Friday, December 7, 2007

Session #10 - 'Tis the Season for Noel De Calabaza

It's about as Winter as it's gonna get here in a mostly rainy Southern California right now. The temp this evening is 51 with an expected low of a frigid 45 degrees. I've seen some talk about a newcomer to the area for the last couple weeks and had been really excited to grab a bottle and give it a try. You have to look pretty carefully out here to find a beer store that carries any Jolly Pumpkin brews, so I was excited to see the first ever at my local Beverages & More. That would be the Jolly Pumpkin Noel De Calabaza, an oak aged "Belgian dark ale." This should be a fun tasting, as I sit down for a glass of this 9% Winter seasonal, moderately medicated due to a recent cold virus I've attracted. I'd normally wait until my upper respiratory passages cleared up, but forget that, I've been wanting to try this for two weeks now, and it ain't gonna be Winter forever.

This is probably not the type of beer you think of as a Winter seasonal. As we know, there are a huge amount of malty, maybe spiced, high alcohol beers that are made specific for the Winter, but how many sour beers do you see released? Kinda cool I say. The initial whiff I get is of some subdued funk and the Belgian yeast earthiness with a tart fruit (cherries to my f'd up nose) body. Initially it starts out with a really funky taste which rushes over the tongue really fast and leaves a tart and then dry bitterness in the throat. A lot of the earthiness leaves as you keep drinking and it becomes more of a fruity tart sort of beer, though it never loses that wild yeast character. Very nice beer, regardless of the temperature outside or the season.

No comments: