Knocking off a ginger snap cookie to good effect, dry-spiced winter warmer allows molasses-sugared cinnamon, clove and allspice seasoning to rise above its honeyed biscuit pale malt base. Minty fern influence and herbal lemon snip appear at underwhelming phenolic finish.
On tap at Ambulance, audacious red wine-barreled oats-fortified winter warmer not clearly defined. Tannic red wine esters barely register as mildly acidic wild yeast saddles its sweet ‘n sour fruiting. Inconspicuous “cantaloupe rind, pear and mango” illusions warble by candied lemon tartness and gin-teased grapefruit juicing. Musky corn-liquored pilsner malt spine seems outta place.
On tap at Curley’s, complex and well-balanced wintry witbier lets sweet orange-peeled coriander adjunct, zesty lemon spritz and gentle vanilla sway gain lightly lingered white-peppered sea salting above wheat-flaked pilsner malting. Candi-sugared Belgian yeast obtains herbal fungi notion at floral-perfumed citrus finish.
On tap at Growler & Gill, casually winterized Imperial Extra Special Bitter lacks definitive stylistic profile. In a wayward manner, nutty caramel malts, mossy fungi dewiness and moderate earthen hop bittering gain latent honey-spiced dark fruiting. Bittersweet fig, sugarplum and date pleasantries waver.
On tap at Biggie’s, velvety mocha-bound 43rd annual winter ale features cacao nibs, toffee, roasted nuts and herbal spicing. At the entry, creamy dark chocolate malts pick up casual dried-fruited baking spices to offset moderate hop-charred tarring. Recessive cocoa, coffee, roasted tobacco and berry illusions flutter below.
Pleasingly underwhelming winter-spiced moderation tingles tongue with brown-sugared malt sweetness. Vague cinnamon-nutmeg-gingerbread-cardamom illusions receive mild hop astringency by inconclusive finish of fair holiday celebrator.
Wondrous wintry moderation (in a can) retains pleasant caramelized nuttiness above barley-flaked chocolate piquancy and earthen Glacier hop bittering. Almondine, hazelnut, almond, pecan and chestnut illusions get caressed by citric-candied tartness and mulled cherry wine souring in the backdrop of proudly ‘unspiced’ winter warmer.
On tap at Taphouse 15, indecisive winter warmer lacks sugar-spiced Christmastime expectancy. Instead, wayward anise-dried ginger spicing, dry Baker’s chocolate musk and murky honey tea-like waver subside quickly.
Well-rounded winter seasonal (circa 2016) places sharp-hopped cinnamon, nutmeg and curry spicing alongside brown-sugared gingerbread sweetness to contrast less prominent pumpkin-skinned gourd earthiness. Tertiary walnut-pecan conflux and latent fig snip add depth to refreshingly clean-watered Christmastime treasure.
Recurring winter-seasoned strong ale (2015 limited edition with boisterous 10% ABV) lets curacao orange-peeled thyme adjunct delicately affect brown-sugared raisin, fig and plum scrum as well as caramelized mocha malt sweetness. Sharp hop-prickled cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger spicing stays just beneath the surface alongside dark cherry and red grape undertones while random pencil shavings strangely penetrate light burgundy warmth.
Anchor’s 41st Anniversary holiday ale resembles a dry porter with its burgundy-browned body, roasted mocha malting and ashen hop char. Sweet sugared spicing and evergreen freshness of many previous “Special” offerings lags, relying instead on chalky dried cocoa, nutty chocolate, black coffee and raw molasses tones to enhance dried-fruited black cherry, fig and plum illusions.
On tap at Craft House, dewy dry-spiced dark fruiting muted by soft-toned pumpernickel toasting. Mild hop astringency, ginger-leafed nutmeg seasoning and crisp tobacco roast relegate delicate brown-sugared cinnamon sweetness. Dried fig, dehydrated apricot and green apple illusions casually drift off.