My Fellow Inebriates,
I don’t mean to be a dickhead, but today I’m reviewing a beer that probably won’t be on the shelves too much longer. It’s Whistler Brewing Company’s VALLEY TRAIL CHESTNUT ALE, a limited-release brew that bills itself as a fall offering (and which my parents failed to notice until Christmas).
At first this beer reminded me of the time we went with my Nana & Papa to VanDusen Botanical Garden for its annual Christmas light display. Just inside the entrance there was an old geezer doling out roasted chestnuts, pausing every now and then to honk greenies into a filthy handkerchief. The chestnut aroma was seductive and inviting, but their purveyor was not.
I didn’t really think about chestnuts after that. I mean, they’re just food. But when VALLEY TRAIL CHESTNUT ALE found its way into LBHQ, I remembered that old guy and his prolific snot.
This negative association might have deterred someone less obsessed with alcohol from downing the six-pack in a weekend. But I’m not really someone.
If you can still find this cold-weather offering, I highly suggest it. VALLEY TRAIL CHESTNUT ALE is a hazy amber brew with wisps of deep-tan foam. The fragrance is overwhelming and robust—waves of chestnut and even hazelnut with hints of chocolate and vanilla. On the palate it’s sweet—my dad thought perhaps a little too sweet—with a kick-ass toffee/malt backbone and mild earth spices. The carbonation is crisp enough to short-circuit the sweetness nicely, so you get a modestly bitter finish working in tandem with a lingeringly sweet taste-memory.
This beer is freaking delicious, people. Whistler Brewing should definitely keep it on the shelves beyond winter.
Perhaps I should write them one of my letters.