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Christmas Ale 2020

    Style: Barrel aged red ale
    Brewery: Den Bryggande Hollandaren
    Origin: Sweden
    Size: 75cl
    Alcohol: 8.5%
    Price: 125kr

    Back in November 2020 I decided that I wanted to hold a Christmas tasting. Just after I had sold all the tickets for it the levels of Corona in Sweden skyrocketed, and tight restrictions came into place. I then had to cancel that Christmas tasting, but not before I had already bought this beer for it. I decided to hold it for a year instead of selling it as it was a barrel aged sour, and so I thought it would until I could finally hold the tasting. Furthermore, I’m happy to say it had indeed aged very well!

    This was hazy brown to amber, with fairly low carbonation. As it was a red ale that had been aged with raisins and figs, you can imagine that those aromas leapt from the glass. They were coupled with a balsamic vinegar tartness along with some oak and citrus. The taste was more of the same, with the high acidity really making the palate work. The dried fruits blended well with the wood, backed with a slight hay funk. The tartness lived in the mouth long after swallowing, and made the mouth water. This medium bodied beer definitely had a noticeable alcoholic kick to it, but it worked in the context of this beer and didn’t feel out of place.

    I thought this was a very nice beer, but not exactly the easiest to drink. The large bottle size means I would want to share this with quite a few people, as it isn’t the type of beer I would want to drink a lot of in one sitting. Still, a pleasant red ale with a lot of character and complexity.