G3D 2012 Christmas/holiday brews thread

Discussion in 'The Guru's Pub' started by John, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. John

    John Ancient Guru

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    Yes everyone, it's that time of the year again. Or indeed, it has been that time of the year (again) for some weeks now. Around the 1st of November every year, both macro and micro breweries release their high and low ABV holiday beers. This is a big thing where I am from (Norway) which roots in very long traditions going back all the way to the Viking age.

    All the newspapers have big tests of the annual releases, and these tests become the recipe for which beers you sure as hell will have a hard time finding. Because micro breweries (as the name would imply) have very limited capacity, and the interest for these brews is extremely high and growing EVERY year, there just isn't enough delicious nectar to cater everyone. Thus over the last years, I've started earlier and earlier to buy and store for the holidays. This year in particular has been awful due to distribution problems, which means it's looking grim for me getting my hands on the beers from Nøgne Ø and HaandBryggeriet (hereunder: God Jul, Underlig Jul, Nissemor, Nissefar, Bestefar). I live far north in the country and for some reason distribution stopped north of Trondheim. The beer guy at my local Vinmonopolet is so sorry and has promised to lay off some bottles of the aforementioned types if they ever get their hands on some before the holidays set in.

    Over here, Christmas beers are typically sweeter heavy top fermented ales with ABV's exceeding 6%, with spices associated with Christmas. There are also lower ABV lager inspired brews with ABV lower than 4,7% which are thus sold in grocery stores. These heavy ales appeal greatly to me and my palate and since there are so many types of brews that are only made annually, this time of the year is my favourite time!

    Anyhoo. I'm interested in hearing about your traditions for holiday brews. Do you have any at all? If so, which types of brew? What do YOU enjoy drinking during the holidays?
     
  2. John

    John Ancient Guru

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    I'll start with what I have bought so far this year.

    [​IMG]


    *Ringnes Julebokk: 9% ABV, Doppelbock (Norway). As you can see, I have bought 26 bottles of this (... I actually have more in the fridge *cough*). I thoroughly enjoy this brew and buy at least one case every year which I split with my brother. Best macro brew by far. This is my go-to beer throughout the holidays, and it's splendid for storage! Tastes even better after 1 year in the cellar.

    *Aass Juleøl Premium: 9% ABV, Old Ale (Norway). I've been buying this for years. It's not as good as Julebokk, but still a delicious bodywarmer on cold winter nights. Lots and lots of malt.

    *Ægir Ylir Julebrygg: 7% ABV, Spice/Herb/Vegetable (Norway). Last years' edition was delicious and I fully expect it to be just as good this year.

    *Berentsens Jule Avec: 9% ABV, Old Ale (Norway). I've never gotten my hands on this before, but I tasted it last year. Definite dessert beer. Heavy and sweet.

    *Bocq Gauloise Christmas: 8,1% ABV, Abbey Dubbel (Belgium). Never seen or tasted before. Beer guy at my local outlet said it was yummy. I'll trust him (and his belly!).

    *Midtfyns Jule Ale: 6,8% ABV, Old Ale (Denmark). New to me. I've seen mixed reviews of this one, but I'm eager to try myself.

    *Anchor Our Special Ale: 5,5% ABV, Spice/Herb/Vegetable (USA). Also new to me, but this one I've read great things about! I really enjoy this breweries' renowed steam beer on warm summer nights.

    *Coisbo Christmas Ale: 7% ABV, Belgian Strong Ale (Denmark). Another new one. No idea what to expect, other than the fact that I love the style this is based on.

    Pictured is also a collaboration brew between Norwegian Nøgne Ø and Australian Bride Road Brewers. An Indian Saison (http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/nogne-o--bridge-road-india-saison/152481/). Has nothing to do with Christmas beers, but I found one in my local Vinmonopolet and I had to buy it!

    That's what I have bought so far. I will be getting a bottle of Corsendonk Christmas Ale (Belgian Strong Ale, 8,5% ABV) as I saw some bottles in my local store. As mentioned I'm praying that I can get my hands on some God Jul and Underlig Jul from Nøgne Ø, but I'm not holding my breath.
     
  3. BLEH!

    BLEH! Ancient Guru

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    Not done my booze shopping yet, but I'll be getting around to that shortly. Not a huge fan of beer, but cider is my main drink. Definitely grab a few bottles of Weston's Reserve, strong, bold and very, very nice. I'll try and grab some Moniack/Lindisfarne mead as well, but those are harder to come by where I live.
     
  4. John

    John Ancient Guru

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    Mead, really? That's interesting! I've only tasted mead once, and I found it far, far too sweet for my palate. I don't know which type it was though as it was poured from a yellow bottle that a dunk Polish guy brought to a party. Might have to try some different types some time.

    The name "Lindisfarne" is interesting as well. Norwegian micro brewery Ægir has a scotch ale named the same: Ægir Lindisfarne Scotch Ale. I've had this and it was very good.

    I've renamed the thread to include all sorts of brews, not only beer. As long as it contains alcohol and is relevant to your holiday traditions; let's discuss it! :)
     

  5. BLEH!

    BLEH! Ancient Guru

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    Mead is ridiculously sweet, but I have a ridiculous sweet tooth which always needs satiating around Christmas time (happens to be near my birthday too XD. I had a trip to Berlin back in August and developed a taste for German beers as well. I think a few bottles of Warsteiner might top things off nicely, despite the fact it is 10%.
     
  6. Tat3

    Tat3 Ancient Guru

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    Time to buy some Finnish Christmas beers and be disappointed yet again.
    Not sure yet what to buy, I'll go to Alko and see what they got there.

    Well, I do have one beer which I will surely buy, Haandbryggeriet Nissefar. Seems to havee got some good reviews. :) Other beers, not sure.

    Edit: My traditions: I'll buy some beer, mostly ones which I know taste good or something I have not tasted yet. Dont drink much more at December than on other months, no specific beers so can not call it a tradition.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  7. John

    John Ancient Guru

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    Are you kidding me? Can you get that there? Neither of my 2 local Vinmonopolet can get their hands on it. HaandBryggeriet sold out weeks ago. I'm gonna send them an angry e-mail if I find out they sent some to Finland (!) of all places instead of catering to the desperate local market. :p Their "Bestefar" won most tests over here this year. Also impossible to find now.

    What are Finnish Christmas brews like? Can you give me some names/links?
     
  8. Tat3

    Tat3 Ancient Guru

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    What ? According to Internets there are 19 bottles left in Alko I usually visit. If they really sell that fast I'll go buy few, brb. :)

    Seems that they sent quite a few bottles to Finland... But hey, could be worse, they could have sent those to Sweden also.

    http://alko.fi/tuotteet/fi/749256

    Hit that "Hae" and you see how many are left in here :)
     
  9. John

    John Ancient Guru

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    Oh yes, them Germans make some damn good beer. I'm particular to their bock traditions (as seen in my post above with my case of Julebokk doppelbock), but I also LOVE their wheat ales, Hefeweizen in particular, from breweries like Paulaner and Weihenstephaner. I'm curious though, which Warsteiner have you had that's 10% ABV? I think the strongest I've had from them is their Dunkel, which is about 5%.
     
  10. John

    John Ancient Guru

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    They probably did send to Sweden too, haha. Damn.

    They go fast here because they're renowned to make some of the best Christmas brews. They literally sold out the same day as they released it. The distributor ate their entire stock in one day. However, they are also a small micro brewery, compared to the bigger ones like Nøgne Ø.
     

  11. Tat3

    Tat3 Ancient Guru

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    Okies. So bought the following (Did not see any Nøgne bottles btw, did not ask for those but anyways) :
    Ayinger Winter-Bock (Germany)
    Stallhagen Pilsner Christmas Edition (Finland)
    BrewDog Hoppy Xmas (Scotland)
    St Martin Cuvée de Noël (Belgium)
    2 * Haandbryggeriet Nissefar (Norway)

    There were 7 Nissefar bottles left when I went to shop, 5 left there + it seems that they have something at storage also. :)


    EDIT: Added links, I dont think that I have tasted any of those before. Oh the joy of having new beer :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  12. mitzi76

    mitzi76 Ancient Guru

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    So far it looks like i'll be mostly on San Miguel etc etc but if I do come across anything i'll let you know...

    Usually I find some interesting Rum.

    Oh that reminds me must avoid Patxaran (so easy to drink but is pretty strong) or spelt Pacharan.

    p.s try it if you can get your hands on some

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patxaran#Commercial_brands_and_production
     
  13. John

    John Ancient Guru

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    Nice! Enjoy the Nissefar... it's great stuff.

    Otherwise out of those, the one that interests me the most is the Ayinger doppelbock: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/ayinger-winter-bock/1090/

    Doppelbock is ****ing awesome!

    Oh and BTW: if anyone's using Untappd on your smartphone, let me know so I can add you.
     
  14. Pill Monster

    Pill Monster Banned

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    Bah, Humbug! :p
     
  15. XBEAST

    XBEAST Ancient Guru

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    [​IMG]

    Don't know how it's called in English.
     

  16. BLEH!

    BLEH! Ancient Guru

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    Iunno what it was, but it was strong by beer standards. Pretty sure it was Warsteiner. I was feeling the 1 pint I had anyway, normally takes 2 or 3 ciders (5%) for the same effect.
     
  17. aircool

    aircool Don Aircooleone Staff Member

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    Not previously bought in decent drink, if any, for the festive period.

    However this year appears to be a lot more different for me as I am fast accumulating Porter and Stout as well as less common interesting stuff.

    Not much in the way of festive brews round here apart from the local Otter Claus that I suspect I may have to try :p

    Will keep an eye out.

    Going to stock up on some Greenwich Hospital Porter and try and find some Norweigan brew :D

    Whisky / Spirits though.....

    • Caol Ila 12 Year Old @ 43%
    • Ardbeg 10 Year Old @ 46%
    • Ardbeg Uigeadail @ 54.2%
    • Several bottles of VAT69 @ 40%
    • Johnnie Walker Green Label (15 Year Old) @ 43%
    • Royal Lochnagar 1996 Distillers Edition @ 40% (Should be at 46!)
    • Royal Lochnagar 1998 Distillers Edition @ 40% (Should be at 46!)
    • Old Pulteney 12 Year Old @ 40%
    • Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban (Meh)
    • Johnnie Walker Black Label
    • Bailie Nichol Jarvie @ 40%
    • Adnams Absinthe Rouge @ 66%

    Spirits over here seem to be more festive that beer weirdly.
     
  18. John

    John Ancient Guru

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    Heads will roll if I find out that the micros have been sending their Christmas ales to the UK too!
     
  19. aircool

    aircool Don Aircooleone Staff Member

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    Your too greedy.
     
  20. John

    John Ancient Guru

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    It should be preserved for the locals! It's mine, all mine!

    ... what now?
     

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