Monday, December 13, 2010

More Holiday Beers

I said in my previous post how much I love this season for beers and so its time for another installment of Holiday Beers.
Mikkeller Santa's Little Helper: A favorite of mine from this gypsy brewer weighs in at 10.9%. The beer changes its recipe every year tweaking each time striving to reach perfection. An ale brewed with spices this one pours a dark brown almost but not quite black with a thick tan colored head. Spicy and herbal on the nose. Notes of spruce and sweet malt. Low carbonation with a full creamy mouthfeel. Rich sweet malts up front, notes of spruce, spice, candied dark fruits, rye bread, ginger, caramel all blend together to create a Christmas experience. Santa's Helper indeed. If you left this out next to your fireplace you might wake up on Christmas morning with Santa happily asleep the empty bottle clutched in his hands. This one gets a strong A from me.
Delerium Noel: From the makers of Delerium Tremens, the last time I had this brew was back in 2008 and I thoroughly enjoyed it. A 10% Belgian dark ale that pours a light hazy brown with very little head. Candied sugar, fruity esters on the nose. Medium bodied, some notes of alcohol, fruity, plums, candied sugar, fruity, slightly sweet. Some brown sugar and vanilla notes show up as it warms. Its a little sweet for me and I'd love to see how this changes as it ages. Very plummy some sour cherries as well show up. A good beer that gets a B+ from me.
Samichlaus 2009: This leads credence to the theory that Christmas seasonal beers are the best for aging. Samichlaus is an original "extreme" beer from Austria, weighing at at a robust 14%. Unlike others though this one is a lager, not an ale. Brewed once a year on December 6th, aged, and only then is it bottled. So this one bottled in 2009 was actually brewed back in 2008. The beer pours a rusty brown color with a thin and quickly dissipating head of foam. The nose is of cherries, and alcohol, dried fruit, sherry, dark bread, chocolate. Medium body with very little carbonation. Cherries and prunes, notes of alcohol. I close my eyes and think I'm drinking a fine port. The liquid coats the tongue begging to be paired with a strong cheese or chocolate. This is simply amazing and shows what beer can be. If you have a bottle of this, keep sitting on it, as I think this one can age for many more years. A great A beer.

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