Saturday, November 9, 2013

Fire Mountain Brewery - Hangman Winter Fest Ale

Hangin' with the hangman.
It's finally Winter Warmer Season! Oh, yeah! That's the seasonal beer "style" I can get solidly behind. Big, full-bodied, massive ABV brews meant to stave off the frost and make e'erbody happy, happy, happy until the freezin' season is over. Sooooo, much better than its precursor--Pumpkin Beer Season. Seriously, I can only drink so many pumpkin brews, but winter warmers are a different story. The only thing holding me back is the alcohol content. 8% and higher qualifies as a real winter warmer in my book.

Today, I'm drinking a Hangman Winter Fest Ale from Fire Mountain Brewery. Okay, let's start with the name. I don't get it. What's festive about a hangman? I guess in the olden days, the whole village would turn out to watch a hanging and make a big ol' party out of it. Still, more gruesome than fest. In any case, the beer was brewed with seven malts, flaked rye and barley, and dry hopped with Amarillo and Cascade hops. The ABV is 8%.

The beer poured into my pint glass a clear, medium copper color with an off-white head. The head rose up to about a finger thick and dissipated quickly. A thin, spotty cap of lacing was left behind.

Aroma was sweet malt and brown sugar up front. Indistinct citrus notes and over-ripe, dark fruit in the background.

Taste delivered an unexpected bitter hops zing. Orange and grapefruit. Earthy malt smoothed out the initial hops bitterness. There was a spicy, peppery bite that lingered throughout. Nice balance of bitter and sweet. No alcohol taste that I could discern.

Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. Semi-dry finish with the peppery spice and hops bitterness left on the palate at the end.

Hey! This is a nice brew! I'm giving Hangman Winter Fest Ale a respectable BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 crushed cans out of 4. I bought the bomber at Grocery Outlet for $3.99. Good price for a quality craft beer.

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