Apr 4, 2016

Stone Brewing Winter Harvest 2014

I’m not entirely sure how or why this bottle of Stone Brewing’s Winter Harvest just showed up on shelves this past January — over a year after its initial release — but there it was looking back at me amongst a few other brews. Thankfully, that extra year in the bottle hasn’t caused any issues with the drinking experience of this big Belgian strong golden style ale.

The beer was originally brewed on April 28, 2012 with singular goal of barrel experimentation. Winter Harvest (11.3% ABV, 36 IBU) sat in American and French oak Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay Barrels for 27 months before finally reaching the bottle. It’s also been aged with Stone Farms Merlot Grapes. That’s some serious dedication to a beer. That commitment and amount of time in the barrels are apparent with the first sip.

Winter Harvest is an excellent beer. While there are currently light signs of age within the copper depths, this beer still has plenty of room for even more time in the bottle — too bad I haven’t seen it since that day in January. There’s a complexity here that I would have loved to see develop after a couple more years..