Time to snap our fingers and enter the Tardis to try (4) of Anchor Brewing’s past Merry Christmas Ales.
Lots of gunk at the bottom of the bottle. Has the makings of a little sour barleywine. Cherry flavor note and a Port sorta nose to it make this interesting but it certainlyturneda corner into bad territory. This is pretty close to just needing a few ounces to get the full picture.
ABV jumps a full percentage point from 5.5% in 2015 to 6.5% this year. Poursa bit darker to me as well. Little more tree spice here that I am used to from this beer but I like it that way. The sour turn is beginning to show but this is a much more full beer caught in the nick of time.
Nice woodsy aroma upon opening the bottle. Faint hit of chocolate and spice in the first sip. Nice amount of bitterness too. The espresso lacing on the side is quite pretty as well. Gettin a slight barleywine note in the background.
Smoother. Less jagged edges to this year with the red banded label. Malt lead close to a porter feel. Pours a garnet color. A little bit of a fruit taste. Leaning to cherry. Oddly this seems to have aged worse than the previous two years. Feeling like it is going to tip into sour soon.
As the winter beers continue in our distanced year, we get a little sour but also wise with Winter Sage from Cascade Brewing with grocer Market of Choice. The beer is described as a “sour wheat ale aged in oak barrels for up to 10 months, then infused with fresh, locally grown sage, white tea, lemon peel, coriander and Oregon coast sea salt.”
Next up on our winter brew sleigh ride is another Three beer. Three Ryes Men from Reuben’s Brews in Washington State. Described as “a liquified rolo. Three Ryes Men is a barleywine brewed with multiple types of rye and aged in whiskey barrels, featuring a full body with malt driven caramel and chocolate notes, and layers of warming complexity. Three Ryes Men won the bronze medal for barleywine at the 2019 Great American Beer Festival.”
I really love the label design for the 3 Kings series of beers from Raices Brewing Co. in Denver. Notice how each of the three “kings” is holding a different H. Home, heart and hops. Very clever.
Not all holiday beers are Norman Rockwell, coming from Abomination Brewing. Santa’s Black Blood is a double (?) pastry stout brewed with vanilla beans, lactose and eggnog spices.
Today we have a cross country Christmas collaboration a super Harpoon Brewery has made an Abbey Ale to honor Nova Scotia. Our standings in the world is slowly improving now. The snow covered tree has a bit of an ice cream feel to it.
Next on the Christmas agenda is getting the Christmas tree from the lot to the spot in the window at home. And this lactose, pecan and Amaretto stout from Texas and Martin House Brewing will be great for after the tree is up.
We go a little tart with this Christmas entry from New Realm Brewing in Georgia. Tart’s Content is a Berliner Weisse with traditional holiday flavors to spice up the season.
I like me some Christmas and I really need it this year but I would never think to listen to a Christmas based podcast. But, if you want to get really meta and listen to a podcast about other podcasts and those podcasts are Christmas themed then the aptly named Christmas Podcasts Podcast will give you your fill of Santa.
Obviously two California Ur Holiday seasonals should be the choice here. Get an Anchor and a Sierra Nevada Christmas beer and find some cheer in a very bad year.
Belgium is our next stop for a winter seasonal that is quite N’ice. Brasserie d’Achouffe has brewed up a dark ale that is lightly hopped with additions of thyme and curaçao to lend a spicy kick.