I poured a 12oz bottle into a mug. It was bottled on 10/10/13.
Appearance: Pretty brown to mahogany hue. Dark but transparent. Pours to
a large, khaki, frothy head which laces and retains quite well.
Smell: Familiar, pub-style brown ale aroma of dark malts and general sweetness. Nothing in particular stands out.
Taste: Is a strong brown ale the west coast’s idea of a winter beer? I
can’t help but wonder that because there’s nothing especially wintry
about Lost Coast Winterbraun. This is an essentially to-spec brown ale,
but with a higher alcohol content. The palette is the epitome of pretty
much every pub-style brown ale in that it’s flavorful for sure, but not
abundantly so. General malty sweetness of caramel and toffee with a
touch of bittersweet chocolate and light hops impart mild bitterness. It
also has that subtle tanginess some brown ales tend to have on the
finish. I won’t hold it against the beer since it’s not uncommon. And
while the overall taste to this beer is pleasant, it’s a bit
disappointing it’s not complex and doesn’t have any memorable traits.
Drinkability: For an 8% ABV beer, Lost Coast Winterbraun sure doesn’t
seem like it. Usually, that’s a compliment, but in this case it’s not
because the beer doesn’t seem to live up to its potential as far as
taste goes. As far as drinkability, well that’s another story. The
mouthfeel is calm, soft and smooth so it’s very easy to drink. There’s a
subtle aftertaste of malty sweetness, but no alcohol warmth or weight.
Easy to drink, but I don’t that’s what they were going for.