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Holiday/Winter '05-'06 Beers


Susan in FL
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It's time to have a thread devoted to discussing this year's special brews, and for posting tasting notes if you're so inclined!

What have you tasted so far? Which are favorites and which are disappointments? Who has collected what over the years, and what have your vertical tastings been like?

I'm also interested in who else saves some holiday or winter beers for Christmas in July drinking.

Happy Holidaze.....

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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i have some stuff put away such as four 6 packs of Wesvleteren 12, 2 Innis & Gunn, 2 Samichlaus...that sort of thing. not drinking any of these this year as i'm leaving, in a little over 24 hours, for Czech Rep to drink until Jan 4th. however, my wine and beer racks are full to the rim so if the house gets broken into they'd hit the alcohol jackpot [knicking 2 bottles of bubbly alone would certainly make me cry upon my return :) ]

i'm afraid no tasting notes from me but most of what i've had since beginning of autumn has been great. i keep going back to old favourites...local bocks [Alfa, Budels], dutch autumn/winter beers [Jopen bok, anything by my favourite little brewery to be recked with "'t Ij"]. even Grolsch's witbier. lots of German boks and various outstanding Bamberger beers. too many Belgian and UK brews to list, only photos. and many were drank in my favourite pub in AMS. oh dear oh dear...too many beers too little time.

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Yeah... too many beers, too little time, and too-small-for-me jeans. :laugh:

I just finished my half of a 2005 Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. It is a very good year -- not overly spicy. Perhaps not spicy enough to some for a winter brew, but just a touch like this is ideal for my taste. I am trying to learn to identify a pine flavor in hoppy beers, and I think this might have some of that. It's robust, and nicely hopped... almost like a special version of SNPA.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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I just finished my half of a 2005 Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. 

I have been enjoying the Celebration Ale this year, too.

On the other end of the scale, tonight I had a bottle of Mahr's Brau Christmas Bock, which is essentially a Maibock masquerading in holiday attire. Nonetheless, it was a well-balanced malt bomb that was a welcome departure from most of the holiday ales I drink this time of year. I have a number of bottles picked out to consume over the rest of the holiday season and will report back on any notable experiences.

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DuPont, Avec Les Bon Voeux, a saison beer brewed by DuPont Brasserie.

I believe this referments in bottle, creating some sediment.This stuff is wonderful.If you can find it, buy lots!

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Rogue has two nice holiday brews,

FestivAle 6.2 ABV 22 oz 8.5/10, and Santa's Private Reserve 22 oz 8/10.

The Santa's Private reserve has a stronger hop taste, while the FestivAle is a Belgium style ale with some spices. I personally prefer the FestiveAle for its complexity and spices. As with all Rogue brews, higher quality seems to win over a lower price.

www.rogue.com

Twitter: Audiofan2

www.sacramentocook.com

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DuPont, Avec Les Bon Voeux, a saison beer brewed by DuPont Brasserie.

I believe this referments in bottle, creating some sediment.This stuff is wonderful.If you can find it, buy lots!

Thank you for the tip, I will look for it tonight.

Twitter: Audiofan2

www.sacramentocook.com

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Had my first Sierra Nevada Celebration 2005 last night. Very bright, crisp and with a terrific hop bite. I also thought it had a touch of honeyed sweetness. I need to compare it with some of the 2004 and 2003 SNCAs that I have in the beer fridge

Still my faveorite beer of winter, hands down.

Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

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Each year I try to make a point to get some Affligem Noel and Aass JuleOl (or Bock), if I can find it. I haven't done so yet but I'll probably have the time to go a-huntin' this afternoon.

I did have a chance to try some of the selections in the Samuel Adams Holiday Pack this year and I thought that the Holiday Porter was the clear winner. The Winter Lager seems to be missing something this year, both in terms of malt and hops. The Old Fezziwig is just not my sort of thing, but I didn't have any technical problems with it.

I think I've gone through a case and a half of the SN Celebration so far, a sixer at a time. (FWIW Susan- no spices in that beer, it's just a winter release). I love the balance this year.

The Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout is also great. I just love that little roasty hit on the finish. I left a few in my unheated electric closet to serve at cellar temperature and I found the alcohol to be a bit too prominent in that instance, but a little cooler than that and they were perfect.

aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

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Had my first Sierra Nevada Celebration 2005 last night.  Very bright, crisp and with a terrific hop bite.  I also thought it had a touch of honeyed sweetness.  I need to compare it with some of the 2004 and 2003 SNCAs that I have in the beer fridge

Still my faveorite beer of winter, hands down.

I also had the Sierra Nevada Celebration last night on tap. It was my first time trying this seasonal beer and I really liked it. Not to dark like some, but very nice and refreshing.

When I got home I tried Bridgeport's Ebenezer holiday ale. I think I personally preferred the Sierra Nevada Celebration.

Twitter: Audiofan2

www.sacramentocook.com

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Last night I had the Red Nose Ale at Natty Greene's brewpub in Greensboro, NC. Billed as "gingerbread in a glass" it was a deluge of holiday spices buoyed by a malty base. Without much of a hop presence, it was still nicely balanced by the spices with a rich body and modest level of carbonation.

A real winner from the best brewpub in the South that I have sampled and one that could clearly compete on a national level.

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On Thursday night I had the Sierra Nevada Celebration on draught. It was really delicious, and I'd have picked up a sixer but the prices for carryout at that bar are ridiculously high. Oh well.

Yesterday my boyfriend and I celebrated Christmas together, and we had Affligem Noel and Delerium Noel. I didn't like the Affligem at first - it tasted quite alcoholic - but halfway through the first glass I started to really enjoy it. We saved the Delerium until a few hours later and drank it with dinner - a gorgeous ribeye steak. I like the Delerium ales.

Jennie

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Celebration is about the only winter seasonal I buy anymore. I picked up a case on sale recently for $6.30 a sixer! MMMMM! I like that beer even more when it is on sale!

I had an eye opening beer last week. In September, I was in KC and did a bit of beer shopping and picked up some offerings from Goose Island. Two I hadn't had before were Demolition and Matilda. Both are Belgian-style beers. While I liked the Demolition, the Matilda knocked my socks off! (Now I look like RP!) ((inside joke)) Anyway, back to the Matilda... If I hadn't known better I would have sworn I was drinking a beer actually made in some farmhouse in Belgium! It had some nice Belgian-style funkiness, a hint of malty sweetness, some candi sugar notes and drying finish that was part balancing bitterness and part alcohol. It was a very tasty beer! However, for those of you who "don't GET Belgian beer", you might wanna shy away from this one, it is darn close to the real thing! Too bad I only got a 4 pack!

Bob R in OKC

Bob R in OKC

Home Brewer, Beer & Food Lover!

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