Forget freaking winter wonderlands. Picture Homer dancing with donuts falling around him, and replace him with me twirling in sprays of Harpoon's Winter Warmer. If you have not had this seasonal beer, then you have not lived. I was turned onto this by my good Grundy friend, Sue... and for this I am forever grateful.
Boston by birth, Harpoon makes me swell with hometown pride. I have attended the occasional Harpoonfest (and they have brought me down to Chinatown), and have had the opportunity to sample some of their other seasonal brews. Typically I avoid ANY seasonal item like the plague. But perhaps it's the nasty New England weather that makes the Winter Warmer's nutmeg and cinnamon aroma enticing. For instance, after a strenous workout at the gym, walking out of the gym into a freezing rain, we HAD to stop off for a quick refreshment. It was that horrible out, people. The trees were encased in ice and children were crying for their mother's warmth! Ok, I am over dramatizing. We were lazy, cold, and secretly craving some holiday spice. Trust me, as soon as you try one of these, you will too.
Winter Warmer was Harpoon’s first seasonal beer. It was designed specifically to be enjoyed during the holiday season. One could easily determine, it's not exactly something you want on a hot summer day. When you bring a glass of this dark copper ale to your lips to take your first sip you will notice the aroma of cinnamon. There is no aromatic hop added that might overpower the distinct spice scent. The medium body of this beer is formed from caramel and pale malts. These create enough body to support the spices without making the beer excessively rich. Bittering hops are added to counter the sweetness of the malt and spice. The finish of the beer is a blend of cinnamon and nutmeg. The combination of these two spices results in a balanced, pumpkin-pie flavor. "Heaven... I'm in heaven. And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak! And I seem to find the happiness I seek, then we're out together dancing cheek to cheeeeeeek!" That my song to this tasty beverage, and it's why no one talks to me at holiday parties.
Harpoon even goes so far to recommend savory hors d’oerves, duck,
apple and pumpkin pies as a friendly pair. Sue confirmed after several hours slaving away at tree decorating, that the Winter Warmer goes smashingly with cinnamon rolls, too! These are the tips to pass down to the next generation people. Take note.