I sat here thinking about whether I wanted to write about this beer because I don’t find it that inspiring. It doesn’t make me love or hate it, I just ehhh it. I had this desire to try my hand at Christmas ales this year after a wonderful 2010 nestled in the bosom of Anchor Christmas Ale. Sadly though this beer doesn’t put a dent in the reputation of that beer and after two beers I’m left questioning if I want to actually finish my six pack.

Smell: At first you smell it and you get this weird smell, almost like schweddy balls weird but then you also get hops and malt. So weird.

Taste: The roasted malt hits you up front and then hints of chocolate. But to be honest, this is an average ale. Nothing complex, nothing that sets itself apart, nothing that stands up and proclaims its winter beer status. Its just a roasted malty beer that really underwhelms when you are expecting christmas-isque spices. I will say it has a nice smooth creamy texture, but the after taste leaves a dry bitter taste in your mouth almost like an IPA but not quite as bitter. It has a strong alcohol profile that the maltiness really does a good job of masking until the after taste kicks in.

Overall: I will not buy this again. $10.99 for a six pack was reasonable but not worth buying again, the only reason I’m not pissed off is because its 8.5 ABV and the fact that its a six pack. In the end I can’t wait to have company so I can give them away to unsuspecting guests. Is it bad? No. Is it good? ehhh. Is it middle of the road? For Sure! If you are looking for something with a higher profile of spices, typical to winter brews, look somewhere else. If you want a middle of the road brew with a high alcohol content that comes in a 6 pack, jump all over this.

Stay Thirsty but Stay Different!