A previous champion cask beer and Gold Medal Winner at the Brewing Industry International Awards Young’s Winter Warmer is a classic Winter Ale. Rich and spicy in flavour, deep in colour and festive in scent and charm if you’re after a little mouthful of Christmas this beer will not disappoint.
A little disclaimer
This was the first beer I lovingly consumed on the evening of Simon’s birthday. Therefore, subsequent information and opinion may have been skewed by the very goggles these beers placed over my drunken eyes. I will be as true to memory as possible.
T’was a month before Christmas
T’was the evening of the 23rd, at the end of chilly November day. Victoria Station was packed with commuters, scurrying and dodging like elves, fighting their way through the biting temperatures to catch their buses and their trains or they idled to the pub, carefree though shivering. As I perched atop the Station’s Whetherspoon’s a draught rattled my knees and prickled my hair ends – but I had not noticed, the brisk wind whipping at my coat-tails was held at bay.
For in my mouth was swilling a fine pint: Young’s Winter Warmer. By name and by nature – a comforting heat radiated from my spoilt belly. It’s a thick, reddish beer with flavours as deep as the arctic ocean. Hoppiness and maltiness crash down on your tastebuds like an avalanche, followed by drifts and droves of dried fruit and spicy caramel tones.
It’s like mince pies and port all liquidised and made nice (does anyone actually enjoy mince pies?) it reminded me of roaring fires and fallen pine needles. It was also the first Festive Ale of this yuletide that I had indulged in. I was transported, by sleigh no less, to the depths of the North Pole. I found myself mentally traversing the balconies of Santa’s workshop. In search of the big man himself. And there, upon my fourth mouthful, he stood in all his glory.
Velvety and red, suited and booted and swigging from a pint glass much like my own. As my little fantasy dissipated and I awoke once again in Victoria I couldn’t help but notice his distilling pipes were running from the stable. I paused, then shrugged.
If Rudolf’s piss were to taste like anything, I’d bet a good few quid it tastes like this.