Tuesday, November 5, 2013

North Coast Wintertime Ale (5/10)

North Coast Brewing Company’s Wintertime Ale is a “Winter Warmer” style beer. 

Wintertime Ale pours a coppery brown with a finger-thick beige head that leaves behind rings of thin lacing.

There seems to be quite a bit of carbonation to it – more than I would expect for a beer of this style.

The aroma is that of barley, yeast, and ginger.

The flavor is intensely malty at the start.  The malt backs off and some hops bitterness swells up.  A caramel element is there, but takes a back seat.  Although the hops element is dialed up a bit more than I’d like it to be, it doesn’t overwhelm the rest of the beer, but it is a dominant flavor.  The finish and aftertaste are bitter and slightly nutty.  It has elements of barley wine, IPA, and Brother Thelonius to it.  The combination isn’t what I look for in a winter beer.  It’s not entirely unpleasant, but I won’t be rushing out to buy another any time soon.

Beer Advocate rates it an 81 or “good”.  Rate beer gives it a 61.  I’m giving it a 5, only because there are some elements to the flavor that I like.

From what I understand, North Coast retired the beer this year, so you’re unlikely to find more than a few bottles anywhere in town.  That’s probably for the best, to be honest.

ABV: 5.3%
IBU:  Unknown
My Rating: 6/10

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