Consider the weather we’ve been hit with in Oregon these past couple of weeks—here in Bend, schools have been closed more in 2017 than they were in the past 20 years—what could be a more appropriate beer for this week than Bend Brewing Company‘s Sno’d In Winter Ale?
Bend Brewing released this beer a month ago, and I picked up a bottle this weekend at the new Market of Choice here in town. They brewed this beer in SnoPlanks (they make snowboards and more) and Oregon Adaptive Sports (outdoor recreation with people with disabilities), and with every purchase of this beer BBC donates to OAS. Here’s their description of this ale:
Sno’d In Winter Ale is a festive take on an English Old Ale that’s sure to give you shelter from the storm on those days when old man winter is howling outside. This beer has a medium malt body and a mildly spicy hop bitterness that is accentuated by subtle additions of cocoa, molases, and holiday spices. Stoke the fire, relax, and enjoy being Sno’d In.
I cracked open the bottle today to enjoy after de-icing the driveway and knocking icicles off the house. We’re no longer really “snowed in” per se but we’ll see how the weather holds.
Appearance: Amber brown color, the same as the brown bottle glass. It’s clear with a clotty off-white head.
Smell: Malty with a touch of spice from the character malts—and the spices apparently. (I noticed the mention of “holiday spices” after I started drinking it.) Some fruity esters, and an English-y hop presence that’s earthy and accentuates the spiciness.
Taste: Nutty malts are present right up front, rich and only slightly sweet, and in the middle it gets dry and husky with a borderline astringent character. It mellows as it warms, and the hints of cocoa come out with the notes of leather and herbal hops. Finished with a lingering nuttiness.
Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-full body. Dry and well attenuated, and leaves you a bit dried out in the mouth after each sip.
Overall: This is a nicely malty yet dry example of the style. None of the spices or additions are distracting, and it was an enjoyable beer on a winter day.
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