Friday, December 11, 2009

Beer of the Week (Vol. XXXIII)

Fraters Libertas Beer of the Week is brought to you as always by the warm-hearted folks at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits. They have everything you need to conspire as you drink by the fire and face unafraid the plans that you've made living in this winter wonderland.

If you were forced to spend the rest of your life trapped on a desert island and could only drink one beer, which one would you choose? I would answer the question with a question and inquire about the location of said atoll. If it was in a tropical clime, I'd want to go with a refreshing yet tasty summer beer like Paulaner Hefeweizen. But if it was in a locale that was more prone to colder temperatures, I'd want a more hearty winter offering to see me through the chilly days and nights. And based on the winter beers that I've tried up to this point, were I to have to limit myself to one beer, my choice would have to be Sierra Nevada Brewing's Celebration Ale.

Short brown bottle. Festive label is bordered in holiday red and features a cabin in the mountains surrounded by snow-covered pines. There's a wreath on the door and a fire in the hearth. Sierra Nevada logo set in poinsettias frame the beautiful winter scene.

Beer Style: IPA

Alcohol by Volume: 6.8%

COLOR (0-2): Rich brownish-orange and slightly cloudy. 2

AROMA (0-2): Strong hops with citrus and pine scents. 2

HEAD (0-2): Off-white and thick. Good lacing. 2

TASTE (0-5): Powerful hop flavor with nice bite to it. Full-bodied and rich. Great taste without being overpowering. 4

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Lingering bitterness that finishes smooth. 2

OVERALL (0-6): 2009 is another excellent edition of Celebration Ale. Sierra Nevada's offering continues to be the gold standard when it comes to winter beers. I can't imagine a better way to a spend a cold winter's night than curled up in front of a roaring fire with a six-pack of Celebration Ale. 6

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 18

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