Heathen Reindeer Tears 2014 Review

Heathen Brewing of Vancouver, Washington is a sassy new brewery across the Columbia River from Portland. Their motto is:  “Progressive Ales for the Promiscuous Palate”. I haven’t had any of their dozen brews yet, so I look forward to trying Reindeer Tears, their Christmas beer.

Reindeer Tears is Bourbon Barrel Aged American Barleywine. It pours cloudy rosé copper with a cream-colored pillow of fine foam that reduces after a minute or so. The nose is brown sugar, burnt orange, wheat, bourbon, and citrus. Reindeer Tears tastes sweet with caramel and smooth, creamy bourbon barrel and floral hops delight. It’s 94 IBU, but all the bitterness is balanced by the malts and the red and white wheat. At 10.8% ABV it has no booziness. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a pleasant carbonation.

Heathen can be best described with their vision statement “To convert the masses that have settled for bland corporate beer that lacks robust flavor and character.” Heathen Brewing plans to convert the uncivilized palates of those poor unfortunate souls that never have been properly introduced to a true craft ale.

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    While it's difficult to picture Santa as a young man, he was once. He met the future Mrs. Claus one snowy night when she offered him a winter ale that she brewed herself. It was love at first sight - for both the Mrs. and her winter ales. With Santa's growing fame, his favorite brews became named after his favorite day - Christmas. Santa now travels the world each year to spread the joy that began in a stable in Bethlehem two millennia ago.

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