Fall has indeed returned to the Northwest and yes, Winter is on the way. One reason I don’t really mind the return of the cold, wet weather too much is that, along with it, return some of my favorite styles: Winter Seasonals, Imperial Stouts and Holiday Ales. While I may be a hophead at heart, my palate gets a decidedly seasonal craving for stronger, darker, maltier, wood-aged and even spicier beers around this time of year.
There’s plenty out there to choose from as well, with the likes of: Jubelale (Deschutes Brewing Company), Jolly Roger Christmas Ale (Maritime Pacific Brewing Company), Bifröst (Elysian Brewing Company), Fall Line Russian Imperial Stout (Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor)), Bourbon Abominable (Aka: “B-Bomb” – Fremont Brewing Company), Entendez Nöel (Sound Brewing Company), Hoppy The Woodsman (Schooner Exact Brewing), Parabola Imperial Stout (Firestone Walker Brewing Company) and a whole host of others too numerous to list here, from all across the Northwest and the nation.
Another of my favorite Winter Seasonals making its return starting this month is Sleigh’r Dark Doüble Alt Ale from Ninkasi Brewing Company. It comes across as chocolaty and hoppy with a clean finish from fermentation at Lager temperatures, and at just 5.5% ABV, you can enjoy more than just one.
Also making its return this month from Ninkasi is Imperiale Imperial Stout. Clocking in at 9.1% ABV, Impierale has a bit more punch than Sleigh’r, with notes of roasted coffee, subtle chocolate and a slightly bitter finish. A solid Imperial Stout.
Here is the full press release from Ninkasi Brewing:
EUGENE, Ore.—Oct. 15 2014—Returning to Ninkasi Brewing Company’s winter line-up Sleigh’r, Dark Doüble Alt Ale, and Imperiale, Imperial Stout, will be available this month throughout Ninkasi’s distribution footprint through December.
Hailing from traditional beer styles, these beers were brewed with winter in mind – dark and smooth.
Brewed in the traditional German Alt way, Sleigh’r is darker than its traditional heritage, profiling a malt-forward, dry and toasty beer from Ninkasi’s Seasonal Release Series. “Sleigh’r is a true tribute to the spirited nature of the season,” says Ninkasi founding brewer and co-owner, Jamie Floyd. “A dark, rich toasted-malt flavor is balanced by just enough hop bitterness to make this winter offering deceptively easy to drink.”
Making its way back to Ninkasi’s Special Release Series is Imperiale. This Imperial Stout offers lots of roasted malt flavor, along with a rich, smooth and warming body. “Impeirale is the perfect beer to accompany any winter gathering, pairing well with hearty foods of the season,” says Floyd.
Both beers are available through December across Ninkasi’s distribution footprint: Oregon; Alaska; Arizona; California; Idaho; Montana; Nevada; Washington; and Vancouver, British Columbia.
Style: Dark Doüble Alt Ale
Series: Seasonal Release Series
Starting Gravity: 1068
Malt: 2-Row Pale, Crystal, Munich, Carahell, Roasted Barley, Chocolate
Available: On draft, 12 and 22-ounce bottles
Description: A delicious Northwest seasonal brewed with winter in mind. A dark doüble alt ale, malty and delicious, it’s sure to keep the winter at bay. And yes, Sleigh’r does rock!
Tasting Notes: An alt ferments with ale yeast at colder lagering temperatures. This effect gives alts a more refined and crisp lager-like flavor than traditional ales. The doüble alt means that it has been “Ninkasified.” Regular alts are 5 to 5.5 percent ABV and 40 IBUs. Sleigh’r has a deep, toasted malt flavor that finishes dry and has 7.2 percent ABV and 50 IBUs keeping it in a perfect alt balance!
Style: Imperial Stout
Series: Special Release Series
Starting Gravity: 1090
Malt: 2-Row Pale, Munich, Crystal, Flaked Barley, Roasted Barley, Black Malt, Carafa
Available: On draft, 22-ounce bottles
Description: Rich, full bodied and surprisingly smooth, Imperiale Stout has a big roast hit up front. Dark malt flavors are balanced with an ample hop bitterness to finish.
Tasting Notes: Roasted malt up front, with a smooth and creamy body warming the mouth. Caramel, toffee, molasses and a touch of coffee notes are present but unified in one amazingly drinkable beer. Let us bundle you up!
About Ninkasi Brewing Company
Founded in 2006 by Jamie Floyd and Nikos Ridge, Ninkasi Brewing Company continues to grow from its first batch of Total Domination IPA, to two brewhouses, a 55-barrel and a 90-barrel brewhouse, located in Eugene, Ore. Ninkasi’s Flagship beers—Total Domination IPA, Tricerahops Double IPA, Believer Double Red, Oatis Oatmeal Stout, and Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout—are sold throughout Oregon; Alaska; Arizona; California; Idaho; Montana; Washington; Nevada; and Vancouver, British Columbia. The brewery remains privately-owned and is committed to community support and giving. Ninkasi’s Beer Is Love program offers in-kind donations and support for organizations throughout its footprint.
Look for both Sleigh’r and Imperiale beginning this month at your local bottle shop or discerning grocery store, and welcome Fall back with open arms.
Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.