“We brew Big Winter once a year to celebrate frosts, snow flurries and the smell of wood fires – a New England Winter! A strong Belgian Dark Ale, Big Winter has an aroma of dark fruit, burnt sugar and toffee, before taking you to a body of rich malts, chocolate and lingering candy sweetness. Wait for a cold evening and wear a beanie.”
Glassware: Trappist Chalice.
Appearance: Black with a sturdy two finger crown resting atop. Good retention and wavy lace work clinging to the glass on its way down.
Aroma: Lots of heady dark fruits like raisin, dates, fig and blackberry hitting the olfactory’s initially. Well supported by rich and earthy spices i.e clove, nutmeg and licorice then nicely filled out with a heavy sweet malt structure. Getting more yeast-driven esters as it warms…revealing shades of chocolate-coated banana, toffee apple and honeycomb. Superb aroma.
Flavour: There’s a big impression of rich sweet malts underlining the dark fruits and mild warming booze on entry. Lots of spice and yeast esters leading in to the chocolate-driven mid palate. Slight roasty note developing late…providing a good balance to the Belgian Candi sugars, toffee and spicy phenols in the long finish.
Mouthfeel: Slick but chewy with a really good viscosity. Held up by a lively co2 though. Medium-full body…not too muscly which is good.
Overall: One of the best ways to beat those winter blues is with a big dark beer like this. If you’re longing for a roaring wood fire like me then don’t fret…the beer jacket this bad boy provides will keep you nice and toasty. And at 8.6% AbV it’s no wonder why!