Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The best beer from the holiday weekend

Looking back over the extended holiday weekend, there were some very nice beers on the menu.  It started with sipping my own Maibock on Friday while brewing.  (It's is after all against all good common sense and etiquette to brew beer without drinking beer, and homebrew, if at all possible, is a must.)  Next, Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome was opened prior to Saturday dinner at Hollerbach's Willowtree Cafe, German restaurant, where we drank the Schneider-Weisse Aventinus on draft... extraordinary.  Sunday evening we cracked open the Dogfish Head Hellhound On My Ale, followed by several other beers on Christmas eve, finishing up with the Sierra Nevada Narwhal.  On Christmas day I had to try out my new "tasting glasses" with a Newcastle Winter IPA.

So, which was the best?  It is a tough choice really.  The Winter Welcome is a nice English ale, true to the traditional style.  Since it is a seasonal special, each year I look forward to it.  The Hellhound On My Ale was excellent too, almost like a plus sized 90 Minute IPA, with slightly more bite (perhaps the lemons).

Of all, the Aventinus on draft was the most excellent.  A true German wheat doppelbock, full flavored with natural spicy tones.  I'm getting thirsty just thinking about it.  They only had a few kegs and we decided to go at the right time.  The Schneider-Weisse website describes it as follows.
Deep and complex – for big and relaxing moments by the fire.
Dark-ruby colored wheat doppelbock with a creamy fine head. Strong notes of ripe bananas, raisins and plums meet liquorice and roasty aromes. Full-bodied and warming, with a well-balanced and smooth finish. The ideal companion for hearty roast meat, venison and also fruity chocolate desserts, “Kaiserschmarrn” (pancakes), “Elisenlebkuchen” (christmas cookies) or blue cheese.
Oldest wheat doppelbock of Bavaria. Since 1907.
Wheat doppelbock 8,2% vol. alc.,
original gravity: 18,5%
It won't be on tap very long or very often.  It is a must, if you can find it.