Yesterday's fresh flurry of snow reminded me that, despite a few gloriously bright days over the weekend, we are still in the grip of a rough, northern winter. Not that I need much of an excuse for something with a bit more body in the glass - and Meantime's Winter Warmer (5.4%abv), very much leftover from my christmas stash, fit the bill to a T.
I love Meantime's beers, I really. I'm yet to find one I haven't thought was excellent. We don't get them a great deal up here, especially on draught. Winter Warmer doesn't disappoint either - a real bottle-conditioned beauty. The body is smooth for a stout, with a rich, vinous undercurrent of vanilla, which only adds to the overall silkiness of it. There's bitter chocolate in the nose and on the tongue, smoothing out to a creamy coffee note, but not harsh at all. Think latte, rather than espresso. More smoke on the nose, but again in restrained amounts. All this richness amounts to another seriously refined beer from Alistair Hook and his cohorts. I really do need to get to London and seek this out on tap this Christmas.
Meantime are currently working on thier new visitors centre, which promises to be very modern and very swishy indeed. Something tells me that, like thier beers, it will be an effortlessly classy affair.