We’ve been given the honor of some guest blogging on TGG. We are West Coasters to the core, but while doing time out East, we met the Grumpy German et al. Just call us Jackalope. We’re currently drinking Full Sail’s other seasonal, Wreck the Halls (the other being the previously reviewed Wassail Ale). We’ll also give our opinions on two (three) additional winter brews. But be sure to see our ‘Calibration Point’ below, for a point of reference!
Wreck the Halls (Full Sail) ★★★☆☆ A hybrid between a Northwest IPA and a winter warmer, this is certainly on the hoppy side. A fruity nose, but almost no head. Definitely has hints that it wants to be a winter warmer, but it doesn’t have quite enough malt to go all the way. It might be an IPA x warmer hybrid, but the former seems to dominate the latter.
Vinter Varmer (Laurelwood, Portland, OR) ★★★★☆ OK, OK, we admit it. We bought this because it has a drunk squirrel on the label and the Gearhead IPA from Laurelwood is a house favorite. This varmer [sic] has a traditional malt character and caramel color, with a spicy hop finish. It’s Vonderful.
Ill Tempered Gnome (Oakshire, Eugene, OR) ★★☆☆☆ Like a fungus infested garden gnome, this beer is a bit musty and earthy. It’s a slightly over-carbonated brown ale that leaves you with a solid Meh. We said Meh. This gnome will not be joining us for the holidays.
Calibration Point: Rating beers might be one of the most subjective practices there is (like where’s the best pizza), so it is important that the audience understand where a particular review is coming from. We provide this calibration point to demonstrate that ours is a slightly different palette from Magickal Bunny:
Celebration Ale (Sierra Nevada, Chico, CA) ★★★★★ This is not a proper winter warmer. No way, but we love it. It’s a take-no-prisoners IPA. To see how controversial ‘winter ales’ can be, see the highlights of the East Rock Stumblers Dec 2009 tasting (shameless promotion of another, inactive, blog).
There’s plenty more seasonals to try. Drink on and thanks for the invite, MB.