Monday, November 28, 2011

2011 Winter Beers — Cascade Lakes vs. MacTarnahan's vs. Pyramid

Cascade Lakes Slippery Slope
(A tasty winter ale) 
ABV 6.4%

MacTarnahan's Winter HumBug'r
(A rich holiday porter)
ABV 5.3%

Pyramid Snow Cap
Winter Warmer

(Full-bodied winter ale)
ABV 7.0%

Winter beers make us all warm inside (literally) and this battle features some readily available selections from Oregon breweries. I'm not sure about the Cascade Lakes but the Pyramid and MacTarnahan's are definitely something you can find in most grocery stores in the Northwest.
One of the things that makes winter beers fun is that every brewery does something a little different. Some make huge, sweet, malty beers and some prefer to take the road more hoppy. If you look closely enough at the packaging you should be able to get an idea of what type of beer they are offering. If not you might consult Beer Advocate, Rate Beer or Bottle Battle! for some info before you buy.
These three showed off three distinctly different hues with the Slippery Slope being the lightest (orangish-brown), the HumBug'r being the darkest (deep, dark brown) and the Snow Cap falling somewhere in between (cola brown). Aromas varied from a slight malty funk in the Slippery Slope to a sprucy, herbal hoppiness in the Snow Cap to lots of chocolate and coffee in the HumBug'r. The flavors pretty much followed suit with the Snow Cap being the hoppiest and the HumBug'r being the sweetest.
None of the beers were weird or bad in any way. We'd happily drink any of them on a dark and cold winter's eve, however the Slippery Slope got the nod as our favorite. Despite being the lightest in color it offered the most complexity in the flavor and finish. It was also a beer that has a broad appeal with enough hops to satisfy a hophead and enough malts to for those who like something a bit sweeter.
On a side note, we are offering the Slippery Slope at our bakery as our seasonal offering throughout this fall and winter so stop on by and get a bottle with your biscuit sandwich!

Winner by unanimous decision: Cascade Lakes Slippery Slope

No comments:

Post a Comment