For the past few months, I have been the happy member of an exclusive little Friday afternoon tradition at the office called Belgian Beer Fridays. We meet around 5:00, gather in a small office and rotate curating the small flight of tastes (usually 3-4 beers), often loosely relating to a theme. This past week was naturally focused on the most festive of all beer drinking occasions - the Christmas ale. Our group leader brought a lovely selection of some of this year's finest (let's just say it was the tipsiest BBF yet):
We started with the Bruery's Two Turtle Doves - A Belgian Strong Ale (12% ABV) brewed with cocoa nibs, caramelized sugar and toasted pecans. This dark ale has a roasty nose, flavors of dark chocolate malt, molasses and dried fruit... A robust alchoholly experience that lingers on the tongue. Yum.
Next we had the popular Delirium Noël, a Belgian Strong Dark Ale style beer (10% ABV). The amber body is smooth and lightly malty, with vanilla, raisin and spice notes on the tongue. Very drinkable for a holiday ale.
The St. Bernardus Christmas Ale (10% ABV) is pitch dark with a creamy head, malt and candied spiced fruits on the nose. Drinks smooth, caramel-rich with nutmeg and a host of Christmas spices. Probably my favorite of the three.
"For fun" we indulged in a fourth bottle (dessert, if you will), Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, a Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout (13% ABV). This was pure molasses bliss. Chocolate fudge sauce. A child's first taste of sin. Go get a bottle today!
If you're a holiday beer loving Angeleno, head over to 55 Degree Wine this Sunday December 20 between 5-10pm for December Beer Fest with holiday brews and bratwurst. 3111 Glendale Blvd (Next to Starbucks), Atwater Village; (323) 662-5556
Bottle pic by KyleRoth via Flickr Beer Labels, Close Up pool