Like A Gulf Stream 6

Brewery and Country of Origin: Oppigards Bryggeri AB of Smedjegatan 14, Hedemora, 776 93, Sweden

Date Reviewed: 5-28-14

As many of you are probably engaging in new trendy diets to get ready for beach season, you probably need little reminding that this past winter was a long one. Yes, records were broken, people were stranded all over, and of course, there was the polar vortex. But there are parts of the world where the winter brings endless nigths. One such place, rather unsurprisingly, is the northern half of Sweden. Of course, this means that during the summer, the sun never sets. Depending on where in the country you life, the number of hours of sunshine you'd receive on average ranges from 1,100 to almost 2,000 per year. By contrast, Miami, which is located 34 degrees Lat south of central Sweden, receives about 2,100 per year. Yet despite being situated at a latitude more than 17 degrees north of Boston, Hedemora, the hometown of Oppigards Brewery, sees less snowfall and fairly milder temperatures than Beantown. In fact, many winters have gone by without dropping any snow on central and southern hockey loving, reindeer hearding Sweden. And that is mainly owed to the Gulf Stream which helps drive warm air up from the tropics. The Gulf Stream is an enormous northward Atlantic Ocean current which, aided by trade winds, carries warm tropical water from the northwestern coast of Africa to the Caribbean, up the coast of Florida to eastern Canada, and across to western and northern Europe. Ultimately, this means that the climates of places like Great Britain and Norway are warmer than they would otherwise be. The Gulf Stream is also responsible for bringing increased biodiversity to many of these regions. For example Nantucket, which is located off of mainland Massachusetts, not only experiences warmer winters due to the Gulf Stream, but also contains greater plantlife diversity, as its location on the current makes it the northern limit for southern sea plants and the southern limit for northern sea plants. The Gulf Stream, which is about 100 km wide, is extremely powerful, carrying some 150 million cubic meters of water every second passing Newfoundland. By contrast, all rivers flowing into the Atlantic (including the Amazon) combined equal just 0.6 million. This massive current and influx of heated water has a dramatic effect on the formation of hurricanes and tropical storms, which typically flow from North Africa to the Carribean and the east coast of North America.
Date Sampled: 3-28-14 At: Sunset Grill and Tap, Brighton Ave, Brighton, Boston, MA, USA
Beer Style: Winter Warmer
Alcohol by Volume: 5.30%
Serving Type: Keg Pitcher, 16 oz Tumbler Glass
Rating: 3.41


Oppigards Winter seasonal pours choppy with a fairly high amount of carbonation action, creating a three quarters inch tall foam head with a good retention rate, an off white color, and a medium high, almost creamy density. This is a fairly dark amber colored beer with a medium amount of shine and glow in fair light. There is no visible sediment or settling, giving this beer a clean, filtered, clear appearance. A below average effervescent effect is displayed along with fairly full lacing on the glass.


This winter ale has a hop oriented aroma full of soapy and somewhat piney like bitterness typically found in some northwestern varieties. There is also some medium roasted sweet malty caramel or toffee notes serving as a balancing secondary. Some nuttiness and a small, but detectable amount of biscuity notes are also present, and the aroma does not contain any alcohol or metallic tinges. Overall, this is a below average strength aroma which does litle to enhance the flavor of this beer.


This is a medium bodied beer with a good amount of weight, an average viscosity, and a fair amount of carbonation, making this beer average in terms of ease of drinking and seasonal versatility. This is a smooth beer overall with some crispness at the finish. This beer finishes pretty dry with an average linger, and the finish contains a very subtle alcohol induced warming, but no bite. As this beer contains no sediment, there is no texture.


As indicated by this beer's aroma, this is mostly a bitter beer with piney and citrusy/slightly lemony hops which are fairly well balanced by a semi sweet medium roasted malt secondary characterized by caramel and biscuity like notes. This beer has a bitter aftertaste and dry lingering finish with no alcohol or metallic tinge. There is a slightly nutty and earthy undertone.

Our Take

It's getting a bit too hot for us to keep going on about Winter Ales, but this is a good one. This beer is robust with a fruity and citrusy twist with the expected winer ale like malty caramel and subtle spice. This beer has a complex, yet restrained aroma annd no overpowering flavors or aspect in particular. This beer also is unique because it's a bitter experience which for the style is pretty rare. This is still a fairly present beer when it comes to mouth feel, delivering a full palate coating smoothness without filling up your system after only a couple pints. This is a clear, filtered beer which doesn't contain any noticeable sediment and overall, this beer is very well balanced with a present and real hoppy inflection propped up by the style's usual malty notes. This versatile beer pairs well with a wide range of poultry or beef meats, mild to medium sharpness cheeses, and sweet fruits.