In keeping with the whole Winter theme, we thought we might remind you of another Seattle brewery, Fremont, on Woodland Street. Located in near downtown Fremont, the brewery has been brewing up some genuinely appreciated familiar styles for over a year now. If you haven’t heard of them, then you probably haven’t had their Solstice Ale, or their Fremont Pale Ale.
This time of the year, however, they are brewing up their Abominable Ale. Brewed in the Winter Ale style, this beer evokes memories of hot apple cider with cinnamon. But, the brewery has never been satisfied just making a run of the mill Winter Ale, so with a recent (last year) acquisition of spent Bourbon Barrel-aged barrels, they put some of their Abominable in the barrel to age for determined periods of time. What is created is a beefed up, slightly boozy version of their regular Abominable Ale.
Course, we love to share out thoughts in a more long-winded format, so we elected to visit the brewery, given that the brewery currently doesn’t bottle / can their beers.
Fremont Abominable Winter Ale
Fremont Abominable Ale as it rests in the glass appears dark as molasses with a small ridgeline (as the light shines through it) of dark khaki underneath the surface. As the beer settles a mild but faint foamy off-white head forms at the top.
Swirling the glass around we pick up strong notes of roasted grain, slight sweet caramel , and mild spiciness. What is fascinating is how balanced the beer smells though, even when trying hard to pick out scents.
Taking the first sip we gather an initial roasted character (almost like slightly burned toast) that is followed by sweet dehydrated fruit (raisins, potentially creating a molasses character) and bitter chocolate, before finishing with notes of spice. Overall this beer doesn’t feel heavy as it rests on the tongue and considering the 7.75% ABV billing, it’s a little frightening how little any alcohol is detected.
Abominable Winter Ale: tasty winter ale, limited release. Dark, roasty, chocolatey, malt flavors balanced by Noble hop aroma and subtle hoppy spice. Warm up to it. Don't be Scared to be Abominable. 7.75% ABV
You Should Try This. Another in a long line of Winter Warmers, is currently on draft the Fremont Brewery. Course if you aren’t one who wishes to visit them during their tasting room hours (Thursday thru Saturday), then you can contact the brewery directly to find out where this beer is being served. Whether you take this in growler or pint form, you should consider something with a bit of fat to it, such as a massive club sandwich, a Rib Eye Steak (cooked medium), a filet of Salmon or maybe even branch out with some Celebration Roast from the Field Roast Grain Meat Co.
Fremont Abominable bourbon barrel-aged Ale (aka, B’Bomb)
Following the Abominable Ale (sans maturity in the barrel) we elected to take the Abominable “B Bomb'” Ale, variety for a spin to see what a bit of wood and Woodford Bourbon can do to a beer.
Bourbon Barrel-aged Abominable Ale starts out dark and burgundy with an aura of clarity. This first look was a bit stunning, given the darkness that its older brother (Abominable Ale) demonstrated. As the beer sits there an initial medium but off-white foamy head appears.
Taking our nose and resting it above the glass we pick up a slight bourbon nuttiness, like someone had taken and ground up fresh peanuts. Granted this description might gross someone out, but this is what our olfactory memory is recalling.
As we take our first sip we are greeted by the same bourbon nuttiness, before a sensation of mild butterscotch appears in the middle, along with elements of citrus, and mild spices. As the beer finishes its journey a sensation of warmth (or as most describe a hot sensation) grabs our attention before allowing a slight bit of pine to seep in. Overall, this beer feels average in regards to weight and there is a lingering (albeit mild) warming sensation.
Abominable Winter Ale: tasty winter ale, limited release. Dark, roasty, chocolatey, malt flavors balanced by Noble hop aroma and subtle hoppy spice … aged in barrels for 12, 10, & 4 months, before being blended together.
You Should Try This. A rare beer makes it return, with no expiration date so you best hurry into the brewery. Course if you aren’t one who wishes to visit them during their tasting room hours (Thursday thru Saturday), then you can contact the brewery directly to find out where this beer is being served. Keep in mind this beer is not available at the brewery in Growler form, given the high alcohol content. But, however you acquire a pint of this, you should consider something with a bit of fat and smoke to it, such as grilled pork, roasted lamb, a filet of Salmon or maybe a cheese assortment of sharp, smoked cheeses (gouda, cheddar, etc.).
Either way you slice it, both Abominable Ale (regular) or Abominable “B Bomb” Ale are beers that are worth trying.
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.