively for the czars of Russia, Old Rasputin is certainly heavy, but find it on a nitrogen tap somewhere and you're in for one of the greatest treats on earth. Plus its 9% ABV will certainly keep you warm, if not help you sleep off most of the winter.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Celebration Ale: One of my all time favorite winter beverages, Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale is a hops fan's dream. Very little of the malt is noticeable, save for maybe the first second it hits the tongue, after that it's hops time! The massive dose of hops are predominately piny with just a bit of citrus in the finish. It's a lot like taking a header into the Christmas tree after a few too many gin and tonics... in the best way possible.

Avery Brewing Avery Old Jubilation: Another tasty entry from the Avery co. Old Jubilation is a rich, malty brew. A bit of hops in the beginning gives way to a candy-like finish. Worth a try if you stumble onto it, but no loss if not.

After reading this I'm hoping to stumble onto some of the Smuttynose Robust Porter and the Victory Storm King. There's nothing like a dark, full bodied beer on a winter night, it's like a hug for your insides.

And few they missed...

Columbus Brewing Company Winter Warmer: This amber colored beer is cram-jammed with winter spices and heavily malted, so it's kind of like drinking a liquefied gingerbread man. Tasty, warming, and soothing. Their 90 Schilling Ale is also a robust brew that, while available year round, is especially well suited for the colder months.

Great Lakes Brewing Co. Christmas Ale: I'm going to try my best to not post about this beer anymore this year, but yes, Virginia, it is that good. Great malt and honey taste, a bit of orange zest, and plenty of spice warms the body and soul. I keep hearing murmurs that GLBC Christmas Ale is not all it's cracked up to be, but rest assured it is. It really, really is. A gold standard for winter beers the world around. And for an extra treat dip the rim of your glass in about 1/8 of an inch of honey, then, using the honey as an adhesive, roll the rim in a light mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. Shazam!


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