This week I continue my look at winter seasonals with that of one of my favorite breweries, Odell Brewing Company. Odell’s winter seasonal, Isolation Ale, is more in line with your traditional winter warmer than last week’s Snow Blind, yet far from a cookie cutter. A theme I have hammered in past posts is my affection for tasty session beers. Isolation Ale is as close to a session beer as a winter warmer gets with its 6% ABV and 29 IBUs.
Odell Brewing Company is located in Fort Collins, Colorado and was opened in 1989 (2nd oldest microbrewery in CO). Unfortunately for us in Virginia and the rest of the east coast, their distribution is limited to about a dozen states (primarily in the Midwest) and the UK. Being one of my favorite breweries, the distribution is a bit problematic so I have to resort to online orders. Ugh.
Unlike most of my reviews, I have actually consumed Isolation Ale and I will tell you up front that I am a big fan. Here are my notes…
Appearance is deep reddish-brown with fluffy off white head which recedes leaving a heavy lacing on my glass.
Aromas are fairly mild, I pick up caramel, malt, and toast.
Caramel sweet, malty flavors come through up front with a crisp and bitter hop bite to close it out. Bitterer than I would expect at 29 IBUs, regardless the balance is perfect.
Overall, I love this beer. It is not the over spiced heavy ale you think of in the winter warmer style. I believe this would be just fine as malt forward ale year round due to its drinkability. I have also seen it categorized as an English Strong Ale, which I find more accurate. If you enjoy ambers, alt biers, English ales or awesome beer, you should try Isolation Ale before the shelves empty of this winter brew.
Learn more about Odell at: http://odellbrewing.com/.