If there’s anybody who knows how to brew something to get you through the winter, it’s the English. With their long dreary winters, it’s no surprise the British isles are the home to a bevy of rich, malt-focused beers: brown ale, porter, stout, strong ales, old ales, stock ales, barleywine, etc.
For this winter’s entry in the Solitary Series, we’ve taken cues from this brewing tradition and assembled an imperial brown ale. Though traditional English brown ales are session strength, rarely peaking above 5.5% alcohol, our interpretation turns up the malt, weighing in at 8.5% ABV. The gravity of this beer puts it at the top end of traditional English brewing range, lending it a balance more representative of a barleywine.
The aroma on this beer leads with a potent brown sugar-like sweetness, supported by the gentle fruity aroma of English yeast. The flavor follows the same path with big brown sugar and toffee notes, subtle fruit, and a touch of booze to lace it all together. As the beer warms and carbonation dissipates, the beer slowly unfolds deeper dark caramel and toasted malt flavors—particularly in the finish—while the fruit notes recede further into the background.
This is the beer we will be slowly sipping with family after our Christmas dinner this year or maybe even sharing a growler with friends after a particularly cold and rainy week of work. However you choose to enjoy this beer, we hope you love it as much as we do, and that your holidays are happy and safe, spent with the people and beers you love.