Monday, November 10, 2008

It's the Most Wonderful Time For Beer: The 12 Beers Of Christmas (Part 1)

The first snow of the year and six
blind tasting beers sat before us. The colder it becomes outside, the better the seasonals seem to be. Ah, yes winter. Thicker, more robust ales come our way and we couldn't wait to share some with you. Being the label whores we are, we wanted to prove to our beer knowlege was up to snuff with a good old fashioned taste test- wine style. Our choices of the night were: Flying Dog K-9 Cruiser Ale, Blue Moon's Winter Ale, Great Lakes Brewing Co's Christmas Ale, Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale Summit Winter Ale and Bell's Christmas Ale. Our good friend and guest judge Nick helped us make sure we did not pass judgement because of the logo on the label.

The ratings and guesses:

Sample 1: Malty, Toffee flavor. Finishes average, taste does not linger.
Oz Scale: 6.0 (Summit)
Mike Scale: 6.7 (Summit)
Nick Scale: 7.5

Sample 2: Hints of ginger and cinnamon. Slight hops aftertaste. Swims down your throat.
Oz Scale: 7.9 (Great Lakes)
Mike Scale: 7.9 (Great Lakes)
Nick Scale: 8.4

Sample 3: It hits well but fails to finish close to expectations. It's a blue balls beer (you get all excited on the first sip but in the end you just find yourself holding yourself for comfort.) Could pass as a fall seasonal.
Oz Scale: 6.2 (Sierra Nevada)
Mike Scale: 5.4 (Blue Moon)
Nick Scale: 3.4

Sample 4: Sweet smell, average finish. Could pass as a spring seasonal or even a year long brew. Has a surprising slight kick. Slight malt finish.
Oz Scale: 6.8 (Blue Moon)
Mike Scale: 6.6 (Sierra Nevada)
Nick Scale: 5.4

Sample 5: Great kick, powerful finish. Sweet but sour. Malt and hops are balanced. Spices are subtle but welcomed.
Oz Scale: 7.7 (Flying Dog)
Mike Scale: 7.4 (Bell's)
Nick Scale: 9.0

Sample 6: Powerful taste in all the right ways. Hop aroma and taste. Slight sweetness.
Oz Scale: 8.2 (Flying Dog)
Mike Scale: 8.3 (Bell's)
Nick Scale: 10

Actual Brews:
Sample 1: Summit Winter Ale (Averaged 6.7)
Sample 2: Great Lakes Christmas Ale (Averaged 8.1)
Sample 3: Flying Dog K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale (Averaged 5)
Sample 4: Blue Moon Full Moon (Average 6.3)
Sample 5: Bell's Christmas Ale (Averaged 8.0)
Sample 6: Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale (Averaged 8.8)

Both Oz and Mike guess correctly on half the six beers. Surprisingly Flying Dog (being one of Oz and Mike's favorite brewing companies) did not live up the their standards.

Here is a look at the brews resting on the fresh snow:

And here is a look at them as the snow starts to melt (20 hours later, the next day and the following day)

1 comment:

noisynoiseisnoisome said...

I still can't believe Flying Dog did so poorly. Their October-fest was amazing. Fuck them--they don't even call their seasonal beverage "Christmas ale," it's all PC bullshit "Winter ale."