Brewery Ommegang of Cooperstown, New York is part of the Duvel brewing dynasty. They should know how to do a good winter ale. And they do. Lovely, Dark and Deep is the name of their Oatmeal Stout winter ale.
Ommegang Lovely, Dark and Deep pour dark brown with a khaki head of firm foam that hangs around for a while. The aroma is roasted malts, coffee, powdered cocoa, and dark pitted fruit. The taste is roasted coffee, smokey tobacco, and burnt chocolate chip cookies. Very distinct charred flavor, like soot from a wood fire. It’s not unpleasant, just distinct.
Lot’s of body, good carbonation, and rich mouthfeel. Not your typical Oatmeal Stout. The alcohol is light for the style at 5.3% ABV. A unique winter ale that needs to be savored.
Wingman Brewers of Tacoma, Washington takes the prize with their cool bottle shape. Wingman is a very local brewery only distributing in the Seattle-Tacoma area. Noel is their Belgian style winter ale.
Noel pours garnet with large bubbles that dissipate to nothing, not even lace, after just a moment. The aroma is sweet caramel, cola, and candied figs. It’s made simply from Saaz hops, Pilsner malts and Belgian candi sugar. Perhaps too simply. It tastes sweet, with little carbonation, cherry, cola, and oh so thin.
I want to love it because of the style and the cool bottle, but it needs work to add more body and malt backbone to be a Belgian style winter ale.
Alameda Brewing Company of Portland, Oregon is no newcomer to the brewing scene. They’ve been brewing commercially since 1996. Their Christmas beer goes by the name Papa’s Old Ale (the label on my bottle) or Papa Noel’s Olde Ale.
Papa’s Old Ale is a hoppy version of an English Strong Ale. It pours dark copper with a substantial light brown head that retains it’s shape. The aroma is sweet caramel malts and few subtle hints of cocoa and earthy spice.
It tastes as one would imagine: Sweet malty start with caramel and molasses that give way to a bitter hop finish. The generous amount of hops will please craft beer fans. It’s dark, medium bodied, clean and at 7.2% ABV, it’s a fine winter warmer. Very enjoyable.
Fish Tale Ales is an organic brewing company in Olympia, Washington. Fish Tale brews a full selection of great beers, include the Hobbit series and the Christmas Vacation series. Today, I’ll review Winterfish, a seasonal ale.
Winterfish pours light amber with a thin white head of foam. It smells of malts,
Pfriem Family Brewers of Hood River, Oregon has only been brewing commercially for 3 years, yet they are producing excellent beers. The Pfriem Winter Ale is an unmistakable Northwest ale.
Winter Ale pours amber with a bubbly head of tan foam. The aroma is fruity hops, orange zest and loads of pine. Smells more like an
Prairie Artisan Ales of Tulsa, Oklahoma makes, you guessed it, artisan ales – fantastic, top-notch beer in many different and difficult-to-master styles. Christmas Bomb! is a spiced Imperial Stout on an epic scale.
Christmas Bomb! pours jet black with a touch of burgundy color around the rim of the glass. There’s no foam, only a little
In 2014, Stone Brewery produced Stone Xocoveza Mocha Stout using a recipe by Chris Banker who won Stone’s home brewing competition with his take on Mexican hot chocolate brewed with spices. That beer was meant to be a single release, but fans said otherwise, and Stone Brewery is now producing Stone Xocoveza as an annual holiday beer.
Stone Xocoveza is a Milk Stout and pours