By Iron Chef Leftovers
I both love and hate seasonal beers – I love them because it means that I have something new to look forward to when I go to a brewery and I hate them because when I decide I really like a beer, I know that it will only be there for a limited time. This winter, I went on a winter warmer kick and basically went out of my way to try a bunch of them from various breweries around town. I was happy to see that Stoup made one and was excited to try their version of what is becoming one of my favorite styles. The Stoup version clocks in at 7% ABV and 30 IBU.
The beer pours deep brown in color with hints of amber. Roasted malt dominates with notes of spice and chocolate interspersed. The beer starts out slightly sweet on the initial sip with significant amounts of malt character, followed by a slightly fruity middle of dried cherries and apricots coupled with hints of figs before finishing with a touch of warming alcohol joined with a mild spice (cardamom and cloves) enhanced with more dried fruit in a significantly long finish. The alcohol disappears the further you get into the beer and the sweetness less pronounced. The beer has fine balance and rich character and would be nice next to a fire on a cold winter day.
Stoup Winter Warmer grabs a blanket and a chair and cozies in with 4 roaring fires out of 5.
On a sad note, this is the last review of a beer from my 2013 note book. The book is getting retired to the CSE Archives for posterity. Although you have been reading many reviews from beers that I have had in 2014, this marks the last one that I consumed in 2013. Not bad – this review is making onto the site just shy of 4 months after I actually had the beer.