Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Winter Ale (St Peter's)

St Peter's , the Bungay brewery, gets a second review this week with their beguiling Winter Ale - perfect for an evening by the stove when outside resembles Tromso in the depths of the Norwegian winter night.

St Peter's claim this is a ruby ale on the label, although up against the light only the faintest trace of a murderous red frames the solid darkness.

Really, it's a highly charged porter to my eye, as the label warns of a weighty 6.3%abv.

The head is lacy and fluffy, and the solidness of the pint makes it look like it weighs a ton. The nose is all chocolate, peatiness and malty molasses, only mulled wine could smell more wintry.

The first taste is delightfully munchy coffee/toffee/dark fruit with edges of caramel. I got a pinch of cinnamon at the back, possibly a fleeting winter mirage. The carbonisation is soft and perfectly pitched.

If I were to give any drawback, its that perhaps the texture is a little thin for a winter comforter, perhaps a creamier pint might have seemed slightly more apt. This just keep keeps it off the 9 spot for me, although as gripes go it's pretty tiny. What the texture does though, is make it remarkably quaffable for a 6%+ drink.

Finely bittered out at the death of the taste, just enough to tip the balance back from the heavy initial flavours, it's a gorgeous pint. I'm not sure who is doing the quality checks at St Peter's, but I hope those tastebuds are insured. Easy drinking strong seasonal beer.

8/10 - St Peter's strikes gold again. Insulating hearty ale.

- The Broadside

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