Two local brewers recently released their limited run winter ales: BarrelHouse Brewing Company with their latest iteration of their seasonal Belgian-Style Winter Ale, and Christian Moerlein with their brand new Christkindl Winter Warmer Ale.
Loyal readers might recall that last year’s version of the BarrelHouse Winter Ale showed very well in our round up of winter beers. At the time, I wrote that the “Cincinnati-made ‘Belgian-Style’ Winter Ale from BarrelHouse Brewery rounded out my personal top three (and also finished near the top for most other tasters). The nose was frankly sweet but very complex, reminding me of corn nuts(!), raisins, bananas and cloves. On the palate, it was full-bodied and smooth, showing lots of fruit and a slightly sweet but pleasant maltiness.”
BarrelHouse Brewing Company (544 West Liberty St.; 513-421-2337) is open from 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday and by special appointment. They encourage costumers to stop by for tours, to talk beer with their brewers, to fill growlers of brewery fresh beer and to purchase kegs of “The Best Damn Beer In Town.”
The Moerlein Christkindl Winter Warmer Ale, on the other hand, is brand new to the market, and I just picked up a six-pack at the local Kroger for $8. Beautifully packaged with a label illustration by local artist Jim Effler of a gorgeous winter beer angel, it pours a dark reddish-brown that’s not opaque with a light head that dissipates quickly. The nose is dark and rich but shows a healthy dollop of hop spice to balance that malty fruitiness. Smooth and bittersweet like good chocolate on the palate, the family resemblance to their OTR Ale is unmistakable. This will make a great holiday quaff from Thanksgiving straight through to New Years and beyond.
— Michael Schiaparelli