16 December 2008

Christmas Beer Notes

Kept brief so I don't waste too much time typing.......

White Marsh Winter Solstice on firkin: Yes, a spectacular chocolate-tinged porter. My seatmate detects a note of Anchor OSA-like cinnamon; I concur a bit. Delicious as it warms--think a muted Sam Adams Chocolate Bock.

Ridgeway Insanely Bad Elf 11.2% in bottle, imperial red: WONDERFULLY rich and decadent in flavor, but the 11.2% is well-disguised, seemingly more like an 8% IPA. Sweet red, almost notes of cherry/fruit cocktail.

Haand Bryggeriet Nissefar 7.0%, bottle says "Batch 169, brewed Aug 08, best before Aug 10", Norwegian holiday ale: a great high-gravity stout, blacker than Guinness, sweet and woody/tannic. Hints at spice, but seems more like the rare woods of Dogfish Head's wacky Palo Santo.

Mystery "pour me whatever's open" glass, so we know it's bottled: cloudy tan color, weird "skunk cabbage" nose--although nicely tasty with a lot of funky sweet-tart things going on, the overwhelming opinion around the proverbial "table" is that this bottle is "skunked". Casey assures me it's not--Theirez Noel from France. Yeah, I could order this again--with mussels, maybe.

Birra de Natale (Italia): bright red, a nice sweet slightly funky (ok, not so slight) Belgian-style Xmas, a bit lightweight but zesty and a natural for hopheads.

Struisee Tsjeeses (gesundheit) 330ml bottle 10%: brewed with spices, cloudy tan with little bits floating in it. I'm thinking in terms of spiced pears, sweet with a touch of funk.

Wintercoat Yule Ol: mahagony/dark red, cloudy, spiced nose. Tasty albeit dry and with some serious alcohol bite.

Mikkeller Not Just Another Wit: fuzzy golden, good head, classic spicy wit nose..... I play the "name this beer" game with three associates. The guesses I get are Sierra Nevada Celebration, Heavy Seas Winter Storm, and Struise Tsjeeses. It's hoppy as hell compared to the rest of tonight's selections, rich, golden, spicy, hoppy hoppy joy joy...........

Troegs Mad Elf 2007: zounds, whatta braggot. Almost syrupy, what with its blend of cherries, honey, and malt. That same outrageous meld of cherries, smoke, honey smoothness, and alcohol. Wine-like in its palate and assault.

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