Here it is, Thanksgiving Day 2012, and I’m already a few weeks into the Christmas beers. Not by choice so much, mind, you but…well, maybe it is by choice. You see, the holiday/winter beers just seem to keep on hitting the market sooner each year, and I love them so much I can’t resist them. Abita Christmas Ale and Anchor Our Special Ale 2012 were the first down the hatch, both on tap at Taco Mac. A six-pack of Sierra Nevada Celebration (or, some of it anyway) is in my fridge, and I also have the perennial Samuel Adams Winter Classics 12-pack.
This year the sampler (I picked mine up for $12.99) includes 2 bottles each of:
· Samuel Adams White Christmas
Samuel Adams White Christmas is, of course, a new beer for 2012. Although I was a bit disappointed to see the Cranberry Lambic missing again this year, I was however intrigued by the notion of a White Christmas. Samuel Adams White Christmas is a holiday variant on the Belgian Witbier style. Wit is Flemish for white, and this style usually does have a whitish color from the wheat used to brew it.
Wits are also spiced, usually with coriander and orange peel. Here, Boston Beer replaces the coriander with nutmeg and cinnamon for a bright and zesty holiday treat of alcohol content 5.8% by volume.
Samuel Adams White Christmas pours to a cloudy orange amber color with a thick fizzy and short lived head formation and a delightfully spicy nose. Rousing the yeast and adding it to my glass makes the head a bit more stable and longer lasting. Taking a sip, the palate is immediately assaulted here by a plethora of invigorating flavors. It’s not just the way they work together that I like so much, though, it’s the robust way in which they attack the taste buds.
Spicy, dry cinnamon; pungent nutmeg; and bright, citric and slightly bitter orange all make their presence felt. The tart crackery wheat underneath makes the beer refreshing and more-ish, and the whole affair is dried perfectly by the spice.
For me, the idea of tweaking the classic wit style with a holiday twist works magnificently. I love the results and the way the spices and fruit pair so delightfully. If you love spice, this is certainly a beer for you; it’s sure to leave a warm and vibrant holiday glow on your palate as it did mine.
Also available in six-packs by itself for $7.49 in my area.
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.