Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Winter Seasonals

While I would love to only drink Boulevard Nutcracker Ale, I've been drinking some other seasonals at the Bull E. Vard mansion. A couple of weeks ago I picked up the Schlafly Winter ESB. ESB is not a particular favorite beer style of mine due to the presence of the extra malt. But, the Schlafly Winter ESB is one of the best beers in the bitter style that I've had. I strongly recommend picking up a sixer (only available in Missouri) while it lasts.

Another favorite of the season is New Belgium's Frambozen (I've only been able to find it in Missouri this year). As I've mentioned before I love raspberries and all things flavored with raspberry. I have to pour this one in a wide mouth glass so I can dip my Schwetty balls in it. NB's Frambozen perfectly matches the raspberry flavors with the maltiness of the brown ale style. I SOOOOO wish this was brewed year round, it's definitely the best raspberry flavored beer I've ever encountered (although the old Westport Brewing Company really delivered a great Raspberry Wheat beer).

Today, I was a little stir crazy after working from home all day and decided to get out and go over to my favorite liquor store, Rhyno. I had an empty keg to dropoff so I was killing 2 birds with one stone. I figured I could pick up something I hadn't had before. Rhyno didn't let me down. I got out of the car with my keg and they were excited to see ol' Bull. They asked me how I'd been, blah blah blah, they really love their semi regular customers. You should become one too. Anyway, I went back to the beer coolers and found some Breckenridge Christmas Ale. Breckenridge really delivers with Breckenridge Avalanche, one of my favorite beers for the past six or seven years. I've been pretty excited to try the Christmas Ale. I also picked up some Breckenridge Oatmeal Stout (which is very good also) and a sixer of Nutcracker. As an additional note, Rhyno has Boulevard Smokestack Series beers for $6.99, the lowest price I've heard of in town. Tell the good folks at Rhyno that Bull sent you, they'll think you're crazy since they don't know me by the name Bull, but it will make me laugh.

Anyway, the Breckenridge Christmas Ale is pretty fabulous. The beer is very dark and I couldn't pinpoint a style, but it was pretty dark and had a real malty aroma. I think I'm only going to get one of these because Stella really enjoys them. I just asked her how many she's had tonight because I looked it up on Beer Advocate and found out it was 7.4% alcohol. She doesn't think she's going to make it to the gym in the morning. So there's an endorsement for you, Stella loved it so much she overdrank this evening.

Overall, you can't do much wrong in my book, buying any winter seasonals. Fall and winter are definitely the best seasons for seasonal beers. Especially for those of us who don't love our beers cold. I really enjoy my beer at about cellar temperature because it delivers the flavor so much more than a cold beer would. Of course if you're drink Budweiser, the colder the better, but for those with taste, you should let it warm a bit before you drink it.

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