|Jack's Winter Ale 2023 from Shapiro Brewery:|
Matured with oak chips steeped in
Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey.
The Shapiro Brewery in Beit Shemesh brought out its two seasonal cold weather beers a while ago. I'm a little tardy in bringing them to my blog, but I'm sure we still have more than a few chilly days and nights ahead of us before the spring thaw sets in.
The first out was the 2023 version of Jack's Winter Ale. This is a strong (8.5% alcohol by volume), dark reddish-brown ale which is matured with wood chips soaked in Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey. Shapiro has been issuing this beer every winter since 2012! It's something I look forward to.
I opened a bottle, making sure it was approaching room temperature, with fellow IBAV Tasters Bat Sheva, Oded and Laurent.
This year's version has rich aromas of roasted malt and dark toast, with whiffs of bourbon and oak wood. Bat Sheva opined that the smell reminded her of strong Belgian ale, while Laurent recalled the aromas of pre-fermented beer ("wort") while visiting a brewery.
On the tongue, it remains a sweet and richly flavored beer: Raisins and dried fruits, toffee, caramel, and roasted malt. Oded tasted chestnuts. We also tasted whisky, but surprisingly, little wood.
The finish was roasty, according to Oded, and not complex. We all enjoyed this beer very much. It's the kind you sip through the cooler evenings (and days), either by itself or with a piece of cake or cheese.
There are people who say they remember the previous 11 versions of Jack's Winter Ale and can compare them with this one. That's not me. I can't remember what I walked into a room for! But if you'd like to read what I wrote about the ones I tasted, here are the links to those years:
|IBAV Tasters Manny and Bat Sheva joined |
the old blogger at the launch of
Shapiro Double IPA 2023.
A short while ago, Shapiro issued its other annual winter beer: Double IPA
. Now IPAs, with their crisp and fruity and bitter tastes, are generally associated with summertime drinking. But a Double IPA has the intense flavors and alcoholic punch to make it more than suitable for the colder seasons.
Shapiro has brewed Double IPA in 2020 and 2021, skipping 2022 for some reason. Each time different hops were used to vary the flavors. This year, it was American hops Talus and HBC-586. These are believed to give aromas of pine and citrus fruit, in addition to a good dose of bittering.
|Shapiro Double IPA for 2023:|
Strong and bitter, with
aromas and tastes of citrus,
pine and malt.
The beer pours out a slightly hazy golden orange color. And wow, the fruit aromas are there. In addition to citrus (grapefruit and orange), we also got tropical fruits like mango and pineapple, as well as pine and a malty backbone. The flavors are balanced and complex, with the hop bitterness balancing the fruit sweetness: Mostly grapefruit, with other citrus, malt and pine.
The 8.2% alcohol by volume provides the warming mouthfeel for this Double IPA's cold weather enjoyment. Even after the days warm up a bit, this is a strong and flavorful beer that reaches where other IPAs don't.
[Read about the earlier Shapiro Double IPAs here: 2020 2021 ]