515. SanTan Brewing Co – Rail Slide Imperial Spiced Ale

515. SanTan Brewing Co - Rail Slide Imperial Spiced AleThis beer was sent to me a month or so ago by SanTan Brewing, along with some stickers and other swag. I always appreciate being sent beers to review. This one seems to be a seasonal offering – a winter warmer.

The can says, “Rail Slide is brewed with Winter spices that add an edge to this smooth seasonal ale. SanTan celebrates the pioneering punk spirit of the American craft brewer with this delicious brew.

Location: Poured into a snifter glass from the can at my home in Bloomington, IL.

Numbers: 7.1% ABV, 35 IBUs, 18.5 Plato OG, 213 Calories

Ingredients: Malt: 2-Row, Caramel, Munich, White Wheat, Roasted and Chocolate; Hops: Summit; Yeast: Yeast American Ale

Appearance & Aroma: It’s dark brown in color, but when held up to the light it almost looks like a dark brick red. It seems to be pretty clear, and have lots of carbonation in it. It has a finger thick, creamy off-white colored head on it, which left some decent lacing on the glass as I drank it. The aroma is like a light nutmeg spice with subtle hints of cinnamon.

Taste & Feel: The body is medium and the mouthfeel is fairly crisp.  The carbonation crispness makes it a little tough to tell any flavor up front, but in the middle, the spices start to come though along with a smooth caramel malt backbone.  It finishes with a good amount of spices that taste like a mix of nutmeg, Fig Newton, and light cinnamon in the background.  The spices stick around briefly in the aftertaste.

Food Pairing: This beer had a good amount of spices in it, and therefore, I’d probably go with something a little more bland, so as not to conflict with the spices.  Therefore, I’d probably have this with a holiday turkey dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy.

Overall Impression: I don’t know of another “imperial spiced ale,” but this seems to be a good winter warmer for the holiday season – with a little more alcohol and seasonal spices.  I always worry about spiced beers, because they often overtake the beer.  However, the spices in this one were flavorful, but subtle enough to let the beer come through.  Overall, this was a pretty drinkable beer that fit in well with the holiday season.

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Author: Kevin

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