Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Gratitude Winter Warmer (Hoyne)

Everyone knows I'm a sucker for great packaging. Perhaps this is why I dropped $17 on a bottle of Mill Street barley wine. Props to Hoyne for bringing us the most elegant bomber to date. The packaging reminded me of the paper wrapped De Ranke releases.
The style of winter warmer is all over the map. It allows for the brewer to impart their creativity in a bottle. Spiced or unspiced, high or low ABV, additional fermentables (molasses, honey) can be used, fruits added, the possibilities are endless. 
But how does it taste?

Gratitude Winter Warmer = 8/10

A bright sherry red elixir hits the glass and displays an ample rose coloured head. The grateful nose is fruity (cherries, rosehips), with biscuits, toast and wood. Nothing new in the sip but there is a bit of spiciness present; from the alcohol perhaps? This beer reminded me of a slightly thin version of Fuller's Vintage. Once the warmth fades, a little herbal honey with spices remained. Very nice. I don't think this one will cellar well, so drink it fresh.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 9% only adds a bit of warmth
Value +1
Appearance +1 Too bad after you finish the bottle the poetry is hard to focus on

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