It’s the kind of beer that would melt even the Grinch’s heart.
Sound to Summit recently released its annual winter warmer, Mount Crumpit. Made with a variety of malts, Mount Crumpit has a balance of light sweetness and nuttiness, with hints of dark fruit and roasted caramel. When Sound to Summit head brewer Adam Frantz was asked to pair it with a dessert for a recent pairing meal, he chose creme brulee.
Winter warmer is a wide category, but the usual guidelines are high alcohol content, malt-forward base and sometimes a spiced component. Frantz eschewed any spice, instead preferring to let the Columbus hops mix with the malts to create a well-balanced strong ale.
To promote the beer, Frantz did his best Seussical impression and jotted down a poem:
There was such a beer,
in Whoville they say,
that brought many people great cheer
leading up to Christmas Day.
It had a deep cherrywood hue
and aromas of caramel, nuts and figs.
They say, if you had only two
that the warming sensation was quite big.
It boasted flavors of scotch whiskey
and caramelized sugar, but not sweet,
followed up by notes of dark fruit
and a soft, lingering heat.
But quaff slowly, and please make sure you do
for this beer has the alcohol strength of 10 beers, plus two!
Also on tap at Sound to Summit is both versions of the brewery’s barrel-aged imperial stout, Out of the Depths. The two versions are the brewery’s Into the Deep imperial stout aged 13 months in Woodinville Whiskey bourbon barrels and rye whiskey barrels.
Included in your cold weather six pack:
In Ruins, Skookum Brewery: Barren Wood, Skookum’s usual English-style barleywine, is still resting in barrels, so head brewer Hollis Wood recently released this gem of an English barleywine. Made with all English malts and hops and aged 14 months in bourbon barrels, In Ruins has notes of bourbon, vanilla and oak. Grab a gray wax-dipped 12-ounce bottle or a two.
Truman Export Stout, Foggy Noggin: Based on an 1840 recipe from Truman Brewery, a vast London brewery that ruled the 19th century beer world. Made with large amounts of brown malt and heavily hopped, this big, bold beer has notes of raisin, cocoa, toasted bread crusts and black coffee. Grab a growler fill at Foggy Noggin this Saturday.
Ho! Ho!, Diamond Knot Brewing: Like Mount Crumpit, this annual holiday release from Diamond Knot falls into the winter warmer category. Malty with just the right amount of hop character, Ho! Ho! is the perfect gift from Santa this time of year. For a limited time, check out a selection of Ho! Ho! variants at the alehouse, including a salted caramel and nitro Ho! Ho!
Retread Red IPA, Whitewall Brewing: Any good six pack has to have an IPA, and this cold-weather IPA is piney and bitter. Hopped with Ahtanum, Chinook, Centennial and Amarillo, this IPA will warm you up with 86 IBUs. Find it on tap at Whitewall.
Cranberry Sauce Cider, Soundbite Cider: Part of Soundbite’s three course Turkey Dinner flight, this cranberry cider is the appetizer before the turkey/stuffing cider and dessert pumpkin pie cider. Too adventurous for you? Stick to the recently re-released by popular demand Sock Hop Hazy Pineapple Cider, an unfiltered dry cider hopped with pineapple.