Specifications from Goose Island:
Color: Toffee Brown
Hop Bitterness (IBU): 20
OG: 14.0° Plato
Malts: 2 Row, Carapils, Dark Chocolate, Roast Barley, Rye Flake
Hops: Pilgrim, Centennial, Tettnang
Availability: December – March
Preferred Glass: Willi
Food Pairings: Beef, Stews, Sausages
Cheese Pairings: Gruyere, Fontina
Cellaring Notes: Enjoy within 180 days
Appearance: The body is a ruby to toffee brown. The head is fluffy white, and as it subsides, it laces the glass. I poured into a Saison Dupont glass, the only example of a willi glass I own.
Aroma: Soft, caramel roast, raisins. Fleeting finish, with peppery rye notes.
Flavor: Mild Winter is only slightly sweet. It’s very reminiscent of a British mild or a bitter, with low hop presence and a slight toffee bitterness. I enjoy the fact I’m not drinking a boozy behemoth. I could comfortably quaff a few of these at a sitting.
Mouthfeel: Sweet, low carbonation. It feels slightly like corn or unfermented grain. The beer finished with little bitterness and no alcohol heat.
Overall: Mild winter is a great change of pace for the season. When friends are bringing out high ABV brews like Russian Imperial Stouts and barley wines, or spicy winter warmers, this beer would please a broad range of beer drinkers’ palettes. I know I plan to share this brew with my family (they’re typically drinking American adjunct lagers at get-togethers).
Thanks to Ken Hunnemeder at Goose Island for providing me this sample.