Brew Review – Evolution Craft Brewing Company’s Secret Spot (Winter Ale)

I first stumbled upon Evolution Brewing while doing a beer run in Maryland for a friend’s party.  Always wanting to try something new and local I picked up a couple of six packs to see what this new brewery had to offer, and to confess, that initial meeting wasn’t all that.  While there certainly wasn’t anything wrong with any of the beer, there wasn’t anything in those bottles that got me exciting like some things do.

dvd disk

Oh, you are sooooo funny.  I was talking about beer, fur ball.  You know what happens to naughty editors this time of year, don’t you?

sad dog with stocking

That’s right, they get nothing in their Christmas stocking.

cat-on-computer1

The cat?  Yeah, I guess you could blame the cat – if we actually owned one, couch licker.  Now if you don’t mind…

But it was when I attended a tap take over at Two Stones Pub and sampled a cross section of their other brews, some that are usually only available at the brewery’s tasting room, that I really got an appreciation for what this brewery was doing.  Their Lot #6, a draft only DIPA that you can normally find outside the brewery, is very good especially if you’re lucky enough to find it on cask.  One of their Menageries, which is a series of beers that they play around with some bourbon barrel aging techniques, was quite tasty.  And their Morning Wood, an oatmeal stout with coffee aged in bourbon barrels, I liked a lot more than I should considering I’m not a big fan of either of those flavors.  But it was about another beer, their Secret Spot, that I wrote:

From what I gathered this is a tap only winter beer.  Pity, because this malty beer with a light floral hop ending was very good!  I hope one day it will make its way into bottles, because I’d take it to some Christmas parties for sure.

Well Evolution must have read what I wrote because this year they’ve released Secret Spot in bottles.  Will I enjoy it as much now as I apparently did back then?  Let’s taste.

THEM:  The brewery has not put Secret Spot up on their website yet, so there aren’t to many specifics I can give.  I can tell you that the beer has 40IBUs and clocks in at 6.3%ABV.

Secret Spot
Evolution Brewing’s Secret Spot

ME:  Secret Spot pours clear amber with a layer of lace across the top.  The beer has a nice level of carbonation which keeps the lacing pretty stable throughout the drink.  The nose is light with slight hints of caramel  and hops.  The flavor echos the aroma with caramel, notes of biscuit, and hops, with the later coming across as an herby/spiciness which is light on the tongue.  The finish is clean, with a slight bitterness that leaves your mouth watering after each sip.  To say the finish builds up as you make your way through the bottle would be an over statement, but it does leave your mouth with a little touch of sweetness to remind you of the  experience.  As I was getting to the bottom of the glass, I as actually getting an “ice tea” vibe out of this beer, which I though was funny since it’s a “winter ale”.

I found Secret Spot to be a very nice, drinkable beer and found nothing in the bottle to change my initial assessment from when I had it on draft last year.  I’ll definitely be bringing it to some Christmas parties this year.

Time for another beer.

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Author: Ed (The Dogs of Beer)

Beer Blog focused on Delaware & surrounding area. Drinker of beer. Writer of stuff. Over user of commas. Dangler of prepositions.

6 thoughts on “Brew Review – Evolution Craft Brewing Company’s Secret Spot (Winter Ale)”

  1. We just picked this one up! I am a huge fan of eVo. I used to live down on the Eastern Shore, they were a small brewery, located in Delmar when I lived that way, now they are in Salisbury MD. I recommend checking the brewery out if you ever get a chance and even though you said you don’t like the coffee flavors, check out their Rise Up Coffee Stout. It is top notch. They should be bottling it at some point I was told but not sure when! They also do migration series beers, which are usually good stuff too! Nice post as well! eVo has been getting better as the time has gone by.

    1. I’ve had the Rise Up stout and remember not being overly offended by it, LOL. I would definitely love to check out their new location as sadly I never made it to the old one. I need a Evolution/3rd Wave/Burley Oaks road trip sometime soon.

      1. Burley Oaks is real cool too. I have been there maybe twice (they opened after I moved) I might actually be checking it out before new years. The old eVo location was real small and nothing to write home about, the new place is pretty awesome.

  2. I wish they distributed here, out West, Secret Spot sounds interesting. I tried a number of their beers at GABF last year and was impressed; their #6 DIPA made my Top Ten draught beers of 2011.

    I’ve had a number of experiences like you did, where you’ll try a brewery’s beer in a bottle or can and think ‘meh.’ Then have the same on tap and really like it. Which is why I try not to make up my mind about any brewery until I’ve had their beers both on tap and out of a can/bottle.

    1. Their lot #6 is really good. I’m not to wide spread this is, but here in Delaware there are a couple of breweries who’s shelf products are ok, but if you go to the brewery, tasting room or a tap take over you can find some really nice gems.

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