Sometimes I lose myself in the craft beer section at the liquor store. I feel like I might miss something new and exciting or exotic if I don’t look at everything! You just never know what is new as far as seasonal brews go or just a change in stock. For example, I had picked up a couple of brews I had been interested in and on my way to the register is a clearance rack. Yes some liquor stores have a clearance rack. I had seen this rack many times and nothing has ever caught my eye before, until this time…This time on the clearance Rack I spotted Sly Fox 2008 Christmas Ale. I was immediately intrigued. I purchased it at a discounted price of $5.19 in a 1pt 9.4oz corked bottle. I have had many a beer with a cork stopper. However, this was a beastly cork! I felt like a kid on Christmas day trying to rip open a gift that had been wrapped with a wasteful amount of tape. The uncorking of this brew was like an epic battle. Eventually a pair of pliers defeated my corkly foe!
This year and a half aged brew poured an orange / amber color and sported a huge, tan, fluffy head that did not stick around long. This was a very aromatic brew. The first thing I smelled was the alcohol, second was the malt and spices. The label let me know what to expect as far as spices go. All the Christmas spices (ginger, clove, nutmeg, allspice) were present in the taste. It was smooth and malty with a hint of banana. There was some bitterness to the dry burning alcohol finish. The abv on the bottle lists it at 6.5% but after a year and a half I wonder if the abv is more by now. I would imagine it became a bit maltier over time. There was a small amount of lacing with this and the mouthfeel over all teetered on the cusp of medium. This was a good experience and did remind me of the winter holiday season. It made me wish I had a big chewy ginger bread cookie to acompany it! Here’s to Good Beers!