Pacific Northwest – If this writer can belabor the obvious statement for a moment, Falls and Winters in the Pac. Northwest are wet and can be unpredictable. Ask anyone who has a yard and they will tell you that the minute they have a chance to step outside to clean up the latest batch of yellow, brown, and green (pine needles), the rains will come. But when the rain isn’t falling on the ground putting a damper on your attempt at labors, then it’s the snow, sometimes in inches rather than centimeters.
Yep, the weather in the region is unpredictable and it does complicate our lives. Probably the reason why we enjoy our Winter Ales and Winter Warmers so much. But, when it comes to choosing the right ale or lager for the job, there are some that prefer color over flavor whiles others are content with a good ol’ IPA. It is with that thought that we are happy to introduce to returning beer with a familiar zing, from Hopworks Urban Brewery in Portland.
Dubbed the Abominable Winter Ale, this beer is neither dark as pitch, nor is it spiced like a sought after warm cup of apple cider. In fact this beer might possibly be closer to what we in hop flush regions would call a Winter India Pale Ale (if there is such a thing). But, we digress from the point of your eyes straining to read through this writer’s long-winded tale of why he drank this beer.
Hopworks Urban Brewery’s Abominable Winter Ale is a burgundy Winter Ale, that is as clear a cold humidity free morning. As the beer slowly settles into the glass a strong off-white foamy head forms and as slowly at this cap of froth forms it recedes leaving tattered fingers of lace inside the glass.
Swirling the glass around for a bit a slight dusty, earthiness enters our sinuses along with elements of spice and floral character. Immediately we start pondering camp fires out near the mountains after a hike along some unmarked trail.
Initially Abominable produces a pine bitterness when the first sip in enjoyed, but that soon mellows out, allowing grapefruit citrus to make its presence known. As it courses along my tongue a noticeable biscuit maltiness is present before the beer finishes with a slight warming sensation down my throat. Overall this beer feels average in weight on my tongue and definitely would be something I would enjoy while decorating the house or taking down the Halloween decorations.
With a growing chill in the air, and a slowly growing howl in the wind, it could mean one thing… The Abominable is coming!
This mythological beer emerges from the depths of our brewery every winter. Made with Cascade, Centennial and Simcoe hops and six organic malts. "Abomb" has a complex floral, spicy and citrus hopiness backed up by just the right amount of malt sweetness. Don’t turn your back on the BEAST!
7.3% ABV 17 Plato 70 IBU
You Should Try. For the enthusiasts out there, the Fall and Winter is usually a time when we expect such beers as Sierra Nevada Celebration, Anchor Our Special Christmas Ale, or maybe Deschutes Jubelale. However for us we can honestly say that so long as this beer keeps arriving on the shelves, this will be resting in the same cart as those mentioned. For those with a yearning for a bit of nourishment, try this with a honey smoked ham sandwich, a chef salad, or maybe while enjoying some blue cheese on top of a pork brat.
About the photo’s author
Paul “Fruit Trees” Orchard, is an amateur craft beer enthusiast and amateur photographer. Throughout the many years in craft beer he is always carrying a camera (smartphone, digital, traditional) and is invites you to see that beer can also be exciting even if you can’t drink the photo.
In accordance with new FTC regulations regarding bloggers and endorsements, the aforementioned company has provided me a free sample that was used for research prior to writing this review.