Rodney A. Tillinghast's picture

Winter Storm Imperial ESB

November, 2017
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
5 / 6
37 / 40
7 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

Judged by the alcohol content as a British Strong Ale (Style 17A), it settled in as a tawny brown ale with an off-beige head, with some lacing and legs.  Aromas noted included intense toffee, dark fruit, and roasted apples.  In the background, there also was a subtle earthy hop aroma, but also was a fairly evident alcohol presence in the nose as it warmed. 

English-derived dark caramel malt exploded on the tongue, supported by a woody, earth bitterness.  It certainly was on the sweet side of balanced, with hints of pears, and somewhat minty.  It seemed a rich, winter warmer, something to savor over a good book and a fire.  I appreciated the complexity of sweetness, but to me could have benefited from a little more hop character and bitterness.