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Townsite Bičre d’Hiver Winter Ale

Brewed by Townsite Brewing
Style: English Strong Ale
Powell River, Canada


on tap

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RATINGS: 17   MEAN: 3.22/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.16/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 225   ABV: 7.5%
Townsite’s brewmaster made 60Kg of candi sugar by bringing sugar and water up to 300 degrees and then added this sugar to the boil creating a winter warmer that is spicy and plummy in flavour.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Alengrin (3670) - BELGIUM - SEP 20, 2015
Bottle generously donated by the brewer and obtained via my colleague Marie, thanks very much for this one! A gentle and sunny afternoon in late September is probably not the time to have a winter ale, but I was too curious about this to wait for three more months... From a 65 cl bomber with nicely decorated label. Light gushing, but fortunately not too violently so. Pours a deep hazy burgundy brown-red colour, warm and attractive, under a lacing, medium sized, light yellowish white, moussy head with good retention. Aroma jumps into the nose with a truckload of melting brown sugar and cocoa nibs, along with hints of cinnamon, medlar, warm toasted bread, plum brandy, banana liqueur, sweet sherry, hazelnut paste, ruby port, marmelade, thin gooseberry sourness, clove- and slightly varnish-like phenols - the sweet and spicy, seductive bouquet of a rich, English style winter ale indeed. Some maderisation is already setting in too, but only to add complexity; this is clearly a beer which ages graciously. Rounded, sweet onset, residual brown sugar but not cloying at all, counterbalanced with a light fruity tartness (brambleberry, passionfruit); banana and candied orange flavours are there as well. Mouthfeel is soft and creamy, with medium carbonation. A smooth, oily, caramelly and nutty but also notably oxidized maltiness ensues, adorned with spicy hints and leading to a finish which brings some drought to further balance the initial sweetness; there is an earthy, lightly peppery hop bitterness doing its work, as well as a very light kind of lactic tartness, but too subtle to call it infected. Warming alcohol balances on the brink of astringency in the end and spicy phenols finish it off retronasally. A lush, elegant winter warmer, in which the ’overdose’ of sugar has fermented out very well, leading to a well-controlled sweetness with delicious liqueurish effects here and there, accentuating its English old ale affinities. Lovely example of the style!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
northropfrye (2905) - Steinbach, Manitoba, CANADA - APR 13, 2015
Dark plum coloured body. Malty aroma. A bit of a tart tang. Taste is sweet malty dried fruit. Almost belgiany. But also roast and cocoa. Quite nice.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
TimE (4340) - Tokyo, JAPAN - JAN 25, 2015
tons of caramel malty with raisins and cherries. Easy drinking. Lingering cherries and toffee finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
MunBro (886) - St. Albert, Alberta, CANADA - DEC 14, 2014
Spicy beer with a noticeable alcohol heat. Very sugary with lots of fruit flavours. Not bad, but as far as seasonal Christmas brews go I like mine a lot darker and less sweet.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
dresden (1235) - Saskatchewan, CANADA - DEC 10, 2014
Reddish brown. Aroma of dark fruits, some spice i cant identify. Rich caramel and fruity flavour, quite nice for a beer style i dont tend to enjoy much.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Ferris (8937) - Burnaby, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 4, 2014
Bottle - Tart. Plum, light raisin and soured malts. Deep clear Amber with a rich light brown head. Light soured malts, light perfume, plum and some raisin. Tart, medicinal and interesting.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 9/20
mcberko (10562) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - NOV 20, 2014
On tap at the Alibi Room, pours a dark mahogany with a small tan head. Aroma brings out licorice notes upfront, followed by coriander and a touch of toffee. Flavour is bizarre, bringing out a strange mix anise and coriander. This isn’t cohesive at all. Really messy and rather unpleasant. Not my thing.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
reebtogi (5069) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - JUL 27, 2014
650ml bottle pours a deep amber-brown color with a finger of light beige head that leaves some spotty lacing on the glass. Aroma is dark fruits with some caramel and floral notes. Taste is a dark fruity and caramel malty sweetness with a grassy and herbal hop bitterness. Medium bodied with good carbonation imparting a nice feel on the palate. A tasty and smooth drinking brew. Recommended.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Oakes (13903) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - APR 13, 2014
Mahogany-brown, thin head, slightly spicy, with brown sugar, a fairly estery note w light bubblegum phenols. Sweetish front, almost Belgian-level phenols resulting from the candi sugar, some nice raisiny, fruitcakey notes that are more in the Anglo-American tradition. Maybe a bit thin for something that should be a big-bodied beer. Better for the pub, but not hefty enough for the fireside.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
CapFlu (4910) - Victoria, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 24, 2013
Lasting frothy beige head atop a near opaque, black-red body. Roasted malt nose though only slight. Perhaps English Malt but there is some Candied Malt with Belgian yeast hiding in the background. This really isn’t an English Strong Ale is it? Seems more Dunkel or Dopplebock.

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