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Beef Beer Review
Oh Christmas Beer, Oh Christmas Beer, How tasty are your spices!. Back in October, Tim became infatuated with Cider and all the nostalgia associated with it. Since then, I have become infatuated with the spicy holiday flavor of Christmas Ales and the joy they bring.
The Anchor Brewing Company makes an excellent Christmas Ale. I stumbled accross this beer when I was trying to find a beer for my family's Christmas Eve celebration. I wanted to treat my family to Great Lakes Brewing Co.'s Christmas Ale.
I was reluctant to randomly select a Christmas Brew after my bad experience with Goose Island. I asked Beer Bob (the expert at my local beer temple) what he thought of the beer and how it compared to Great Lakes'. Bob told me that it was richer and a bit heavier than Great Lakes'. He said he usually can only drink one in a sitting, but that it was definitely good. I took Bob's advice, but bought a six of another Christmas beer just in case this turned out to be horrid.
Later that night, I was able to pour my first Christmas Ale. It was a dark red and poured thick. It smelled wonderful - just like Christmas. At first sip, this beer was rich and flavorful. I could taste the whole array of Christmas spices. However, after swallowing, I was left with a distinct bitter after taste. The bitterness was quickly removed by another sip.
This beer was rich to a fault. Beer Bob was right, I could only drink one a sitting. Unfortunately, I couldn't drink it fast enough to keep the bitterness away. It was like having my mouth filled with this wonderful spicy brew, and then having someone spray hairspray in my mouth.
I give this beer a bittersweet 3 BB & B's. At first sip, it is good enough for a 4, or even a 5, but I could not get past the bitter after taste. You will probably find that you can only serve this to your friends who really enjoy beer and will appreciate it richness.
Availability: Only available in December and early January.
Fortunately I picked up the second six pack....
Abita Christmas Ale isn't nearly as rich as the Anchor Brewing Christmas Ale, but it is a very good Christmas Beer. It has all the flavors (ginger, nutmeg, molasses, etc.) that I've come to expect in a Christmas beer. It also has no bitter after taste.
Abita proved to be a good follow up to the Anchor Steam. It quickly washed away Anchor's bitter after taste. It was light and tasty, and everyone at my family's Christmas Eve get together enjoyed this beer.
Your holiday celebrations may have ended, but you can still pick some up to enjoy. Best of all, almost all of your friends will probably enjoy it.
Abita makes all of its beers without any preservatives or additives. It is also cold filtered. Check out out their website. If you live in the N'awlins area, visit their brewery. There is a coupon on their site for a free beer.
Availability: May still be able to get some over the next few weeks.