AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20Chad9976 (1520) - Orlando, Florida, USA - DEC 20, 2015
year will be my first Christmas in Florida, so it’s only appropriate I
review a winter warmer made here in the Sunshine State. Barley Mow
Tinsel is pretty standard for the style: spicy and warm as well as
flavorful and easy to drink. Not the best Christmas beer ever, but it’s
I poured a 12oz can into a wine glass. There was no freshness date and it cost $2.39 ($0.20 per ounce).
Appearance: Deep copper/burgundy hue with a foggy body. There appears to
be sediment within. Pours to a thumb-width, off-white, foamy head which
laces and retains well.
Smell: Traditional holiday spices and a lightly sweet, cookie-like aroma. The nose seems to be a tad mild, though.
Taste: If you want an example of a winter warmer palette, then this beer
is it. All the spicy and warming flavors you want in a cold weather
beer are here for the taking: ginger, nutmeg, some cinnamon and perhaps
some Allspice as well. The label indicates it’s brewed with honey, and
there does seem to be a lingering honey flavor in the aftertaste. The
malt character is fairly contained: sweet to be sure, but not cloyingly
so. I don’t get much in the way of caramel and toffee flavors as
advertised. There is a surprisingly strong bitterness here, though. It’s
dry and spicy – to the point where it’s a bit distracting. Had it not
been for that character, this would be more than just a good beer.
Drinkability: It’s rare that winter warmers are light in any way, shape
or form and Barley Mow Tinsel is no exception. The actually mouthfeel is
not that intense or viscous, though there is plenty of flavor from
beginning to end. There’s also noticeable alcohol warmth from the 7.3%
ABV. It’s not distracting like the bitterness in the palette is, though.
A beer better paired with Christmas dinner than Christmas dessert.