Brewview#34: Winter Warmer by Flying Bison Brewing Company

Bringing it back to Buffalo, Brewview#34 is from Flying Bison Brewing Company with their winter seasonal, Winter Warmer. I love winter seasonal and Christmas beers because there is all sorts of avenues to take when deciding upon one. For some I have heard it said before that they consider winter to be porter and stout season. During the summer while taking my daughter for walks I would switch between a philosophy podcast and a beer podcast to pass the time. On the beer podcast the two speakers mentioned that they feel barely wines are best enjoyed during cold seasons. With that being said, I personally have not come to a decision upon what the best beer for winter is, all I know is the winter seasonal beers are out for a short time so I prefer to take advantage of them while I can.

Now I have had the Winter Warmer by Flying Bison before and there is a lot to it. If one takes the time  you can truly appreciate everything this beer has to offer. My goal by the end of this Brewview is to provide you with enough insight so that you may be able to enjoy the Winter Warmer to its full potential.

If one were to ask Flying Bison what they had to say about the Winter Warmer, I am sure it would go exactly like this:

‘Our Winter Warmer is brewed with a full bodied selection of malts from Biscuit to Chocolate that complement a medley of spices consisting of cinnamon, clove, and ginger. This cozy brew is the perfect way to wash down those cookies left by the fire place.’

 

The Beer: Winter Warmer by Flying Bison Brewing Company

ABV: 6.0 IBU: 30

Malts: Maris Otter

Vienna

Dark Crystal

Biscuit

Chocolate

Hops: East Kent Goldings

Fuggles

Other Fun Stuff: Cinnamon, Clove, and Ginger

Opening Thoughts

So as I said previously if one takes the time to let the Winter Warmer sink in you’d be able to appreciate all there is to offer. And that holds true right from the beginning with the aromas. At a quick glance or sniff (if you want to be accurate) one could easily say that the aromas of this beer aren’t very strong if even present. If you ask me that is ignorance speaking. After pouring Winter Warmer into my glass, I can honestly say I took a good couple minutes to wholeheartedly concentrate and digest every ounce of aroma there was. In the forefront I was able to pick up on the Fuggles and EKG hops, that is the woodsy and fruity aromas mainly. Though you really have to crank your nostrils to pick up on the fruity aromas. Sitting in the back ground is what I’m thinking is the Dark Crystal malts with slight toffee or sweet burnt sugar aroma. Amazing aromas.

The appearance of this beer is similar to the majority of the winter seasonal and Christmas beers I’ve had in the past. A dark, nearly opaque amber color with a small creamy head. Though the head was not terribly big, it has stuck around the entire time and I’m guessing it’ll remain on the side of the glass as I empty it.

Let’s Drink the Beer

Right before taking a sip it is always nice to get a final whiff of the aromas, which then can provide a delightful path to whatever flavors the beer has to offer. That goes double for Winter Warmer. In my opinion the complexity of the flavor is a bit more intense than it was for the aromas.  Ironically, similar to the aromas, the first stop on the flavor road map was the hops. I know I’ve mentioned this before in a previous Brewview, but a flavor characteristic for Fuggles and EKG hops is pipe tobacco and leather. As odd as that may sound it is exactly what I getting with every sip of Winter Warmer. I know it sounds absolutely crazy, but it is quite enjoyable. Another key point are the spices used. All three of them are noticeable in the beer, though at different times. At the beginning of the sip I am noticing more of the cinnamon and ginger coming together and in the back end of the sip the clove almost pops up out of nowhere. There are two main flavor contributions worth noting from the malts, specifically being the Maris Otter, Vienna, Dark Crystal and Biscuit. The more easily noticed malt flavors are the dry nutty and sweet toffee flavor. When looking at the malt profile two of them come to mind when picking up on the dry nutty aspect and they are Maris Otter and Biscuit. The delicious sweet toffee bump in the road is provided by the Dark Crystal Malt. The Vienna malt I feel is an excellent back bone providing a simple but essential malt flavor to bring everything full circle.

The back end of Winter Warmer is very interesting. It’s almost seems as if it’s going to have a dry finish but then leaves you with a full bodied mouthfeel. The Fuggles and EKG hops also provide a last punch with their pipe tobacco flavor. This beer is not meant to be very bitter with an IBU of 30, and it’s not but the overall flavor of the beer sticks around for a bit along with a creamy mouth residue.

Closing Thoughts

Hmm….What is the Winter Warmer? A very flavorful and complex beer that Flying Bison brewed in a perfect manner. If there was any good reason to hope for a longer winter, it would be so the availability of this beer would have a more widespread range of dates. If you are looking a for a more unique and  thought provoking beer Winter Warmer would be an excellent choice. Now at the same time, Winter Warmer is also a beer that can be enjoyed without a crazy philosophical approach. Either way I am sure you will not be disappointed. Oh yeah, and I am sure it also helps to drink Winter Warmer by a fireplace.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed what I had say. I know I enjoyed myself seeing that I am finishing up with a little bit of a buzz. HA!

Cheers to Flying Bison for always providing excellent beer!

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