A strange yet tasty winter seasonal
A Review of Wassail by Full Sail Brewing Co.
Posted on 11/26/2011 by Chops
The winter season brings beer fans an array of spiced brews in the form of winter warmers. These beers typically vary wildly in taste and appearance, so every brew guarantees a unique experience. Full Sail has become one of my go-to breweries for high quality bridge beers that are both readily available and affordable. Their tasty product line has made quite an impression, so I was excited to try their Wassail winter seasonal.

In the glass, Wassail has a deep brown coloration with some ruby red hues. The aroma is very mysterious and offers up a lot of different notes. Nothing is predominant and the individual smells seems to just bounce off each other. I found some dark fruits, pine resins, a touch of citrus, various spices, rich malts and a slight alcohol burn. There is no rhyme or reason to the aroma profile, so I had no idea what to expect going in for the first sip.

My initial impression was a general confusion. Wassail is a tasty brew, don't get me wrong. I just found it incredibly difficult to get a handle on. I even offered a few sips to my friends and they responded with similar eyebrow scrunching reactions. A decent alcohol burn is pretty easy to pick out. From there I found a sharp flavor bite, but it wasn't from the hops. The hop profile is significantly muted and is almost indiscernible. There is a strong malty backbone that provides a landing base for the various flavors. Again, nothing really jumped out at me. I was picking out new flavors from start to finish. I found some black cherries, burnt caramels, a general toasted quality and some spice notes. The mouthfeel is somewhat chalky, but not distractingly so. The finish is very mild and dissipates quickly, leaving almost no aftertaste.

Overall, Full Sail's Wassail seasonal is a strange yet tasty brew. As you can probably gather by now, I found it quite challenging to properly describe. I can recommend Wassail to seasoned beer drinkers if nothing more than for the interesting flavor study. For the same reason, it might be too weird for novices. I think the best way I can sum this brew up is to think of a brown ale that is trying to be a barleywine. Confused? Yeah, I was too. But hey, that's the fun of better beer. Looks like I may have to partake in a little more ''research''.

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Wassail by Full Sail Brewing Co.
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