There is just one more week until the Jolly Old Elf starts sneaking down people’s chimneys in the cloak of night dropping mysterious wrapped boxes under people’s brightly lit evergreen trees that they have pulled from the ground to place within their homes for a couple weeks before tossing them to the curb. Here’s hoping that I find a couple bottles of something rare tied up fancily with a bow sitting under the tree. If I’m really lucky I may even find a sealed wooden box labeled Cohiba with a return address from Cuba on it too.
I made my list and checked it twice. I’m definitely on Santa Brews’ nice list this year. I’m not going to cop to the charge of saucing Rudolph’s water bowl. So the reindeer has a bit of a nose-painting problem, you can’t pin that on Harley the Beer-man. I will however attest to shaving some ice off of the back of one Frostworth T. Snowman, but that was only because I wanted a cocktail on the rocks. However if Santa tries to flag me as naughty for that charge, I’ll rat him out for driving a sleigh under the influence. I’ve got pictures of his sleigh after he ran over Granny. Oh yeah and that private dick I hired got some b-roll of that white bearded lothario kissing my friend’s mommy under some mistletoe not that long after that accident. I bet her husband would like to see that footage.
So Santa or Krampus better not have any reason to put me on that naughty list. I need some more beers for my cellar.
India Pagan Ale from Thirsty Pagan Brewing Company out of Superior, WI.
Served: Served from a growler, at fridge temperature into a pint glass.
Appearance: Hyper-effervescent cloudy orange with a ¼ inch head of white bubble that retains.
Smell: Caramel malt and pine mixed with grapefruit
Taste: Toasty caramel blended with citrus fruit. There is a fair amount of hop bitterness but it is nowhere near as pine-forward as the aroma suggests
Mouth feel: Very effervescent but not heavy bodied. Virtually no aftertaste
Overall: This beer is delicious. It houses a pleasant balance between being hop forward and malt forward. Who needs a Yule log when you have this hoppy winter warmer? This is a pagan holiday right?
2013 Funky Jewbelation from Founders Brewing Company out of Grand Rapids, MI.
Served: Served from a bottle, at slightly warmer than fridge temperature into a goblet.
Appearance: Dark brown with minimal lacing.
Smell: I smell tart wine grapes or perhaps pomegranate or sour cherry or tart blackberry.
Taste: This is a tart bomb. Very sour, but with a hint of the barrel whiskey character left behind. It’s a crazy flavor blend…but one that is quite addictive
Mouth feel: Medium body with minimal carbonation. The tartness covers your mouth but is still a clean finish.
Overall: This one year old beauty came back from Chicago with me from my last holiday trip down there. I have had most of the beers this is made from, but obviously have never had them mixed together. After consuming this bottle I will need to plan another trip because I want a 2014 to age and determine how it compares. Perhaps I will buy eight bottles one for each crazy night of Chanukah.
Even Less Jesus from Stillwater Artisanal Brewing Company out of Westminster, MD as a remix of Evil Twin’s Even More Jesus.
Served: Served from a bottle, at fridge temperature into a goblet.
Appearance: Jet black with a thin ring of tan bubbles
Smell: Grassy with some hints of whiskey and dark fruit, most prominently red wine grapes.
Taste: Very chocolate forward with some presence of whiskey but not over the top. The grape is not present at first but there is a hint present as it warms. The taste once warmer is almost definitively chocolate covered raisins.
Mouth feel: Sweet but not cloyingly so. This one finishes clean but leaves behind that chocolate fruit aroma on the top of your palate and in your nasal passages.
Overall: Even More Jesus was one of my favorites from last year. Little did I know that they were going to take one of my favorites, mix it up in a red wine barrel, and create an even better version of the original. Kudos to the guys at Stillwater Artisanal, this is truly a Christmas miracle. Screw the Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh just bring me a case of this for X-Mas.