Grizzly Paw Alpenglow Winter Ale

Reviewed by on January 4, 2016 in Winter Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Grizzly Paw Brewing Company

  • Origin: Canmore, AB, CA

  • Rated On: December 31, 2015

  • Best Before: bottled November 26, 2015

  • ABV: 7.5%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Winter Warmer

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Alpenglow is a strong Scotch-style ale, and the brewery’s winter 2016 release, made with Fuggles hops, and a whole lotta malt (and love, I gather).  The label imagery sure makes me want to spend some time in the mountains!

This 650ml bottle pours a clear, medium bronzed amber colour, with two chubby fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat bubbly tan head, which leaves a bit of disintegrating iceberg profile lace around the glass as it quickly blows off.

It smells of slightly biscuity caramel and toffee malt, muddled dark orchard fruit, subtle dark chocolate and coffee notes, a twinge of warm vanilla, and plain earthy, leafy, and grassy noble hop bitters. The taste is semi-sweet, doughy caramel malt, a further pastry-friendly toffee sweetness, black licorice nibs, bittersweet cocoa drink, vanilla cookies, and more hard to really get a grip on leafy, weedy, and grassy hoppiness.  The bubbles are fairly low-key in their generally playful and sort of supportive frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and mostly smooth, perhaps a touch of that as yet unheralded ABV starting to pick at the corners of this metaphor. It finishes sweet, sure, but somehow moderated just to the point where potential tongue-scraping becomes a non-issue.

Overall, one of the better offerings of late from this picture-perfect mountain retreat brewery – they get the easy-drinking, but still strong ale nature of the Scottish down pat here. Nothing too complicated, and yeah, I do indeed wish that I had a roaring fire and some snow-laden peaks at which to look right about now – or maybe I’m just a bit nazzy (thank you, new desktop calendar!) from it all.

Brady White

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