“Local beer pretty ok, I guess.” says local man.


Old Domion Brewing Co. – Ashburn, VA
Winter Brew 2007 / Holiday IPA
6.6% ABV

DC’s first snow storm has come and gone. But the Canadians aren’t through yet. They’re shipping another icy cold front our way, scheduled to hit with the classic mid-atlantic wintry mix. So, I’m gonna hold off on the regular old IPA review I was gonna do to fill you in on another winter ale. Check out the first paragraph of my Harpoon Winter Warmer Brewview for my opine on winter beers.

I’ve chosen a local winter ale… Old Dominion’s Winter Brew 2007. For those not familiar, Old Dominion is a brewery located in Ashburn the f*cking suburbs of VA. Why would you move 25 miles away from the city to live in a condo!?!? “Because I am an idiot in search of a life where nothing ever happens and I’m frightened of young, black men, and I hate traffic even though I am the paramount cause of it.” Uhh, I digress. Anyway, my experience with the 2007 Winter Brew begins with a six-pack I picked up at Whole Foods in Tenleytown, poured into a heavy 14oz glass mug. I rarely, if ever, feel comfortable reviewing a beer on my first introduction, so this is the probably the 3rd or 4th one I’ve tried it (no, not in the same night). Drunk is awesome, but not for reviews.

The color: is a transparent cherry amber. Thin head forms and falls to a film in a couple minutes. Minimal lacing. BTW, lacing is the act of foam sticking to the sides of your beverage vehicle. It’s an indication of the carbonation and retention of the brew, which may or may not indicate quality. Soap film from hand-washing your dishes, or using a crappy dishwasher, will ruin head, retention, and lacing. Now, say in your head, “Who cares?” Ok, let’s proceed.

The smell: is heavy on the malt up front, followed by strong citrusy hops. Which is exactly what comes through on the first taste. I sensed some coffee and cherries in the background, but it’s probably attributable to roasted malt and the intense citrus hops. Complex flavors are great, but you know, they aren’t supposed to clash with one another. This is not the first time I’ve had it, and I have since warmed up to this beer, which I was initially disappointed with. Also, I was happy to find out that the flavors effectively mask 6.6% ABV, just enough of a kick to warm your trunk on a cold winter nacht.

Mouthfeel: is good, bit high on the carbonation. But the heavier viscosity works – and matches the depth – of this conundrum of a winter amber ipa.

All-in-all: this is a good beer, one that’s definitely grown on me, but I think it’s a bit confused about it’s style.

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  • BS December 14, 2007  

    goddamn you Canadians and your wintry mix – I hate wintry mix…sound so exciting, feels so disgusting – on the other hand, this sounds like a beer I would enjoy – do they distribute nationally? or only in the greater NOVA area?

  • Tim December 14, 2007  

    Well, they were bought by A-B (Assheuser) earlier this year, so you might be seeing them in NJ, if not NY sometime soon. Overall, their line-up is pretty lackluster but this is one of their better ones. Their flagship IMO is the Millenium Ale, which you can get on tap at the new Old Dominion Alehouse, on the 1st floor of the fledgling DC Conv Ctr.

  • Edouble December 17, 2007  

    Hmmm…I want to try this

    when are we initiating the beer cloob, btw?

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