I guess you could call it practice, or prepping, either way its fun. The topic for this month's Session is of course Winter Beer, so what better way to uhm, practice, then go out and try as many different winter beers as possible in prep for December 7th? I've been going out scouring the local beer stores for unique winter beer's so imagine my excitement when I saw two very special beers that I had heard so much about. What am I talking about? Shelton Brother's Very Bad Elf, and Criminally Bad Elf beers.
The Brewery: Shelton Bros. is not actually a brewery, they are importers based out of Massachusetts. They import from all over the world, importing from breweries that brew in small batches, and beer that is unpasteurized, and unfiltered. They are all craft beers. The imports come from Belgium, England, Scotland and even Brazil. These two are from England's Ridgeway Brewery, and they are pretty famous for their unique and controversial Christmas beers, most notably Santa's Butt.
Very Bad Elf: The beer is a Special Reserve ale that weighs in at 7.5%, and made with a unique malt and Fuggle hops. The beer pours a pale amber with about a quarter inch head. The nose is full of pale malts, spice, earthy hops. The mouth is toasty, smooth, spicey with a bit of bitterness. It has an unusual aftertaste that I just couldn't place. A solid beer that kept me guessing and attempting to decipher what that taste was. I'll give it a B. Here's what the folks over at BA have to say.
Criminally Bad Elf: This one is a Barleywine and weighs in at 10.5%. This is a bomb of a beer, pouring a pale golden with a quarter inch head. Floural hops, earthy, pale malts all on the nose. The mouth is syrupy, spicey, concentrated white grapeyness. Honey, and a bit of hops round out the taste. Much maltier than most American Barleywines which is exactly what I want. I really enjoyed this beer, I'd give it an A-. The folks over at BA don't necessarily agree as only 88% of the folks give it a thumbs up.