Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Harpoon Brewery: Winter Warmer

I am currently sitting through the third giant snow storm of the season. I am told that, already, this year is the snowiest year recorded in Philadelphia history. Work was cancelled today. It's been cancelled for tomorrow. You can't go more than 5 feet outside without a shovel, a wool coat, and an iron will. So I think it's time for a winter warmer.

Warmers are usually heavy bodied, malty, high ABV beers. Harpoon's take on the genre is a little bit different. It has a very dry malt flavor, and is actually pretty light bodied, making it unusually refreshing for a warmer. It's also loaded up with cinnamon and nutmeg, making it one of the spiciest beers I've ever had. Surprisingly, the spices fit very well into this beer. Perhaps it's because it's so light bodied, but I find that the spices never really get to be overwhelming. Finally,
a healthy dose of hops lends this beer a crisp finish.

Fans of the traditional winter warmer will probably find Harpoon's version a little bit disappointing. As warmers go, this one is pretty weak on malt flavor. But a basket of other flavors steps forward to create a bold and satisfying taste. It's also refreshingly drinkable, which is always a plus if you've got a full day off of work to fill with revelry. Cheers!

1 comment:

Mattie said...

I'm quite jealous that you got the day off work, don't have to go in tomorrow, and spent your time sampling tasty beers. I'm also envious because since I only visit the east coast in the summer, I can't see myself ever getting my hands on Harpoon's winter warmer. I guess I'll just console myself with the knowledge that it was 60 degrees and sunny.