The second beer of my holiday series is East End Brewing’s Snow Melt Winter Ale. (Okay, so it’s not technically a holiday ale, but I’m making the rules here. This is a quality beer in a winter style. And so, it counts.)
Can I also take a moment to note how fitting it is that I’m reviewing the Snow Melt ale, and there are snowflakes falling on my blog? 😉
Chris and I got a growler of this, you may remember, from East End’s Festival of Darkness last weekend. It made for a nice accompaniment to our pizza, a lovely beverage while enjoying my annual viewing of A Muppet Christmas Carol (what? It’s a tradition since about sixth grade…), and a fine end to a snowy day of writing papers. Unfortunately, as it was a growler, that meant that the final sitting was a little lacking in the carbonation, but there was still enough bubble to make it enjoyable.
This beer pours nicely, with an intial rich, coffee-colored head that dissipates soon after pouring. It’s not overly malty, with more of a roasted taste and smell. There’s also certainly some undertones of hops, as well. (In fact, it’s hoppier than I remembered, though I still thoroughly enjoyed it.) I also got some hints of caramel in it, but not too much to make it a sweet beer–there’s still just a bit of lingering bitterness to it. (Some of the reviews I’ve read speak of notes of pine in this beer. Honestly, I don’t know what they’re talking about–as I’ve never tasted pine, I guess I’m not one to judge.) It finishes cleanly but not sweetly. A good winter ale, and a nice break from the spiced varieties that often make up the holiday fare.
All in all, thoroughly enjoyable. Because it’s not too heavily spiced, and because it’s not terribly heavy, as some other winter beers can tend to be, this is quite drinkable. One of my favorite selections from East End–hopefully we’ll be getting some more before the winter is out!