Fernie Black Mammoth Winter Ale

Reviewed by on February 4, 2014 in Winter Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Fernie Brewing Company

  • Origin: Fernie, BC, CA

  • Rated On: January 22, 2013

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 8.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: between cold and cellar temperature

  • Style: Winter Warmer

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Christmas is over and done for another year, yet we are presented with another winter ale flavoured with orange and chocolate. Even though I’ve had enough of that particular combination to last until the end of 2013, as per usual, keep these winter beers a ‘comin, I say.

This 650ml bottle pours a very dark chestnut brown hue, with slight cola highlights, and three fingers of puffy, foamy beige head, which leaves some drooping cirrus cloud lace around the glass as it evenly seeps away.  It smells of sharp, bitter orange rind, bittersweet cocoa nibs, lightly roasted, somewhat nutty caramel malt, a bit of Grand Marnier fruity booziness, and tame earthy, leafy hops. The taste is thin chocolate syrup, toasted grainy caramel malt, ethereal fleshy orange citrus, an acrid earthy nuttiness, middling, flinty alcohol, and some struggling wet leafy hops.

The bubbles are pretty soma-esque, and little more, the body a sturdy medium-full weight, and mostly smooth, a slightly pithy essence the pea to this here princess. It finishes off-dry, the cocoa really the only lingering mainstage player facing the dregs of the remaindered quasi-bitter hops.

A brash, relatively big winter ale – in a number of ways, even with one of the guest ingredients bailing out way too early. Thankfully its counterpart easily takes up the slack, and combined with the leavening hops and ABV, make for a tasty, heartening winter tipple, especially as these inhuman temperatures seem to be stuck in for a lengthened spell in my northern clime. Or not, as that’s part of the so-called guesswork, eh, Weather Network?

Brady White

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