Davidson Brothers Winter Ale

I’m finally home from work and updating the blog while Val makes some dinner. Let’s crack this open and see how it was.

ABV: 5.9%

Style: Winter Warmer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “How a couple of guys who’d never worked in a restaurant, never brewed beer, and never owned a business started a brewpub. It was in the fall of 1993, during a visit to Baltimore, that my brothers Paul, John and I wandered into our first brewpub, Bill Oliver’s Wharf Rat. The ales were terrific and with every pint we drank we became more convinced we should start our own brewpub. After returning home to Glens Falls, John and I (recalling how convinced those ales made us) began to look into brewpubs, the microbrewing revolution, and our market. We enjoyed two years of due diligence, researching the Glens Falls and Saratoga Springs markets and visiting many brewpubs and microbreweries. In February of 1996, John and I, with the moral support of a dozen close friends, took the chance of a lifetime and made the winning bid on the building at 184 Glen Street in Glens Falls. We were officially in the brewpub business and Davidson Brothers Restaurant & Brewery opened to the public on October 14, 1996. I’d always thought that after everything it took to get the thing off the ground, I’d be overcome with emotion when that first dollar crossed the bar. But I was too busy. We used that first dollar to buy more barley. Been busy ever since.”

Random: It looks like the brewery hasn’t updated certain parts of the website since 2009.

The beer poured with a half a finger of tan head. It went away quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown color with no visible carbonation due to the darkness of the body. The nose had a lot of smoke and dark molasses. It had some wood ash as well with leather. The taste had almost no sweetness and was like a liquid ashtray with smoke too. It reminded me of an unbalanced Scotch ale. The body was medium thickness with high carbonation. It had a lengthy and ashy finish. This beer was a gift, so I’m not sure on the price, but no matter how much this beer was, I wouldn’t have it again. It desperately needed balance.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Bolero Snort Frozen Pasture

I think eventually, I will get sick of “Grey’s Anatomy.” The plot is more ridiculous every time I watch it, but since I’ve been watching it for so long, I just can’t let go. Now, I usually half watch it while playing on the internet. The early seasons of the show were so good, though. Anyways, let’s get to the beer.


ABV: 8.5%

Style: Winter Warmer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Forget all about the frozen tundra with this warming malt forward brew. Notes of stone fruits with pops of citrus.”

Random: Val made peanut butter cake. It’s one of my new favorite things that she makes.

The beer poured with a three finger, light brown head. It dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown color with moderate visible carbonation. The nose was sweet with a lot of malt. I specifically picked up caramel and a brandy note. There was also an alcohol soaked peach note next. The taste was also quite sweet. It had peach and apricot nectar which transitioned into burnt brown sugar. There was also a smoke character along with melted rum raisin ice cream note. It had a strong note of alcohol. The body was thick with moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy and sweet with caramel. A pounder can of this was $3.75, which came to $.23 per ounce. I thought the sweetness of this beer was a bit overwhelming and I wasn’t a huge fan. I wouldn’t rush back to this one.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Widmer Barrel Aged Brrrbon (Brothers’ Reserve Series)

It’s Monday and I’m stuck at work. The only good thing is that I’m off on Saturday for 4th of July. It’s really dead at work since we only have 15 trucks, so I can probably leave at a decent time and mow my lawn. Let’s get to the beer.


ABV: 9.4%

Style: Winter Warmer


Random: This was brewed in 2010 and has been aging since 2011.

This beer poured with a one finger, cream-colored head that dissipated slowly and left no lacing on the glass. It left a slight crown on the top of the body. The body itself was a dark and hazy brown color with no visible carbonation. It did have a lot of floaties. The nose was all bourbon and vanilla, which was very strong. The taste had notes of smoke and more bourbon. There was also a lot of vanilla and maple, which was really strong. It had a thick body and no carbonation to speak of. The booze was also really well-hidden. I think the age has something to do with that, but it may have been aged just a little too much. It had a long bourbon and vanilla finish. I really wanted to enjoy this one since I aged it so long, but it just didn’t do much for me. I wouldn’t have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Deschutes Jubelale

Happy Saturday! I don’t normally post on Saturdays, but this Saturday, the site is closed and I have a Dispatcher working from home. I definitely needed a break from work, although I’ll be checking emails today. Anyways, this is a beer that I picked up in Philly over the holidays. I’ve read a lot of positive reviews on this beer, so let’s see how this one was.


ABV: 6.7%

Style: Winter Warmer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Warm spiciness and tradition grace this bold winter ale. Intriguing, layered flavors unfold to reveal chicory, dried fruit and toffee notes with a hoppy kick to finish. The deep garnet color pairs perfectly with holiday celebrations.”

Random: Despite being off today, I was stuck at work last night until almost 11. I was exhausted last night.

This beer poured with a two finger, tan head that was slow to dissipate and left a lot of lacing on my Brooklyn Brewery glass. The body was a deep, clear, reddish-brown with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had chocolate, vanilla and cherry along with spice. The taste also started with chocolate and went into sweet caramel malt. Dark fruit, specifically cherries came through as well along with light spice at the end. The alcohol was not detectable. It had a medium thick body with high carbonation. The finish was long with chocolate and dark fruit. For $2.45 a bottle, which broke down to $.20 per ounce, this wasn’t a bad price for a flavorful beer that I would definitely pick up again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Harpoon Winter Warmer

This review marks number 1700 for the blog. I wish I had chosen a more exciting beer for it…


ABV: 5.9%

Style: Winter Warmer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Harpoon Winter Warmer was the first seasonal beer we brewed and, as a matter of fact, it was one of the first seasonal beers in the country. To this day, we still look forward to the first Winter Warmer bottling of the season as a sign of the approaching holidays. From the label to the aroma to the flavor, it all reminds us of family get-togethers, and the beers that help make the holidays so festive. Brewed since 1988, this beer has become a New England seasonal classic. Cinnamon and nutmeg dominate the aroma. The taste is a rich combination of the holiday spices and the hearty malt backbone. There is a mild sweetness to the finish along with the lingering flavor of the spices.”

Random: This was a leftover from a mixed twelve pack from Christmas.

This beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. There was a half a finger of crown left on top of the clear, mahogany body with moderate carbonation. The nose had a lot of caramel malt and cinnamon and nutmeg. The taste was pretty bad. It was a total spice bomb that overpowered any other flavor that should have been in there. Couple that with the fact the beer was insanely thin and needed a touch more carbonation. The finish was long and filled with nutmeg. To me, this beer was a winter warmer done wrong. I wouldn’t have this again.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Sly Fox 2014 Christmas Ale

So, instead of complaining about work as I usually do, I’ll share some news. We finally found
a house and we’re out of attorney review. In theory, we should be in the house by March. It has a sweet bar that I can put my kegerator in. I’m starting to get excited, despite how stressful this entire process is. Anyways, let’s get to the beer, more about the house later.


ABV: 5.5%

Style: Winter Warmer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This malty, full-bodied red ale is made with traditional mulling spices: Ginger, Clove, All Spice, Cinnamon & Nutmeg. If this one doesn’t get you into the Christmas spirit, you truly are a Scrooge.”

Random: I’m down to 21 discs on my Netflix queue.

This beer poured with a three finger, tan head that dissipated slowly and left lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, dark mahogany with moderate carbonation. The nose was filled with spices, specifically nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. There was some sweet malt present too. After a few sniffs, I picked up some cherries. The taste was spice dominant. I picked up nutmeg and allspice primarily. Then, I got some sweet malt with caramel too. There was no booze to speak of, which isn’t surprising, given the ABV. It had a thick and chewy body with high carbonation. The finish was long with spice and sweet malt. This brew was pretty good, especially when so many holiday beers are absolute booze bombs. For $6.99 a bomber, which broke down to $.32 an ounce, this isn’t an overly expensive beer and was enjoyable to drink. It’s worth seeking out.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

HaandBryggeriet Bestefar

Since I’m on vacation this week, I thought I would have more time to post some reviews. Unfortunately, I’ve been working from home most days. Before I have to jump on another conference call, let’s check out this beer that I tried on Saturday when the other half and I headed to Memphis Taproom.


ABV: 9%

Style: Winter Warmer

Trivia: According to sheltonbrothers.com, “‘Bestefar’ is the Norwegian word for Grandfather. In this case, it refers to the Father of Father Christmas, or ‘Nissefar’ as he is known in Norway. Bestefar is the perfect companion for a cold winter night, spent contemplatively in front of a fire or for those fireside moments that are a bit more ‘festive’. It is complex, a little bit wild…and it might just be the best by far! From the brewer: ‘Belgian strong ale with the good old taste from when all the farms used to brew their own beer. A dark strong ale, well balanced and full of malty and fruity flavors. We make living beer, not pasteurized nor filtered.'”

Random: So far, while on vacation, I’ve watched a few Netflix and gotten up to date on “Gotham.”

This beer poured with a two finger, thick tan head that took forever to dissipate. The body was a dark brown, almost black color. There was no carbonation visible due to the dark color. There was also significant lacing left on the glass. The nose had roasted malts with smoke and some licorice. At first, the taste was almost stout-like. It had notes of coffee, big roasted malts, smoke, and relatively hidden booze. As it warmed, more of the Belgian characteristics came through. Dark fruit and yeast came through, but still had some notes of dark chocolate. It had a thick, chewy body with moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy with smoke and dark fruit. This was an outstanding beer that could easily warm you up on a winter’s night. If you see it, get a glass of it.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0