Review: Winter, Alaskan Brewing Co.

Alaskan Brewing Co. — Juneau, AK

  • Style:  Winter Warmer / English Olde Ale
  • Bitterness: 27 IBU
  • ABV: 6.4%
  • Malts:  Not provided
  • Hops:  Unspecified European & Northest varieties
  • Special Ingredients:  Sitka spruce tips
  • Sampled: 12 oz. bottle

Description:  "Throughout Southeast Alaska, bald eagles can be spotted landing atop the towering old growth forests of Sitka spruce trees. As many as 3,000 bald eagles congregate among these evergreen trees on the shores of the Chilkat River for the last large run of salmon before winter. Sitka spruce trees carry a significance of their own to local Alaskans. The tender new growth of the spruce tips lends a delicious, yet subtly sweet floral aroma to teas, jelly and now our Alaskan Winter Ale." — Alaskan Bros. Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:   This is the fourteenth of my winter seasonal reviews.  This is the second beer I've tasted this winter that's brewed with spruce tips.  For more on the other (which includes candy cane and cranberry), click here.

The tasting:  Amber in color with a white head that dissipated fairly quickly with no lacing.  Aroma is mainly caramel malts and evergreen.  I didn't expect the spruce to come through in aroma, but it does.  Flavor is mainly caramel malts, very subtle spruce, and a nice sweetness.  Virtually no bitterness.  The light to medium body, nice effervescence, and a buttery sensation combine to produce a nice overall mouth feel.  The taste of alcohol is slight and the drink provides a very nice warming feeling.  A bit of sweetness lingers in the finish and leaves a nice aftertase.

Rating:  4 star.  Really good!  I want this again!   This is an unusual winter brew.  It's not overly malty, hoppy, or spiced.  The spruce tips provide a very unique twist without being overdone.  Give the simply named Winter a try this winter!
Have you tried Winter?  How did you like it?

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  1. I loved it! I'm not a fan of heavy winter ales and so this was perfect for me. Very drinkable. In fact, I was sad when I found out we didn't have anymore. Beer run???


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