Review: Blue Moon Winter Abbey Ale, Blue Moon Brewing

Winter Abbey Ale
Blue Moon Brewing Co. — Golden, OR

  • Style:  Abbey Ale
  • Bitterness: Not specified
  • ABV: 5.6%
  • Malts:  Pale, Winter White Wheat, Chocolate
  • Hops:   Mittelfruh
  • Special Ingredient:  Dark Beligan Candi Sugar
  • Sampled: 12 oz. bottle

Description:  "It’s no secret that it gets pretty cold here in Colorado. So early on in the brewery’s history, our brewmasters wanted to create a beer that would do the trick on a snowy winter day. Today, we craft our winter wonder with roasted malts and dark Belgian candi sugar for rich caramel and toffee notes. It’s perfect on those winter days when you’re stuck inside." — Blue Moon Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:  I'm tasting Winter Abbey Ale as part of my winter seasonal beer series.  Blue Moon Brewing Co. is owned by Miller Coors, in case you were unaware. In the craft beer world, there has been a debate about whether or not this beer should be allowed to be called a "craft" beer. It's a bit of an irrelevant point, in my opinion. Here's my view on the Craft vs. Crafty  debate.

The tasting:  Browish-red in color with a white head that dissipates slowly. Aroma of vanilla (more like vanilla extract). That's about all I noticed in the aroma department. Flavor of bready malt and light caramel. Although this is an Abbey Ale, I didn't taste any of the typical Belgian spice flavors. Alcohol is not noticeable and hop bitterness is minimal. Winter Abbey Ale is light bodied, has an effervescent mouth feel, and finishes with wheat and light vanilla. 

Rating: 2 star.  Drinkable, but I don't want to drink it.   With the exception of their Farmhouse Red (which was a good beer), most of Blue Moon's beers taste the same to me. Perhaps that's their intent. Maybe they just want to make subtle variations on the same beer. If you like the original Blue Moon, I expect you'd enjoy this as well. If you're looking for a good winter seasonal, there are plenty of better options. Move along...

Have you tasted Blue Moon Winter Abbey Ale? What's your favorite winter seasonal beer?

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