Sunday, January 3, 2010

Blue Point Winter Ale

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (597) - Albany, USA - JAN 3, 2010
They say first impressions are everything, and if that’s true I’d say Blue Point Brewery from Patchouge, Long Island did a good job of making a potential loyal customer out of me. As a fellow New Yorker I’ve been itching to try this brewery for a while, but wasn’t able to until recently when I tried their Winter Ale. It’s described as a “hearty and robust amber ale” – which really caught my attention. While I wouldn’t say it’s quite as great as the description says (then again, what beer is?) it was enough to satisfy me.


Blue Point Winter Ale pours exactly how it’s supposed to – an amber/reddish, crystal-clear body. It produces a very fluffy, slightly off-white head which lasts throughout the life of the drink and regenerates very easily. Oddly, it did not leave much lacing on the glass.

The aroma was typical for a beer of the style with a nose indicative of hops with a mild floral scent. There’s also a malty sweetness, but it’s also subdued. I was hoping for a more inviting aroma but this’ll do.


Sometimes a beer does not conform to its style which is not necessarily a bad thing. Blue Point Winter Ale does “follow the script” of an amber ale quite well. Up front there’s a significant hop bitterness with a slightly pine flavor which finishes rather sweet. The beer is made with four types of malts including chocolate, although I wouldn’t say this is a candy-like beer at all.

The hops eventually fade away as the malts take over making for a mostly sweet, yet fairly mild beer. It’s just a tad bit watery to give the beer a clean finish. There is also an aftertaste, albeit mild, of baker’s chocolate and perhaps a hint of caramel. I’ve had other amber ales which had the same flavors present but their intensity was double or triple that of Blue Point’s.

Overall, it’s satisfying mostly because I believe this is an intentionally pedestrian beer and if that’s the case it works.


Becoming a hophead is not a title a beer-drinker tends to earn overnight. Hop bitterness is an acquired taste, but if done properly it can be made drinker-friendly which is what Blue Point has seemingly done with their Winter Ale.

With a very soft, yet fairly heavy mouthfeel combined with the mild palate, this is a beer the pedestrian and the beer geek can throw back quickly and easily. At 5.5% ABV it doesn’t overwhelm and has a well-proportioned body for its flavor profile and beer style. I also believe it’s something of an “all-purpose” beer when it comes to food pairings considering its mild, yet satisfying, taste.


I’m not sure what took me this long to try a relatively local brewery, but I (hopefully) picked a good beer to introduce me to the Blue Point Brewing Company. Winter Ale has enough flavor to satisfy the beer geeks while still remaining drinker-friendly to do the same for more Joe and Jane Six Pack.

Grade: 7/10

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