Tasting Notes said: Hints of rum mingle with coffee and vanilla to make a truly wonderful old-style porter.
Dee said: An aroma of slight smokiness, which was reflected in the taste. This went down rather quickly. A good strong winter porter. I enjoyed it a lot.
Jay said: Same as a lot of the other ones. I enjoyed it but not getting a lot of Christmas.
Special Holiday Ale
Tasting Notes said: This is the second release of Special Holiday Ale, which was first brewed in San Diego in 2008. Each brew is following the same recipe, including Michigan chestnuts, white sage from southern California and Norwegian juniper berries, but differences in brewing and aging practices produce different beers. Cheers to being different! Skål!
Dee said: Now this one I did get Christmas from, in bucket loads. A strong dark beer combining perfectly balanced flavours of spices, fruits and dark chocolate. Ticked all the boxes for me.
Jay said: Cor! I haven’t got past that yet!
Tasting Notes said: Stille Nacht (Silent Night) is a prestige beer from De Dolle Brouwers, brewed for Christmas. It has a very potent beer (12% alc/vol). It has been boiling for many hours, brewed with pale malt with white candy sugar in the kettle. The Nugget hops gives an extra bitterness to balance the extreme sweetness due to the density. The taste triangle is completed with some acidity of the fermentation. It is a very interesting beer to age. We have samples of every bottling we have done so far and aging hasn't decreased the quality of this beer. Keep some samples at 10°C and mark the year on the cap with an alcohol marker. Cheers!!
Dee said: We saved the strongest beer for last, and this one, at twelve per cent, certainly packs a punch, but still retains a great flavour, with elements of honey and even cinnamon in the mix. This is not one for drinking all at once. Savour it and it will be as Christmassy as a glass of sherry.
Jay said: Loving it. Again, not getting heaps of Christmas, but I’m wondering now if that’s expectation over reality.
Dee - We were going to wait until tomorrow before posting the results of our beer tastings, but after a brief discussion, we were both agreed on our favourite;
Nøgne ø Special Holiday Ale
This for us was the beer which most closely demonstrated all of the qualities that we were looking for in a good Christmas Beer: Depth of Colour, Strength of flavour, Richness and Spiciness.
There were no bad beers here, just one or two which we felt didn’t deliver in one or more areas.
It was a fun project to undertake and hopefully has been an interesting read.