Jan 13, 2017

Starr Hill Warm Up Winter Ale

I’ve run across many winter warmers/ales through the years that have been brewed with spices — a good number of them come across like potpourri bombes. Thankfully, Starr Hill’s Warm Up Winter Ale doesn’t fall into that category. The brewery’s use of cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa and vanilla within this 6.1% ABV beer are spot on, providing seasonally appropriate flavors without overwhelming the palate.

Warm Up has a wonderful blend of ingredients presented at just the right levels. The cinnamon and cocoa are balanced by a soft roastiness, bready malt and light sweetness while the nutmeg and vanilla linger gently late in the swallow. The medium bodied beer has a soft mouthfeel and a bit of that tongue-numbing trait found in many spiced beers — both work in its favor.

I liked this beer. It hit all the right notes for a beer meant to be enjoyed on a 30° day. It wasn’t quite that cold when I cracked open the bottle, but it still worked wonderfully. I am personally not a fan of shoving a mouthful of potpourri into my face — that’s the last thing I want from a Winter brew. Starr Hill has crafted a beer that uses spices in a way that is measured and balanced, combining them to create a unified flavor profile.

This is a review of a promotional sample.