Friday, December 21, 2012

A few Winter Ales leading up to Christmas

Winter and Christmas Ales are popular this time of year, and I've attempted to sample several.  In fact, I intend on another trip to the store to pick up a few more, leading up to the Big Day.

Here is a quick overview of what I've had so far this year, with a few brief comments.  While some of these are nice, others just may not be worth the investment.  These are listed in the order in which I drank them.

1. Shiner Holiday Cheer:  I posted a review on this one other week (see it here).  Overall OK, but this isn't really a craft beer...  More "crafty" which has become more of a technical term these last few weeks. (More about that later perhaps.)

2. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale:  This is a good one each year.  A fresh hopped IPA, very much in the Sierra Nevada style.  Nice hop aroma and flavor.


3.Harpoon Winter Warmer:  I'm not a big fan of this.  The nutmeg spices and other were maybe too pronounced.  Perhaps I prefer a cleaner beer and this one tends to linger.


 4. Breckenridge Christmas Ale:  I like the label and graphics on this one.  Overall, I'd give it a "good".  Nice warmth to it.  The finish is a little odd and takes some getting used to.  I drank it one evening and the next day at World Of Beer, my buddy selected it (he arrived before me, so I had nothing to do with it).  He thought it was just OK, if that.

5. Bell's Christmas Ale:  Overall I like Bell's beers.  This one is no different.  It seems similar to their Amber Ale, with a nice malty backbone.  This has a nutmeg flavor to it, but it is much less pronounced and seems to balance well.  This is a great one to bring to a party.  Very nice and drinkable.

As I say, I have a few more days to go and need to make a trip to the store.  I already have one reserved for Christmas Eve though... Which beer could be more appropriate than Santa's Private Reserve?