Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hangar 24 Local Fields Warmer

I’m not usually a fan of Christmas-themed beers and "winter warmers" of the general spice/herb/vegetable genre. They tend to taste very similar to me or just use ingredients I don’t like. Hangar 24 Local Fields Warmer is definitely reminiscent of those beers, but in this case they definitely got the spice combination right. A lovely wintery palate that doesn’t go overboard and remains highly drinkable.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (794) - Albany, New York, USA - JAN 19, 2013
I poured a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: A dark burnt umber/mahogany hue; opaque; with an average-sized, yellowish, foamy head which leaves some lacing before mostly evaporating.

Smell: Imagine graham crackers in the forest. Distinct cinnamon and spruce spices, but seemingly authentic and contained.

Taste: Judging from the description on the bottle I had a feeling I was either going to love or hate Hangar 24 Local Fields Warmer. It’s a strong ale brewed with maple syrup, spruce tips and cinnamon. That sounds similar to Anchor’s Christmas ale which is also literally brewed with ingredients from evergreen trees (and is not a beer I like). Perhaps the reason this beer works so well is the brewers opted for cinnamon instead of ginger, which counters, and even compliments, the spruce quite well. I also detect a subtle fruity flavor of orange or orange peel, though there’s no mention of it on the label or website.

The spicy palate is a two-fold approach. It begins with a slight prickly sensation, of earthy spices but cinnamon flavor and sweetness like that of a Christmas cookie. A bit more bitterness through the middle, though the hops are not all that prominent. The finish is the best part of the palate as the spruce flavor appears out of nowhere and creates for a quick burst of raw earthy taste, spice, and even more sweetness. Yet this is not a cloying beer. The aftertaste is mild and rather pleasant.

Drinkability: What’s nice about Hangar 24 Local Fields Warmer is that even though it’s certainly robust, it’s not a challenge to drink at all. I would describe the mouthfeel as energetic with a bit of an edge to it. Though the body itself is not overly carbonated, is not thick or sticky, and is remarkably smooth going down. It makes full use of its 7.8% ABV as it has plenty of energy and weight, but is nothing close to obese.
 Grade: 8/10