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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Shocking Diversity of Winter Beers

Okay, I'll fess up. Yesterday's poll was in part an experiment to confirm what I suspected--winter beers are the most diverse, most widely-appreciated lot in the beer calendar. On that list we have regular winter warmers, spiced ales, a super-strong lager, a saison, a barleywine (sort of), a milk stout, and whatever Epic is. You could easily add to the list doppelbocks, imperial stouts, barleywines, and all manner of special spiced strong ales. Winter beers have the same qualities of fruit cakes--dense, stongly alcoholic, warming, celebratory--but they taste good.

We're coming in on the Holiday Ale Fest, which debuts tomorrow, and the variety is just as broad. The cool thing about the holiday season is you don't have to have a favorite. You can have ten.

1 comment:

  1. Roots Epic is a good example where "extreme beer" would not be "irredeemably pejorative." :)

    I thought about this long (5 minutes) and hard (amidst other daily tasks), and came to a similar conclusion as the majority: there are just way too many beers - in general, but especially in the "winter" category - to declare one my best-most-favoritest love.

    About as soon as I came to that conclusion, I realized that I had already narrowed it down to one:

    Lompoc's Old Tavern Rat

    Having just yesterday come to another conclusion (redeemably pejorative?) that, IMO (which should go without saying), Old Tavern Rat stands tall as being the most head-and-shoulders above anything else in its style (barleywine) that I've yet tried (a list which has easily passed two dozen by now, not that I could name them all), I thought that qualification alone should probably put it at the top of such a disparate category. Even fresh[ly released], it's a wide chasm between 1st and 2nd place; but allowed to age for a scant 8 [more] months (as evidenced at PIB this year), it starts trumping beers in other categories. It's that spectacular!

    I guess what I'm trying to say is, "Old Tavern Rat is my favorite beer of all time!*" How's that for "irredeemably pejorative?"

    * subject to change on a whim and/or with new experience… how's that for backtracking? :)