Tree Spiced Reserve Ale

Reviewed by on February 25, 2014 in Winter Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Tree Brewing

  • Origin: Kelowna, BC, CA

  • Rated On: February 23, 2014

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 7.5%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Spiced Winter Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

The Reserve Ale is one of Tree Brewing’s winter seasonals.  No indication of what spices were actually employed here, other than ‘a special blend from the brewer’.  Guess it’s up to us to find out!

This 650ml bottle pours a clear, rather dark orange brick amber colour, with one chubby finger of weakly puffy, and eventually creamy beige head, which leaves some streaky coral reef lace around the glass as it lazily recedes.

It smells of gingerbread spices – ginger (natch), clove, metallic cinnamon, and nutmeg, over a lightly bready caramel malt, some thin toffee notes, and perhaps a touch of fruity, spicy rye. The taste is definitely fruity in its initially heavy caramel malt and crystalline toffee sweetness, before those same heady spices from the nose, though nicely integrated, come crashing back though the fold, no one spice exactly dominating, sandwiched all by a bread pudding sort of thing. The 15-proof alcohol warming is quite subtle, lending credence to this particular interpretation of the style.  The carbonation is rather mild in its underwhelming frothiness, the body just on the light side of medium weight and generally smooth, when the spices are away, and all that. It finishes off-dry, the sweetly spiced caramel malt standing strong, and definitely lengthening the experience, while the big booze seems to warrant an APB or the like.

A decent seasonal warmer, bigger than the Vertical Winter Ale, spice-wise, but a little more balanced, and certainly stronger! Interesting, and a worthy replacement for any mulled-wine yearnings you might be experiencing during this lingering display of the current winter’s splendour and fury on the Canadian prairies, and elsewhere, evidently.

Brady White

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