The Halftime Pint: Widmer Rotator Spiced IPA

credit: Thebrewsite.com

One of the greater things about watching football in America is that most matches, especially those of the EPL, areearly in the morning American time, giving people an excuse to daydrink. This is part of our series discussing exactly what to drink when you’re at the pub, presented by our resident homebrewer, Keith.

The Beer: Rotator Series Spiced IPA, Widmer Brothers Brewing, Portland, Oregon.

The Pub: Stoney’s, in Northwest DC

What You Need to Know: Widmer Brothers planted the flag for craft brewers in Portland in 1984.  Brothers Kurt and Rob Widmer followed their passions into cobbling together a brewery in what would become the very hipster heart of Portland, the Pearl District, offering an altbier (a malty German ale that I’ll be sure to review sometime soon) and a weizenbier as their first offerings.  The brewery has consistently expanded, and moved to a new location in North Portland in 1990, while maintaining their craft beer roots.

Believe it or not, this is only the second IPA we’ve featured here on the Halftime Pint.  And like the Imperial IPA before it, this is something beyond your basic IPA.  Widmer’s Rotator series is where they take the basic sea-worthy and hophead-friendly IPA and jam on it, either highlighting a specific hop, a new technique, or, in this case, some additional flavors.  Widmer boasts a spice bill of Assam black tea, ginger, cinnamon, clove, star anise, black pepper and cardamom to go alongside the incredibly PNW hop combo of Galaxy, Falconer’s Flight, Alchemy, Zeus, Millenium and Teamaker.

So, About this Beer: Heavy Christmasy spice aromas greet you as you raise the glass. Initial tastes of malt and spice before the hops come in, with just a hint of alcohol in the finish. There’s a slightly syrupy  mouthfeel with mild carbonation. All in all a very balanced beer.

The Verdict: Normally, June is waaaay too early to break out the spiced beer- it’s usually best for a cold winter day.  However, the balance of this one, the fact that the maltiness wasn’t too overpowering, and the nice bite of hop and alcohol made it very refreshing indeed.  I’d definitely recommend it.

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