Cheers to 2010's Great Holiday Beers
As the Christmas season winds down - and, as all of the liquor stores discount the holiday beers to make way for new arrivals - let us pause for a moment to honor those brews that have made this season special and just a bit warmer.
Last year I did a feature on the 12 beers of Christmas
. And while I thought about that this year as well, I realized that much of the list would be a repeat. My number-one beer wouldn't have changed, and that just gets boring after a while.
So, this year, I just want to call out a few particularly special creations that lit me up like a Christmas tree. If I missed anything particularly special, please feel free to let me know. But without further ado:
* Santa's Little Helper
from Port Brewing continues to be the standard-bearer for this season. So dark that it's like the winter solstice. So charged with underlying hop character that it's the imperial stout you wish you could find all year round. It's the perfect stocking stuffer that, in the Christmas spirit and for sobriety's sake, you'll want to share with family and friends.
* Left Hand's Fade to Black is like a Santa's Little Helper, but you can actually drink more than one glass in a setting. It's an especially thick foreign stout whose appeal grows more as you look less for the "special" Christmas-ale ingredients of cinnamon or nutmeg and more for a beer that just goes well with the cold weather.
*Moylan's White Christmas Spiced Lager is that beer that will bring smiles to anyone who waits all year long to taste certain ingredients. Though it features a light body, it asserts its spiciness with every sip, as the coriander and orange zest virtually pop off of your tongue.
*Mikkeller Santa's Little Helper 2010, meanwhile, is the combo of the dark and the spiced, a 10.9% ABV Belgian ale that creeps surprisingly easily across your tongue and meets the back of your throat with a hint of licorice and a zip of what can only be called "citrus pepper."
Good drinking to all on this New Year's Eve. And here's to a 2011 with even more challenging and interesting beers to come.
Labels: Holiday beers, Left Hand Brewing, Moylan's Brewing, Port Brewing