Friday, November 14, 2008

Christmas is the Best Time of the Beer.

What's your favorite winter warmer? You know: brandy snifter, fireside, beagle dozing at your feet, and so on.

Here's a piece from the Philadelphia Daily News on Christmas and winter beers. He gets a bit ga-ga over Corsendonk, which is OK. Bush Noel and (Heineken-owned) Affligem Noel aren't to my taste, but I guess you can get away with sweet-and-simple in a holiday beer. Nice that Stille Nacht gets a mention.

I can say without a doubt that the best Christmas beer I've ever had is a Stille Nacht Reserva at Kulminator in Antwerp. Actually that's tied for first place with the second time I had a Stille Nacht Reserva at Kulminator in Antwerp. For a sweetish beer Stille Nacht already has some complexity, but with the Reserva the oak performs some sort of Christmas magic that I do not claim to understand. This beer will make you believe in Santa Claus.

Lately I've been enjoying the hell out of St. Bernardus 8, which knocks the socks off of most holiday beers anyway. Rich malt, dark fruit and stewed apples aroma, incredible balance for high drinkability. It fits in the winter warmer category for me. Bought a case and unfortunately I'm tearing through the stuff like it's going out of style. Which it's not. Ever.

My neighbors and I are planning a Christmas party. We aim to celebrate with a keg full of "good wishes" from the Dupont brewery. Want to come?

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