Friday, January 06, 2012

Beer of the Week (Vol. CXXIX)

Another special holiday edition of Beer of the Week sponsored as always by the mild-mannered folks at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who have the even temperament to help you find the wine, whiskey, and beer you need for any season.

The high temperature in the Twin Cities today is forecast to be forty-three degrees. Saturday and Sunday will see highs of thirty-four degrees and on Monday and Tuesday the mercury will climb to forty-two and forty-three respectively. In January. In Minnesota. Disgusting.

This is not winter. At least not what I have in mind for winter. There’s barely enough snow to cover the ground and for the most part the outdoor ice has been unskateable (So what you’re saying is that 90 to 95 percent of the time it’s been unskateable? Unskateable!) . While many rejoice in the face of such unseasonable warm weather, I despair. If this is what I wanted for winter, I’d live in Missouri not Minnesota.

One source of solace is that although the weather hasn’t been very winter-like of late, a wide variety of the beers of winter continue to be available for quaffing. And our Beer of the Week is one of them. From Chicago, we have the sadly appropriately named Goose Island Mild Winter:

Toffee brown, medium-bodied, with a creamy head and an aroma of raisins and freshly baked dark bread. Mild Winter’s rich caramel malt and spicy rye flavors are sure to take the bite out of whatever Old Man Winter brews up for you this year.

The “mild” in the name does not actually refer to the sort of wussy winter we’re currently experiencing, but rather the style of beer:

Mild ale is a low-gravity beer, or beer with a predominantly malty palate, that originated in Britain in the 17th century or earlier. Modern mild ales are mainly dark coloured with an abv of 3% to 3.6%, though there are lighter hued examples, as well as stronger examples reaching 6% abv and higher.

12oz brown bottle. Standard Goose Island label design featuring the namesake honker with a blue and white color scheme and a wintery scene with skates, sleds, and the city skyline in the background.

STYLE: Mild Ale


COLOR (0-2): Light brown, mostly clear. 2

AROMA (0-2): Off-white color, good volume that settles quickly, but never fades. 2

HEAD (0-2): Pleasantly malty with a whiff of cocoa. 2

TASTE (0-5): Sweet toasted caramel malts, rye, and subtle hops blend together nicely with nutty and spicy edges. Light-to-medium-bodied and smooth with a thinner mouthfeel. Definitely drinkable and not too heavy. 4

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Dry finish with light lingering bitterness. 2

OVERALL (0-6): Mild Winter is a departure from many winter beers in that it is a bit lighter and more drinkable. Yet it still has a unique and enjoyable combination of flavors that are pleasing to the palate. Even those who don’t usually enjoy the winter seasonal offerings should give this beer a shot as they’ll likely enjoy it’s more moderate punch. We may not be able to skate or sled like we’d like to at the moment, but at least we dream of real winter while enjoying a Goose Island Mild Winter by the fire. 4

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 16