Fernie Snowblind

Reviewed by on February 10, 2014 in Winter Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Fernie Brewing Co.

  • Origin: Fernie, BC, CA

  • Rated On: January 27, 2014

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 7.9%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Belgian IPA

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Brewed in the small eponymous mountain town in southeastern British Columbia, the Fernie Brewing Company recently celebrated its 10th year of operations, and is still a local family-run enterprise.  In addition to their main line of canned products, they have been releasing a number of large-format bottles as of late, such as this one, a Belgian-style IPA, which has been named in a decidedly wintery manner.

This 650ml bottle pours a slightly hazy, dark bronzed amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, bubbly off-white head, which leaves some broadly-defined honeycombed lace around the glass as things slowly fade away.

It smells of earthy yeast straight off, followed by a bready caramel maltiness, muddled tropical citrus, white pepper, clove, hints of banana chips, underripe nondescript melon, musty green tea, and leafy, weedy hops. The taste is gritty pale and caramel malt, edgy Belgian yeast, spicy clove and black pepper, a sassy papaya, pineapple, and kiwi exotic fruitiness, orange cream, persistent Asian tea notes, and burgeoning floral, piney, and lightly perfumed (from the near 8 points of ABV, presumably) hops.  The carbonation is pleasantly zingy, tending towards the frothy, the body a decent medium-full weight, agreeably smooth, with even a nod towards all things creamy. It finishes on the sweet side, as the yeast steps a bit to the side, the caramel malt fills the void, and the fruit notes meander along.

A version of the style that tends more to the former in the name, via the yeast, rather than the latter, i.e. the hops. It is still rather agreeable and tasty in this muted hop state, but all I can come up with right now to summarize it is ‘Belgo-Canadian IPA’. Needs work, I know (me, not the beer)!

Brady White

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