Spiced Ale brewed with cinnamon and nutmeg, 5.9% ABV
Harpoon Brewery, Boston, MA & Windsor, VT
My exploration of winter seasonal beers continues. This entry brings another spiced ale, this time from Harpoon. Goodness knows, I’ve certainly enjoyed their IPA and Leviathan double IPA on more than one occasion in the past! This brew takes us in another direction altogether, however. Instead of the wonderfully citrusy American hops found in those beers, we get some spices typical of holiday baking. And unlike many of the strong seasonal brews out there, this offering comes in at a fairly modest 5.9% ABV, making it very drinkable. So read on for the gory details!
Pours out a bright, light amber hue, clear, with a pale beige head that doesn’t last very long.
Aromas of caramel malts and cinnamon with a hint of nutmeg. Pleasant and appetizing; not too heavy on the spices. Reminiscent of spice cake and holiday baking.
On the palate, I get low carbonation, almost flat, with a medium body. A little bit oily textured and smooth. Not too heavy. Could definitely see drinking more than one based on the mouthfeel.
As to the flavor profile, I get spices up front, notably cinnamon with some nutmeg, but nowhere near overbearing. Then I note some toasty malt and a sort of baked sweets character with fairly low bitterness. A little tang accents the finish – light fruitiness with a mildly tart edge. Fresh tart plums come to mind. Nicely restrained spicing, with some drying nutmeg late in the finish. This would definitely make for a good seasonal session ale; not going to blow you away by any means either flavor-wise or in strength, but enjoyable and drinkable.
Rating Appearance: 4 /5 Aroma: 7/10 Palate: 3.5/5 Flavor: 7/10 Overall: 14/20