It’s beginning to look a lot like….

I started seeing Christmas displays pop up in stores just before Halloween.   It seems to get earlier each year.  The holiday display I completely welcome is the Christmas and Winter beer displays.   I stopped at The Andersons in Toledo yesterday and as usual, they had a really nice assortment of beer and a nice Christmas and Winter beer display that was calling my name.   Here’s what I ended up with:

Breckenridge Brewing Christmas Ale
Bells Winter White Ale
New Holland Cabin Fever Brown Ale
Great Divide Hibernation Ale
Great Lakes Brewing Christmas Ale
Bells Christmas Ale

There were several more to choose from. A couple more that stood out were Troeg’s Mad Elf (cherry & honey – 11.5% and awesome!) as well as Goose Islands limited release Christmas Ale.

I’ve yet to crack any of these open, but when I do, I’ll be sure to be hanging Christmas decorations around the house with Perry Como cranking on the stereo.   🙂

3 thoughts on “It’s beginning to look a lot like….

  1. Breckenridge Brewing – Christmas Ale

    Style: Winter Warmer
    ABV: 7.40%

    Pours a deep amber brown with a head that quickly fades. Not so dark that you can’t see through, a very nice color. The smell is a bready yeast smelling with hints of orange, pine and cinnamon.
    The beer has a smooth lighter body to it with moderately high carbonation. The hops/pine come through on the initial taste with a bready caramel malt taste to it.
    Not what I was expecting, more of a hoppy spiced brown ale. The spices are very subtle but overall it’s a well balanced beer. I can see being able to drink a lot of these, it’s definitely light enough to pack these away if given the opportunity. I’m not sure the taste is my thing, but it’s definitely drinkable.

    Serving type: bottle

    Reviewed on: 11-10-2008 23:46:08

  2. Great Divide Brewing Co. – Hibernation Ale

    Style: English Old Ale
    ABV: 8.1 %

    The beer pours a really nice deep amber color with a nice one finger creamy colored head. I could smell the creamy malts and hops as I poured this.
    I smell hints of creamy chocolate, roasted, toffee right up front. I also get some hop hints in there too.
    The mouth feel is crisp yet thick with higher carbonation. The taste is a very malty chocolate, almost tootsie roll flavor with a bit of a hop bitter bite to it, but definitely not a huge one. The after taste leaves a smokey roasted flavor in my mouth.
    This beer is really good. Rich, but definitely one I could enjoy a few of. I could probably go on and on about the amazing taste. Mostly I just want to get done typing this so I can sit back and enjoy the rest of this thing. Definitely an amazing beer. This tops out at 8.1%, but the higher alcohol isn’t too upfront. It is definitely a sipping beer, but after you taste it, you’ll see why.. you’ll want to saver the complexity going on here. Ok, enough – of to enjoy the rest of this thing!

    Serving type: bottle

    Reviewed on: 11-12-2008 00:24:49

  3. Bells Brewing – Christmas Ale

    Style: Scottish Ale
    ABV: 5.4%

    Can’t remember ever trying this beer, and I’ve been drinking Bells for 10 years. I’m not sure how long this has been around, but I finally picked one up. The beer pours a nice deep orange color with a foamy white head. The head went down, but there’s still a thin layer as it sits here.
    I smell a faint hint of cinnamon, very faint. Malt, orange and a slight hop fragrance.
    Very smooth with medium to high carbonation.
    The taste: Again, I taste some malts and some faint spices, with a crisp hop up front. Definitely taste some orange in there.
    This is a good beer, but definitely not what I was thinking as far as a Christmas Ale goes. It’s fine though, some of those holiday beers go overboard on the spices. This is a nice session beer, you could take to a holiday party and everyone would enjoy.

    Serving type: bottle

    Reviewed on: 11-16-2008 21:34:21

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