Twelve Beers of Christmas
Brewers use the holiday season as a reason to brew specialty ales with Christmas, and winter-themed labels on the bottles. Many of these beers fall into the “winter warmer’’ category; heavier on malt than hops, perhaps brewed with cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices. But many fall into other categories that could be enjoyed any time of year. There are too many Christmas beers to try in the short time they’re available. So too get you started, here are 12 notable craft beers of Christmas.
Bateman’s , 4.9%. The bottle is dark and has a picture of a ‘rosey nosey’ Father Christmas on the front. The beer is copper-coloured and has a warming and rich taste. The hops are evident at the front while spicy fruits finish the springy Lincolnshire ale.
Shepherd Neame’s simplistically named . At 7% it’s strong and has a light, glowing amber colour. There’s a fruity nose and with only a small hint of spice, and finishes with a clean and hoppy finish. Very refreshing and very drinkable.
Brooklyn Brewery’s , a huge 10%. Pitch black and a foreboding complexity, there are signs of what is to come from this bitter sweet 10%. It’s bold and rich, chocolaty, Christmas pudding in a glass. One of my all time favorite's always a few bottles in stock.
this time, the festive beer is from Harvey’s in East Sussex, a respectable ABV of 8.1%. Again, this is dark and heavily hopped ale with biscuity malt and a vinous fruit palate.
9% This is another dark ale and is known as
(brewed yearly in limited batches), This full-bodied vintage is brewed with Fuggles and Super Styrian hops that create a tapestry of rich, spicy flavours. Orange, citrus and fruitcake notes are all present, and are balanced well with the biscuity, creamy malt flavours leaving a soft and warming finish.
from Hog’s Back Brewery in Surrey; a chestnut-coloured ale with a chocolate aftertaste. It’s light at 4.4.% and a little fruity and pale for my tastes. There’s a liquorice sting that gives s sharp smack to the tongue.
Delirium, Noel, 10% This is an auburn beauty from Belgium. It’s delicious; sweet, but not syrupy, and exceptionally smooth, with a firm body. It’s also got some serious kick
Samuel Smith, Winter Welcome Ale 6% A lovely deep, rich red with a big head, this English ale looks beautiful in the glass. It doesn’t disappoint; it features a fine balance of malty sweetness and moderate bitterness.
Samichlaus 14% The king of Christmas beers, Samichlaus is the highlight of the holiday season for many beer enthusiasts. It is a rich, aged doppelbock brewed at the Austrian brewery Schloss Eggenberg. “Samichlaus” beer is brewed once a year, in each case on December 6th, and stored and matured afterwards for over 10 months before it is bottled.
Young's Winter Warmer 5% Dark brown colour with a good white head. Slightly roasted aroma. malt. Flavour is mild, with bitter finish. This would be a good beer to have on hand if your some of guests might not be up to the challenge of some of the bigger beers that I've listed above.
Snicker all you want, but everyone wants a piece of Santa's Butt. This satisfying, porter was inspired by this famous line from children's Christmas tale that popular in Britain: "And Santa sat on his great butt, drinking a hearty brew." Very dark brown with small tan head. Flavour is roasted malts, chocolate, bitter, sweet and full of dark fruits.
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