Okay when you are 62 years old you can have plenty to complain about. It would be so easy for someone like myself to assume a cranky old geezer act. Like Grandpa on The Simpsons, recalling a time when a turkey was referred to as a walking bird. Some senior complaints have substance, but there is also a large section of nostalgic remembrances that are inaccurate and bitter. As my late father use to say: there never was a better time. This certainly is true in the world of beer, where despite my complaints about wretched IPA, there has never a wider variety of beer than this 2017 Holiday season.
Then there are beer writers who complain about beers that taste like cookies. Taft Brewing’s Santa’s Bribe
would not be their cup of cheer. A very dark brown pour with a malty invitation in the nose. This is a delightful Christmas wassail, where a dark dry chocolate palate is delicately primed with spicy undertones. The humor of the graphic on the can is a nice touch. Old Saint Taft is depicted making a yuletide toast, from his reindeer powered bathtub.
It is good to see doppelbock’s return to winter festivities. Warped Wing Brewery of Dayton, Ohio has brought forth The Abominator, an old school German style doppelbock, that is uncompromisingly delicious.
If something lighter and golden in color is what you are looking for, you might want to sample Victory Brewery’s Winter CheersA weizen base golden pour that lends itself to a citrus profile that finishes somewhat tart. Positive proof once again that brewers have different ideas as to what constitutes Holiday beer.
My relationship with Flying Dog’s K-9goes all the way back to the last century, when Flying Dog brewed their beers in Colorado. After all these years, with a new Ralph Steadman drawing on the bottle, this is still a very interesting production. There was a time when K-9 was somewhat boozy with a cherry flavor note. Now, the 2017 version is malty smooth and strong. What else can ask of a Winter Warmer Wassail?
It is a joyous sight for me to see the return of Shiner Holiday Cheer A dunkelweizen brewed with peaches and pecans. Opening a bottle to release the aromatics is a festive occasion alone. You should know the drill by now: every drop of Shiner is brewed in Shiner. Give a bottle to someone you love.
The Beer Doctor