I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 10/11/13 and cost $2.99 ($0.25 per ounce).
Appearance: Pretty shade of copper/burgundy. Translucent with visible
carbonation. Pours to a small, off white, frothy head which mostly
dissipates and leaves little lacing on the glass.
Smell: Light fruit notes and a general malty presence. Some spice.
Taste: There seems to be a lot of confusion about this beer. Various
online sources have it as different styles and different alcohol
percentages. All I can go by is the bottle label, which is pretty
skimpy. Though, from what I can tell, Cisco Winter Shredder is a winter
warmer of some type. The palette is not so much bad as it is boring.
While the overall taste is decent, there’s no individual flavors that
stand out. Drinkable and flavorful, but far from wonderful.
It’s difficult to describe the taste here. It’s akin to an ESB, winter
warmer, English Strong Ale and an amber ale. Malt character is on the
sweeter side, though the beer is not sweet per se. Slight bitterness at
the apex of the swig with light spice notes of cinnamon and possibly
nutmeg. A hint of nuttiness on the finish, which is nice. Alcohol is a
prominent flavor as well. Everything that’s here is fine, it just needs
more distinctiveness and much more flavor for a beer of this strength.
Drinkability: The bottle indicates an ABV of 8%, though the brewery’s
website says 8.8%. While Cisco Winter Shredder is certainly far from a
light beer, it’s not quite as weighty as those numbers would seem to
indicate. The mouthfeel is medium, calm, and fairly smooth going down.
The alcohol imparts subtle warmth, though it’s easily tolerable. As a
sipper - it’s fine, and does what it’s supposed to do.