Last week we brought you our guide to the spirits of winter, with some choice liquor loveliness to raise seasonal spirits. This time around we shine a spotlight on some of the best beers and wines on the market for you to enjoy in this colder (read freezing) weather, with warming winter reds and full-bodied beers. Cheers everyone!
St Peter’s Brewery Stormtrooper Beer (330/500ml) 4.2% abv – RRP £13.80/£17.40 (6 pack)
Rather than being brewed in a galaxy far far away this Stormtrooper Galactic Pale Ale and Lightspeed Pilsner are instead expertly crafted at St Peter’s Brewery in Suffolk. Inspired by the famous armour designed by Shepperton Design Studio’s Andrew Ainsworth for the original film back in 1976, you don’t need to be a movie fan to enjoy these brewskies who’s fruity flavours come from being matured with specially-imported Australian Galaxy and US Millennium hops.
Gosnell’s of London Draft mead (330ml) 4.0% abv – RRP £12 (Mixed 4 pack)
If you’re looking for a different twist on your usual can of lager then you might want to take a gander a Gosnells. These Peckham based brews are all very drinkable 4% meads made from a rich blend of European and other exotic honeys. There are four variations all in colourful cans with an IPA style Hopped variety, Sour, Hibiscus and Citra Sea that has a satisfyingly salty finish. There light, fresh and a really nice alternative drink to sup this wintertime.
Pistonhead Craft Lager (330ml) 4.6 – 6% abv – RRP £8 (Mixed 6 pack)
In the world in which we dwell it helps to have things we can rely on. Thankfully Pistonhead lager is just that. With any of their three variations you know you’re going to get a nice drop, whether with the full bodied Kustom Lager, the hoppy Full Amber or the bitter, citrusy Flat Tire. Perfect for those long winter sessions with friends.
Cobra Extra Smooth Premium (330ml) 4.5% abv – RRP £4.25 (For 4)
Cobra Extra Smooth Premium is hardly new to the market, but with a silly amount of awards to its name it’s certainly a drink we like to keep in our fridges. Apart from pairing nicely with a host of dishes, not just curry as many may think, this brew is made from a complex recipe of seven ingredients, created with fewer bubbles that gives it the smooth taste it boasts in the title. A solid winter beer.
Duvel Tripel Hop (330ml) 4 9.5% abv – RRP £2.50
We’ve long been fans of the famous Belgian beer Duvel. But have become even bigger ones after trying their Tripel Hop variation. It was all the result of Duvel searching for the ultimate Tripel Hop, with more than 5,000 thirsty punters tasting and voting for this Citra beer. It’s made via a dry-hopping process, with the special third hop, grown in the Yakima Valley Washington, added at the end to leave a flavour filled beer with fresh hints of grapefruit. And it’s not for the faint of heart at 9.5%.
Black Chalk, English Sparkling Wine (750ml) 12% abv – RRP £35-40
Winter is much more enjoyable when you add a bit of seasonal sparkle here and there and that being the case we heartily recommend Black Chalk. This English sparkling wine is made from grapes hand-sourced from Hampshire’s top vineyard sites. This traditionally made, small-batch vino uses the three classic grape varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, which are then held in oak barrels to provide a deep, complex drop. It’s a perfectly balanced winter winner.
Ramon Bilbao Vinedos de Altura 2016 (750ml) 13.5% abv – RRP £15.50
We can’t help but be seduced by a Rioja, especially when they’re as quaffable as this delicious little number. It uses beautiful fruit produced by high-altitude vineyards, 50% Tempranillo from La Rioja Alta, 50% Garnacha from La Rioja Baja, all combining to create something special. This medium-bodied wine is filled with intense fruit flavours that make it a dangerously drinkable drop.
Alexana Pinot Gris (75cl) 13.5% abv – RRP £24
The Willamette Valley in Oregan, USA, has long been producing some top notch wine. This 2017 Pinot Gris is no exception, being terrifically tasty and boasting a wonderful ripe texture. With its hints of apples and citrus, it’s the perfect refreshing partner for chicken or pork dishes or even served as an aperitif.
Apothic Red (75cl) 13.5% abv – RRP £10
Here at The MALESTROM we’re partial to a nice drop of red, and this Apothic is just that. Inspired by the “Apotheca” a mysterious place where wine was blended and stored in 13th century Europe, it’s a blend of rich Zinfandel, smooth Merlot, along with flavourful Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, that combine to create layers of dark red fruit complemented by hints of vanilla and mocha.
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