In a blind tasting by BJCP trained experts, this beer rated


Anderson Valley Brewing Winter Solstice

Aroma: “Initially oral, earthy hops come through, but then a pleasant chocolate aroma. It is almost like fresh baked chocolate cake with a little vanilla and even sweet biscuit notes. Faint hints of spice. A very faint whiff of alcohol.”

Flavor: “First impression is of plums and cinnamon, followed by nutmeg and medium toffee. Pumpkin-pie spice and vanilla. Understated hops bitterness delivers without overpowering. Similar to the aroma, but much more intense. A slight warmth from the alcohol, but does well to help cut the sweetness.”

Overall: “An enjoyable wintertime ale. Sipping this beer over a period of time reveals complex malt and spice notes. There’s just enough bitterness to make it not cloying. The vanilla and caramel notes go together nicely. A pleasantly surprising beer with some very interest- ing avors that work well with the style.”