More Reviews

Reviews for 2017

December 2017 - Best Barley Wine, Winter Ale

December 2017 - Best Barley Wine, Winter Ale
This month's Beer feature is Best Barley Wine, Winter Ale

Best Barley Wine, Winter Ale Reviews

Brasserie Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux Saison
96 points
Hazy old gold color. Aromas of sliced peaches, buckwheat crepes, asparagus, sourdough, and coriander with a crisp, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a medium-length tinned vegetables and sliced banana finish. A crisp and funky saison with plenty of hop influence.
Awards: 2017 Best Belgian Beer
Shmaltz Brewing Company Jewbelation 20th Anniversary Strong Ale
96 points
Brilliant dark brown color. Aromas and flavors of baking chocolate, roasted nuts and espresso beans, honeyed toasted flaxseed bread, and apple vinaigrette with a chewy, vibrant, finely carbonated, fruity sweet medium-full body and a warming, nuanced, very long finish evoking accents of chocolate covered citrus peels and nuts and chili pepper finish. A rich, warming dark winter ale with loads of sweet and peppery flavors that tingle the tongue.
Awards: 2017 Best Strong Ale
Great Lakes Brewing Co. 2017 Barrel Aged Barleywine
95 points
Old gold color. Aromas of lavash, pineapple cake, peshwari naan, toasted sesame and poppy seeds, and crisp celery with a round, crisp, effervescent, fruity medium body and a warming, complex, medium-long apple cinnamon compote, roasted walnuts, bitter greens, and raisin toast finish. A rich barley wine packed with fruit, spice, and intrigue; cellar-worthy.
Awards: 2017 Best American Style Barley Wine
New Glarus Brewing Co. Spotted Cow Grand Cru
95 points
Brilliant minutely hazy old gold color. Inviting aromas and flavors of sauternes, glazed dried apricots, citrus and sultanas, pannetone, and delicate spiced vinaigrette with a satiny, bright, finely carbonated, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, subtle, very long finish that exhibits nuances of spiced pear and cantaloupe, honeyed lettuces and nuts, and minerals finish. An elegant, diaphanous wit like strong ale with amazing precision and charm.
Full Sail Brewing Co. Wreck The Halls Hoppy Holiday Ale
94 points
Brilliant golden amber color. Hoppy aromas and flavors of herbs, pine, and roasted citrus peels and apricots with a supple, vibrant, finely carbonated, dryish medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, very long finish with nuances of pepper, radicchio, gooseberry chutney, and nutskin finish. A bright and boldly bitter winter ale for hop-heads.
Awards: 2017 Best Winter Ale
Cervecería Kross Russian Imperial Stout
93 points
Opaque ebony brown color. Meaty, smoky, savory aromas of beef jerky, coffee, and baking chocolate with a round, crisp, effervescent, dryish medium-full body and a warming, delightful, medium-length lime spritz, barbecue beef, smoked nuts, and grilled radicchio finish. A smoky Imperial Ale for carnivorous pairings.
Full Sail Brewing Co. Wassail Winter Ale
93 points
Dark bronze color. Interesting aromas and flavors of caramel apples, papayas and pears, honeyed roasted nuts and pork rinds, delicate spices, and tamarind with a satiny, bright, finely carbonated, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, long finish imparting nuances of fruit cake, peppered greens, and latte finish. A rich, malty winter ale with subtle layers of flavor.
Potosi Brewing Company Grand Amber Brandy Barrel-Aged Barleywine
93 points
Light reddish mahogany color. Nutty aromas of almond windmill cookies and nut roll bar with a velvety, bright, dryish medium-full body and a warming, breezy brown butter, multigrain bread, dried fruits, and rum raisin finish. A fantastically malty and rich barleywine with incredibly seamless flavor and texture.
Alltech’s Lexington Brewing Co. Kentucky Old Fashioned Barrel Ale
92 points
Copper color. Sweet, spicy aromas of sweet bourbon, grated cinnamon, banana cream pie, vanilla nougat, and bread pudding with a round, bright, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, medium-length bitter orange and aromatic barks finish. A fun, old fashioned flavored ale that makes nice use of bourbon barrels.
Cervecería Kross 5 Barrel-Aged Strong Ale
92 points
Brilliant dark copper color. Interesting aromas and flavors of chocolate coconut macaroon, cherry-pomegranate yogurt, roasted chestnuts and squash with exotic honeycomb, and sandalwood incense with a slightly chewy, bright, finely carbonated, fruity medium-to-full body and a seamless, complex, long finish imparting shades of fruit cake, cherry cola, cedar pencil, and wood aged cachaça finish. An intriguing and exotic wood aged ale.
Great Lakes Brewing Co. Christmas Ale
92 points
Bright copper color. Spicy, attractive aromas and flavors of gingerbread, cinnamon roll and cereal, coconut-mango chutney, and lemongrass with a silky, crisp, finely carbonated, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, refreshing, long finish with shades of holiday spice cake, chai, and root beer float finish. A fun, spicy winter ale that screams holiday parties.
Vancouver Island Brewing Hermannator Barrel Aged Ice Bock
92 points
Mahogany color. Aromas of roasted cashew, cola nut, chocolate yogurt, and leather with a velvety, crisp, finely carbonated, dry medium body and a warming, charming, medium-length salami, leather, spiced nuts, and peppered grilled endive finish. A well-balanced, not-too-oaky, toasty lager for holiday toasting and pairing.
Vancouver Island Brewing Hermannator 30th Anniversary Ice Bock
91 points
Dark walnut color. Aromas of toasted nuts, fresh baked sweet bread, and herbed cornbread stuffing with a round, crisp, finely carbonated, dryish full body and a peppery, medium-length espresso, crema, smokehouse almonds, and mixed peppercorns finish. A rich and toasty lager for the cooler months.
Grossen Bart Brewery Cop-Stache Strong Ale
88 points
Dark dark copper color. Toasty aromas and flavors of toasted raisin bread, corn puff cereal, and caramelized citrus with a supple, vibrant, effervescent, off-dry medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long finish evoking notes of pine, pepper, and kumquats finish. A very hoppy, bitter ale to warm winter nights.
Rogue Ales XS Old Crustacean Barleywine
88 points
Reddish mahogany color. Aromas and flavors of espresso, dried cherry, gingerbread, and bitter chocolate chips with a round, crisp, effervescent, dryish medium-full body and a peppery, subtle, medium-long finish evoking touches of chocolate chews, crunchy peanut butter, soft bread crusts, and pepper finish. A chocolatey barley wine that will be perfect as a winter-warmer or after dinner treat.
Stevens Point Brewery Snow Pilot Pistachio Nut Brown Ale
88 points
Minutely hazy copper color. Creamy, confected aromas and flavors of peach vanilla bon bon, pistachio nougat, and warm cereal with sweet cream with a supple, bright, finely carbonated, fruity medium body and a seamless, interesting, medium-long finish with notes of coconut macaroon and wafer cookies filling finish. A fruity, somewhat decadent, dessert-like winter ale that is sure to please.
Bad Sons Beer Co. Mr. Roper Scotch Ale
87 points
Hazy deep amber color. Sweet aromas of toasted fruit cake, savory pastry, and pumpkin custard with a round, vibrant, finely carbonated, dry medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long toasted almond skins, butterscotch, and bitter greens finish. A bitter-style scotch ale with ample roasty goodness.
Deschutes Brewery Jubelale Winter Ale
87 points
Brilliant reddish mahogany color. Funky aromas of cacao nibs, roasted corn and asparagus, and fruitcake with a medium body and a peppery, buoyant molasses, orange marmalade, peppery spices, and hard candies finish. A bitter brew balanced with just the right amount of festive cheer; serve with Christmas ham.
Great Lakes Brewing Co. Barrel Aged Christmas Ale
87 points
Minutely hazy burnt sienna color. Aromas of lavender, eucalyptus, zucchini bread, chervil, and fresh lemon with a silky, bright, effervescent, dryish medium body and a tingling, delightful, breezy cumin dusted nuts, gingerbread, and mint chutney finish. An herbal barrel aged ale with a nice balance of freshness and roasty qualities.
Rogue Ales Santas Private Reserve Cherry and Raspberry Belgian Dark Ale
84 points
Mahogany color. Inviting, sweet aromas and flavors of bright, delicate cherry, toasted pumpernickel, cool whip, and sweet caramel with a silky, vibrant, effervescent, fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, breezy finish that exhibits overtones of lemon curd, berry chutney, and melba toast finish. A fruity, cheerful ale.
Vancouver Island Brewing Gladstone Brewing Collaboration Burton Ale
84 points
Murky brick red color. Aromas and flavors of roasted brussels sprouts and lardons, stewed okra, sourdough toast, and cardboard with a supple, bright, spritzy, dryish medium body and a peppery, odd, short-to-medium finish that exhibits accents of dried fruits, pepper, apple vinaigrette on radicchio, and ground baby aspirin finish. A challenging mature ale that may have seen better days.