Winter has but one month left – and even less time than that if you’re in the D.C. area. We’ve had a very mild winter, but even as the cherry blossoms prepare to bloom by St. Patrick’s Day, I still find myself craving a good winter beer. Fortunately, Starr Hill was kind enough to send two of them to myself and fellow blogger Chelsie. Read on to see what we thought of two of their latest offerings: Double Bass Chocolate Stout and Winter Warm-Up Winter Ale.
Double Bass Chocolate Stout
Chelsie: One of the better chocolate ales I’ve experienced. The aroma was made up of cocoa, coffee, singed wood and marshmallow. Flavors of cocoa nibs, molasses, vanilla and oak swirled around in my mouth. A very mild creaminess was present but not at all thick or chewy. A chocolate lover’s dream in a glass.
Sonora: The beer pours thick, and forms a beautiful tan head which dissipates quickly. Chocolate is the primary scent, and also the primary taste. It’s rich and chocolately without being too sweet, which is hard to accomplish in beer – usually you either have a dessert beer, or one that’s so bitter that the chocolate tastes more like coffee. You still get the roasty notes one looks for when drinking a good stout. It’s an easy sipper, not too thick on the tongue or the belly.
Winter Warm-Up Winter Ale
Chelsie: What a beautiful, rich red color when poured! It’s a brilliant ‘cherry kissed with cinnamon’ red. I knew right away that I wanted to experience the aroma before taking in one sip and I was glad I did. As expected, it was full of cinnamon, nutmeg, sweet cherry and a pinch of booziness. The flavor was also decadent and fully aligned with the aroma. Notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses, raison, black walnut and caramel. As the beer warmed, subtle vanilla bean flavors emerged. The mouthfeel was slick and glided right over the taste buds. Delicious.
Sonora: The beer pours a lovely mahogany, with a thin head that quickly dissipates. Spices hit the nose first, particularly cinnamon and ginger. The spice is strongest on the nose, with the taste surprisingly savory. It also tastes like spiced pumpernickle bread. It is easy to sip despite being a winter beer. It’s great for cold weather, but also good for the unreasonably warm weather we’ve been having in D.C. as of late.