We’re wrapping up Christmas with the last of Beer Advent 2020 – the beers that add a little magic to the holidays…and those that don’t. So let’s dive right into the third and final act.
December 17 – Martha Sexy Blonde
Belgian Brew Factory
Belgian Blonde – 8%
What the hell is this?!? Call me confused, but I just don’t get this. It pours a clean golden blonde with a big fluffy head. Good start. But then, you take a sip and what you get is sweetness that is far from subtle. In fact, the sweetness keeps going, and going, and going. To make things even more interesting, the boozy flavour boosts on the tongue and plays with the sweetness. Banana should have been the star here but doesn’t really live up to everything else. The one positive note I have is that it warmed up my belly nicely.
Final Score: 2 / 5
December 18 – Autonomy Lost
White Pony Microbrewery
IPA – Imperial/Double – 9%
Holy bitter Batman! This is one hell of a hop-forward IPA with some legs – and for the record, I think those legs may have kicked me in the mouth. There is some malt in here that adds some nice sweetness, but it doesn’t entirely balance out the way I would want. Overall, it’s strong but surprisingly smooth considering its 9% alcohol content.
Final Score: 3.25 / 5
December 19 – Low pHunk
Sour – 4%
What can I say about this ale? It’s fairly tart and tastes of lemon, apple, and a hint of banana. The profile itself is a lot more similar to the hefeweizen or Belgian style as it also has some hint of spice. I’m constantly looking for sours that I like; a personal challenge that is bordering on the impossible. I can tell you…this is not one of those sours. That being said, I appreciate their attempt and it is smooth and fairly easy to drink.
Final Score: 3 / 5
December 20 – Fivepine Chocolate Porter
Three Creeks Brewing Company
Porter – American – 6.2%
This is a beautiful porter with a pronounced, lovely roasted flavour and sweetness that help balances it out. It also has a wonderful lingering flavour of rich but creamy chocolate that will have you dreaming of all kinds of desert options to pair it with. Deep and delicious without being heavy or aggressive. If you’re into porters, then this one is definitely worth a try!
Final Score: 4 / 5
December 21 – Mudpuppy Porter
Central Waters Brewing Company
Porter – American – 5.8%
This is an interesting porter that is characterized by the typical malt and chocolate notes one would expect. A few sips in, you’ll detect an earthy quality about it. The one thing that makes this beer stand out against its brethren is that it carries a unique char bitter flavour from the hops that hits the palate at the tail end. While decently balanced and well done, I didn’t find it all that special.
Final Score: 3.75 / 5
December 22 – Red Dawn
Wheat Beer – 5.5%
This beer confuses me. It tastes like a wheat ale. It tastes like a red ale. It tastes of malt. It tastes sweet. It tastes earthy. It tastes bitter. These are all the flavours going on in this ale and not a single one of them works in tandem with each other. They all hit the tongue separately creating an experience that is far from smooth and overtly perplexing. I was interested in the idea but found myself disappointed.
Final Score: 2.25 / 5
December 23 – Milk Stout
Stout – Milk / Sweet – 5.2%
This is a great stout with a smooth creaminess that adds decent flavour and a fantastic mouthfeel. Cocoa and coffee on the nose that carries through onto the tongue. You’ll notice a nice level of sweetness throughout and be treated by the smallest bit of bitterness at the end that helps give it some additional depth. A beer that can only be described as black as night with a white and cloudy head. Overall, it’s very well done but missing something that would take it to the next level.
Final Score: 3.75 / 5
December 24 – Tourist Trappe
M.I.A Beer Co.
Belgian Tripel – 10%
Ok…so here we go. I think the people who put these calendars together are one of the six people who read my blog and are doing this to spite me! I am not a fan of Belgians…usually. I’m pleased to report, however, that this one is atually quite good. Strong but not boozy. Banana, citrus, and honey sweet. Every time I took a sip, I was left with a warm, fuzzy feeling. A decadent treat for Christmas eve indeed! Maybe putting this one last was not an act of spite afterall.
Final Score: 4 / 5
December 17 – 24 Average Score: 3.25 / 5
Overall Average Score: 3.44 / 5
Well, there you have it! For those of you who have stuck with this, thank you for reading. I hope you’ve learned something and that you’ve enjoyed this blog entry about the beers that brought me much joy…and the ones that made me cry. It really is a labour of love. We’ll be back for 2021. Until then…
We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new beer!