28 December 2009

Vintage Notes: 2001 Christmas Ale homebrew

The cap says "2001 #2 22-10-01", meaning it's a bottle of the second batch of homebrew Xmas ale my friend and I did in 2001, bottled on Oct. 21 of that year.

Pours as black as an Imperial stout, with a rich brown head to match, though head retention is poor.  Nose is unusual--pepper, faint licorice and black cherry.  Flavor is very fruity and slightly sweet, with notes of dry Scottish ale, plums, and raisins.  Definitely a "fruitcake" beer, but with a very weak and light mouthfeel much more akin to Anchor OSA or a session beer than a big winter beer.  Flavor lies on the tongue heavily, coating it like iodine.  Sweet at the front of the tongue, but chalky and drying at the back, with some juniper notes. 

All in all, a pleasant beer, which I would definitely get a six-pack of.  If I could change it, I'd up the alcohol a bit more, possibly with a dose (or extra dose) of honey.    Now, I wonder if I still have the recipe scribbled down somewhere?

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