Southern Tier Cinnamon Roll Imperial Ale

This is the first time I've had a beer that has called itself and Imperial ale. Mind you, that doesn't mean that I haven't had others of the style, but they tend to slap Imperial in front of some other descriptor like IPA. This particular beer is a seasonal product, and it's not surprising given that it has cinnamon so prominently shown on the label. So, this is a good beer for a cold night, and tonight is such a night.

The fairly clear brown beer doesn't have a whole lot ahead to begin with, and it eventually just becomes that familiar ring of bubbles around the glass with a lily pad of very thin bubbles floating in the center. The aroma is certainly chock-full of cinnamon. It has some spices and maybe some caramel malt to go with it, but cinnamon is certainly the reason this beer exists.

First sip is kinda nice. It's definitely got a lot of cinnamon in it, but that cinnamon is mixing together with the spices and the caramel malt to give the whole beer a sensation that really makes me think I should be sitting in front of a roaring fire while I do this. Instead, I just have my trusty dog by my feet and the gentle glow of my monitor in front of me. That'll have to do.

Tip in is a noticeable carbonation with the caramel malt tinged with some spices and vanilla and it's all wrapped up in a cinnamon stick. The middle is a little harsh along the top of the mouth, but underneath that is a gentle wave of cinnamon flavored, carbonated, all spiced up beverage. There're so little hops going on in this beer that it reminds me more of a lager than an ale. The finish is where a tartness and a little bitterness are finally showing that this is a beer and not some other kind of cinnamon beverage.

Bottom Line: On a cold night, this beer (and its 8.6% ABV) can keep you warm well enough.



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