Archive for the ‘English Strong Ale’ Category


Day #307 – Full Sail Wassail

November 4, 2011

Full Sail Wassail


This is an English Strong Ale from Full Sail out of Hood River, Oregon. It is a 7% beer and is their holiday seasonal.

This beer pours a clear orange color that appears very vibrant. Foamy white head.

The aroma is fairly spicy, with some nice hops and bitter malt flavors. Winter spice and roots for sure.

The flavor is spicy and almost resiny. Some dry syrup and caramel malts. Finishes syrupy.




Day #304 – Saint Arnold Christmas Ale

November 1, 2011

Christmas comes early this year with this brew from Saint Arnold.

Saint Arnold Christmas Ale


This is an English Strong Ale from Saint Arnold Brewing Company out of Houston, TX! They say this beer is brewed without any actual holiday spices added. 7%.

This beer pours a clear orange color that seems to sparkle in the light. Bubbly carbonation.

Aroma is lightly spiced, malty and light hops. Bitter flavor as well.

Flavor is dry and grainy. There’s a bit of spice to this, but not overbearing. Light hoppy flavor. Alcohol can’t be felt or tasted.




Day #301 – Avery Old Jubilation Ale

October 29, 2011

Avery Old Jubilation Ale


This is an English Strong Ale from Avery Brewing Company. ABV 8.3%.

This beer pours a clear dark ruby color with orange highlights. Foamy beige colored head.

The aroma is very spicy and nutty, with heavy sweet malts coming through. Certainly sweet and spicy.

The flavor is a mix of winter spice, caramel malts, bitter leaves and a touch of alcohol tingle. Very nice.




Day #300 – Rahr & Sons Winter Warmer

October 28, 2011

Day #300!!! Holy crap I never thought I would make it this far but I’m glad I did. It’s been difficult and becoming more and more so as I near the end. Only 65 more days to go…I can do this!

Rahr & Sons Winter Warmer


This is absolutely one of my favorite beers from Rahr. It was one I had early on and loved it from the moment I had it. It is an English Strong Ale at 8%. Look for a very nice review in December when I get my hands on the barrel aged version of this guy!

This beer pours a dark brown color that reveals reddish highlights when held to the light. The head is colored an off-white hue to stand out next to the brown.

The aroma is fantastic! It’s a lovely mix of dark malts, roasted notes, chocolate, coffee, winter spices such as ginger and cinnamon with a light touch of alcohol. Such a lovely smell, almost a bit of nuts in this as well.

The flavor relays several of these scents as well. Dark malts and spice are the main flavors, with caramel notes as well as a slight roast. Some chocolate near the finish. This is definitely one of my favs from Rahr.


Here’s to the last remaining 65 days left of this project!


Day #96 – Real Ale Phoenixx Double ESB

April 7, 2011

Today was a great day for me. As you may or may not be aware, I am a musician as well as a music teacher. While I was an instrumentalist through most of my musical career, I have always enjoyed singing and listening to choral music. One of my all time favorite composers is Eric Whitacre. I find his music to be lush, rich in texture and deeply moving. I had the great fortune of meeting Eric a few years ago at a convention for music educators.

Long story short, he started a project last year in which he invited individuals to record video of themselves singing a particular song and then upload it to youtube. He then took all these videos and spliced them together, effectively creating a mass virtual choir. Well I decided I wanted to be a part of this group and uploaded a video of myself singing. (yes it’s still on youtube). My video was accepted and included in the project. The complete video was released today and it was astounding! Over 2,000 entries were included in this project and it sounds magnificent. Here’s the link for those who are interested in such things. 🙂

Now most of you might just be here for beer, and that’s perfectly OK! I just had to let the music side of me shine through for a bit. I’ve received lots of compliments from people regarding this blog, as well as people who have tried a beer that normally wouldn’t have that I reviewed. Thanks guys! Thanks for making this worthwhile.

Real Ale Phoenixx Double ESB


Another Texas beer today, this time from Real Ale out of Blanco, TX. I’ve only reviewed one beer from them previously, but they have a lot more to offer. Today I have their seasonal release, Phoenixx Double ESB. Now ESB stands for “Extra Special Bitter” which is a style all it’s own, but you mustn’t forget the “Double” part of the name. Almost always when a beer is doubled it becomes a different style from the original. IPA becomes a IIPA, Stout to an Imperial Stout, you get the picture. Well if you double an ESB it becomes an English Strong Ale. The ABV is only 6.6% which is a bit low for a Strong Ale but still within the accepted range. Here we go.

This beer pours a dark reddish orange color with a decent sized foamy off-white head. It actually started to foam up the moment I cracked the cap.

The aroma is lots of hops with earthy/leafy notes. There is also a strong malt backbone to this that does not let the hops overpower. After a few sniffs I can detect some sweet powered sugary elements. Nice aroma.


Flavor is strong hops upfront. Spicy/earthy hops that last for awhile. The finish is VERY different from the upfront flavor. It actually has kind of a roasted/toasted flavor which I was not expecting. Toasted malts linger though the finish and hold out in the aftertaste. Tingles over the palate. Hmm, interesting for 1 drink. Probably wouldn’t enjoy several in a row though.



Day #7 – Deschutes Jubelale

January 8, 2011

Deschutes Jubelale

The Deschutes Brewery was founded in 1988 in Bend, Oregon.  While this was not too long ago, it does make it one of the older craft breweries still in existence.  They have several beers that are distributed to the DFW area including Mirror Pond Pale and Black Butte Porter.

The Jubelale is considered a English Strong Ale.  Around the Christmas holiday there is often a surge of beers that fit into this style.  That is why this style is usually referred to as Christmas Ales.  These beers are often heavily spiced with cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg which plays a major role in the aroma and flavor.  They should be served in either an English Pint Glass or a Trappist Glass.  I have chosen an English Pint from North Coast.

This beer pours a very attractive ruby color with a decently sized cream head.  As it’s held to the light, it shows it’s attractive highlights and proves to be one of the prettiest beers I have reviewed thus far.  I could not find a picture angle that would do justice to the beauty of the appearance, but you can trust me that it is something to behold.

The aroma holds lots of caramel notes and malts.  It is lightly spiced compared to some other beers of the same style, with scents of wooded caramel and perhaps an earthy ginger.  As it warms the hops come out on the nose in a big way. Again and I can’t stress enough, caramel is VERY present in this beer.

The flavor is upfront bitter hops and roasted caramel.  The roastedness comes through a lot in the finish as well.  Some woody grain flavors as well that provide to the astringency.  Light spice is tasted in this but not enough to provide a major impact.

ABV on this is 6.7% which gives a nice warming feeling on this chilly Fort Worth night.