Elysian BiFrost Winter Ale

Reviewed by on January 13, 2015 in Winter Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Elysian Brewing Company

  • Origin: Seattle, WA, USA

  • Rated On: January 13, 2015

  • Best Before: Bottled October 24, 2014

  • ABV: 7.6%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Winter Warmer

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

BiFrost is Seattle’s Elysian Brewing’s winter seasonal, which does not appear to have anything added to it, other than the requisite plethora of varied malts and hops.  The label displays what appears to be an allusion to the beer’s name, i.e. Bifröst, the name of the celestial bridge that extends between Earth and Asgard, the homeworld of the gods, in Norse mythology.  To me, it sounds more like something out of a 1970s-era Rush song.

This 22oz bottle pours a hazy, pale copper amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and somewhat bubbly off-white head, which leaves a band of misshapen webbed lace around the glass as it evenly slips away.

It smells of semi-sweet, bready caramel malt, muddled tropical fruit, sugary citrus, and herbal, piney, and slightly perfumed hops. The taste is a bit surprising in its lead-in of rather sweet candied pineapple, pear, and apple, followed by some grainy caramel malt, a hint of earthy yeast – in the manner of rising bread – floral, piney hops, and a flinty growing alcohol measure. The bubbles are generally supportive in their plain, workaday frothiness, the body a stocky medium weight, and more or less smooth, the fruitiness of the hops outrunning the bitterness by a country mile. It finishes on the sweet side of things, the sugary tropical fruit (mostly pineapple) carrying on and on, while the malt and other typical IPA-esque hop esters resign themselves to the back burner.

An interesting take on the winter warmer style, forgoing any seasonal spice additions (it would appear to this scribe) in lieu of some south seas fruitiness, which works well enough, I suppose. More of a sweetness-forward IPA overall, though, which isn’t too surprising for this brewery, and where they come from – snow? Whazzat?

Brady White

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