Thursday, August 17, 2006

CHRISTMAS IN AUGUST, BABY

I always feel like I have to apologize for putting “Holiday ales” up on a pedestal. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year when these start hitting the taps and the stores, because it’s a time of experimentation, new recipes, spices, hops, formulations from aeons ago and wacky new concoctions (like the time Anchor Brewing added spruce to their Xmas ale, which truly tasted like tree sap and is one of the worst things I've ever ingested). Anyway, there’s something about the spice/nutmeg-ish holiday beers that I just love – not because I love this time of year (like everyone else, I move between total indifference and low-level hatred), but because I love great beer. Especially when I can buy ‘em in August. That’s what happened the other day when I found MOYLAN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS DOUBLE WHEAT on tap. They’re here!! And I expect nothing less than near-perfection from Moylan’s, and I have to say, they delivered pretty well. This one was an amberish gold with very little foam/head to speak of, and quite honestly, little of that spicy, eggnog-y Xmas beer taste to it – it was truly more akin to what it was advertised as being, a “Double Wheat”. Not that I know what that mans, and not that a holiday aroma wasn’t there, it just wasn’t present the way it is in, say, Deschutes’ Jubelale or Pyramid’s Snow Cap. And similar to the way Anchor does it, Moylan’s brings out a new formulation of this out every year, so one year it might be a bock, the next year a double wheat, a black ale the next year, and then something else after that. If you look at what folks over on Beer Advocate had to say about 2005’s version, you’d never believe it was truly from the do-no-wrong Moylan’s organization (they hated it!), but maybe someone threw a spanner in the works last year (or a rat in the vat). This time it’s a really high-quality, delicious brew that I will absolutely look for in bottles in coming months, and I rated it a bigtime 8.5/10. Is anyone else pouring or selling any Holiday Beers at this early date yet?

1 comment:

Wörtwurst said...

I saw an Anchor 2005 Christmas & New Year Ale for $4.99 a sixer!! A year old but seeing as Anchor puts out some quality stuff and reviews have said it doesn't expire moreorless it might be a good ideal to celebrate last Christmas late.