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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: denny on December 22, 2012, 11:13:09 PM

Title: Your favorite Christmas beers?
Post by: denny on December 22, 2012, 11:13:09 PM
I look forward to Sierra Nevada's Celebration every Christmas. I not only stock up on theirs, but try to brew a couple batches of a "clone" of it. But the one I really wait for from Christmas to Christmas is Scaldis Noel. The bottle even looks Christmasy, with the little cabin and the sparkly red, white and blue label. I spend the first part of Christmas Eve day cleaning Dungeness crab for dinner that night, prepping Christmas dinner, cleaning the house and wrapping presents. Then, about mid afternoon, I sit down with a goblet of Noel and sip it slowly while listening to Mel Torme, Tony Bennett, and Garrison Keillor Christmas CDs. A great reward for my efforts and it really gets me into the spirit.  How about you guys? What beer do you look forward to that really makes it feel like Christmas?
Title: Re: Your favorite Christmas beers?
Post by: dannyjed on December 22, 2012, 11:51:25 PM
This year for the first time, I made a Great Lakes Christmas Ale clone.  It came out very close to the original and my wife and friends all like it.  I don't use spices (ginger and cinnamon) very much at all, so this beer has been a nice surprise and I plan on making it every year around this time.
Title: Re: Your favorite Christmas beers?
Post by: reverseapachemaster on December 22, 2012, 11:57:58 PM
Really any of the Belgian Christmas ales do it for me. I finally tracked down some A'Chouffe N'ice this year which was as fantastic as I had hoped. Scaldis Noel is a great one although I find it doesn't age well. It's better fresh.

Some of the English and domestic winter warmers are also good. I'm particularly fond of Rahr's Winter Warmer and the Barrel Aged version.
Title: Re: Your favorite Christmas beers?
Post by: konrad on December 23, 2012, 12:02:35 AM
I used to really enjoy De Dolle Stille Nacht, but I can't find it in Michigan any longer.  So now it's Samichlaus.
Title: Re: Your favorite Christmas beers?
Post by: hoser on December 23, 2012, 12:16:03 AM
Great Divide Hibernation!!!
Title: Re: Your favorite Christmas beers?
Post by: thebigbaker on December 23, 2012, 02:19:48 AM
Great Divide Hibernation!!!

+1! Always look forward to GD Hibernation.  Also look forward to Avery's Old Jubilation and Odell's Isolation.  I also grab a few bottles of Dry Dock's Bligh Whisky Barrel Aged Barley Wine when they release it in mid Dec.
Title: Re: Your favorite Christmas beers?
Post by: nateo on December 23, 2012, 02:44:02 AM
+1! Always look forward to GD Hibernation.  Also look forward to Avery's Old Jubilation and Odell's Isolation.  I also grab a few bottles of Dry Dock's Bligh Whisky Barrel Aged Barley Wine when they release it in mid Dec.

I always confuse Isolation with Hibernation. I buy a 6er of Isolation, but when I get home I realize it's not Hibernation. They're both good, but I like Hibernation better.
Title: Re: Your favorite Christmas beers?
Post by: gmac on December 23, 2012, 03:26:46 AM
Sam Adam's Triple Bock.

Many years ago (mid 90's maybe), my brother-in-law and I saw it in the liquor store and bought a bunch of bottles.  But, when we actually tasted it, we hated it.  It was thick, sweet and just undrinkable to our unsophisticated palette's.  So, since we had a stockpile, we put it in the basement and each year for several years we'd share one as penance for the sins of the previous year. If I could find some and take it to the family Christmas sometime I'm sure he'd get a real kick out of it...til he drank it.
Title: Your favorite Christmas beers?
Post by: denny on December 23, 2012, 03:59:22 AM
Man, I remember that stuff.  Kinda tasted like molasses and soy sauce.
Title: Re: Your favorite Christmas beers?
Post by: firedog23 on December 23, 2012, 10:53:12 AM
Shared a bottle of La Rulles, Cuvee Meilleurs Voeux a couple of weeks ago with a friend.  I was not sure what to expect but it was really nice. Belgium dark ale but it was fairly refreshing and lighter than expected.
Title: Re: Your favorite Christmas beers?
Post by: jeffy on December 23, 2012, 01:04:20 PM
Man, I remember that stuff.  Kinda tasted like molasses and soy sauce.

I still have one or two bottles from 1994/5.  I wonder if it has changed.....

(Edited to make sense)
Title: Re: Your favorite Christmas beers?
Post by: erockrph on December 23, 2012, 01:50:31 PM
I'm not generally into spiced beers, but Harpoon Winter Warmer just tastes like Christmas to me.

Man, I remember that stuff.  Kinda tasted like molasses and soy sauce.

I still have a little or two from 1994/5.  I wonder if it has changed.....

I've been sitting on a bottle of it myself. I remember it being just OK back when I tried it - and I generally enjoy rich, sherrylike beers (Thomas Hardy is probably my all-time favorite brew). I usually crack something open from deep in the vault for New Years and the Super Bowl; maybe this year is the year I bust out the Triple Bock.

Regardless of how the beer is, the cobalt-blue bottle is a thing of beauty. I'd love to find bottles this color that accept crown-caps for my barleywines/quads and so on.
Title: Re: Your favorite Christmas beers?
Post by: theoman on December 23, 2012, 03:46:05 PM
Zinnebir X-Mas from Brasserie de la Senne is the best I've had in a while. I first had it on the Christmas market in Brussels to wash down a steaming hot bowl of snails (going in my scrapbook of Best Belgian Experiences). Then I sat in a cafe and had another. Yummy.
Title: Re: Your favorite Christmas beers?
Post by: nateo on December 23, 2012, 03:49:44 PM
Man, I remember that stuff.  Kinda tasted like molasses and soy sauce.

That sounds super gross. I don't really like my beers 'meaty.'
Title: Re: Your favorite Christmas beers?
Post by: 1vertical on December 23, 2012, 04:09:45 PM
Euge turned me on to Noche Buena Estilo Bock  If I could
get it here in BFE it would deck my halls!
(thanx euge)
Title: Re: Your favorite Christmas beers?
Post by: kgs on December 23, 2012, 05:45:33 PM
Seconding Celebration, which this year seems exceptional, especially for a beer that can be had for $1/bottle (by the case at CostCo) or at least $7.99/sixpack. I don't know what the difference is, but it feels exceptionally fresh and hoppy and malty and... mmmm.

My Christmas Eve tradition of exactly two years is to have a glass of Maredsous on draught at a place nearby, either that afternoon or early evening, before or after the 5 pm church service. Most of the year it feels too big for the weather or whatever I'm up to next, but on Christmas Eve it even tastes better than Scaldis Noel.
Title: Re: Your favorite Christmas beers?
Post by: redbeerman on December 24, 2012, 08:21:45 PM
+1 on the Celebration Ale.  Always enjoyable.  My favorite Christmas beer, the one in my hand. 8)
Title: Re: Your favorite Christmas beers?
Post by: erockrph on December 26, 2012, 02:09:54 PM
Tried Samichlaus for the first time last night. I figured it would be a fitting choice for a Christmas beer. It was definitely a bit rough around the edges even though they age it for 10 months before bottling. I think I'll try sitting on it an extra year or two the next time I get some.
Title: Re: Your favorite Christmas beers?
Post by: The Professor on December 26, 2012, 03:33:01 PM
The only two commercially  made Christmas beers I truly enjoy and will go out of my way to stock up on are Celebration and Samichlaus.  There are  a  few others I find "pretty good", but these two I've mentioned are the only ones I find to be as satisfying as a good homebrewed one.

Regarding Samichlaus, one year I found  a bottle I had unintentionally tucked away...it was in a corner of a basement cupboard for more than 7 years (and possibly as much as 10).   It was in remarkable shape and smooth as  silk.  I don't think I would intentionally buy Samiclaus to cellar it  since I enjoy it quite a bit in its original bottling year, but it was interesting to discover how well a filtered strong beer can hold up after so many years.
Title: Re: Your favorite Christmas beers?
Post by: Pinski on December 26, 2012, 03:47:11 PM
I used to look forward to the release of Jubelale every year.  The past couple years it just hasn't done anything for me. Searching for a new holiday favorite, enjoying the research.
Title: Re: Your favorite Christmas beers?
Post by: denny on December 26, 2012, 05:38:10 PM
I thought this year's Jubelale was really pretty good.  More hop forward than the last few years without losing the wonderful toasty malt character.

I admit that I WAY overimbibed the last couple days.  Thank goodness I have today off to recover!
Title: Re: Your favorite Christmas beers?
Post by: bluesman on December 26, 2012, 05:57:10 PM
I usually pick up a mixed sixer of assorted varieties depending on the mood I'm in at the time. This year I picked up a Stone Sublimely SR, SN Celebration, The Bruery Saison de Lente, North Coast Old Stock Ale, Smuttynose Robust Porter and a Green Flash Hop Head Red.

Variety is the spice of life!

Happy Holidays!  8)
Title: Re: Your favorite Christmas beers?
Post by: bluesman on December 26, 2012, 05:58:51 PM
I admit that I WAY overimbibed the last couple days.  Thank goodness I have today off to recover!

We'll let you off the hook this time Denny.  ;)  :)
Title: Re: Your favorite Christmas beers?
Post by: denny on December 26, 2012, 06:40:42 PM
I admit that I WAY overimbibed the last couple days.  Thank goodness I have today off to recover!

We'll let you off the hook this time Denny.  ;)  :)

I appreciate that, Ron!  ;)  I'm finding that it doesn't take nearly as much as it used to for me to wind up like this.  I think that yesterday I have maybe 4-5 beers over the course of 14 hours.  Of course, that included Delerium Noel and Duvel, but still....
Title: Re: Your favorite Christmas beers?
Post by: realbeerguy on December 26, 2012, 07:20:22 PM
The only two commercially  made Christmas beers I truly enjoy and will go out of my way to stock up on are Celebration and Samichlaus.  There are  a  few others I find "pretty good", but these two I've mentioned are the only ones I find to be as satisfying as a good homebrewed one.

Regarding Samichlaus, one year I found  a bottle I had unintentionally tucked away...it was in a corner of a basement cupboard for more than 7 years (and possibly as much as 10).   It was in remarkable shape and smooth as  silk.  I don't think I would intentionally buy Samiclaus to cellar it  since I enjoy it quite a bit in its original bottling year, but it was interesting to discover how well a filtered strong beer can hold up after so many years.

I've got Celebration from the late '90s and Sammy from 2000 +.

It's a lot of fun doing a vertical tasting seeing how the recipe has changed, and when the accountants got ahold of it.
Title: Re: Your favorite Christmas beers?
Post by: rbclay on December 26, 2012, 07:43:22 PM
why would you want to cellar a fresh hopped IPA? that makes no sense to me. Celebration is one of my favorite beers- to be drunk each season during that season. would you drink a 10+ year old version of your own fresh hopped IPA?
Title: Re: Your favorite Christmas beers?
Post by: realbeerguy on December 26, 2012, 08:12:53 PM
why would you want to cellar a fresh hopped IPA? that makes no sense to me. Celebration is one of my favorite beers- to be drunk each season during that season. would you drink a 10+ year old version of your own fresh hopped IPA?

Celebration just recently is fresh hopped.  Older versions were not.
Title: Re: Your favorite Christmas beers?
Post by: ccfoo242 on December 27, 2012, 03:59:48 AM
I look forward to Sierra Nevada's Celebration every Christmas. I not only stock up on theirs, but try to brew a couple batches of a "clone" of it.

Man I love Celebration.

Another than I don't know if it's a Christmas beer but is available after October is Lagunitas Brown Shugga. Heaven in a bottle...