Last week I hosted a beer tasting that focused on holiday and seasonal brews. We had 18 beers to sample that evening and with only a few exceptions, I wasn’t disappointed with any of them. Over the next couple of weeks until Christmas I will pop open the beers that were sampled that night and review them for you to try. I would just use the notes that I took that night but I’ll be honest and tell you that after the first few they got more and more sloppy fading into non existent. To my defense we sampled several beers over 10% abv and I may have gone back for seconds a time or two. That being said let me dive into the first beer being Black Diamond Winter Ale brewed by Black Diamond Brewing in Concord, Calif.
Appearance: This brew comes in a bottle and pours a brown almost dark red in color ale that when held up can be seen through. The head is light and off white in color fading quickly.
Smell: The smell is light in hops with a powerful note of sweetness that isn’t found in most beers. This smell gets you ready for what is sure to be a holiday style brew.
Availability: This beer is available in bottle only and not sure about the price because it was brought by one of my guests.
Alcohol: 7.2% giving it a mild warming for your winter tailgate.
Taste: No deception with the smell in this one. From the first sip, a light flavor of hops is pounded into submission from the blend of spice, fruit and caramel tasting sweetness. This beer although strong in holiday flavor isn’t so sweet that you need to run off to the dentist after drinking it. Rather it blends the satisfaction of a strong beer with the complexity of holiday beverage.
Final Thought: I Just had a great thought! This beer is actually a diet beer… Hear me through. We all know that we are going to drink beer during the holiday season and most likely get tempted into diving into those Christmas treats. Think of this as a beer that can satisfy both urges. Now that’s a diet plan that I might actually be able to stick to! In all seriousness, this is a well crafted beer that presents itself nicely with refreshing holiday notes.
Look for more of the holiday brew reviews to come up until Christmas. For another great source of seasonal brews, check out Beer Magazine’s Nov/Dec issue. Thanks again for all your suggestions and stay safe this holiday season.