Tonight I shall mostly be reviewing a beer that, on the face of it, does not belong in the stable of Christmas beers that I am still working my way through. Ah, but, you see, it does! For this beer was the gift of Willow's parents to me for Christmas and very well received it is too! The very least I can do is review it!
So, it is another entry from Badger brewery, the same ones that gave us the curiously peachy beer from some point last year (which is a cheat and very vague as virtually every beer I can compare to was last year at this point) and it is endearingly named Fursty Ferret.
The bottle and label promise much in the way of yeasty beer, no idea why I think that, but that is the impression that I got. A characteristically clear bottle allows an appreciation of the chestnutty colour before opening and the snick of the cap tells you that they have added the carbonation to maintain pressure. The aroma is powerful, and is indeed yeasty, but not in a poor or overpowering way, just in a way that firmly and insistently reminds you that there is yeast and that this is the selling point. Not hops, not malt, but yeast. At 4.4% ABV it may well match that promise of yeasty power in the tasting.
First sip is awash with fizz and filtered through a surprisingly hoppy head that lacks the cream that I have come to associate with beer since I have a local pub I can walk to and buy an actual pint from a bar. This is a good thing, I'm not sure I'm a fan of creamy headed beer. This gives way nicely and swiftly to a spicy taste that warms the tonsils and matches the original aroma - in effect doing what I'd hoped Yule Love It was going to do. It remains heavy on that yeast, but pleasantly so, with a strong hops wave following before fading to a playful and soft malt that eludes any kind of classification or analysis.
Enjoy this one on its own of an evening or a late afternoon. It is a sessionable ale and needs no introduction. It would do well without any guests to break it up and would ensure that you didn't go mad and end up too drunk. I think it benefits greatly from being in a bottle rather than on draught and stands well for most times in the year. Perhaps more suited to a less wintery setting this worked well given the unseasonably warm temperatures at the moment and the clear skies around here. Much better than the last showing from this brewery and may well be repeated.