Review: Bifrost Winter Ale, Elysian Brewing

Bifrost Winter Ale
Elysian Brewing Co. —Seattle, WA

  • Style:  Pale Ale
  • Bitterness: 70 IBUs
  • ABV: 7.5%
  • Malts:  Pale, with small amounts of Munich and Crystal
  • Hops:  Bittered with Centennial, finished with Amarillo and Styrian Golding
  • Sampled: 12 oz. bottle

Description: "Bifrost is our lively winter brew, a bold pale ale with citrus and earthy hop character balanced by a smooth malt backbone." — Elysian Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:  In Norse mythology, the Bifrost is the rainbow bridge that connects Asgard (home of the gods) to earth. I learned this interesting bit of trivia watching Thor. That's a quite a lofty aspiration for a beer. Let's see if it lives up to the name. This winter is the first time this beer is available in 12 oz. bottles. I'm drinking Bifrost as part of my winter seasonal beer series.

The tasting: Golden orange in color, hazy, with a white head that dissipates fairly slowly. A decent amount of sediment has settled at the bottom of the bottle. Aroma of bread, mild citrus, yeast, and light alcohol. Flavor starts with sweet caramel malt, and is followed by citrus (grapefruit and mandarin orange) hops in the middle. Overall, it's quite bitter. I also noticed some grass, orange rind, yeast, and some spicy esters that I can't place. The 7.5% alcohol was not masked and was noticeable in flavor. Bifrost is medium to full bodied, has a creamy mouth feel, and is moderately carbonated. It finishes with a lingering grapefruit hop bitterness and warming alcohol. 
Rating: 3 star.  Good. I would drink this again if someone gives it to me.  Bifrost is a complex brew with many layers of flavor. I enjoyed its sweet caramel malt backbone, which stood up nicely to the bitter hops. My only critique is the alcohol, which seemed a bit hot. I wish it wasn't as strong. I wonder if a year in the cellar would take the edge off?

Have you tasted Bifrost? What's your favorite winter seasonal beer?

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  1. Love this beer! I am drinking one right now. I like the strong taste. A good warm up on a cold winter night.

  2. I like the beer, but didn't really feel like a "winter" ale to me. It tasted more like a really nice malt liquor.


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