Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Beer: Winter In Colorado (Odell, Boulder, and New Belgium)

Ah, Winter in Colorado. Here's a series of themed beers, all from the wonderful state of Colorado, and all worthy of your taste buds. 

I've been reading and hearing about Odell Brewing for some time, but it's not available in backward Indiana. So I managed to snag a some bottles during a recent trip to St. Louis' impeccable Wine & Cheese Place. And I'm glad I did.

This beautifully-designed bottle (as all of Odell's beers are lovingy housed in) pours a clean, rusty amber, with thick, foamy off-white head. Exquisite and fine lacing. Aroma is malty up front, followed by some pine hoppiness. Good. Taste is pine hops, with plenty of body and a heavy malt presence to balance it all out. Overall, this is a remarkably well-balanced session pale ale, with a superlative taste and nice body. Better than many breweries' IPAs!

This is Odell's seasonal Winter ale, and as with all of Odell's other beers, it's a beautifully-designed bottle, and perfectly palatable contents inside, too. 

Pours a murky ruby-amber, with a large head of tan bubbles. Extensive and detailed spider-web lace. Nice. Nose is a malty caramel-toffee in character. Pleasing enough. Taste is similar -- heavily malted, with tones of toffee and caramel, and a light hoppy finish. This one drinks like a heavier amber ale, and holds up well as a heavy-bodied night-time session brew for the colder months.

Boulder, Colorado is a wonderful place, but I've not been a huge fan of legendary Boulder Beer's products. This seasonal Winter ale is quite nice, though.

Deep amber, with a thick head of off-white foam. Beautiful lace! Nose is sweet and malty, with definite caramel and toffee tones. Taste is heavy on the toasty malts, with more caramel and sweet toffee. Seems heavy on the body, almost thick & sticky in mouthfeel. Finishes with a slight dryness. Overall, a decent Winter Warmer, but not one I'd return to.

I fell in love with this seasonal last year. This is the second year for Snow Day, and I'm saddened to learn that New Belgium will be replacing it next year, with something called "Accumulation". I'm hoping it's a hopped-up version of Snow Day. But I will miss this one.

Dark caramel/amber, with a fearsome 3-finger head. Lace just about as extensive and impressive. Wow. Spectacular presentation. Aroma is fresh pine, floral, and citrus. Hoppy happiness. Taste is complex, beginning with a mild roasty malt, followed by a subtle citrus/pine bite in the middle. The finish brought a slightly bitter hops character, though by no means a hop bomb. Balanced well, this enjoyable ale really impressed me.

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