December 08, 2009

Now on Tap - Winter Warmer

These malty sweet offerings tend to be a favorite winter seasonal. Big malt presence, both in flavor and body. The color ranges from brownish-reds to nearly pitch black. Hop bitterness is generally low, leveled and balanced, but hop character can be pronounced. Alcohol warmth is not uncommon. Many English versions contain no spices, though some brewers of spiced winter seasonal ales will slap "Winter Warmer" on the label. Those that are spiced, tend to follow the "wassail" tradition of blending robust ales with mixed spices, before hops became the chief "spice" in beer. American varieties may have a larger presence of hops both in bitterness and flavor.

Ours is loosely based on the Samuel Smith Winter Welcome Ale. Big malt and low hopping. Big alcohol yet restrained alcoholic warmth. This year, 40 pounds of Italian Plum was added during the boil which added fermentable sugar and carried some flavor through, perceived as citrus sweetness.
We are serving it in a snifter to keep in all the yummy flavor and aroma. This beer was not filtered and has a slight haze at cold temperatures. If let to warm up a bit the haze fades and all the juicy malt aroma comes to the front.

Brewers specs:

75% Pale malt
10% Vienna malt
10% Carapils
5% Malted wheat

English East Kent Goldings
German Spalt

Fermented with McCoy's Ale yeast for 2 weeks at 18.5 C

OG: 23.5 Plato
9.6% ABV

Strong, semi-sweet flavor with malt & background fruit accents and a tawny color. Cheers!

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