Monday, December 22, 2008

The 12 Beers of Xmas: #9-12 AND WINNERS!




Next - a couple of local brews!

#9: Newport Storm Winter Ale
This is the darkest of the winter brews I've had so far. It's brown with a reddish hint throughout. No foam to speak of. It smells malty and nutty. It's toasty, a little coffee flavor, bitter, plumby. I learn it's a "porter". The light carbonation feels flat. It's enjoyable enough and definitely feels like a cold night beer. But I won't go out of my way to try this again.

B

#10: Wachusett's Nut Brown Ale
I wish I lived in Wachusett so I could say I'm from "Wachusett, Massachusetts." Hilarious! I'm sure there's a tongue twister in there somewhere. So, a nut brown ale is not technically a winter or Christmas ale. But, nuts = nutcracker = Christmas! So whatever, you're fine. I'm fine. Let's drink. After all, there's a cute squirrel on the bottle.
This is a nice copper color - more orange/red than I would have expected from something called "nut brown". Small amount of foam with decent retention. I like it! Its crisp, there's some citrus, and a "bite." Not as "nutty" as I expected at first, but then notice some nuts in the after-taste. Go nuts!

B+

Then - traveling further from home...

#11: Woodstock Inn Brewer's Wassail

Did you know that wassail is defined as:
NOUN:
1. A salutation or toast given in drinking someone's health or as an expression of good will at a festivity.
2. The drink used in such toasting, commonly ale or wine spiced with roasted apples and sugar.
2. A festivity characterized by much drinking.

So "Here We Come A-Wassailing" is about roaming around drinking with merriment? Nice.
This beer is amber, with no head to speak of and low carbonation. Smells a little malty, hoppy, plumy, and after a while sweet and caramel. However the taste is more bitter than sweet. The bottle says nothing about ABV but online I see that it's at 8% which I feel pretty quickly. My cheeks flush and I suppose this is the "warm" in warmer.

B+

#12: Kerstmutske Christmas Nightcap
The label is so cute! A moon with a night-cap! This is from Belgium! Most drinks take me a while to pick up on the scent, but upon opening the bottle cap the smell of raisins pours out along with the smell of cherry juice. It looks like raisins too - dark brown with red highlights. It's crisp, lovely foam and lacing, and a strong taste of plums. It's more bitter/spicy than sweet or fruity. I'm enjoying this more than some of the other plumy winter ales I've had (Rejewvinator, Newport Winter Ale, Woodstock Wassail).

A-

AND THE GRAND PRIZES GO TO (enjoy the photo with the lovely Norman Rockwell background and fancy ribbons)

1st place = Sam Adam's Old Fezziwig's Ale

2nd place = Abita's Christmas Ale

3rd place = Kerstmutske Christmas Nightcap

With runners up :

Harpoon's Winter Warmer and Sam Adams Winter Lager

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