Saturday, February 7, 2009

Widmer Brothers Brrr Seasonal Ale review

Looks like I may have missed the window when all the other bloggers were getting FREE samples of tonight's beer. But I saw it on the store shelf and picked up a bottle for myself. I'm talking about the Widmer Brothers Brewing's own winter warmer - Brrr Seasonal Ale. Brrr is normally available during the holiday months but some of these beers managed to survive the busy season and I found a single 12oz bottle at a local store. Seeing how many other bloggers had enjoyed this beer I wanted to try one for myself.

Brrr poured a dark red color and looked somewhat like an IPA. It had a big white frothy head. The lacing lasted well into my tasting. It was evident from opening the cap that this brew had stayed carbonated well. Normally this beer is only available from October through January, but I found a few single bottles on February 6th and put one into my "create your own" 6-pack.

Brrr's aroma could really fool you. It was very piney and citrusy with a hint of pepper spice. It made me think I was going to get a big bitter mouthful like a few IPA's I know. But the taste was actually milder than I expected. It was lightly malted and decently bittered without being over the top.

I could tell this beer had a bit more ABV than regular craft brews as it weighed in at 7.2% ABV. This was a borderline big beer and half way through the sampling I knew that one brew was going to be plenty enough. This is no session brew boys and girls.

Widmer, an Oregon brewer, put a lot of malt and hops in this brew. They threw in a blend of Pale, Caramel 10L & 80L, Munich 10L, Carapils, and Dark chocolate malts in with a some Alchemy, Simcoe and Cascade hops. It had enough kick to it to sneak up on you later in the tasting.

Brrr had a bit of a roasty characteristic with a slightly sweet finish. The hops come out more in the smell than they do in the tasting. I really like the smell of this beer. It's a nice warmer for a cold winter night. It's the kind of beer that would go well on a special occasion. I probably wouldn't want to drink two of these during a single session. One was plenty enough to satisfy and make me feel good.

I get the impression that Widmer could easily turn this into an IPA if they wanted to, but they held back some of the hops and toned it down a bit and made a nice winter seasonal out of it. I enjoyed this beer and would drink one again.

Read on: The sinfully delicious list of Colorado winter seasonals.

Related articles:
- Great Divide to release fall - winter seasonals.
- New Belgium 2 Below mini-review.
- Samuel Adams Winter Classics review.

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