Saturday, December 25, 2010

Oskar Blues - Gubna and Trader Joes - Winter Ale 2010

Christmas Eve started with a Trader Joes - Winter Ale 2010 at ABV of 9.0 % and IBU ??.  This is not a bad winter ale with spicy undertones in the aroma and taste.  I detected hints of cinnamon / nutmeg / cloves that is not unpleasant and is probably best with desert like pumpkin or pecan pie.  It might also go well with fruit cake.  It pours dark with a thick head that you need to allow to sit to recede. 

I had Gubna after dinner and this is one fantastic beer made by Oskar Blues in Colorado.  Gubna is an Imperial IPA at ABV 10% and 100 IBU that pours golden with a nice head.  The aroma on this beer is fantastic and you can tell this will be a hoppy beer due to the citrus aromatics.  It was nicely bittered with the hops, but I thought the balance was excellent and I found myself "nursing" this beer as it was the last one for the evening and I wanted to just savor the flavor.  This is a very good beer and I will purchase it again.  The Oskar Blues website accurately describes Gubna as "Emphasizing that complexity of character can arise from simple elements, this ale is made with 3 malts and 1 hop. Its light amber color and slightly spicy malt character are derived from the use of German Dark Munich Malt and Rye Malt respectively. North American 2-row barley combines with the other grains to lay the foundation for the hop onslaught to come. Summit hops are used exclusively in the boil for bitterness, flavor and aroma but it doesn’t end there. Post-fermentation dry hopping allows the 10% ABV monstrosity to gently coax the citrus rind and grapefruit aroma to join the 100 IBUs already present. This beer will greet you with a pungent citrus blast, provide a spicy yet round middle and finish with a brisk, clean bitterness."  If you like IPAs or Imperial IPAs, this is a great beer to try.

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