Howdy beer fans!
This getting dark at 5:30 stuff is for the birds. I detest it. Going to work in the dark, coming home in the dark – it stinks. Fall is in full swing and much like spring, neither stick around that long in East Tennessee. The saving grace of the time change is that the winter seasonal beers are making their debut. These may be my favorite seasonal beers – dark, malty, sweet – some big and boozy, some packed with flavor and easy to drink. Short days and cold nights, the winter seasonal beers just seem to fit with that.
On deck this evening is the Winter Tour Variety Pack from our friends at Starr Hill Brewery. 12 beers, 4 varieties. Right off the bat there are two beers in this pack that I am very familiar with – you know who you are Northern Lights and Little Red Roostarr.
Northern Lights IPA: We’ve shared before that Northern Lights was long a beacon of hope in what used to be a very bland Northern Virginia when I’d visit. While the beer in that part of the state has certainly changed, Northern Lights rebooted too – and it has certainly kept up with the times. It will continue to be a welcome site.
Little Red Roostarr Coffee Cream Stout: For a coffee cream stout, it doesn’t get much better. Before Starr Hill was in Tennessee, I’d bring as much of this beer back as I could find. The Mrs loves it and I do too. Even now when I see it on the shelves, I have to resist my “gathering” instincts.
Snow Blind Doppelbock: Man, I love this style and I’ve definitely enjoyed Snow Blind – check out my review here. Looking forward to getting into this one.
2 Tone Vanilla Porter: The newbie to the bunch – at least to me. Let’s get into this one. This beer pour dark – a dark brown to black. A slight ruby note on the edge. The head is tan and looks a bit creamy – it sticks around on the edges and is easy to agitate. A lot of roast on the nose, some coffee and just a slight sweetness. On the palate – a wonderful rich mixture of malty roast flavors mixed with subtle vanilla. As the beer warms up the vanilla becomes much more prevalent. It coats the mouth well and leaves a slight hop bitter note as it dries the palate – preparing it for the next sip. It is both warm, rich and inviting. Wow – I’m digging this and will have to drink up before the Mrs takes it from me.
Final Snobs: This is a fun variety pack. While the Little Red Roostar, Snow Blind and 2 Tone Vanilla Porter are just what the doctor ordered for these colder months, Northern Lights is a great way to break things up regardless of the season. Keep an eye out for this one friends.