Can you believe it? We’re barely done singing “Auld
Lang Syne”, and now 2007 is almost a quarter over with. And here I am still
trying to polish off my winter brews. Among them, I had stashed away a
bottle of Left Hand Brewing Snowbound Winter Ale, a beer that I had
never tried before.
I may be late, but that’s ok, because I’ve kept the bottle cold and dark
since I bought it in December. And if you like spiced ales, you’re sure to
enjoy this one. Because it’s simply packed with robust winter spices against
a rich malty background. Many people have a misconception that such beers
are no longer desirable after the New Year, but for my part, I enjoy them
right on through until spring, and have often been known to stash some away
for a Christmas in July celebration.
The disadvantages of my waiting so long, of course, are that since this is a
beer brewed once a year, there probably isn’t a whole lot more floating
around if I decide I like it. And yes, I do like it. Snowbound is a bit
pricey here in Georgia, costing about $6 for a 22 ounce bomber bottle. But
it’s well worth it for this delightful winter warmer.
Snowbound Winter Ale pours to a bright mahogany color with a thick
creamy head formation and a delightfully malty nose. A fine layer of
Brussels lace clings to the side of the glass as the liquid descends. The
palate is big and rich and full of slightly nutty, chocolaty dark malt
flavors (I suspected Munich malt, and it’s in here, along with crystal,
pale, and caramel). Just wonderful stuff.
Then the spices start to kick in. I got the ginger right away and a nice
dose of the cinnamon. A hint of citrus and clove come through, too, and
cardamom. Anisette is not mentioned, but I do get a licorice note here as
well, and a touch of honey sweetness. In the finish, there are some earthy,
herbal Saaz and Magnum hops that add a minty grassy aromatic finish.
Surprisingly, the beer is well balanced, and even a tad bitter. It’s warming
too at 7.6% alcohol by volume.
If you’re reading this in early 2007, don’t pass up a well cared for chilled
bottle of the stuff if you can find it. If it’s the winter season, be sure
to ask for a bottle or two wherever Left hand brews are sold. Because this
is one beer you won’t mind at all being snowbound with.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For
reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.