This is the second review in the series “12 Beers of Christmas” – Everyday for 12 days we will have a review on a Christmas/winter beer.
“Fat” and “Jolly” are two words that will be forever synonymous with Christmas. And while I may not be either of those things, the beer that helped me live at least the essence of these terms was, in fact, Fat Heads Brewery Holly Jolly Christmas Ale.
The lady of the house requested that we deck the halls for the holiday season, and in a fine display of professional procrastination, a plan was devised that we use the 12 Days of Christmas as a timeline for our decorating venture. After buying myself an extra 13 days, the time to decorate has begun, and the bright side to this is, so has the daily consumption and review of the season’s finest beer offerings!
At this stage, we are clearing out the booze display from the dining room (as seen partially torn down in the background) and replacing them with fat and jolly Santa Clause figurines. This act requires a beer that is brewed with the strongest of Christmas cheer available in 12 ounces. Poured into what I consider a modified style of snifter, the beer was the color of roasted sugar plums and the head a slightly thin, off white puff. Aromas of holiday baking fly out of the glass with nutmeg and cinnamon as the prominent scent.
Flavor-wise, I’m all about this guy. Sweetness should be saved for candy canes and fruit cakes and less in beer. The spicier, malt forwardness of Holly Jolly, in the form of pepper, coriander and clove, brought me the joy of the holidays and the 7.5% AbV helps ease the anxiety of hiding all the booze and replacing them with stout, smiling, jolly men in red coats. I know it is brewed with local Ohio honey, but I can’t seem to find it, the chocolate malt however, does show its face ever so slightly!
So, if you are looking for a solid Christmas Ale with all the spirit of the holidays, but prefer your sweetness in your candy, Fat Heads Brewery Holly Jolly Christmas Ale is a gift!
Cheers from under the mistletoe!