Yes, I’ve blogged about Blacksmith Brewing Co. before and it won’t be the last time. It would be my “home” brewery – that comfortable place that’s easy to stop by at a moment’s notice – except for the fact it is 25 miles south of Missoula. We headed down the Saturday of the new years’ first weekend, partly as a reason to get out of town and partly to drink some great beer and hear some great music. (Sorry for the unusually dark pictures. It happens.)
Tom Catmull and Johnny Two Bones provided three hours of great entertainment and once again Blacksmith provided a great venue. It’s the perfect adult entertainment (no, not that kind). Since Blacksmith, like all of Montana’s “small breweries,” must stop selling beer at 8:00 p.m., the music starts at 5:00, is over at 8:00, and you can still get home to bed at a reasonable hour. Yeah, yeah, pipe down. I know we’re not the only ones who appreciate that. The Burger Shack next door was closed for the weekend which opened up a new opportunity. At the brewery’s suggestion, we ordered up a pizza from Kodiak Jax (which delivers, starting at 5:00) and had an excellent meal that paired great with the beer and music. Call it a bit of a temporary last hurrah before getting to work knocking off the holiday pounds.
What was on tap? Pulaski Porter, Black Iron IPA, Barleywine, and the new Fall Line Winter Ale were favorites among our group. I started off with a Winter Ale, taking notes and trying to figure out a flavor I wasn’t able to recognize. Winter Warmers are a rather undefined style, but commonly have higher alcohol (to “warm” you), fairly strong malt and hops, and quite often have added spices. Blacksmith’s Winter Ale was cloudy with a medium brown color, off white head and a malty aroma. Malt dominates the initial taste, transitioning to a pleasant hop bitterness with a slight spicy note. It is full bodied and a nice mouthfeel with 8.5% abv. Very drinkable with a curious mix of tastes. And that flavor I couldn’t identify? Juniper berries.
Name: Fall Line Winter Ale
Brewery: Blacksmith Brewing Co., Stevensville, MT.
Style: Winter Warmer.
Color: Medium brown and cloudy; off white head.
Packaging: draft only.
Stats: 8.5% abv, ? IBU.
Bought: at the brewery, Stevensville.
Ruling: Three and a half out of Five Hops. Very nice winter warmer with curious flavors.