Beer Talk 4.0

Some time ago when the weather shift more towards the winter season Kim and I decided it would be fun to do a Beer Talk on different Christmas/Winter beers. Collaborating  together we chose four different breweries and subsequently four completely different tasting beers for the winter season.

Hamburg Brewing Company’s Yule Shoot Your Rye Out

Style: Winter Ale

ABV: 6.0%

‘Spiced winter ale, bready rye ale spiced with ginger and spirit for the holidays.’

Ellicottville Brewing Company’s Ski Bum

Style: Winter Ale

ABV: 6.0%

‘This heavily-hopped winter ale pours auburn and delivers perfect bitterness. Brewed in honor of the colorful characters who make Ellicottville their winter home. As one of the regions most popular winter destinations, ski culture is at the heart of our brewery & brand.’

Rohrbach Brewing Company’s Kacey’s Kristmas Ale

Style: Brown Ale

‘Kacey’s Kristmas Ale takes its name from the founder’s daughter, Kacey. Kacey’s Kristmas Ale is a brown ale flavored with real cherries. It boasts chocolate and coffee flavors which are balanced by the crisp zest of hops, finishing with the semi-tart cherry taste.’

Ithaca Beer Company’s Fuggly Sweater

Style: Dark Lager

ABV: 5.7%

‘‘Twill be the fuggliest time of the year, so we joyously present our gift to this year’s season… Fuggly Sweater. Fuggly Sweater is a dark lager brewed to inspire the holiday favorite, gingerbread. The wide range of specialty malts create yummy cookie and cake qualities. The presentation is dark, but not opaque, with brown hues. Ginger is at center stage, and as with traditional gingerbread, a light amount of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon round out the spice profile. The official beer of this year’s Fuggly Sweater Party Season.’

So, onto the Beer Talk!

Beer Talk 4.0

Jeff: ‘First one to start off would be Hamburg Brewing Company’s Yule Shoot Your Rye Out. So you got a nice amber color I’d say.’
Kim: ‘Caramel aroma.’
Jeff: ‘Yeah a caramel and ginger aroma. Definitely has rye feel to the aromas as well. Almost like a dry accent to it as odd as that may sound. This is the first time both of us are trying this beer.’
Kim: ‘Yeah I love the Christmas Story themed can. A classic Christmas movie.’
Jeff: ‘I do too, something I haven’t seen before with a beer. Oh wow, the nice dry finish is the first thing I notice with my first sip. The dry finish makes sense with the rye aspect of the beer.’
Kim: ‘I think it’s kind of complex. I’m really trying to figure out what I’m tasting.
Jeff: ‘Really? I’m getting mostly ginger.’
Kim: ‘I’m getting more of a bready flavor, no ginger though. I’m getting all the malt and I’m having trouble picking up on the spicy aspect of it.’
Jeff: ‘I’m getting ginger,and I’m definitely getting the bready malty flavor with the rye as well.’
Kim: ‘Bready, malty with some cinnamon. Is there some cinnamon going on in here?’
Jeff: ‘Spiced with ginger and spirit, the can says. So in the beginning I’m getting more of the dry, rye feel. And then towards the back end I’m getting a ginger kick. But all around the ginger is not very powerful in this beer.’
Kim: ‘Yeah it’s very subtle, I’m not really tasting it too much at all.’
Jeff: ‘It definitely has more of the malty flavor and possesses a rye feel with a dry finish. Which I really like. This one possesses a light mouthfeel, very soft. I must say I am really enjoying this one!’
Kim: ‘Me too.’
Jeff: ‘I know you said complex, I guess I wouldn’t agree though. It just has soft flavors, if you ask me. I’ve had Christmas beers that have the flavors jump out at you. This is a just a simple, not simple in a bad way though. But softer flavored, a very mellow Christmas beer I guess.A nice soft ginger and rye feeling beer.’
Kim: ‘I don’t know maybe I was thinking it was complex because I was getting the under tones of the ginger and cinnamon. But the bready and malty flavors were the most powerful flavors though. ‘
Jeff: ‘Yeah the front end is very malt heavy, and then at the back end I got a touch of the ginger which is lingering. Though it’s not too strong.’
Kim: ‘I get cinnamon, I’m surprised you don’t.’
Jeff: ‘Yeah the only thing I’m getting besides the malts is the ginger. I really do like it.’
(Side note as I was fetching Kim and myself some glasses of water)
Jeff: ‘This is an exciting moment for 716Brewview history. Besides being a seasonal type write up, it’s the first feature with multiple beers on it. Besides the different events I’ve gone to in the past.’
Kim: ‘A new era.’
Jeff: ‘Yeah I’ve had some ideas like this for a while and it’s finally come to fruition. Alright next up, is Ski Bum by Ellicottville Brewing Company. So Centennial hops they say, huh?’
Kim: ‘I looked that up and it said lemon, and that’s exactly what I tasted before with my bottle from earlier. So I guess it’s spot on.’
Jeff: ‘Yeah, that’s exactly what I’ve read in the past about Centennial hops. Alright, color? Hmm, auburn or amber. Not as light as the Yule Shoot Your Rye Out, but a darker shade of it. Both are crystal clear though, very easy to see right through these two. Um, yeah I’m getting a lot of lemon in the aromas. I’m not even getting citrus or anything in that area that tends to tag along with lemon. Honestly, it’s just lemon.’
Kim: ‘Centennial hops!’
Jeff: ‘Yup, just an overall Centennial hoppy beer. It tastes like an IPA, though I’m not sure if it’s logged as one honestly.’
Kim: ‘Crisp, hoppy, lemony.’
Jeff: ‘Yeah there’s like a flare to it.’
Kim: ‘Like a zing to it.’
Jeff: ‘Uh huh. So when would I want to drink this in the winter with it being similar to if not an IPA? This would be the first beer of the morning or day depending on the occasion. Not a beer I would drink in the evening or later on in the day.’
Kim: ‘Like if you’re camping or something or like spending the day outside, I feel like the lemon flavor and crisp characteristic would make it more enjoyable.’
Jeff: ‘Yeah very hoppy, very crisp. Though a little resiny at the end. It does have a winteresque feel to it. I’m not sure if they added anything else to make it more of a winter beer honestly. I do like it, I do enjoy the lemon. I’ve had Founder’s Centennial IPA and it’s not as strong with the lemon flavors as Ski Bum. So I do enjoy this take on Centennial hops.’
Kim: ‘Yeah you made a good point, it does taste like a winter beer even though it tastes very lemony. I couldn’t see myself drinking this in the summer, it tastes like a beer that I would only drink in the winter.’
Jeff: ‘It’s definitely not like their Mow Master, which is their summer beer. So yeah it does have a good medium body, nice mouthfeel to it. Lemon aftertaste as well.’
Kim: ‘Heavier body than the Yule Shoot Your Rye Out I’d say.’
(After a short intermission.)
Jeff: ‘So next on the list is Kacey’s Kristmas Ale from Rohrbach Brewing Company. I did do this one last year, if you want to read a more in depth description look for Brewview#33 on the homepage of the blog. So color wise, very dark amber with a red hue.’
Kim: ‘When you poured it I definitely saw hints of red, probably from the cherry.’
Jeff: ‘Yeah definitely like a read amber.’
Kim: ‘Roasted coffee is the first thing that jumps right out at me.’
Jeff: ‘A nice coffee aroma. I’m not getting too much of a roasted aroma, just coffee.’
Kim: ‘Subtle cherry, like in the back.’
Jeff: ‘Yeah I’m not getting (takes an obnoxious sniff) too much of a cherry aroma, just the coffee.’
Kim: ‘Maybe a hint of cocoa. But mostly roasted coffee with a touch of cherry.’
Jeff: ‘So I just took a nice swig and I definitely get the coffee and chocolate in the beginning and then the cherry tart finish in the back end. It’s very good, not like a tart bite to it. But a nice cherry touch to it.’
Kim: ‘The beers are increasing in body and mouthfeel as we proceed.’
Jeff: ‘Yeah this one does have a nice medium body to it.’
Kim: ‘The aftertaste is all cherry tart like.’
Jeff: ‘Like a chocolate cherry combination in this beer. And I guess that’s what they were going for with this beer. It’s very good. This would definitely be an evening, fire side beer. Not one that I would want to drink fast though.’
Kim: ‘See it reminds me of opening Christmas presents. You know you wake up, if you want to have a breakfast beer, this would be the one I would pick from this group.’
Jeff: ‘Yeah this would be a good breakfast or morning beer.’
Kim: ‘Maybe the coffee and cherry plays into that.’
Jeff: ‘Yeah I’d definitely peg this as a Christmas morning beer.’
Kim: ‘When I smell it the coffee and roasted aspects are the most outstanding features. But when I’m drinking it, it’s the cherry that becomes the most outstanding part.’
Jeff: ‘The cherry does hold a nice presence in the back end.’
Kim: ‘I like how it changes in that aspect.’
Jeff: ‘It just has the perfect amount of cherry in it. It does have uhh…It’s just the perfect amount, anymore and it’d feel like there was cough syrup in the beer. It’s just the perfect amount. I’m not saying they over did it, but the slightest bit more and it would’ve been over the top.’
Kim: ‘As I’m sipping on this I’m getting more and more cocoa or chocolate. It wasn’t jumping out at me at first, but not that I’ve had a few more sips I’m getting more chocolate.’
Jeff: ‘I’m definitely getting more chocolate in the back end. A chocolate cherry combination. Very nice and very flavorful. Very thick flavors too.’
Kim: ‘I’ve never tried this one before.’
Jeff: ‘The Kacey’s? Oh yeah because you were pregnant. Yeah it’s been around, I’ve seen it quite frequently this time of year. I always look forward to it during the Christmas season.’
Last But Not Least!
Jeff: ‘Ithaca Beer Company’s Fuggly Sweater!’
Kim: ‘This is the only Lager of our quartet.’
Jeff: ‘A lot of these beers are labelled as Winter Ales, though I feel there are different styles of Winter Ales. The Fuggly Sweater is the darkest of them all, almost like a burgundy color. A dark, dark, dark amber. I mean it’s nice because you can still see through it but it has a nice dark side to it. It has a nice Christmas beer appearance.’
Kim: ‘We did enjoy this beer as we put up our Christmas tree, giving us some holiday cheer.’
Jeff: ‘So Fuggly Sweater’s aroma, definitely uhh…clove and nutmeg I feel.’
Kim: ‘ Definitely clove and I’m getting cinnamon with this too.’
Jeff: ‘Yeah, I guess you could say cinnamon is in there.’
Kim: ‘The nutmeg must be that other thing that I’m smelling. I don’t really know what nutmeg smells like.’
Jeff: ‘Yeah we should go to a candle store and look for all these aromas.’
Kim: ‘Yeah because I smelled something that I couldn’t put my finger on and it’s got to be the nutmeg.’
Jeff: ‘Definitely the fullest body out of all four of the beers., definitely more cinnamon, gingery flavored. Right in the beginning.
Kim: ‘As I started the first sip it’s all clove.’
Jeff: ‘I had more cinnamon and ginger in the beginning, but the clove is the primary flavor in the entire sip. Right off the bat I’m getting more cinnamon and ginger but right after that the clove takes over and that’s where we are. The um…aftertaste is more gingery though for me. And the accompanying mouthfeel is very creamy. This would be an after dinner sipper but I wouldn’t drink this right away. I would let my food settle first because of how heavy the body is and we all know how everyone over eats with Christmas dinner.’
Kim: ‘Definitely the spiciest out of all four.’
Jeff: ‘Yeah it does have that little kick.’
Kim: ‘Like nice Christmas spices, nothing overwhelming though.’
Jeff: ‘I think that’s the cinnamon feel to it.’
Kim: ‘Yeah clove and then nutmeg and cinnamon in the middle, With the back end and aftertaste consisting mostly of clove.’
Jeff: ‘Yeah like I said for me it’s the ginger and cinnamon in the beginning. And then the clove picks up right after that and takes the gold. Very smooth flavors though, very nice transitions between them.’
Kim: ‘Jeff topped me off and it has a nice head on it.’
Jeff: ‘Yeah so we have our after dinner beer, Fuggly Sweater, the Chrismtas morning beer, Kacey’s Kristmas Ale.
Kim: ‘We have our day time rally, Ellicottville’s Ski Bum.’
Jeff: ‘And the Yule Shoot Your Rye Out from Hamburg is a nice beer fot whenever. Though it’s not something I would want to sit on at night but it’s one that could be versatile throughout the day. I really enjoyed them all though in their own way.
Kim: ‘They’re all very different beers, it was a cool variety to pick.’
Jeff: ‘Yeah they’re all very different styles which is nice. I guess that is it. If we were to rank them, that would be impossible for me because they are sll different styles and each of them possess excellent qualities. So I wouldn’t rank them against each other but we did discuss how we would drink them throughout Christmas day or at different holiday events.’
Kim: ‘Yeah, they’re too different to compare to each other.’

So there you have it Beer talk 4.0. I’m hoping this will guide some of you with your choices of beer this Christmas season or throughout the winter. Either way I’m sure each of these beer will keep you warm until the summer months!


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2 thoughts on “Beer Talk 4.0

  1. Go Bills!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Fugly Sweater is speaking to me! HI KIM!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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