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Sunday
Dec182011

12 Beers of Christmas

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Christmas is one week away! Which hopefuly means your shopping is done, your menu is planned and now it's time to make sure you have some good beer on hand. Along with some friends, I have done some serious research and taste testing to sort through a lot of seasonal beers to come up with my list. When I decided to create this list, I honestly had no idea there were so many Winter and Christmas ales out on the market. Thank you to my expert taste testing panel - James, Amanda, Pat, Dennis and Tom for all of your hard work!

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Now onto the good stuff, I present you with Kiss My Whisk's 12 Beers of Christmas!

These are in no particular order, I even saved one of my favorites for last!

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
I'll start off with this very popular seasonal beer as we couldn't leave it off of our list. As an IPA lover, it blends the hoppy and spiced seasonal flavors perfectly. It will definitely be a crowd favorite. 

Shipyard Prelude Special Ale
This deep amber beer has a nutty and spicy flavor, with a bitter and hoppy finish. Our panel found the prelude name approrpriate, as it would be a great beer to start the evening, but one is enough before you move onto your next beer.

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Rogue Yellow Snow IPA
I've told you this before, but I'm and IPA lover so this was definitely making my list. It has the great hoppy, bitter and citrus flavors that IPA's are known for. As taste tester Tom put it, t's just an IPA, with a witty name!

Long Trail Hibernator
This winter ale has a nice malty flavor, with a hint of brown sugar. Taste tester Amanda said she would totally hibernate for the winter with this beer (no bears allowed)!

Sam Adams Old Fezziwig
This self described 'big Christmas cookie of beer' is a nice combination of malts and spices. It's a fairly mild winter ale that is very drinkable and works great when serving a crowd.

Schlafly Christmas Ale
While the brewery self describes their Christmas Ale as big bodied and high in alcohol content, we proclaimed this the 'light' beer on our list. The citrus and clove flavors added a nice touch and aroma. I've had the Schlafly Pumpkin Ale before, and I think its safe to say Schlafly does an excellent job with their seasonal beers.

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Anchor Christmas Ale
This is a quality winter beer that will keep you warm on cold winter nights. This beer is very carbonated and combines all of the delicious winter flavors; brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and even a hint of pine. 

Gritty McDuffs Christmas Ale
The brewery describes this ESB by saying 'it's just a good honest ale, perfect for the season' and they are right. None of the holiday flavors are too powerful, it's just a nice mild blend of malts and hops.

Harpoon Chocolate Stout
This is one of my favorite beers from the taste testing, and a nice way to mix it up from the spiced beers that dominate the winter season. It's a very dark pour and you definitely taste the chocolate. While the chocolate flavor is not too strong, I could still drink it for dessert. 

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Avery Brewing Old Jubilation Ale
I like the name of this beer, but I also like the taste. There are no spices just a blend of malts, a nice change of pace from a lot of the spiced holiday beers.  It will warm you from the inside on a cold winter night.

Brooklyn Winter Ale
This amber winter ale is easy to drink and goes down smooth. The caramel, toffee and nutty flavors make it a nice addition to the list.  

Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale
Nothing sucks about this beer, it's one of my favorites on the list. It pours a beautiful golden color and has a nice crisp carbonation and hoppy citrus flavor. Very drinkable, maybe a little too drinkable for me!  

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A couple of beers that were recommended by readers, but I couldn't find at my liquor store were Great Lakes Christmas Ale and Golden Road Festivus Cinnamon Bitter, so I'm going to continue my search for those. Are there any you would add to the list?

Reader Comments (1)

Love all your choices, I would add a bit more Belgian (and belgian-style) flair. Corsendonk Christmas Ale is my wife's single favorite alcoholic beverage, Delirium makes a great Christmas beer too. If anybody knows drinking during an extended Christmas season, its the Belgian monks...

December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDanny Finnegan

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