Thanksgiving 2008, Part II. Brooklyn Winter Ale

Brooklyn Brewery has long been one of my personal top-shelf favorite breweries. Everything Brooklyn puts forth is well worth having; I found their Winter Ale not their best offering, but still definitely worthy of a go. It’s clearly in the Scottish Ale tradition — dark, slightly sweet, not a whole lot in the way of hop flavors, with some added flavorful twists. It’s wonderful on a blustery fall or winter night in front of a fireplace. Scottish floor-malted maris otter malts, English crystal malts, Belgian aromatic malts, American roasted malts, AND American oats, with Willamette hops. There’s a punch to be packed, but it’s not quite a heavyweight.

Appearance: reddish bronze, hazy, with a thin head.

Nose: Raisins, brown sugar, faint alcohol notes, a warm comforting aroma.

Taste: brown sugar, honey, roasted nuts, salt, malt, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves.

Palate: Warming, fizzy, and smooth

Overall: *Very* good, but I thought it could be better on the finish — it just seems to drop off without saying goodbye, although it does pleasantly warm the throat. At 6%, it is slightly reminiscent of a weak barleywine with a Scots twist. It really was great with food — what Sara and I had was caramel popcorn with nuts, and also pecan pie. I imagine it would be stellar with hearty winter foods — savory stews, rich roast with gravy, a baked ham, or anything that has caramelized onions featured.

Next post….the unveiling of my own Neil Gow’s Scottish Ale…here’s to keeping my fingers crossed…


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