Beer Review: Rockyard Brewing Company Winter Ale

rockyardwinterale2Brewery: Rockyard Brewing Company (Castle Rock, Colorado)
Beer: Winter Ale
Style: Belgian Tripel
ABV: 8.4%
Character: Belgian style Tripel brewed with juniper.
Ratings: BA: — | RB: —
Metal Connection: OCEANS OF SLUMBER – Winter

BeerMetal Rating: 4.25/5

rockyardwinteraleIntro: While I was working at my previous bar, I met a cool fuckin’ dude named Laird, who happened to be the General Manager of Rockyard Brewing Company from Castle Rock, CO. He was visiting San Antonio on a vacation, I believe. As usual, I was able to make friends with this guy, and he mentioned that he had a box of Rockyard beers, so  proposed a trade. I gave him a couple of beers from my own stash, and some I bought at the store. He was unable to travel to other cities during this visit, so I made sure I gave him some killer Texas beers. Even though Rockyard Brewing Company has been around since 1999, and have won several awards, this is my first time experiencing anything by them. I read an article on Brewbound from October 2016 that is about Rockyard re-branding their beers, so the beers that will make this site are from before the re-branding.

Design: A very simple label for this beer. It features a bottle cap Rockyard Brewing logo as the main feature. A banner on the top with the beer name and style. As I said, simple.

Appearance: I used a La Bestia logo glass by Ranger Creek Brewing for this session. This Winter Ale poured a cloudy golden color. The pour gave this beer a 1/2 inch white foamy head, which quickly disappeared, leaving no lacing.

Aroma: There was a nice upfront aroma of tart berries, and banana. The bulk of the aroma was leather, apricots, biscuit bread, cherries, and Nilla wafer banana pudding. Yes, this one had an awesome aroma. Nice and sweet.

Taste: Just like the nose, the first flavors to hit the palate are tart berries and banana. The flavor profile is exactly like the aroma with notes of apricot, biscuit bread, cherries, and a bit of leather. The best part is that the Nilla wafer banana pudding I picked up in the nose, also showcases in the taste. I guess it’s just a combination of the different profiles working together to create this sweet dessert-like flavor. Very interesting beer, indeed.

Body/Mouthfeel: The body was light, a bit thin. The mouthfeel was oily with very mild carbonation. The finish had a mouth coating slickness.

Overall: I was very impressed by this first beer I ever tasted by Rockyard Brewing. I really want to thank Laird for hooking me up with some killer brews from this brewery. I look forward to letting you all know what I thought about all these beers once I get them all up on the site. This one was unique, having unexpected flavors involved. I am not sure if they make this beer anymore, as with their re-branding they did at the end of last year, I don’t see this one listed on their site anymore. I really hope to one day get to visit this brewery or their Brewpub. Their menu looks pretty good.

oceanswinterMetal Connection: Back when I was the front man for the Death Metal band, Putrilage, I had friended this amazing drummer, and all around cool as fuck dude named Dobber Beverly from Houston, TX. He would become the backbone to several Texas Death Metal & Grindcore bands including Demoniacal Genuflection, Infernal Dominion, Ingurgitate, Sect of Execration, War Master, Braced for Nails, Images of Violence, Viral Load, and Insect Warfare. Besides loving the brute force behind Death Metal and Grindcore, Dobber and I shared an equal love for female fronted Metal bands like The Gathering, especially. It was no surprise that Dobber would go to be part of this amazing female fronted Progressive Metal band, Oceans of Slumber. After releasing a self financed album in 2013, the band was picked up by Century Media Records, a giant label in the Metal world. It was awesome to see this band grow into what it has become today. Oceans of Slumber is gaining worldwide recognition, including being listed as a favorite of ex-The Gathering vocalist, Anneke Van Giersbergen, which was a high accomplishment for my friend, an his band.

I have paired this Winter Ale by Rockyard Brewing with the opening and title track to their 2016 full length album release, Winter. This 8 minute opus shows off the band’s skills, as the song starts off slow, and melodic to then go to a technical, progressive, heavy section to return back to the slow, melodic awesomeness again. Vocalist, Cammie Gilbert’s voice is amazing and fits so beautifully over the music. The backing Death Metal style vocals by Sean Gary and the other members fit perfectly with Cammie’s clean vocals. If you have not heard Oceans of Slumber yet, please click the links here to the song “Winter” and be ready to be blown the fuck away! Cheers!

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