Description:"Our full-bodied ale uses crystal malt and generous amounts of cascade hops to produce a well-balanced seasonal ale. So, whether your slippery slope is a mountain or your sidewalk, this ale makes an excellent companion.” — Cascade Lakes Brewing Co.
Random thoughts: Slippery Slope is Cascade Lakes' "new" winter seasonal. If you were a fan of Santa's Little Helper (their old winter brew), don't despair. It's the same beer, just re-branded with a different name and a classy new label. Cascade Lakes owner, Chris Justema, confirmed to me that the recipe is the same and explained that they changed the name to extend sales after Christmas. Apparently, folks weren't too crazy about drinking a beer with Santa's name on it after December. What a shame—that Santa, he's a good dude. Slippery Slope is part of my series on 2011 winter seasonal beers.
The tasting:Very dark copper in color with an off-white head that dissipated fairly slowly. It looks beautiful. Aroma of caramel malt, brown sugar, and light citrus hops. It's malt forward. Flavors are very similar to the aroma with the addition of nutty notes and a more pronounced, but well balanced, hop bitterness. Slippery Slope is medium bodied, moderately carbonated, and has a smooth mouth feel. It finishes with caramel malt, and a tart tangy finish that provides a unique and memorable end to the taste!
Rating: 4 star. Really Good! I want this again. I didn't realize Slippery Slope was the same as Santa's Little Helper until I started writing this profile. I only tasted the latter once, and gave it four stars when I tasted it last winter. The flavor of the same beer can vary slightly due to subtle variations in the brewing process and ingredients. I don't recall the tangy finish in last year's version, but I absolutely loved it this year's vintage. Slippery Slope avoids use of spices that are common in many winter seasonals, but its malt flavors, nice balance, and distinctive finish make it a unique winter beer.
Have you tried Slippery Slope (or Santa's Little Helper)? What's your favorite winter seasonal?