When last we left our hero, he was tipping back a pint of Sweet Krampus. Another six days have passed and another six beers have been released from their cages. What did each door on the beer advent calendar reveal? Have I been sipping on decadent delights? Delicious draughts? Disgraceful disasters? Keep reading as I unravel the mysteries of days 7 through 12 and continue to tickle your taste buds!
December 7th: The Crimson Bird with Raspberries – 6.1% (Naparbier – Spain)
This delightful raspberry saison pours a slightly pinky amber colour. As it tumbles into the glass, it can be easy to be put off by the act that it seems to bubble and churn like a cooler that you may have purchased in the mid 90s; don’t let this fool you. The scent that hits your nose is that of real raspberries – almost as if they were still on the bush. The head that forms easily and thickly coats the glass and the fizz reminds me of something between a glass of soda and champagne. On the tongue, the taste is slightly sweet and tart. The berry notes transfer perfectly from the scent to the flavour. Overall, this beer is a clean and well balanced offering.
Final Score: 4 /5
December 8th: Silver Bottle Beer – 4.9% (Schloss Eggenberg – Austria)
Really, there isn’t much to say about this beer. It comes in a really cool metallic bottle. Looks pretty average. Tastes clean – I guess like silver. Other than that, it’s a pretty plain lager. Nothing remarkable. Fairly crisp. Possible touch of apple cider. Quite serviceable. Drinkable in large quantities. Nothing to write home about.
Final Score: 3 / 5
December 9th: Deep Space Foreign Extra Stout – 6.5% (Fabryka Piwa – Poland)
This beer really surprised me. I love stout and this far surpassed anything I thought could come out of a bottle. Pours very much like a stout and extremely dark – perhaps part of where it got it’s name. Scent and taste are pretty much on par here with a good balance between coffee bitter and cocoa flavours. Very smooth and easy to drink, but a good beer for a cold winter night. Reminds me of drinking hot cocoa. If this beer doesn’t get you in the holiday mood, nothing will.
Final Score: 4.5 / 5
December 10th: Biir / Equinox Triple IPA – 9.4% (Brouwerij Anders – Belgium)
Once I started pouring this beer, I realized it was going to be a long night. The first inch or so of liquid that bit the bottom of the glass produced a head that filled the glass. And so….I waited. Once the thick head had allowed me to pour the remaining amount of beer into the glass, I could see the deep golden colour the beer is supposed to be. Scent is that of something quite hoppy but nothing out of the ordinary for a regular IPA. Taste is well balanced between hops and bitter at 100 IBU. Slightly off-putting metallic aftertaste. Would have rated it higher if it weren’t for that one small detail.
Final Score: 3.75 / 5
December 11th: Winter Saison – 6.1% (Brouwerij De Molen – Netherlands)
Pours a very hazy/cloudy golden colour and leaves some sediment in the glass. Has a thin persistent head. The only way I can describe this beer is “weird!” While the bottle labels some of the ingredients as szechuan and timut peppers, there is very little spice from either of them. What we are left with is a flavour similar to sweet but slightly lemony bell peppers up front which then transforms to a mustard spice halfway through. As the spice mellows out, we get more of a traditional saison flavour that isn’t really unique but does it’s job well. While I wasn’t really sure if I liked the beer at first, I found myself repeatedly sipping it trying to figure it at all out. So far it has been one of my favourite beers because it offers what most of them do not – a memorable experience.
Final Score: 4.75 /5
December 12th: Pukki – 3% (Browar Wasosz – Poland)
This beer is supposedly a Finnish twist smoked beer. Having remembered the smoked lager from last year’s beer advent calendar, I didn’t really have high expectations. Poured into the glass, we are left with a hazy and pale gold colour. The scent is definitely smoke, but almost like it came from something sweet being being burnt – possibly something like spruce. The taste is dominantly smoke, but, as the beer moves along the tongue, you are left with a clean finish that is surprising. While not perfect, this smoked beer finally gave me what I was looking for out of the style – an actual smokey flavour.
Final Score: 4 / 5
Another six beers down!
We’ll be back again soon.
There is no need to frown,
Just sing this happy tune!
We still have twelve beers left,
Lots of mystery still!
Some will make you feel hot,
and the others quite chill!
As we count down each day
To a Christmas quite fine,
I now finish and say,
Please do join us next time!