This is a big one. First hit is maple and lots of it. Not sugary though, more dry. It is an odd duck. I get some notes of Utopias peering through but that maple is the keynote. The cheeks warm after just a couple sips but the alcohol is not a large presence. I do get some tobacco / coffee ground combo. Chicory maybe. Due to the cost per bottle and the ABV, this is a special occasion beer.
Have a fantastic holiday and I hope that you have a case of beer under whichever style of Christmas tree that you have!
We are at Christmas Eve and Santa has to work and not kick back with a pint, but there is one last beer to be had, Stay Frosty from Reuben’s Brews.
“Stay Frosty IPA is the perfect beer for the tail end of Summer and the return of crisp, cool, fall air to the PNW. It’s clean and refreshing like a lager, but with the higher ABV and bold hoppiness of a classic West Coast IPA.
Instead of using traditional ale yeast, in this hybrid IPA we use lager yeast and ferment at cooler temperatures than normal IPAs to deliver a clean body that allows the hops to shine without any of the usual ale yeast aromas. The addition of flaked rice to the grain bill imparts additional clarity and crispness. Gobs of hops build an assertive bitterness, and we also dry hop at the tail end of fermentation to deliver even more hop boldness.”
Nearing the end. Hard to pick at this point but I lean again, like yesterday to spices associated with the season, something nice from Ommegang.
“Lightly dusted with spices of the season, Everything Nice is a warming, wintry Belgian-style blonde ale. This supremely cozy confection pairs perfectly with any traditional holiday treat. Note the flavors of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and white pepper as you sip next to the fireplace. We hope this fresh-baked offering brings warmth and light to you and yours.”
We head to the Washington and Oregon based Grains of Wrath for their holiday entry, Hail Santa..
Time to finally review the 2021 version (or 47th version) of Anchor Brewing’s holiday seasonal.
2021 pours a dark brown almost black with a nice latte rim of lace on top. Upon first inspection the aroma is citrus meets mulling spices. Very holiday indeed. There is more of a hop hit this year. Within distance of a black IPA. Nice roasty finish. A very filling beer. If my poor memory serves, this is one of my favorite iterations of this classic.
I have had a few Jubelales this year but let’s focus on the alternate Deschutes Jubel, Cherries Jubelale.
“This new take on the beloved Super Jubel receives a dessert-inspired twist with the addition of cherry and vanilla to its rich barrel-aged malty decadence. Barrel-aged in wine, the beer brings in the flavors of Jubelale, but with added strength and complexity from barrel aging.”
Raise an Anvil to Hope with AleSmith’s 2021 version of YuleSmith.
“2021 YuleSmith is a collaboration with Anvil of Hope, founded by AleSmith owners Peter and Vicky Zien. This beer is our commitment to assist those in need and will directly assist in Anvil of Hope’s efforts in the community. Fan favorite YuleSmith is our Imperial Red Ale; although quite malty, big hop flavors are abundant making this an unforgettable winter warmer. Enjoy and thank you for helping us spread hope!”
Back to California as fast as we can because we have to catch up with The Bruery…
“Bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout with molasses, ginger, graham cracker, and spices
Run, run, run, as fast as you can… it’s gingerbread season, and we’re feeling festive! What better way to celebrate than with a delicious gingerbread-inspired imperial stout. We added a bit of molasses to the boil before aging in bourbon barrels. Then we added all the classic spices— cinnamon, allspice, clove, and nutmeg— along with graham cracker to capture the rich sweetness of a fresh gingerbread cookie.”
We head to merry Old England for a Scandinavian styled holiday ale from Thornbridge Brewing…
“A dark mild with Low Colour Maris Otter, Crystal, wheat and chocolate malt, hopped with Goldings. A brand new beer to provide comfort in deepest darkest December
Knäck is a 4% dark mild, with a rich malty soul giving notes of hard toffee and roasted nuts, much like the Swedish Christmas treat of the same name.”