Tag Archives: christmas

Beer-vent Day 8 -Literal Christmas Beer.

Welp. I knew this was going to turn up at some point. I have to be in a particular mood to really enjoy a spiced beer and wondered if that would affect my opinion.

So Day 8 is the day of reckoning for Northern Monk’s Xmas Mocha Porter. I really, really hate the abbreviation to “xmas” anyway, so went ahead and ignored that to focus on the task at hand: drinking the beer.

I’ve had their regular Mocha Porter, which is a great, creamy coffee porter and easy to drink at 5.9%. This is essentially that, but with added cinnamon and nutmeg. And it works. It’s an attractive beer: black as they come with a tan head that dissipated a little too quickly. A rich aroma of, well, Christmas (even with my blocked nose): cinnamon and nutmeg spiciness like a mulled wine, but with coffee sweetness. There’s very little carbonation and without it being overly rich makes it easy to gulp down (I wasn’t trying to, I was thirsty). The flavours don’t immediately hit you, but rather builds after, leaving a coffee bitterness and lingering spice.

Overall, it’s nice and I would recommend it if you were specifically looking for a spiced porter/”Christmas beer”. It doesn’t feel like it’s been rushed out as a marketing ploy, and I appreciate that greatly.

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Beer-vent Day 1 -Crisis Avoided.

Given the fairly expensive option of the To-├śl calendar and the various multi-brewery versions that would no doubt have a bunch of bottles that I wouldn’t enjoy, I decided to get my creative hat on (not literally) and make my own. Sure, it’s not in a fancy box with perforated circular windows, but they’re all beers I have a extremely decent chance of enjoying.

So, the first beer that was destined to be Day 1 was Hold Your Plums – a sour made with plums, damsons and rose petals by Mad Hatter Brewing in Liverpool. I can’t tell you what it was like, however, because it ended up in the sink. I’m guessing there was some kind of infection and I’m going to contact Mad Hatter to ask if anyone else had the same problem. In need of a replacement, I went back to the stash and found another Mad Hatter beer in the form of Marmalade Cake, so I’ll tell you about that instead.

If you really look for it, you can pick up some orange in the aroma. It’s mainly a sweet spiciness. It’s much more marmaladey in the taste, with a rich mouthfeel and lasting orange bitterness. It’s a pretty big IPA at 6.8% and I liked it, but I expected a lot more orange.

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