Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing Company, Lakewood, NY
Style: Old Ale
Date Poured: December 2009
I always like to start this series (even in its abbreviated form) with something I know is going to be good. I don't want to start it with something that will leave make the rest of the beers a let down but I want something that I know will be a solid offering. Enter Southern Tier. Southern Tier will occasionally wow you but even their standard fare (the IPA, the porter) are tasty and enjoyable. Combine this with the fact that I love a good Old Ale and Old Man Winter was the logical choice to kick off the 12 Beer of Christmas.
This one is lovely in the glass. (There's the picture...I mean, just look at that!) The body is a crystal clear chestnut with a thinnish tan head. Fine lacing left on the glass. A surprisingly hoppy aroma, floral hops with a caramel underneath.
A rich, lovely blend of caramel and hops in the mouth. Good body, nutty malt, floral and citrusy hops. Lightly sticky and sweet but creamy and sneaky smooth, no hint of alcohol in the flavor. Lovely balance, great drinkability but plenty of flavor and body to qualify as a great winter beer.
A good start. Go get some.