Since it looks like the bitter cold weather is back, I’ve decided to try a dark and menacing beer this evening. Though 27 degrees is definitely cold (the current temp out there), I really shouldn’t complain, because it’s not going to get above 30 degrees in Kalamazoo, MI until at least Sunday. Kalamazoo, MI is the home of Bell’s Brewery, but since I’m sure you’ve read our review of the Bell’s Pale Ale, you already knew this.
The Expedition Porter is Bell’s version of a Russian Imperial Stout. Here is a description of this beer from their website:
“Bell’s Expedition Stout offers immensely complex flavors crafted specifically with vintage aging in mind, as its profile will continue to mature and develop over the years. A huge malt body is matched to a heady blend of chocolate, dark fruits, and other aromas. Intensely bitter in its early months, the flavors will slowly meld and grow in depth as the beer ages.”
I’m not sure how I feel about aging beer, since I generally lack patience (I want my beer and I want it now! Not in six month or a year from now). I’ll leave that kind of work to our friend Miracle Max. Let’s find out how this beer tastes today… Continue reading
Since the Christmas season is officially underway, I thought I’d start the month of December with a winter beer review. Smuttynose Winter Ale is one of their seasonal beers which is available from late October to February. Per the Smuttynose website, their Winter Ale is “a full-bodied, amber beer brewed with a special Trappist ale yeast. Stylistically reminiscent of a Belgian Abbey Double, it features fruity aromas and flavor, balanced by soft Crystal hops”. And now for the review…
- Appearance: Dark amber. Slightly cloudy. Half inch head that dissipated slowly and leaves moderate lacing.
- Aroma: Subtle hints of nutmeg, allspice, and molasses. Mild hop scent.
- Taste: Sweet malt flavor upfront, but not overpowering. Mild hop bitterness. Well balanced, lingering finish.
With an ABV of 5.1%, the Smuttynose Winter Ale is a very session worthy beer. It doesn’t have the huge flavor profile of some other winter beers, but that’s what makes it so good. It’s a smooth, easy drinking beer that you can either have by itself or alongside your favorite meal. I give the Smuttynose Winter Ale a B+.
With the first hint of winter, I opted for yet another product from Samuel Smith and had a Winter Welcome. I found the pour to yield a deep amber with a thick foam. The aroma was malty with a faint citrus scent. The mouth feel was thick and full and the taste was malt and fruit with just the slightest bitter finish. I found this to be a really good seasonal beer. So, while the Beer Advocate gave it a B, I would rate it higher and give it an A-.