Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Holiday Beers - Collaborations and Celebrations

Many thanks to my buddy Brian The Baltimore Beer Guy for bringing this up from his stay in San Diego and then leaving it in my fridge for me. He tried it a few days ago and said some good things about it, and I'm all for a good winter seasonal so let's get started.

If you aren't up to date this beer was a collaboration between Stone, Nogne-O and Jolly Pumpkin. They each put in a special ingredient indigenous to their region- California White Sage from Stone, chestnuts from Jolly Pumpkin, and juniper from Nogne. Ok, so now that I told you what you already probably knew, onto the beer.

The liquid is actually a clear dark brown, but obviously in the glass it looks pretty dark and opaque. The head is creamy with pretty good retention. With as much going on in this beer I didn't expect to pick up every little thing in the smell and taste, I just can't do that. I did get a floral hoppiness, a menthol-like smell which I'm thinking is maybe the juniper, and an indiscernible sweetness from the nose. It tastes pretty good to start. In fact really good. It's roasty but sweet. It's spicy and dry finishing. The dry finish reminds me of Craftsman's Tripel White Sage. It feels like there's a real fresh hoppiness that's back in there somewhere. The body is on the heavy side of medium.

Overall it's pretty good, but the flavor weighs on me as the glass goes on. I wouldn't really want another. At least right now. All the flavors kinda wear me out. Not bad, still a good holiday ale. Mom thought her one sip was really good.

Of course, might as well also have another great seasonal while we're on the subject :-)

1 comment:

Rational Realist said...

I liked the collaboration beer. It had a lot of flavors going on, sweet at the start and bitter at the finish. I had mine with pizza and lasagna (after a seven hour drive Thanksgiving evening from San Diego to Ventura!) and downed half of it without thinking. When I stepped back and thought about what I was drinking, I really enjoyed it. I have one more, left in Ventura, that I will drink next weekend hopefully under less duress.