Author Topic: Christmas Ales on tap!  (Read 2860 times)

Offline jpellett251

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Christmas Ales on tap!
« on: December 10, 2009, 12:49:10 PM »

Offline HaagenDazs

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Re: Christmas Ales on tap!
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2009, 01:14:23 PM »
I've found Sweetwater's Festive Ale to be better than last year's.  Can't put my finger on the difference exactly but I think it's at least more smooth and drinkable from what I can remember.

Offline jpellett251

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Re: Christmas Ales on tap!
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2009, 01:42:38 PM »
I forgot about Sweetwater.  I don't think I had last year's version, but I've had this year's a few times and quite enjoyed it.  Not as bold as the Belgians, but nicely balanced.  I do like some hops in my spiced ales.

Offline Melomom

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Re: Christmas Ales on tap!
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2009, 07:16:30 PM »
I had the Corsendonk Christmas ale at Brickstore last week and thought it was tasty (and very potent, one was plenty for me).  I see The Grange has a number of Christmas ales on tap, that will be a nice place to have one (or two).

Offline jpellett251

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Re: Christmas Ales on tap!
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2009, 01:33:56 AM »
At The Grange tonight we had a few N'Ice Chouffe's (always a great choice), the Heavy Seas Winter ESB (very good choice), Winter Koninck by De Koninck (not very interesting), New Belgium Fall Wild Ale (bubble gum smell from the Brett yeast, but taste was like a more funky Ommegang Dubbel), and the Bernies's Christmas (always sublime).

Then we headed over to BSP.  The only new Christmas beer that I had there was Ridgeway Very Bad Elf, which as the name implies, was very bad.  The fuggles hops were so overwhelming that it was hard to drink.  Fuggles is good in moderation, but this beer had an odd, cloying bitterness.  On the bright side, Avec Les Bons Voeux was one of the better traditional saisons I've had.  Characteristic saison grassiness, but enough spiciness and complexity to keep in interesting.  It's of course not a Christmas beer though, so I guess I should avoid adulterating my Christmas Ale thread talking about it.

Offline jpellett251

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Re: Christmas Ales on tap!
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2009, 12:55:23 AM »
The Porter just tapped Mikkeller Santa's Little Helper 2009.  This is now one of my favorite Christmas ales.  The main flavor is of chocolate covered raspberry, which tempers the piny simcoe hops.  There is a background of spices more traditionally found in a wit (orange peel and coriander).  Very smooth, creamy, and a little boozy (my girlfriend would say very boozy...she said it just tasted like whiskey) with good carbonation.  A beautiful beer that I highly recommend.

With not much time remaining between now and Christmas I assume this will be my last new Christmas beer this year unless I run across some new ones in London between Christmas and New Year's Eve.  All is not lost though.  I was only in for one drink, but I never pass by a chance to strike up a conversation with Molly (the owner), which I guess I should relay more of in a post not about Christmas ales (in The Porter thread).

Offline HaagenDazs

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Re: Christmas Ales on tap!
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2009, 03:34:45 PM »
jpellett251 -

You are certainly a wealth of knowledge when it comes to deep, dark, and heavy brews... keep it up!  Thanks!

Offline FlyinBrian

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Re: Christmas Ales on tap!
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2009, 04:16:26 PM »
I've found Sweetwater's Festive Ale to be better than last year's.  Can't put my finger on the difference exactly but I think it's at least more smooth and drinkable from what I can remember.

It does vary from year to year.  Several years ago it was fantastic.  Last year (or maybe the year before) it was not to my liking.  I will have to remember to try this year's batch.

Offline jpellett251

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Re: Christmas Ales on tap!
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2009, 12:06:46 AM »
Thanks HaagenDazs.  This will probably be my last Christmas Ale post unless I run across some good ones in London next week and can't control myself, but I'll keep reporting on the deep, dark, and heavy brews I find.

Tonight I ordered a Bell's Chirstmas at BSP but they had just sold out so I probably won't get around to trying it this year.  I tried a little of my girlfriend's Anchor Christmas and wasn't very impressed.  The initial flavor was of mild cloves (I'm not a fan of cloves), and then a pretty strong presence of fuggles hops.  I like fuggles if they're balanced by other hops, but I don't like when they dominate.  As I said before, that's what I didn't like about the Ridgeway Very Bad Elf, so use that information as you like.  I try to be upfront about the fact that I'm not a big fan of simcoe, cascade, or fuggles hops if they're not balanced, so take that into consideration if you like those flavors.

Also, I want to revisit Sweetwater Festive.  The hops bite isn't as strong as my memory told me it was the first time I wrote about it, and it also had a raisin/dark fruit component that I would normally associate with a Belgian quad.  Very nice beer.

Offline totm

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Re: Christmas Ales on tap!
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2009, 07:15:12 AM »
, but I'll keep reporting on the deep, dark, and heavy brews I find.

Tonight I ordered a Bell's Chirstmas at BSP but they had just sold out so I probably won't get around to trying it this year. 
IIRC, Bell's Christmas is a Belgian White.  Kind of counter to the end phrase of the first paragraph.
"It's your last day on earth, what is your final bite to eat?" Eric Ripert

"A good potato with a slab of butter.  I'm a happy man." Joel Robuchon

Offline jpellett251

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Re: Christmas Ales on tap!
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2009, 10:45:11 AM »
BSP called it a scotch ale, but they've been wrong many times before on style.  I also like a good Belgian Wit if that's what it really is.

 

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