Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Weyerbacher Winter Ale (2013 re-review)

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (1024) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 17, 2013
I poured a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass. There was no freshness date and it cost $2.99 ($0.25 per ounce).

Appearance: Dark brown/maroon hue. Translucent, but no visible carbonation. Pours to a small, off-white, foamy head which retains and laces fairly well.

Smell: A light aroma of malty sweetness, but no individual ingredient stands out.

Taste: I’m surprised by how many brewers use a brown ale as a winter seasonal. There’s nothing particularly wintry about a standard brown ale since there’s no spices added and the alcohol is fairly low. In my opinion, Weyerbacher Winter Ale doesn’t seem to have the characteristics of a true winter ale, but would make a fine perennial brown ale.

The palette, upon first tasting, is reminiscent of a Scottish all with is use of malts. Mild, but discenrible, notes of caramel, toffee and a hint of smoky astringency. There’s a distinct chocolaty sweetness on the finish, but it seems to fade away quickly. As I continue to drink, the malt flavors seem to homogenize and create for a tasty, pleasant sweetness with a hint of dark fruit. There’s no spiciness and the initial smoke character is lacking. Still, everything here is more than just satisfying, but far short of amazing.

Drinkability: Usually, winter ales tend to be big, heavy, and robust. Weyerbacher Winter Ale doesn’t quite fit that definition, though it’s certainly no weak brew. There’s flavor for sure, but it’s delivered via a smooth, comfortable mouthfeel and leaves only a subtle aftertaste of roasted malt. At 5.6% ABV it probably could be a bit more complex, though the relatively light body (for the style) is a nice change of pace. 
Grade: 7/10