Winter ales and other grown-up beverages

December 8, 2008 at 2:15 am Leave a comment

I tasted over a dozen winter ales and a couple of meads this past week and have a few to recommend:

The Agave Mead from Mountain Meadows Mead was pretty good.  A little bit sweet, but with something more complex in the smell and the taste that complemented the sweetness.  The Mountain Meadows meadery is located near one of my favorite national parks, Lassen Volcanic NP.

Beer-wise, one group of good beers were overdrive versions of beers available at retail.  Two I liked in that category were Mirror Mirror Barley Wine from Deschutes (11.5% ABV, IBU 90) and Oaken Bomb from Golden Valley (8% ABV, IBU 45).  One that let me down in that group was the Pyramid Snow Cap(‘n and Tennille) (7% ABV, IBU 47), which was aged with cacao nibs, an idea intriguing in theory but not in practice.  I didn’t get a chance to try Deschute’s other overdrive beer, Big Red Double Cinder Cone (ABV 9.8%, IBU 75).

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