Earlier this year I was bemoaning the blandness of Young's beers in a post. I also mentioned the general awfulness of their pub, The Waverley, in Bognor Regis. Perhaps it is time to redress the balance. Now December has arrived I decided to pop into The Waverley to see if the Winter Warmer was available and I was delighted to see that it was.
My first impression of The Waverley was favourable this time. It seemed to have been smartened up and there was plenty of comfortable seating with sea views beyond the outside decked area. Winter seems to be the time to visit this pub when the holidaymakers have left town. The Christmas menu sounded appetizing so perhaps it will be time to give the food a try again too. Today though I just wanted to put the Winter Warmer to the test. The first impression wasn't good as the strength had been reduced to 5.0% ABV. I forgot the strength of this beer when I first drank it in the 1980s but it was somewhere approaching 6.0% ABV and it seems to have had a gradual reduction ever since. The colour is not quite as dark too although it has always had a deep reddish tinge to it.
The aroma was pleasing and quite mild. It had a nice head to it and it appeared to be in excellent condition. The first taste was encouraging and it was actually not too dissimilar from how I remember it. There are hints of blackberries, caramel and a little spiciness to it. The taste of winter fruits was dominant throughout which gave it a nice warming feel. This was a 10/10 beer for me in the past and, while I would not score it that highly now, I would award it an 8/10 on this occasion. It is still a very nice winter beer and one which I would gladly have again.