Thursday, December 24, 2009

The 12 Beers of Christmas: Day 2
2 Turtle Doves

Note: I'm a fan of holiday ales, and I want to use this forum this year to lay out 12 beers that just seem essential for holiday party drinking. Plus, I want to see if I can sit down and write for 12 days in a row, a feat I've never pulled off on this blog.

Even at a time of year when you're overwhelmed by all the forms that chocolate can take, this year's seasonal by The Bruery will make you believe again the power of dark sweetness to be the official taste of the season.

Two Turtle Doves is a Belgian-style dark ale brewed with cocoa nibs and toasted pecans and coming out at a marshmallow-roastingly 12% ABV. Like many holiday beers, it employs the flavors of dark malt and chocolate, but this gift from the Orange County, Calif. brewery brings its own very, very unique style.

The chocolate here has a liqueur sweetness drifting through it rather than a straight cocoa darkness. Considering this is a medium-bodied beer despite the ridiculous alcoholic wallop that it packs, the chocolate runs through it like a river of added syrup, becoming the filling inside the big, bold, dark candy, if you will.

You can chew it or swirl it between the roof of your mouth and your tongue, but the sweetness is the ultimate compliment to the big body.

I give special props too to The Bruery for coming up with the 12 Beers of Christmas concept in a more more interesting way than a writer can - by producing a different winter seasonal each year for a dozen years (this is the second effort, following last year's Partridge in a Pear Tree). I can't wait to see what comes next.

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