Anderson Valley’s “Winter Solstice”

     Here in the Northern Hemisphere it is getting cold, the days are shorter, and the nights are longer. In just a few days, the Winter Solstice will be upon us and we start the long journey back to longer days and warmer temperatures. It is right around this time we will start seeing all the craft beer winter seasonal offerings. These beers are usually darker in color, spicier in flavor, and are a bit heavier over all. These beers help all of us that are out in the bitter cold working, commuting, shoveling snow, or just plain don’t like winter, to deal with it. Nothing is better than coming in from the harsh, freezing elements to a warm atmosphere and a tasty, comforting winter brew.
      Anderson Valley’s “Winter Solstice” is one of my new favorite winter seasonal beers. This brew made it’s way to me via beer trade with Bianca at “” (@AGirlandHerBeer on twitter). It poured a deep golden amber with beautiful clarity. On top sat a big, foamy, three finger thick tan head with excellent retention. Aromas of malt, hops, and spice filled the room even before I had a chance to pour it. The taste was layered starting out with floral hops, and then changed over to sweet vanilla and caramel flavors. The mouthfeel is incredibly smooth and creamy. There was some warmth from the 6.9% ABV in the slightly peppery finish. I think this beer is a great example of a Winter Seasonal Ale. It is spicy, it is sweet and has a satisfying mouthfeel. Not to mention your bones will most certainly warm up  if you reach for a second pint! Here’s to Good Beers!
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