On tap at Taphouse 15, Sidecar cocktail-inspired strong ale (circa 2022) utilizes cognac-barreled orange bitters to engage fresh-squeezed lemon juicing and tannic white grape esters. Buttery oaken vanilla caramelization underscores the popular sour mix (while wispy red cherry, candied apple, golden raisin and spiced orange licks flutter).
On tap at Kitchen & Beer Bar, blending an old strong ale with a lower gravity new beer in a red wine oak foudre, glassy vodka-fruited 8.8% ABV strong ale recalls an English barleywine for a sec with its toffee-spiced caramel alacrity. But then tannic oaken red wine esters, dry sherry leathering and barnyard acridity stumble into lemony grapefruit and orange briskness.
Soft-toned Ukrainian strong ale calls out Putin and begs comparisons to a fruity IPA with a clean vodka kick. Uniform grapefruit, orange, peach and mango tanginess gains mild Perle hop earthiness to complement citrus-spiced Saphir hop splendor over delicate caramelized pilsner malting.
Lightly bourbon-aged dry Scotch profile gains oaken vanilla tannins and toasted almond reminder for easygoing whiskeyed strong ale. Subtle Scotch whiskey continuance picks up wispy butterscotch-melted caramel caking.
On tap at Ambulance, debonair reddish mahogany-hued blended ale (with astonishing 16.3% ABV) ambitiously combines brewers’ White Oak Sap Wheatwine, an anniversary series old ale and Black Tuesday Imperial Stout. Vanilla-spiced bourbon sweetness serenades rummy dried fruiting, brandied cherry tartness and tannic red wine leathering. Brown-sugared rum raisin, stewed prune and dried fig continuance further sweetened by molasses-sapped caramelized toffee, glazed hazelnut, chocolate bundt cake and cocoa butter illusions.
Mellow mocha-bound ‘English old ale’ retains relaxing mocha nuttiness. Tobacco-roasted chestnut, almond and walnut illusions gain dewy peat mossing, light brown-sugared dried fruiting and mild maple molasses influence to uplift initial brown chocolate spicing. A subtle pleasantry.
On tap at Ambulance, cavernous barrel-aged strong ale (13.9% ABV) weaves luxurious bourbon vanilla sweetness thru fudgy brown chocolate resonance, molasses oats sugaring and lovely sherry-noir wining. Tertiary toffee, caramel, coconut, raisin and cookie dough illusions add depth. A beautifully designed digestif.
Briskly taut enigmatic ‘strong ale’ allows several disparate adjuncts to coexist in medium-bodied IPA-derived setting. Zesty lime resilience, juicy pineapple tanginess and sour pink guava sway receive treacly molasses sinew as latent cinnamon spicing mellows out perfumed-hopped lacquered wood varnishing of abstruse peculiarity.
‘Jewdicious’ (11 malts, hops and ABV) 22nd anniversary ale spreads luxurious brown-sugared dried fruiting over oats-flaked honeyed rye base, gaining spiced mocha pleasantries in the midst. Sweet dubbel-like prune, raisin and plum conflux contrasts dank cellar dewiness throughout.
Luxurious golden strong ale brewed with oats-flaked cocoa nibs prevails as “robust winter warmer.” Creamy chocolate-honeyed cocoa nibs and nutty coffee residue rub up against lightly citric pale ale sweetness to its fudgy finish. Black grape, fig and raisin illusions deepen its sweetness. In the backdrop, acidulated malts and alcohol esters integrate for teensy metallic singe.
Sublimely soft-toned Belgian strong ale (or souped-up amber ale) aged in rye, vermouth, port, rum, bourbon, red wine, gin and brandy barrels brings subtle complexities to the fore as recessive oak tannins create lightly vinous backdrop for caramelized dark fruiting. Black cherry, sugared fig, red grape, green raisin and plum illusions soak up brandied rum sweetness contrasting Scotch whiskey dryness.
Ambitious Belgian strong ale aged on French oak (and referenced as a biere de garde) brings wintry spices to the fore as candi-sugared nutmeg, clove, cardamom, star anise and ginger seasoning embellishes ripened dried fruiting as well as glazed pecan notions. Sarsaparilla and Jagermeister illusions sneak thru latent alcohol burn. A welcome winter warmer.