Monday, 12 December 2016

Twelve Beers of Christmas 2016: five, six, seven and eight

Black Christmas
Purchased from:  Cotteridge Wines
Tasting Notes said:  Subtle roast character plays perfectly with fruity and slightly tart notes from the cranberry, which we have combined with our most favourite hops, Sorachi Ace, to bring hints of vanilla and coconut to the party.  And because we know you are not going to want to just have the one, we’ve made this beer a very sessionable 4.5%.
Dee said:  Wins the prize for the most macabre label design.  A stout, so was black in colour.  The promise of cranberries was delivered in the aroma where it was mixed with dark chocolate and malt.
Bitter tasting but cranberry and dark chocolate were still very much in evidence.  The cranberry also stayed around long enough to provide a pleasant after-taste.
Jay said:  Didn’t get cranberries!  Did get a properly bitter stout.  Another one with a lingering after-taste.  At 4.5% it’s a Christmassy, heady session ale, and there aren’t so many of them around.

Red & White Christmas
Purchased from:  Stirchley Wines
Brewery:  Mikkeller
Tasting Notes said:  Holiday Ale brewed with Spices.
Dee said:  Mid bronze coloured with a white head.  Masses of fruit and hops on the nose, with a hint of sourness.  These same characteristics could also be found in the taste which also contained some mixed spice.  A recommended Christmas beer for the hop heads.
Jay said:  Goodness this is lively!  Massive fruitiness on the nose and first taste, which quickly fades.  Frighteningly easily drinkable for its strength.

Christmas Ale
Purchased from:  Stirchley Wines
Brewery:  Anchor Brewing
Tasting Notes said:  The 2016 Christmas Ale is a deep mahogany brown with a creamy, tan head and boasts aromas of fruitcake, molasses, and fresh cut wood. The beer tastes of a roasted caramel malt, with notes of spiced chocolate and nuts. And it has a rich, smooth, and velvety mouthfeel. Every year the Anchor brewers look forward to formulating a new Christmas Ale recipe and tasting the fruits of their labors. We are always excited to please beer fans with its ever-changing recipe and label. Cheers from the Anchor brewers!
Dee said:  Very dark brown with beige head.  Lots of dark fruits making up the heady aroma: black cherry, blackcurrants and mince pies.  This was followed by a complex taste profile which included vanilla, marzipan, banana and buttery shortbread.  If I was asked to define a ‘traditional’ Christmas beer, I would choose this one.
Jay said:  Sour, lingering coffee.  This is an end of night, roaring fire, wingbacked chair beer.  Big, luscious and feisty.  Love it.

Speciale Noel
Purchased from:  Cotteridge Wines
Brewery:  Abbaye des Rocs
Tasting Notes said:  Triple fermentation.  Natural beer with yeast, pure malt and hop.
Dee said:  Dark Chestnut coloured with a strong, treacly, spicy aroma.  Bitter tasting.  Reminded me of Marmite and Twiglets.  Much more lightly textured than I was expecting, though still strong.
Jay said:  Lively on opening, even after a week out in the cold.  Smooth and fruity fall-over juice this one.  Couldn’t place what it reminded me of until Dee mentioned Twiglets.

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