Today is the Winter Solstice, the day in the Northern Hemisphere that is the shortest day and longest night of the year. (As a bonus to the astronomical significance of the day, it’s also the new moon.) To observe and commemorate the day I thought I’d select a beer from a relative newcomer to the beer world, based in Prineville here in Central Oregon: Solstice Brewing.
For the winter season they brew a strong ale they named Winter Schnocker, which at 9.25% lands somewhere between a Winter Warmer and a strong Old Ale to my tastes. Definitely one to watch out for, lest ye be schnockered!
This year they also released a special (stronger) bourbon barrel aged version, C.W. Schnocker (pictured). Solstice partnered with Oregon Spirit Distillers (here in Bend) to use barrels from their C.W. Irwin Bourbon. The description on the bottle reads:
In this corner, we have C.W. Schnocker—a deep-red, winter ale weighing in at 10.5% ABV. After 7 months in a C.W. Irwin barrel, it’s earned a reputation for strong bourbon accents and spicy undertones, with a touch of malt and dark fruit—a true knockout winter ale.