Classic Winter Beers

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December is upon us and because we are in full holiday mode we thought we would share some of the “classic” winter beers that are available only during this time of year. You may have heard of some of these before and others may become your new favorites.

Sam Smith’s Winter Welcome: Winter Warmer  6.0% ABV This is a classic holiday beer’, a hearty amber colored British ale brewed to be consumed during the winter months. Malty toffee and caramel flavors swim around the mouth with teasing sweetness. A sharp hop character offsets the malts with a thin edge of citric bitterness,. This beer is light and quaffable but still delivers a rich flavor. $5.49  18.9 oz. bottle

 

St. Bernardus Christmas Ale 95 Points BA World Class 10.0% ABV.  Sizable head drops down to a latte-like foam; this ale is nearly black in color. Candied fruit, plum pudding, hint of broth, burnt sugar and mulling spices scream X-mas to the nose. Carbonation smoothes the palate, silky with a delicate but thick medium body. Malt character is on the dry side for the most part; a smattering of caramel is in the middle. A bit hoppy with a side of phenols, all of which go herbal. Alcohol is pretty tame for 10 percent–it warms but does not rake the taste buds. Fruity, spicy and yeasty with hints of dark sugar the drying finish. Super complex, yet still a sipper. This ale is waiting to be served at a rich holiday meal.$14.99 25.4 oz. Bottle

De Struise Tsjeeses: 90 Points BA Outstanding  10% ABV.  Strong blond winter beer with fluffy white head which has been lagered for 8 months on different stonefruits. With the name came a face, a caricature actually, that was drawn on the day Urbain, the brew master and master brewer, drank too many Tsjeeses’s. Every time he drinks one, he says “Tsjeeses, what a beer”. Therefore the name is more an expression of stupefaction than a curse. We have had already many discussions around the pronounciation of “Tsjeeses”. Very close would be that you say “cheeses” or cheese in plural. $9.95 12 oz. Bottle

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