Thursday, January 3, 2013

Winter Beer Month: Elysian BiFrost

It's the joyful time of year when beer connoisseurs near and far come together in unity around a delicious treat: winter beer. It also means that at WestToast it's Winter Beer Month!
Also known as wassails, holiday beer, and winter warmers, winter beers typically share a number of key features. These brews are often boozier than the norm, copper to amber in color, and can be spiced up with nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice.

Winter beers are cellarable if they last long enough.  In my house, they usually don't.  Pretty sure I made up the word cellarable.

Throughout the month of January, our writers be profiling one or two winter beers each week for you to enjoy. Here goes!

Elysian's BiFrost Winter Ale

In Norse mythology, Bifröst is a burning rainbow bridge that reaches between Midgard (the world) and Asgard, the realm of the gods. The namesake of Elysian Brewing Company's winter ale, Bifröst is epically depicted in the movie Thor. Rainbows? Beer? Bridges? Sounds good to me.

Brewery: Elysian Brewing Company
Style: Winter Pale Ale Rating: 85 Rating: 92 Overall
Serving: 22oz Bottle
ABV: 7.6%

Brewed down the street from my condo in Seattle, I'm a fan of a number of Elysian beers but hadn't tried the BiFrost before this season.  Before I even left the store, I noted that the label was "cute".  I know that no brewer sets out to make cute labels, but hey, this is Seattle, the beer is named BiFrost, and it involves rainbows.  Deal with it.

Appearance: The BiFrost poured dark golden and translucent, with a medium head that lasted quite a while.

Smell: My immediate impression was a hoppy and crisp beer, with a hint of sweetness as I dug into it. As the beer warmed up a bit, notes of citrus emerged and the happiness dissipated.

Taste: I got a hit of hoppiness right off the bat, then a little sweetness back with alcohol. This beer was a lot smoother than I anticipated, and it warmed me up as I continued to sip. The citrus flavors added a nice fresh component to the winter ale.

This beer was not spiced like many winter ales, in that respect it almost drank like a session beer which can be dangerous at 7.6%. I actually hoped for a skosh more alcohol although the beer was very nice.

And then it was gone. This beer definitely gets a "recommend" from me and is a nice start to Winter Beer Month.


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