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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sly Fox Christmas Ale 2010:

Warming spices like cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg are great for mulling wine, cider, and yes, beer. Sly Fox has taken some very traditional holiday flavors and brewed them into a tasty ale. The bottle conditioning and zippy mouthfeel remind me of an authentic Belgian ale, but Sly Fox is brewed right around the corner in Royersford, PA. Sly Fox Christmas 2010 is a snappy red ale, but falls short of being a sour. Rather, it is spicy and a bit sweet-tart in a malty kind of way.

I feel like the complexity occurs almost exclusively at the middle of the tongue and the roof of the mouth, where the spices blend and waft up there to the nasal passages. The aroma is of course a huge part of the flavor experience, and this Christmas ale gives the impression of currants and caramel as well as the aforementioned mulling spices. That being said, the flavors are complex without being confusing. There is no doubt that this was intended for the winter months, and the Christmas holiday in particular.

The body is full but not huge. The yeasts hang in there for a spell, beefing up the body as well as the mouthfeel, but the malt content is not as deep as one might think. It's hard to compare Sly Fox Christmas 2010 to something as massive as Samichlaus, but perhaps it could be riding in the same one-horse-open sleigh as Sam Adams' Old Fezziwig...

Festive for sure, Sly Fox Christmas 2010 would be the perfect drink served up at the home of Farmer Gray... the perfect ending to a perfect day. I give it high marks, though if you don't drink it this holiday season, cellar it clear into next winter and enjoy it the way it was intended... as a holiday spiced treat!

Representation: .97
Accessibility: .90
Style: .90
Personal Preference: .85

Total Score: 3.62

Monday, December 20, 2010

X-Mas 2010 Beer Round-Up

Here it is--your Ferment Nation Christmas 2010 Beer Roundup!

Check out these three Christmas beers this Yuletide.  Make yours the merriest, yes the merriest, and the happiest, yes the happiest.  Drink Safely and don't forget to leave Santa a wee nip of something strong to take the edge off!

Corsendonk Christmas Ale:

This Belgian dark ale comes in a great gift pack (six beers and a glass) for the holiday season. It is very even-tempered as a dark ale and quite tasty. The aroma is just wonderful and complex with hints of dried fruits and some exotic spicing. [Read the Full Review]

Nøgne Ø / Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales / Stone Brewing Co.Special Holiday Ale:

Bearing gifts, they traverse afar... I'm not very familiar with Nøgne Øas a brewery but I'm about to become really interested in this brewery from Grimstad, Norway. This 2009 version of the special collaboration between Kjetil Jikiun and the other two wisemen (Ron Jeffries from Jolly Pumpkin and Mitch Steele from Stone) is worth its weight in rare herbs and glinting riches. This Special Holiday Alepours so dark reddish brown that it is almost black, topped with a generous foamy tan head. [Read the full review]

Anchor Holiday Ale 2009:

Eleven months I wait for this brew to hit the shelves. As soon as the pumpkin ales have all shown their fall finery in liquor stores around town I begin to peek around for the first winter brews. Anchor Brewing offers one of the most solid and stalwart lines of brews and the "Our Special Ale" stands out among these. Every year the recipe is different (and so is the tree pictured on the label) so it's a holiday surprise every time. [Read the full review]

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ridgeway Seriously Bad Elf (Presidential Brief)

Ferment Nation Beer Blog Presidential BriefWhat: Ridgeway Seriously Bad Elf 9% abv
Where: South of the North Pole
December 1, 2010
What-have-you: "Ridgeway "Seriously Bad Elf" 9% 2x ale wheaty, super pale, smooth but warming I like it! Bigger than tradional British stuff."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ithaca Ground Break (Citizen Review)

What: Ithaca Ground Break
Where: Pour House (Westmont, NJ)
When: July 17, 2010
What-Have-You:"Taps you in the nose and sits on your tongue.  And not altogether pleasantly.  Reminds me of: shrimp (seriously)."

Representation .50
Accessibility .5
Style Points .5
Personal Preference .25

Total Score 1.75 Flags

Reviewed by: Citizen Jack W.

Read what El Presidente had to say about Ithaca Ground Break in his coverage of a Philly Beer Week 2010 event in South Jersey [CLICK HERE].