This has been kind of a miserable winter in New England with record setting snowfall, a transportation system that is challenging enough under optimum conditions and nearly useless in this weather, and incredible stretches of cold. Fortunately we had some things to celebrate including the holidays and the Patriots’ Super Bowl win. I also found, drank and reviewed a number of great beers this winter. I am going to continue to write an end-of-season recap of my favorite selections amongst the beers I reviewed over the previous three months. Beers mentioned in the brewery overview articles will not be included unless I also did a full review, but beers from head-to-head beer reviews are eligible (even thought I don’t give them numerical scores). You can find the complete list of my favorite beers under THIS tab, with links to each review. Here are my favorites of the winter, hope you all stayed warm and you’re getting ready for spring!
Smuttynose S’muttonator: A great find from my December dopplebock-centric week, I preferred this over many highly regarded classic versions of the style. Tons of malt flavor and substantial booze that is present without being overpowering.
Pretty Things Bocky Bier: No surprise that the masters of malt-forward beer put out a German style bock and it borders on perfection. Full flavored, easy to drink and delicious. I hope this becomes a regular release.
Sierra Nevada Boomerang: The standout beer from a very strong winter variety “Snow Pack”. The Southern Hemisphere hop varieties sing through to form one of my favorite hoppy beers from a brewery that specializes in them.
Trillium Congress St. IPA: Trillium makes a variety of IPAs and I’ve enjoyed all of the ones I’ve tried, each is a unique take on the most popular craft style. My personal favorite is their first. Congress St. features the assertive and pungent kick of American hops that made me fall in love with IPAs in the first place.
Baxter Bootleg Fireworks: A new double IPA from the growing Lewiston, ME powerhouse and I highly recommend giving it a shot. This combines the bold hop flavors you expect from a DIPA with just enough malt balance, and it goes down incredibly smooth for a bigger beer.
Cambridge Brewing Company You Enjoy My Stout: To help combat the cold weather I sampled a number of boozy barrel aged beers and this was my personal favorite. You get a solid hit of bourbon, but it doesn’t overwhelm the malty and full bodied imperial stout flavors.