STYLE: Winter Warmer (Wassail)
APPEARANCE: Rich, mahogany
HEAD: Thin, off-white. More foamy than anything else
LACING: Fades quickly, true to style
NOSE: Slightly piny hop presence, which was surprising, followed by sweet roasted malts and sticky spice (Not to be confused with the spicing of most Winter brews – No cinnamon/nutmeg/clove here). Booze emanates from the glass almost immediately though, masking some of the flavors that I’m sure will come up in the taste profile
TASTE: Pleasant balance between bitter and sweet. Fruity plum notes hit you up front followed by a fantastic hop finish that I’ve never come across in the style. While the heavily malted bill is certainly reminiscent of an English Winter Warmer (See Sam Smith’s Winter Welcome), there’s not much in terms of toffee or other cloying notes. Again, booze at the end washes most of the sweet flavors from your palette so you’re left with a drying hop finish
MOUTHFEEL: Creamy for sure, but overall I’d say it’s light to medium bodied
DRINKABILITY: Tough call here. I’ve had the six pack in my fridge for 3 days and I’ve still got half of it left, meaning I’ve only had 1 of these a night before moving onto something else. Granted, I think the drinkability factor is pretty low on most Winter Warmers, but I usually don’t have a problem going back for more.
RATING: 3 Hops. While I like this Americanized version of the Wassail, with the use of hops over spices, I still think it’s missing on a few key notes. To me this is a nice Winter Warmer and fits in more with what I like about beer, but to those that actually enjoy Winter brews I think they might find this too dry and too reminscent of an IPA with a malty base. Still, 3 Hops is nothing to sneeze at.