Tasting: November 23, 2011
Style: Holiday Ale
Once the pumpkin ales and Oktoberfest beers make their way to the sale bin, itâ€™s time for the rollout of all the holiday ales. I have a couple of favorites like Anchorâ€™s Christmas Ale and Sierra Nevadaâ€™s Celebration that I buy every year â€“ but I like to make room to try a few new ones every year.
This one is from Danish Brewer â€“ Mikkeller. Other than their Beer Geek Brunch Weasel â€“ I havenâ€™t been a fan of Mikkeller. Iâ€™ll call their offerings overpriced â€“ and underwhelming. But as I say â€“ Iâ€™ll keep going back to the well to find a gem. The plain gift tag label caught my attention and surprisingly it wasnâ€™t priced at $15 for a 12.7 ounce bottle â€“ only $6. Still ridiculous but, Iâ€™ll give it a whirl.
The label says that it’s a holiday ale brewed with spices and aged in bourbon barrels. It also says this is 8.0% alcohol by volume. It pours a dark stout brown, with a creamy coffee colored head that lingers on nicely. Strong aroma of dark chocolate and coffee — no spice — so right now — it seems like a bourbon stout. First sip is of crisp lemon and overly charred grains layered over subtle dark chocolate and coffee. The bourbon barrel characteristics are subdued — but evident as vanilla. This one is quite fizzy somewhat thin and a bit disjointed — left with an unpleasant burnt aftertaste. Not really a fan — I wouldn’t buy it again – but wouldn’t turn up my nose if someone gave me one as a gift. I’ll put it at 82 points.