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Beer Review #46 Winterhook Winter Ale

I got my hands on a winter beer that I have never seen before the other day. That beer was Winterhook Winter Ale by Redhook Ale Brewery out of Woodinville, Washington. My main surprise with finding this beer is that there were spring seasonals (reviews to come) sitting next to it. I’ve had a few other Redhook beers before, but I wasn’t sure what to expect out of this one since my winter beer experience has been so varied.

The ale pours a dark brown color with some ruby-like highlights when held in the light. It is clear and has a thin tan head. The nose on the beers is malty and slightly fruity. Caramel is the strongest of the malt odors coming from the glass. There is a bit of spice on it, but I really couldn’t pick up exactly what it was. There is also some slight hops on the nose, but not overwhelmingly so.

Winterhook has a good malt body and a nice hop bite on the end. There is a slight Belgian like yeast or spice flavor in there as well. It was much cleaner and more hidden than a normal Belgian, but there was a bit of a kick from it to be found in the beer. The hop gets more and more pronounced the more you get into the drink as well. The ale has a medium mouthfeel and, as I said before, and really nice body.

Winterhook is a super drinkable winter ale. It isn’t really high on the ABV rankings coming in at 5.9% but it has a great balance of everything. It is a nice winter ale that I think a lot of people would really enjoy. There are a lot of flavors going on and it takes a bit of time to break them all down. The beer also had great lacing if that is important to you. Overall I enjoyed this beer but it wasn’t my favorite winter ale of the season. (more…)

Michelob Winter’s Bourbon Cask Ale Beer Review

When I first saw a case of this beer sitting at my local beer store, I was intriguing. A bit excited to tell the truth. There was a snowman holding a bottle of beer and wearing some sweet shades, all of this to advertise a bourbon cask ale. Sounded wonderful!

When I got home, I threw a six-pack in the fridge and noticed that this beer was made by Michelob. There was no evidence of this on the box (or else I would not of gotten it), but I already opened it so it was too late. I don’t hate Michelob, I just don’t like that they are pretending to be a craft brewery when you are really an InBev product. The bottles read:

“Winter ale aged on bourbon oak casks and whole Madagascar vanilla beans. 6.0% ABV.”

I waited from them to get cold and two hours later, they were ready to drink. When I think of a winter beer, I generally think of something dark and heavy and full of alcohol. I think the same thing when I hear of bourbon and cask. I popped the top to a nice little pfff and poured it into my glass. This stuff was a copper colored!?! Nothing like what I was expecting. It had a thin head that disappeared within seconds.

A bit annoyed, I cleared my head and decided to give the beer a chance to say something. The first smells were sweet and strongly vanilla. There is a hint of malt and no hops at all. Upon first sip I didn’t really enjoy it at all. It tasted like cream soda. There was also a strange metalic taste that I did not enjoy at all. There was also very little carbonation and no flavor of bourbon.┬áSome beers get better as you drink through the glass, this is not one of them. I let about half of the glass sit for a bit to see if it being warmed helped at all; no change.

I was very, very disappointed by this beer. I expected something totally different, and the flavor of the beer completly ruined any positives I held on to. Don’t get fooled, don’t buy this beer, don’t look at this beer! (more…)