Hello all and welcome back to my continuing series on winter beer! In honor of this occasion, I made a trip to one of my favorite local liquor stores and procured a fitting array of interesting (and strong) examples of cold weather brewing. The first of these to be sampled was Odin’s limited release Belgian-style Dark Ale.
This brewery came to my attention some years back when my darling wife brought me back a sample by the name of Odin’s Gift Juniper Ale. Not long after, I found some of their regular lineup available locally and tried their Freya’s Gold. This limited release now makes the third of their wares that I’ve tried, and it has some pretty stiff competition.
Dark, heavy, and with a chewy mouth feel, the beer also incorporates a spicy and discernibly Belgian feel that put me in mind of Aventinus. In many ways, it also resembles a stout or porter due to its strong, molasses-y nature and notes of nuts and spices.
Appearance: Deep brown red, translucent and good foam retention
Nose: Yeasty, smooth and tawny, similar to a brown ale
Taste: Immediate burst of yeast and banana, giving way to sweet note of molasses
Aftertaste: Slight taste of spice and nuts, noticeably bitter, alcohol finish
Yes, this beer reminded me of some other top contenders, not the least of which was Aventinus (already mentioned) and Steamworks Espresso Stout. At once, this beer delivers a strong Belgian ale taste with the mouth feel of a hard-hitting stout, but it also leaves enough room for the subtler notes of a brown ale. Definitely a winter food companion, and a real warmer for those cold rainy days!