Christmas in Australia. It’s hot, it’s humid, it’s sunny, and I’m pretty sure Santa has to trade in his usual winter garb for a pair of board shorts and pluggers when he visits. So I always find it hard to appreciate typical Christmas ales from the northern hemisphere, as they’re pretty much designed to be enjoyed in the snow or in front of a cosy fire. Dark ales, random Christmasy spices – these aren’t what I’m looking for to quench my thirst on a scorching Christmas day.
But whatever – I’ve just finished work for the year, AND finished my Christmas shopping for the year, AAAANNNDDD it’s frigin hot today. So right now I just want to enjoy a cold beer, any cold beer – and the one that I’ve had sitting in my fridge since yesterday just happens to be a Christmas ale from the US. Here’s my special christmas drinking notes with the Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve.
What’s on the bottle?
Santa! With a tankard of ale in one hand while his other fist pumps the air in a very “Merry Christmas bitches!” kind of way. What more do you need?!
What’s in the bottle?
As soon as I popped the lid I could tell Santa was hiding some hops in his ale. This piney hop aroma is coupled with some bready caramel and vanilla. The flavors are the same, with the bread dominating the silky smooth malty body. The hops also play a big role, cutting through the malt with a nice pine resin. Then there’s the bitterness; big and spicy, and you can chew on it while enjoying the long long loooong aftertaste. I suppose Santa needs that, since he has a long night of delivering presents ahead of him. Santa doesn’t play games.
Turns out Santa loves his hops! What a champ! While it’s still probably slightly too hot to appreciate this fully (I smashed this down more quickly than it deserved…sorry Santa) this is still a fine drop that works just fine for the Aussie Christmas.
Merry Christmas to all! I hope you can enjoy a few fine ales with great people the festive season. See you next year!