So the winter is upon us, and with the arrival of the the cold and short days comes that other winter staple; the winter seasonal brew. And we've got three different, but equally wintery, beers to discuss today; Kinnegar's "Longue Tongue Pumpkin Ginger Rye", Moor's "Old Freddy Walker" and Samuel Adam's "Winter Lager".
Donegal's Kinnegar brewery have gone with a thanksgiving themed rye ale (not so surprising given it's founder's US heritage) flavored with locally sourced pumpkins and spiced with Ginger and a "hint of cinnamon". It's light amber in colour, not too unlike their regular rye ale Rustbucket, 5.1%abv, and with a foamy head which all Kinnegar's beers seem to feature. The aroma is pure gingernut biscuits with some pepperiness and yes, indeed, a hint of cinnamon. The taste is spicy, sweet and smooth. Medium bodied and quite malty, the roast pumpkin flavor is subtle but nicely infused with caramel and ginger spice. Possibly more a late autumn style but as it's in short supply it won't be around for too long, so try it while it's going.
There's no doubt that Moor's "Old Freddy Walker" is an ale made for cold winter nights. A 7.4% dark old ale described by themselves as tasting "like liquid Christmas Pudding". They're not far off. This is a deep ruby colored ale which pours to leave a big fluffy, bubbly tan head that flits and flutters in the glass. Treacle and dried fruit aromas jump from the beer and the taste is rich dark chocolate, raisin, prunes, figs and licorice. A seriously complex beer, it's certainly one for the connoisseur to mull over and enjoy by the fire.
Last up is the Winter Lager from the Samuel Adams Brewery. Not your typical lager, this a 5.6% bock that pours a ruby-red colour and is generously spiced with ginger and cinnamon and flavored with orange peel. The cinnamon is the more dominant spice on the aroma and there's a nice citrus touch from the orange peel. The flavor is spicy ginger and cinnamon, a little zesty, with malty, toffee smoothness on the finish. Well balanced and reliable as usual from Samuel Adams, this is a real go-to beer for these winter months.
These beers won't be around forever so try them soon!