Friday, August 30, 2013

Bone Warmer (2013) – Grand Teton Brewing

                The third release in the 2013 25th Anniversary Cellar Reserve series is the Bone Warmer Imperial Amber Ale.  First brewed in 2006, it still holds the record selling out faster than any other beer that Grand Teton has brewed.  I have been impressed with the Grand Teton Cellar Reserve series since I took notice of it with the Snarling Badger release in 2012.  Since then, I called around Milwaukee looking for bottles of each release and buying what I could find in stock.  While there are a few limited releases that I miss for one reason or another, I try to ensure that I never miss one from Grand Teton.

 The reserve lineup this year has been impressive so far, beginning with Double Vision Doppelbock in January, Oud Bruin in May, and now Bone Warmer Imperial Amber, which releases next week on September 2nd.  A somewhat big beer, at 8.2% ABV, Bone Warmer is sure to be a welcome treat on cold fall nights, and it has the potential to be a good addition to a beer cellar for some extended aging.  For more information on Grand Teton Brewing, click on the Grand Teton Brewing tag at the bottom of this post.  On to the review.

The 2013 release of Bone Warmer is not listed at either of the two ratings sites yet, since it doesn’t come out till next week, but they both have ratings for the original 2006 release.  At Beeradvocate, the first release has a score of 85.  Over at ratebeer it has a score of 90 overall with a 49 for style.

They Say:

2013 marks the 25th anniversary of Grand Teton Brewing. In celebration, we’re bringing back three of our favorite styles for this year’s Cellar Reserves. Bonewarmer Imperial Amber was first brewed in 2006 and sold out faster than any other beer we’ve made. Bone Warmer, brewed in the “strong ale” tradition, is a beer of great character, with exceptional malt flavor and warming alcohol content.

Historically, brewers often drew three different runs from the same barley mash. The first, used for strong ale or “best beer,” had the most flavor, color and fermentable sugars, and produced beer with the most alcohol. The second was used for a less strong “table beer,” and the third, a lighter and cheaper “small beer.”

Our Bone Warmer is brewed the same way, using only the first runnings from an extraordinarily thick, strong mash of Idaho 2-Row Metcalfe and Harrington barley malt, along with dark German Munich and caramel malts. We subtly spiced it with Idaho Chinook hops, fermented it at cool temperatures and cold-conditioned it for smoothness and drinkability.

The resulting ale is the color of roasting chestnuts. It is voluptuously malty and only slightly sweet- with a hint of toffee and a warming dry finish. It’s an ideal accompaniment to rich meaty stews, wild game, roasted fowl or root vegetables, and aged cheddars.

Bone Warmer Imperial Amber Ale is a one time release available September 1, 2013 in 1/2 and 1/6 bbl kegs and bottle-conditioned 750 mL cases.
Original Gravity (Plato): 22˚
International Bitterness Units: 22
Alcohol by Volume: 8.2%
Color (Lovibond): 36˚

I Say:

                Bone Warmer Imperial Amber Ale pours a slightly hazy deep coppery, reddish amber with a moderately thick, creamy tan head that holds retention for well over a minute before fading to cling to the edges of the glass.  The aroma has a strong, slightly sweet malty profile with rich toffee notes a hint of honey and golden raisins on the backend with a moderately sweet alcohol finish.

                The flavor has a very rich, full malty profile with notes of toffee and sweet caramel counter balanced with a moderate level of hop bitterness and moderately sweet alcohol.  Bone Warmer finishes smooth, creamy and moderately sweet.  It has a moderately full body and a moderately low level of carbonation.

               Bone Warmer is another excellent beer from Grand Teton, one that I am definitely going to get a few more bottles of when it is released next week.  Bone Warmer should age very well over the next couple of years, so be sure to pick up a few bottles if you find it near you when it arrives in stores on September 1.  This is a cold weather beer though, so you might want to wait until the temperature drops a little before you contemplate drinking it.

                That’s all for today!  Check back soon for another post, I have a few in the works, and I am still working on typing up my interview with Kirby Nelson from the Wisconsin Brewing Company.

                Have a great three day weekend and Happy Drinking!

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