Burnside Permafrost Northwest Winter Ale

Reviewed by on January 12, 2015 in Winter Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Burnside Brewing Co.

  • Origin: Portland, OR, US

  • Rated On: January 12, 2015

  • Best Before: Bottled November 18, 2014

  • ABV: 8.3%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Winter Warmer

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

Burnside is a relatively new brewery from Portland, Oregon, the town where you can’t throw a rock and not hit one (please don’t actually do this).  They champion the lack of filtering in their brews, instead relying on Father Time to help them out in that respect, I guess – right, the technical term is called ‘lagering’.  No mention of any seasonal spices in this, their winter ale, just a whole whack of malt and hops – sounds about right.

This 22oz bottle pours a fairly hazy, yet bright orange brick amber hue, with three fingers of weakly foamy, and mostly bubbly beige head, which leaves some decent pockmarked iceberg shelf lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of biscuity, crackery, and grainy caramel malt, muddled dark orchard fruit – maybe some raisin, maybe some dried cherry – a bit of bittersweet cocoa, a certain oily nuttiness, and even leafy, weedy, and citrusy hops. The taste is bready caramel malt, more strangely biscuity dry nuttiness, a sidling hot metallic booziness, some muddled dark fruitiness, and that obligatory West Coast ode to citrus and pine hoppiness. The carbonation is a bit peppy and edgy overall, the fizzy and frothy essences not quite in rhythm, the body a solid medium weight, and smooth enough, I suppose, the normal intransigencies seemingly non-participatory at this juncture. It finishes barely off-dry, the biscuity malt still most certainly large and in charge, while the dark fruit and agreeable noble hops pay their respects.

Not exactly what I was expecting, apropos of nothing, of course, as my previous exposure to this brewery is hardly a barometer for what we’re talking about right now. Overall, this is very much like a boozed up (but quietly, of course) ESB, which is a very good thing in my world, all things not necessarily needing to be hop-frontal, full stop.  A nice warming salve for the current January deep-freeze.

Brady White



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