This is the fifth review in the series “12 Beers of Christmas” – Everyday for 12 days we will have a review on a Christmas/Winter beer.
I love the 12%’s of Christmas. They bring me good tidings of great joy and warmth when I need it most: Outdoor holiday decorating.
As mentioned previously, my lady and I made a deal to postpone decorating and use the 12 days of Christmas as our timeline of daily hall decking. The bright side to this is daily consumption and review of the season’s finest beer offerings!
Today, I’m outside hanging those sweet blinky icicle lights that look nothing like icicles but blink like real ones!?! Temps are in the mid 20’s and my only hope of warmth and cheer is a potent beer, made with passion and maple syrup. Weighing in at 12% AbV, Slumbrew Yankee Swap Ale brewed with maple syrup and aged in oak rum barrels, is the perfect winter beer release and if you decide to put it in the cellar, it will make a great 2014 Christmas gift (to yourself of course)
Poured into my logo’d stem glass, this brew was a very dark sap color with a quickly receding, tan head. The nose sings with notes of oak and vanilla with a strong presence of toffee, caramel and maple.
In my mouth, is where this beer really comes to life. Generally I shy from barrel-aged beers as I like my whiskey flavors separate from my beer, but the sweetness of the rum barrel with a milder oak flavor balanced by the maple worked out amazingly. The body is full and viscous with a richness created by the syrup. I like the fact that it is sneakily high in alcohol and while it has a tinge of booze, it is mellowed down and very easy drinking. The finish on this beer makes you want it to never become an empty bottle.
If I opened this during a Yankee Swap party, I would have no choice but to tighten my grip, lower my shoulders and “barrel” out the door!
The Christmas lights are crooked.