Winter Beers from Texas: Saint Arnold Winter Stout and Rahr & Sons Bourbon Barrel Winter Warmer Ale

February 18, 2011

It is Seventy-One Degrees here in the Sun’s Anvil, so naturally I am drinking the last of the winter beers.  One of the pleasant surprises of living in Texas is the vibrant and growing brewing industry, and Saint Arnold is certainly one of the better brewers here in Texas.  Their Winter Stout is a prime example of why Saint Arnold is held in such high esteem.  It pours black with some ruby highlights, and has a smokey coffee aroma.  There is smoke and chocolate when you first taste it, followed by some espresso in the aftertaste.  Nicely balanced, not heavy at all, and at 5.6% ABV, the Saint Arnold Winter Stout is an excellent session beer for a cold winter night, 8/10.  I enjoyed this beer on the three cold winter nights we had here in Texas this past winter.

I keep hearing good things about Rahr & Sons, a Fort Worth based brewer, and their beers keep disappointing me.  The Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer continues the disappointing trend.  It pours a dark brown with some chocolate malt, vanilla and oak in the aroma and the flavor, and some mild spiciness as well.  It is just a bit thin tasting, and the 8.5% ABV overwhelms any subtlety to the flavor profile.  Not a bad beer by any means, but I was hoping for something a little better, considering how much I usually enjoy barrel aged beers, 6/10.


The Twelve Beers of Christmas

December 24, 2010

The First Beer of Christmas: Full Sail Wassail, Hood River, Oregon – I had this on tap at the Ginger Man.  Dark velvety brown with ruby highlights and a fluffy white head.  This was mildly sweet, with a caramel taste and some dried fruit and spiciness as well.  Very good, 7/10.

The Second Beer of Christmas: Anchor 2010 Christmas Ale – The Grand Daddy of American Christmas Ales, with an ever evolving recipe.  I had this on tap at the Ginger Man, and this year’s version has a spicy ginger aftertaste, which I liked, but everyone else who tried it with me hated.  Not as good as years past, but still a fine Christmas Beer, 7/10. Read the rest of this entry »


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