It's #FloridaBeerFriday, where we take a look at a beer brewed in the Sunshine State, giving analysis to the burgeoning craft-beer movement of Florida.
The winter ale, or winter warmer, style of beer is one that is a personal favorite. Brews with big malt bodies for those warm Florida winters are odd, but it's a fact of life. It's the season for Sam Adam's Old Fezziwig and Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale.
It's also the time for even some Florida breweries to put out a winter ale or two.
Miami Brewing Company has done so this year with their Miami Winter Ale.
So what exactly makes it 'Miami'?
The bottle doesn't inform much about what to expect. It is simply a large format 22 ounce beer package from the Miami-Dade county brewery with a crown that looks hand capped from the impression on top: I've caused the same when crimping down hard to cap bottles of homebrew.
The beer pours a brown color that shimmers garnet in the light, with a big frothy head that lingers slightly. Aromas of prune, raisin, allspice and ginger come forth, bringing to mind memories of mincemeat pies and spiced cookies. There is an enjoyable sweetness to the scent.
As for the flavor, there is a huge amount of wintry spice flavoring that begins to overpower everything else, and leaves a lingering finish of spice (not hop) bitterness. At 6.3% abv the beer does not appear to have all the body needed to hold up to this level of treatment.
Overall, if you're looking for lots of holiday spice in a beer, Miami Winter Ale is a good bet, just don't drink it too cold or you'll lose a lot of the flavors that help to round it out.
You can find the bombers in your local South Florida beer stores, as a winter seasonal.
Follow #FloridaBeerFriday for more reviews of Sunshine State brews.
Get out there and #DrinkLocal.
Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers and has been a homebrewer since 2010. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow him @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Instagram.
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