Reviewed by Brady White on December 4, 2013 in Holiday Guide
- Brewery: Deschutes Brewery
- Origin: Bend, OR, USA
- Rated On: December 16, 2012
- Best Before: March 2013
- ABV: 6.7%
- Ideal Temperature: between cold and cellar temperature
- Style: Winter Warmer
- Rating: GOOD !
This 12oz bottle pours a clear, rusty orange brick hue, with two fingers of tightly foamy, somewhat creamy tan head, which leaves some intermittent pocked limestone lace around the glass as it duly recedes.
It smells of lightly toasted caramel malt, softly earthy anise, nutty dark chocolate, a bit of ashy tobacco, some muddled, but not lacking for it, savoury spices, and mild leafy hops. The taste is bready caramel/toffee malt, nutty cereal biscuits, a light mocha coffee essence, more understated tobacco, over-steeped (just the way I like it) black tea, and singed wet chlorophyll-laden leaves.
The bubbles are fairly soma-fied, but awaken here and there to keep things on the level, support-wise, the body a docile medium weight, and really quite smooth. It finishes off-dry, the bready malt still in contention with a lingering ashy/tea bag earthiness.
A decent winter warmer, the warming the least of the appreciable attributes, as the malt, hops, and grandfather’s sweater essences hold the lion’s share of character here. Good, and even better when looking past the lit Christmas tree to the snowscape outside.