Day 23 – Sound Brewery – Yonder Star English Strong Ale

Day 23 - Sound Brewery - Yonder Star English Strong Ale

Sorry for the late post.  Here in Hawaii it’s 4 hours behind Winnipeg, so it isn’t always easy to remember that. I’ve been enjoying some good local island beer, and also, some of the great American stuff they have. But, as for the Calendar, only one left after today.  I hope it’s going to be a good one.  So far this has been a pretty solid advent calendar and I’m happy I managed to get it.  I hope next year they will have the packaging issues sorted out.  There are a lot of interesting calendars coming out.  Who knows, maybe next year I’ll be reviewing a collaboration pack from the new local Winnipeg breweries (here’s hoping.)

Today’s beer comes to us from Sound Brewery in Washington State and it is called Old Yonder Star and it is a Yorkshire Style Christmas Ale.

Unfortunately, their website does not really provide a whole lot of details on them.  I can’t seem to find much in general.  Maybe I’m not looking hard enough because I’m on vacation, so if you have better luck, let me know.  What they do list is their beers and there are a number of them.  They have some good info on each one so that is at least worth a read.

This beer is brewed in the style of an English Strong Ale.  Now, English Strong Ales are somewhere in between a Pale ale and a Barleywine.  They are strong, complex, and rich in flavours.  Typically, with a colour between deep amber and reddish copper, they usually have bold fruity flavours and a malty mix of toasted and chocolate malt. Hops can vary depending on brewer but they can have full blown hop potential to a subtle bitterness.  Alcohol is usually evident with even some solvent taste to it depending on quality.  Many of this style are unfiltered and bottle conditioned.

I’m interested in trying it, so let’s get to it.

Rating:  79/100

Appearance: Jet black with a really thin dark brown sliver near the edges.
Smell:  Molasses, alcohol, black cherry notes
Taste:  Roasted malt combines with malty sweetness and finishes with a slightly bitter oily finish.
Mouthfeel: Very fine carbonation. Oily slightly bitter finish with alcohol warming.
Overall, not bad. It doesn’t have the full body and depth that a barley wine might have nor does it have the light hoppy notes of a pale ale.  Overall it’s a good balance between these two.
Do I like it: It’s alright. I’m not a huge fan of it. I think it could be doing a lot more.  Overall it’s not bad, just not really right up my alley right now.

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