2015 Advent Beer Calendar : Survival Stout By Hopworks

Author: Jason Harris
December 16, 2015

Editor’s note: This is the eigthteenth beer in the Beer Advent Calendar 2015 series. Likewise, I’m going to be posting a beer review each day. Some will be Christmas or Winter ales and other selections will be beers I’ve been wanting to review for some time.

I was recently at Hopworks Organic Brewery, also known as HUB, in Portland on SE Powell. The amazing brewpub has a fantastic atmosphere and for those of us with kids, it’s fantastic because it has two kid’s play areas, so the littles are happy and occupied while the adults can have a conversation.

Survival Stout

While I was at HUB, I tried Survival Stout. Here’s the description, from HUB’s website:

Beer of the Ancients! Barley, Wheat, Oats, Amaranth, Quinoa, Spelt and Kamut sustain the soul with nutrients cultivated through the millennia. Finished with 20 pounds of cold-pressed Stumptown Organic Holler Mountain coffee. Unlock the mystery entombed in darkness.

How does it taste?

In a word: thick. I’ve had beer with coffee and I’ve liked those brews quite a bit.

Unfortunately, I didn’t care for this one. I normally like Hairbender coffee from Stumptown, but it doesn’t compliment this beer.

This beer pours super dark and the head is like that of a Guinness. You smell roasted, burnt coffee and perhaps tobacco. The smell is strong and not inviting.

This beer tastes burnt and overdone. It’s super dry and leaves too much thick malt on your palette.

Should I buy it?

No, skip this beer altogether.

Editor’s note: This is the thirteenth in the Beer Advent Calendar 2015 series. Likewise, I’m going to be posting a beer review each day. Some will be Christmas or Winter ales and other selections will be beers I’ve been wanting to review for some time.

Abominable Winter AleHopworks Urban Brewery, located in Portland, Oregon, has never produced a beer that this beer snob hasn’t liked. I’ve tried 7 beers over the years from HUB and they’ve all been excellent. Their taproom on Powell in Portland is fun and features great food to go along with their exceptional beer.

Today we look at Abominable Winter Ale. This brew is only available in the fall and winter months and is organic (along with all of HUB’s beers). Abominable comes it a 7.3% ABV and is slightly bitter at 70 IBUs.

How does it taste?

Abominable Winter Ale has a similar taste profile to Ninkasi’s Sliegh’r, which I spotlighted yesterday. This beer has a toasty, hempy influenced smell to it. As you pour the dark red ale you see a tall, ivory colored head. The head sticks around in the glass for a long time post-pour from the 22 oz bomber.

It’s medium bodied as you first drink it and you sense the citrus and grapefruit incensed hoppy taste. You also pick up on the herbal and complex spices too. At times this beer tastes like a hoppy red ale and others like a dark winter beer. The malty sweetness finished off this beer. It’s strong flavored but not super bitter. The three malts really make for a killer finish.

Should I buy it?

Absolutely. This winter ale is one of Portland’s best.