Saturday, November 13, 2010
Day 317 Drink: Alaskan Winter
Alaskan Brewing traces its roots back to the early days of the U.S. craft brewing movement. The brewery was founded in 1986, when most American beer drinkers did not have easy access to fresh locally brewed beer. The brewery quickly established a reputation for brewing flavorful beers. Its flagship brew, Alaskan Smoked Porter has won more medals at the Great American Beer Festival than any other beer.
Alaskan Winter Ale is an English olde ale that pours the color of a new penny with a wispy white head. The beer is 6.4 percent alcohol by volume and has a hoppy aroma with a twist, more than a ton of Sitka spruce tips from Gustavus, Alaska, are added to the brew. If you have been exposed to some other Alaskan brews you might expect their winter seasonal to be thick and dark. This beer does the job more with finesse than brawn. A good sweet malt base is clearly the backbone of this ale, with the hops showing in mid-drink. The spruce tips arrive on your tongue at the end of the flavor profile and linger.