Monday, December 20, 2010
December Beer Review: Winter Seasonals
Magic Hat's Howl Black-as-Night Winter Lager is a new favorite. It's definitely not your ordinary dark beer. Howl is extremely dark with a nice, roasty coffee aroma. When help up to the light, it appears to be a deep red, almost Framboise-colored. The taste is rich and bold with a roasted nutty flavor and a hint of coffee. As expected with most dark brews, Howl has a nice bitter finish that dissipates quickly. It's very well carbonated and much less heavy on the stomach than the average dark beer, making it the most refreshing dark beer I've had the pleasure of drinking. 4.6%ABV.
Abita's 2010 Christmas Ale is an American style brown ale. It's a dark copper color with a strong aroma of hops. It tastes strongly of hops as well with a hint of caramel and a lingering bitterness. With brews like Purple Haze and Turbodog, I expected something special. This year's Christmas Ale is just average. 5.5% ABV.
Sierra Nevada's Celebration Fresh Hop Ale is an epic fail, even more so than Blue Moon's Harvest Pumpkin Ale. It pours a clear amber and smells strongly of grapefruit, as many IPAs do. The flavor of grapefruit hits first, followed by a strong piny flavor and aftertaste. I imagine that Pine-Sol has a similar taste. After sharing sips with a few friends, we agreed on its severe lack of drinkability and poured it down the sink. I have been unable to give away the five that remain. 6.8%ABV.