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Baird Snow Storm Strong Dark Ale

Baird Snow Storm Strong Dark Ale
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Formerly brewed at Baird Brewing Co.
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Numazu, Shizuoka, Japan


on tap


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RATINGS: 3   MEAN: 3.97/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.39/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
The inspiration here is all Belgian. The immensely imaginative brewers from this eccentric land are artisans par excellence, particularly in terms of the following practices: (a) incorporating sugar as a central brewing ingredient, (b) utilizing other unusual ingredients (fruit, spice, etc.) in subtle but impactful ways, and (c) combining yeast strains in complex fermentations. Well, we have tried our hand at all three of these wonderful practices in this one extremely unique brew. For starters, we incorporate a blend of Japanese dark sugars which account for fully 20 percent of the fermentable extract. Second, we add pureed Shizuoka strawberries, picked fresh by the Baird Beer team and its helpers, to the kettle near the end of boil. As a final touch, we begin fermentation with a Belgian yeast strain and then add our house ale yeast to the effort midway through primary fermentation. Snow Storm has been conditioning (warm and cold) for five months since packaging. The result is a furious flurry of stormy eccentricity. Neither fish nor fowl, Snow Storm Strong Dark Ale becomes a category unto itself. The aroma is piquant and playful (strawberries?), the flavor is indescribably complex (multiple yeast strains?), and the finish is warmingly dry (sugar and alcohol?). A disorientation results, as if you were caught unprepared in a winter snow storm. Seek guidance back to safety from your friendly bartender!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
KyotoLefty (9403) - Kyoto, JAPAN - OCT 16, 2008
Dark brown with a reddish tint. Enormous frothy head. Fruity, somewhat sweetish aroma, caramel, brown sugar, cinnamon? Belgian yeast. Thick, rich malty flavor. Sweet, dark yet not burnt. Belgian styled. Chocolate, caramel, very fruity—dark and rich like strawberries. Dry, spicy, strong, slightly roasted chocolate finish. I like it, it is very complex. At first it seemed to be going too many places at once, but after a few minutes it all seemed to fit together. A fantastically chewy, rich, complex brew with a drying, slightly but noticeably hopped finish. Fantastic.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Capa (2767) - Kitsap, Washington, USA - DEC 21, 2007
Deep red with a large off-white head. Spice, yeast, fruity, sweet malts, berries, and a little light tart cherry. Full, fairly carbonted body. Flavor is pretty intense. Sweet malts, spice, yeast, berries, molasses and alcohol. As it warms chocolate becomes much more noticeable. Finishes a little bitter and some alcohol warmth. A real nice belgian.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
TimE (5091) - Tokyo, JAPAN - DEC 13, 2007
This is truely a winter warmer. A ruby red beauty that shows notes of milk chocolate, candy sugar, strawberries and cherries. Alcohol may be too aggressive for some people’s liking, but I thought it was appropriate given that if I was in a snow storm I would want something to warm me up. Impressive beer in part due to the fact that the strawberries really come out.

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