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Lyn Howard's picture

Warm Up Winter Ale

February, 2017
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
36 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Starr Hill Brewery’s Warm Up Winter Ale was evaluated as a 2015 BJCP Category 30C, Winter Seasonal Beer. Typically these beers are of stronger, darker or spicy rich beverages that provide a warming sensation on a cold winter day or night. This beer does not disappoint.

The aroma of this beer is spice forward with a complex blend of vanilla, cocoa, cinnamon and nutmeg all intermingled with raisins, dried dates, and a dark caramel, toffee malt note. As expected there is no hop aroma.

It pours very clear, and is a ruby highlighted, dark brown color that looks like mahogany in a snifter glass. The head is a creamy dark beige and it lingers for a long time.

The complex, spice forward flavor is supported by a deep bittersweet cocoa component, and it sips like a spiced brown ale with almost no hop bitterness or flavor. It then fades to a medium dry finish with some spice notes left to savor. It is lightly carbonated and not as heavy on the palate as the bold flavors might suggest. The alcohol is well masked by the complex flavors. 

A good beer to pour into a snifter and savor by the fire or with dessert.