Thursday, 25 December 2014

Christmas Review: Beers!

After the morning of frenetic unwrapping and playing on a carousel system (the Boy) or manically changing the dresses on magic clip dolls over and over and over (and over), that would be the Girlie, the wife (Willow) and I sat down to watch an old DVD (Dylan Moran, Monster) and snuggle up. I got out my Christmas ale (yes, I have only the two) and decided to imbibe them during the showing. Originally in scrawled notes and now written up to post online!


I have had Yule Love It (again) by Thwaites and Snowman's Revenge by Wentworth, though this may be a bad batch, we'll see.

Would you like to build a snowman? No? Okay, then read my reviews instead!

Firstly twas the turn of Yule Love It because it wasn't so bad last year and I rather like me some Thwaites and it seemed rude not to. The colour was like last year, chestnutty and deep, with a nose that packed a little of the mulled spices from last year but, this year, was more along the line of light fruitiness. Not a little unlike some orange liqueur that my mother used to drink back in the day, but faintly. There was a bitterness again, but not as strong as I remembered it. Poured well, decent enough head that frothed and then hung about but at a much reduced rate of bubbling - for which I was glad - and the coloration seemed lighter when compared to the photo I used last year (not mine). First sip was nice enough, good smack of malt over some reduced hops (I blame the fact that I've had far more hoppy ales this year than last) and some bitterness down the sides. It did manage to fill the mouth without too much trouble and I can't complain at that. A moderate fizz over the tongue and then it settled in to the long wind down to the bittering aftertaste. Last year I claimed there was a creamy finish to it, and that remains true, but it is nowhere near as much as I remembered - either through being a different batch or else through the fact that I've had many more ales in proper pubs this year. Either way, it wasn't bad, I'm glad I had it and I think, as Christmas-themed ales go, it does quite well. Indeed, it set me up for quite the evening.

Secondly, for it came second, there was the Snowman's Revenge which had been vaguely threatening me since about November down at our local supermarket. I did wonder how it was that they came to have such a Christmas themed ale so early in the year (last year they all appeared en masse after the season was over) but was glad that it turned up in my festive presents from the children. Bless 'em, they know how to make their Daddy happy. There are other ales too for me to try and I am looking forward to them. Enough! On with this one! Yes, it opened with barely a hiss and poured in a gloopy way, the kitchen has been rather cold of late, but with no head at all (and I tried). Colour was deep and ruby, as promised, but the nose was bitter and with a faint blackberry edge to it. I wondered straight away if it were off, and the lack of carbonation does seem to bear out a potential failing on this score. Sure enough, the first taste was thin and without too much character. It manages to fill the mouth, sure enough, it's not missing any components; they're just... well, I am slightly disappointed is all. Luckily, Dylan Moran is on hand to explain how much better this is than drinking gin or running around and kicking all the things with the things. Which is nice. No, I think I must have a bad bottle here, reluctant to blame the ale as a whole after others I've had from Wentworth. No... wait, that's Wadworth. Oh, well, maybe I'll blame the ale. Very disappointing.

I shall be finishing with a delightful home-made vodka from one of Anna's friends. It is blackberry and absolutely lip-smacking delicious! Not the best brace of ales that I have had, but the Yule Love It does take the evening by a long way and is not a terrible tipple. Onward to the New Year and more interesting ales!

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