Tuesday Tastings: Winter Warmers and Holiday Cider

This week’s Tuesday Tastings is holiday themed, with a pair of classic Northwest Winter Warmers and a holiday cider offering from McMenamins.

Deschutes Brewery Jubelale (2016)

Deschutes Brewery Jubelale (2016)

Spoiler alert: Jubelale is one of my all-time favorite Winter Warmers and I make it a point to buy it every year. It’s always nice that the Brewery sends me bottles as well, even if they do arrive somewhat earlier than the season.

The stats on Jubelale are 6.7% abv, 65 IBUs with a signature kiss of East Kent Goldings hops, and this year’s artist is Karen Ruane.

Appearance: Deep, clear amber brown color with a tan head that leaves great lacing behind on the glass.

Smell: Dried fruits, spicy/nutty malts, leather, brown sugar. Hint of tobacco.

Taste: Malty with a dry roasted nut character punctuated by spice notes and molasses around the edges. Warming with a touch of alcohol heat, and it’s nicely dry at the back. Robust and rich without being cloying.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, well attenuated, with a really nice dry roasty finish.

Overall: Still a favorite seasonal, this recipe is dialed in and delicious as always.

Untappd, BeerAdvocate, RateBeer

Pyramid Brewing Snow Cap

Pyramid Brewing Snow Cap

Pyramid is celebrating Snow Cap’s 30th anniversary this year, and sent me a bottle. Like Jubelale this is one of the classic Northwest Winter Warmers, and brewed in a similar style to 7% abv with an emphasis on EKG (East Kent Goldings) hops. Snow Cap’s IBUs are a bit lower at 47, which tends to give a sweeter impression.

Appearance: Amber-brown with tints of orange, and a nice orange-garnet color when held to the light. Creamy, fluffy light tan head.

Smell: Nutty, grainy, bread crust, with notes of leather and light molasses. Dark fruit—prunes. A touch of roast as well.

Taste: Bitter malts up front, with a roasted grain undertone but no real astringency—a pleasing almost-burnt-toast bitterness. Some sweet raisin-y malt with a lightly spicy English/Old World hop. Nicely bread-crusty throughout and pleasantly dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body with a roasty dry finish.

Overall: One of the old school classics. Worth seeking out.

Untappd, BeerAdvocate, RateBeer

McMenamins Crangerine Dream Cider

McMenamins Crangerine Dream Cider

This new holiday seasonal cider comes out of the Edgefied’s cider program, and McMenamins provided me with a complementary growlette (32-ounce growler) of it to try. The Edgefield Winery website says:

Our new Crangerine Dream seasonal cider is a bright garnet color, reflecting tart cranberry in this cider crafted with 10 local apple varieties at Edgefield Winery. Orange and tangerine give a lingering tangy round citrus finish.

And on the Old St. Francis site description it reads:

A bright strawberry, garnet color gives hint to the tartness of the cranberry, which is at the forefront of this new winter release. The tartness is supported by underlying citrus flavors coming from orange and tangerine juices. Try pairing it with holiday meals, especially turkey and dressing!
Fruit: Red Delicious, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Fuji, Opal, Gala, Jonagold, Newtown Pippins, Cripps Pink, Orange, Cranberry, Tangerine
ABV: 6.70

Appearance: Brilliantly clear cranberry red with a thin skiff of head.

Smell: Tart with a sweet(ish) apple character, a bit of apple skin and brightly fresh.

Taste: Earthy tart cranberries, not really any tangerine that I can detect except in a hint of bitter citrus peel. The tartness balances against the sweet apple cider base in a way that plays very well to my palate.

Mouthfeel: Light and spritzy, with a lightly bitter peel finish and a clean overall profile.

Overall: I like it, the cranberry is juicy and flavorful, more so than I expected.