Beer Review: Winter Special – Hatherwood Craft Beer Company (Lidl)

I’ve recently discovered a new style of beer: the winter ale. Naturally, it’s a Christmas period exclusive and many breweries appear to have a yearly tradition of brewing this one off seasonal special. I enjoy reviewing some own brand beers and particularly Lidl’s. As always these beer are contract brewed, with this one being assigned to big regional brewers, Marstons. This ‘Winter Special’ Ale comes in at 5% ABV.

Visually, the beer has a very clear bronze or auburn colour to it with a slightly off-white head. There’s quite a light nose to this one with a malty sweetness mixed with some winter spices. The flavour has a lot more going on for it than I expected in all honesty. The base has a slightly tart hop forward citrus flavour and the finish has a pleasant mixed spice, nutmeg like taste reminiscent of a minced pie. Biggest downside to this beer is it’s a little thin on the body.

A quick note on the bottle art: fairly simple old school design. The lilac and white work well together and the snow covered pine trees get you in the Christmas mood.

Genuinely surprised by this beer. The flavours are quite good especially those winter spices on the back end. They add something I’ve not really tasted in a beer before. My biggest let down is that the beer itself is quite thin in terms of body and texture. With a warming winter ale I’m expecting something more full bodied. That said it is surprisingly drinkable and I would definitely buy it again at the price over this festive period.

Score: 6.5/10

Thanks for reading! Cheers!

Additional Information:

  • Hops: Not Available
  • Malt: Not Available
  • IBU: Not Available
  • ABV: 5%
  • Gluten Free: No
  • Vegan: No
  • Purchase Price: £1.29
  • Purchase Location: Lidl

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