I opened a bottle of Winter’s Mistress and poured into two short 1960s jelly jar glasses for Cindy and I to try. The pour was viscous and smooth, hued of the darkest brown possible. As I raised the glass to my lips, I got a neophyte surprise- a waft of dark fruits like black currants and raspberries, sarsaparilla, anise and caramelized sugars. From the aroma, I was a bit apprehensive, since fruity beers are definitely not my favorite tipple.
I shouldn’t have been worried; the beer is not the artificial-flavored malt beverage nastiness of the domestic Frankenfruitbeer cocktail. Instead it’s flavor is malty upfront, with an immediate trailer of raspberries and currants that lingers on the palate. Its sweetness is pronounced, but even throughout. The bitterness and burnt character of other porters is nonexistent (as is customary of this beer style).
Tom is definitely on to something in selling Winter’s Mistress in a boilermaker set. And even though the Mistress is sold with Bulleit, we mixed it with our very own hand-mixed four-grain bourbon (no, you aren’t getting the recipe, don’t ask). The boilermaker procedure is varied. Some people chase whiskey with their beer. Some alternate the two drinks. Some drop the whiskey right into their beer. There seems to be no wrong way to do it, which works for us laid-back Lounge Lizards.
Cindy and I decided to drink using the alternating method in order to keep our Mistress cold and to lengthen the experience. And an exceptional experience it is for you Lounge Lizards with a sweet tooth. When a mouthful of four-grain is chased with the porter, the short burst of dark fruit is replaced with a wall of dark chocolate and toffee with long whispers of black raspberries and port.
If you want Winter’s Mistress, you better get to Woodman’s pronto before the winter ends. And if you’d like the classic boilermaker proportions, here you go:
1 shot of whiskey
1 glass of beer
Method varies. Classic American is to shoot the whiskey, chase it with a beer. British-style is to drop the shot into the beer and drink. The former requires speed, the latter creates a warm beer, so if you want to lengthen the experience, alternate swallows of each or chill your whiskey prior to mixing it into your beer. Salut.