Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas Ale

So, it's Christmas Eve and time (at last) to crack open the Christmas ale!

On opening the Groslsh-style bottle top (something in itself very satisfying) I am greeted with a sweet candy floss aroma which takes me back to my childhood, of hanging around the fairground rides - what a start!

The first sip has an unexpected hint of roasted coffee but a taste that isn't experienced again at any point thereafter. What follows is a very rounded, smooth caramel/toffee flavour that stays throughout the rest of the glass (think bonfire toffee here).

Further on I am greeted with a very pleasant marsh mallow taste but a marsh mallow covered in caramel or treacle - very smooth and delightful. There's even a slight hint of a very expensive chocolate in there too.

If I could choose my favourite style of beer, this wouldn't be far off perfection. Not too sweet to be sickly and not too bitter or insipid. The character stays throughout and has me chuckling with joy as I approach the end of the bottle!

Time to open another, me thinks! A very well done to Head Brewer John and those that assisted in this brew - a very fine job indeed!


  1. I'm jealous of the condition of your beer.

    I have had 2 so far & they were both completely flat, no head at all.

    Mind you they still tasted very good.

    Maybe the cold got to my O rings.

    My father reported that his was the same as Phil's appears to be from the pictures.

  2. I had been putting off my last bottle, but I plucked up the courage tonight.

    Joy of joys! The bottle opened with a satisfying noise and a smokey looking vapour in the neck of the bottle.

    This time it poured with a proper head which lasted the whole pint & I got to enjoy the prickle of carbonation found in all good bottle conditioned beers. It enhanced a hint of sweet spice under the treacle and licorice of the beer balanced with an alcohol roundness and a counterbalancing touch of bitterness that stopped it being cloying.

    And, sadly, it has slipped down all too quickly & easily as I have been writing this.

    With my last swallow I wish you all a happy new year & more successful brewing & drinking.