It is hard to believe how much the car ride home from work can cheer me up as my mind wanders to the cool confines of my pint glass filled with an American craft beer. Who needs a cell phone to be miles away from the expressway, I surely don’t. The only hindrance to these wonderful thoughts is the fact that the beer fridge is running low on options and the wife has put a kibosh on beer money. But, while those thoughts last, I might easily be in the best place of the day. Last night those thoughts landed me on The Round Barn Brewery’s Amber Ale and Bell’s Christmas Ale.
I had the Amber Ale first thinking that it should be the lighter of the two choices. free run 3.0 v5 femmes This is my second offering from The Round Barn and I am quickly beginning to believe that their addition of beer to the winery is a good one. Pours with a nice foamy head that has nice retention and lacing. Yeast clumps seem to cloud up the pour. Lots of mid-ranged malts fill the nose and palate: sweet, caramel, and toffee with some bread malt in their for a nice break. A nice clean, grassy hop aroma that turns into a grass and spice hops in the finish in the mouth. A prickly carbonation that goes well with the medium body to make a nice quality amber ale. I just wish I had more than one so I could experience it again. 8/10
Christmas Ale was next up to the plate and I was a little nervous, expecting the possibility of some crazy spiced beer that would overwhelm. To my pleasant surprise, the beer is a malt man’s wet dream. Nice toffee, sweet, and toasty malt that coexist to form a sophisticated balance with none of the aromas or falvors from the malt smothering the others. This bottle is several months old so the hop profile wasn’t quite what I have heard about, yet, it was a faint presence in the finish that helped to balance further. A medium beer that just doesn’t have anything special to it but on the other side doesn’t have anything wrong. Easy drinking. 7/10
Having two beers in one evening that are as pleasing as Amber Ale and Christmas Ale makes all that hard thinking in the car well worth the effort. Enjoy!