Orlando is damn warm this January weekend, so of course, I’m busting out a bottle of a malty Scottish (style) ale that's traditionally meant for snowdrift sipping. I’ve been a fan of Brooklyn Brewery's Pilsner since I first had it just across the East River in Manhattan. Now that you can find even the seasonals in far-off Florida, I’m a happy man.
Brooklyn Winter Ale is a deep ruby pour with an off-white, frothy head. Light on aroma -- malty, but not brutal, with a little sharpness coming through.
The taste backs up what the aroma hints at. It's definitely malty and bready, but not heavy like many winter beers. I get a nutty finish and even a tiny, tiny bit of roast coffee, but again -- just a hint. Hops aren’t pronounced, but there to cut through the malt with “clean.”
I hear that Brooklyn Brewery's original Winter Ale was spiced, but there's no cinnamon or nutmeg here. This Winter Ale has got all the elements of chilly weather beers, but it's not as chewy as some. For a Florida boy who doesn’t need to fortify himself against a blizzard, this lighter Winter Ale works just fine.