Beer, Wine and Spirits. Tastings and Travel. News and Events. Classic Flavors from Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries Across the Drinks World.

Friday, December 07, 2007

The Session #10: Let it Snow

This edition of Beer Blogging Friday celebrates winter seasonal brews. The Session #10: Let it Snow is being hosted by the folks at the Barley Vine blog.

Regular readers of this blog know I'm a big fan of seasonal brews. Last year Lyke2Drink chronicled tasting notes for a total of 35 winter and holiday seasonal brews. Travel and business commitments will keep me from enjoying that many this year, so when Let it Snow was announced as the topic for The Session, I fully embraced the decision. It gave me a reason to go out and find a few holiday brews.

Here is a six pack of seasonal beers that I was able to taste in recent weeks. I've lumped together both winter and holiday brews, but the lines are blured on some of these beers this time of year:

SweetWater Festive Ale: This Georgia brewery has produced a rich dark ale with plenty of character. Festive weighs in at 8.6 percent alcohol by volume, but you would not know it by the way it goes down so very smoothly. There is a slight cinnamon note that lends to the holiday appeal of this brew. I would serve this ale with appetizers or to accompany a soup.

Samuel Smith's 2007 Winter Welcome: This British beer is a very drinkable brown ale that had some nice malty characteristics. Lightly carbonated, this beer is smooth and mellow. Winter Welcome would match perfectly with turkey.

Saranac Season's Best Nut Brown Lager: This mahogany colored brew has a nice malty base and a fresh crisp taste. This beer is a mild winter seasonal when compared to many high octane specialties, making it perfect for long family gatherings.

Anheuser-Busch Brew Masters Private Reserve 2007: Poured from a magnum-sized swing top bottle, this is a rich holiday seasonal beer that comes in at 8.5 percent alcohol by volume. Dark with a reasonable head, this brew has nice roasted malt character and clear alcohol notes. I would pair this brew up with a standing rib roast and be quite happy.

Otter Creek Raspberry Brown Winter Ale: This Vermont brewer has turned out a brown ale with a slight hint of raspberry. There is a nice sweet malt profile to this 5.8 percent alcohol by volume beer, with very little hop presence. This brew would go well with duck.

Anchor Our Christmas 2007: This is the 33rd edition of a Christmas ale from this San Francisco brew. It is a rich dark color and a festive flavor experience. There are notes of cinnamon, vanilla and a flavor that I can only call root beer-like. No, its not sweet, but it does have a hint of sweetness. I'd suggest serving this with a rich holiday dessert.

No comments: