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Wednesday, December 8,2010

Sip on some seasonal brews

By David Accomazzo

Colorado has been called the Napa Valley of beer, and with good reason: Beers from our fair state frequently top the podium at national and international competitions, and a new brewery or pub seems to open with each passing month. The holidays offer breweries a chance to make a beer specialized for drinking during the colder months; here is a sample of some of the seasonal brews offered by area breweries.


Name: Old Jubilation Ale

Style: English Strong Ale

Flavor: Made with bullion hops and a variety of malts. A hint of hazelnuts and a finish reminiscent of mocha and toffee. Cellarable for two years.

Alcohol: 8 percent

Availability: Seasonal, September through December.; six-packs, cases, kegs

Name: The Czar Imperial Stout

Style: Imperial Stout

Flavor: Made with many malts, including tworow barley, black, chocolate and honey malt. Flavors of English toffee, rich mocha, sweet molasses, candied currants and a hint of anise. Cellar additional bottles, as the Czar continues to mature with age.

Alcohol: 11.03 percent

Availability: Seasonal, November through February; 22-ounce bombers or kegs

Name: Northstar Imperial Porter

Style: Imperial Porter

Flavor: A deep, robust ale that has a full-bodied chocolate malty flavor with steady sweetness and a slight warming sensation. It pours black with a creamy brown head. Cellarable for five-plus years.

Alcohol: 10.5 percent

Availability: kegs, bombers

Note: Won silver at World Beer Cup ’06, bronze at Colorado State Fair ‘08, gold at Colorado State Fair 2010.


Name: Neversummer Ale

Style: Ale

Flavor: An aggressive winter warmer, it is a deep ruby-red color and is brewed with dark caramel malts. It is assertively hot.

Alcohol: 6 percent

Availability: Six-pack

Note: Debuted in 2004. Won two World Beer Cup medals, gold and silver, as best strong ale in the world.

Name: Obovoid Oak-Aged Oatmeal Stout

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Flavor: Less hoppy, more traditional stout, creamy off-white color head. Aged on oak chips, has just a hint of vanilla flavor to it.

Alcohol: 6.8 percent

Availability: 22-ounce bottle

Name: Killer Penguin

Style: Barleywine style ale

Flavor: Very malty, subtle hops characteristics

Alcohol: More than 10 percent

Availability: Only at select liquor stores and at the brewery. In 22-ounce bottles as well. Each bottle hand-dipped in wax.


Name: Mountain Rescue Ale

Style: Belgian Style Double

Flavor: Fruity and dry. A little spicy, with hints of raisin.

Alcohol: 6.5 percent

Availability: On tap at Walnut Brewery

Note: Sales raise money for the Mountain Rescue Group. On sale for at least another few weeks.

Name: Old Thumper Barleywine

Flavor: Malty, sweet. Real fruity, ages for a year. Not as hoppy as American barley wines. It’s warm, sweet malts and a lot of alcohol.

Alcohol: 10.1 percent

Availability: On tap at Walnut Brewery

Note: Might not be available after New Year’s Eve.

NEW BELGIUM Name: Frambozen

Style: Raspberry Brown Ale

Flavor: Delicate notes of cranberry not overpowered by the taste of the ale.

Alcohol: 6.7 percent

Availability: Six-packs

Name: 2 Below

Style: Winter Ale

Flavor: Rosy, floral nose with a hint of pepper spice and subtle, ester-y overtones.

Alcohol: 6.6 percent

Availability: Six-packs


Name: Isolation Ale

Style: Ale

Flavor: Brewed with premium English malts, this toasty brew boasts a slightly sweet spiciness balanced by a clean, crisp hop presence. The rich amber color is enhanced by a frothy snow-capped head and delivers a warm and smooth finish.

Alcohol: 6 percent

Availability: Six-packs

Name: Avant Peche

Style: Imperial porter

Flavor: A classic Imperial Porter aged in oak barrels with Colorado peaches and wild yeasts. The blend marries bold, roasted chocolate malt flavor with a subtle peach essence.

Alcohol: 9.5 percent

Availability: 750-milliliter bottles


Name: Mephistopheles’ Stout

Style: Stout

Flavor: Mephistopheles is a crafty shape shifter. Amazingly complex, velvety and liqueurish, this demon has a bouquet of vine-ripened grapes, anise and chocolate-covered cherries, with flavors of rum-soaked, caramelized dark fruits and a double-espresso finish.

Alcohol: 15.1 percent

Availability: One vintage brewed and bottled Dec. 1 of each year; 12-ounce single bottles.

Note: Mephistopheles is the final installment of “The Demons of Ale” series.

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