Here we have our set of special beers for that holiday period that covers not only Christmas, but the New Year too. With that in mind, we’re delighted to bring you a collection of winter beers from 12 different and outstanding breweries from across Europe. Here’s the full list of what’s included in our ‘12 Days of Christmas’ (or should that be ‘12 Days of Lockdown’?):
ST BERNARDUS – NOËL (9.0%), the slightly fruity nose of this deep dark beer opens up to spicy and zesty winter aromas, yielding a rich, seasonal, full-bodied and velvety taste.
LA CHOUFFE – N’ICE (10.0%), an interesting, slightly hoppy, dark beer, which reveals the flavours of Christmas through the use of curaçao, thyme and orange peel.
BANG THE ELEPHANT (collab with LEFT FIELD BEER) – STROKING THE AARDVARK (12.6%), from the makers of the best new barrel-aged stout this year, Chattanooga Choo Choo. With dark chocolate, raspberries, pistachio and toasted coconut how can this imperial stout not be a winner? Plus it’s been aged in a Jack Daniels barrel to give it an extra special and super rounded finish.
DUBUISSON – BUSH NOEL (12.0%), a top-fermented beer which uses roasted caramel malts produces a copper-coloured beer with full, rounded taste from a master brewery of strong beers.
DE RANKE – PERE NOËL (7.0%), a surprising and delightful hop-centric profile (for which the brewery is famous) that balances rich malt, fruit and bitter hops in a complex rounded taste.
HET ANKER – GOUDEN CAROLUS CHRISTMAS (10.5%), a strong, dark ruby red beer, this winter special has a long history. It’s brewed in the August before resting to achieve the balance from using 3 varieties of hops and 6 different herbs and spices to give a rich,rounded character.
L’ABBAYE DES ROCS – NOËL (9.0%), a delicious, dark and spicy Christmas Ale with hints of raisins, coriander, dates and cloves. A fully-rounded, smooth, rich beer.
PÕHJALA – BANAANANEN (13.5%), a barrel-aged Imperial Stout with a balanced mixture of banana, coffee and chocolate, with the sweetness reined in by being aged in rum barrels.
OMNIPOLLO – IN PLENTY MARSHMALLOW BROWNIE (12.0%), a thick Imperial Stout full of cacao nibs, really aromatic toasted coconut and vanilla; the decadence amplified by the extra touch of added marshmallows. From the top-rated European brewery famous for its outrageous-sounding beers, which invariably end up tasting delicious.
LERVIG – NAUGHTY & NICE (8.0%), a Doppelbock, malty, caramelised and full-bodied with tastes of dark fruits, toffee and plum with subtle chocolate and coffee notes. It’s a perfect Christmas beer, especially with food.
WHITE HAG – YULE ALE (7.2%), a rich, malty Red Ale with added honey, ginger and cinnamon for a warming Christmas ale aided by a boosted ABV; the ideal holiday refreshment.
TEMPEST – BOURBON BARREL-AGED ALL THE LEAVES ARE BROWN (11.2%), an Imperial Brown Ale aged in Heaven Hill bourbon casks and later refermented with grade A Canadian maple syrup to create a rich, sticky beer full of warm Christmas pudding flavours. We had this on tap just before the first Covid lockdown; it was superb and went very well.
This is, for me, an exciting pack, as there’s still a variety of styles and tastes and not a weak selection amongst them making up the numbers. The addition of Omnipollo’s ‘In Plenty Marshmallow Brownie’ was an opportunity not to be missed, but does come at a cost due to the vast and insane list of ingredients, making it a more expensive bottle. This means the whole pack will be available for £62.50.