Guest Video Review by Dave Coulter
Have a Holly Jolly Christmas! It’s the best time of the year.....I don’t know, if there’ll be snow, but have another beer…..Oh, hi folks! Bruguru here, enjoying a bit of holiday cheer with a bottle of Fat’s Head’s Holly Jolly Christmas Ale-in the middle of May. OK, I had planned to save it for my annual Christmas in July imbibing, but you see Fat Head’s beers are so good I couldn’t wait any longer.
Fat Head’s does not sell their beer in Georgia, but knowing of my affinity for Christmas and holiday beers, beer legend Dave Coulter sent me a bottle in January along with some of their other great brews. It’s been sitting in my beer fridge tempting me until temptation finally got the better of me, and I drank it. The brewery says this about it on the label:
Once upon a frozen evening way up north, a sweet local honey named Holly inspired our Jolly Fat Man (as only Holly can) to create this festive spiced holiday ale. We think you will enjoy his holiday creation with it's aromas and flavors of Christmas day. Sweet malt, ginger, honey and cinnamon spice. Sip this by the fire with your significant other. Who knows, maybe it will lead to a little inspiration of your own. From our Jolly Fat Man to yours, Happy Holidays.
Ingredients from the website:
YEAST: German Ale
HOPS: Mt. Hood, Crystal
MALT: Pale, Munich, Special Roast, Victory, CaraMunich I, CaraMunich II, CaraAroma, Cara-Pils, Chocolate
KARMA: Local Ohio Honey, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Coriander
Look at that grain bill! That’s a lot of different malts my friends. Fat Head’s Holly Jolly Christmas Ale has an alcohol content of 7.4% by volume with 28 IBUs. My bottle has no freshness dating but is still going strong in May.
Fat Head’s Holly Jolly Christmas Ale pours to a dark ruby color with a medium to light head formation and an explosive hot cinnamon ball nose laced with notes of rich honey. You really get that honey in the nose, and taking a sip I get it in the palate too. There’s a hint of caramel malt up front but really the hot cinnamon ball flavors take over quickly and the rich dry fermented honey notes add much to the beer as well. The ginger peeks through as well, and in the finish, the nutmeg spice helps to really dry the beer nicely. I don’t get a lot of hop character but the beer is beautifully balanced by the spice. Just beautiful, a winner of a beer, truly delicious and a new seasonal favorite for me.
Another very impressive beer from this brewery and who knows? Between Fat Head’s and Great Lakes, I just might have to move to Cleveland…..
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.