Saturday, February 26, 2011

Southern Tier Old Man Winter Ale


Southern Tier Old Man Winter Ale

Old Man (Winter Ale)
 
Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
Lakewood, New York USA

Old Ale

7.20% ABV




Commercial Description:
With the onset of winter, the brewer’s mind turns to providing warmth. For our winter seasonal, Southern Tier offers Old Man Winter Ale, a rich and complex amalgam of hops and barley that will put the feeling back in your toes and lift your spirits above the snow. Old Man Winter throws a deep and inviting hue with a thickness that clings to the glass and the warmth of an open flame. Because of its high alcohol content, Old Man Winter is a heady brew that encourages sipping and pondering its essential richness. Drink it fresh now, or cellar some bottles to see how this old man becomes wiser with age. (RateBeer.com)

General Pricing:
12oz bottles: ~$9.00 6pack

Background:
I stopped in State Line Liquors to pick up some beer for a party a few weeks ago and this one jumped into my cart. Funny how that happens. I did manage to bring one home with me to review. I am a big fan of Southern Tier and I’m really looking forward to this review.

Review:
The beer pours a dark brown with deep ruby hues and an off white head.

The nose is nice with sweet caramel malt aromas along with a very interesting hop complexity of floral and citrus notes.

Oh my, that’s nice. This is a really interesting winter ale. The experience starts out with sweet caramel malts up front on the tip of the tongue, then a slight effervescent followed by a building malt and hop bitterness toward the back-end. This bitterness at no time overwhelms the experience. The back-end is robust and not very easy drinking. It is however very enjoyable for a rich winter ale. The finish is very robust and this is where the complex hop flavors come into play. The hop flavors are very nice, floral along with a good pine bite. Again at no time overwhelming, there is still a nice caramel/toasted malt background to this ale. There is a lingering hop bitterness to the final aftertaste. Not as lingering as an American IPA but still a lasting bitterness.

All and all I am really pleased with this Winter Ale. I will certainly have to look for it again next year.

I have managed to let the last few ounces warm up a little. That was not easy, I have really enjoyed this beer and it was hard to just let it sit for a while.

At any rate we are now at 69 degrees.

Wow, this beer really opened up. It is much smoother now at this temperature. The malt flavors are richer and the hops seem to be less bitter.

I’m going for B+ maybe even an A-. This is an excellent winter ale. The robustness and hop bitterness may not be for everyone but this is a great full bodied winter ale with rich dark malt flavors and a complex hop bitterness.

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