12 x 330ml Belgian Christmas Ale (7.8%)
Big Ideas Series 13 Belgian Christmas Ale (7.8%) x12
Pours an enticing deep mahogany with creamy foam. Sweet caramelised malts, fruity yeast esters and warming alcohol make this an indulgent and opulent beer, with the hops providing enough balance to make it dangerously drinkable.
Festive aromas of fig, boozy banana and mulling spices burst out of the glass and confirm that this one is a bona fide winter warmer. Dark sugar, dried figs and dates soaked in sherry on the palate with a restrained bitter finish.
What The Hell Was I Thinking?
I’m not the sort of person who goes mad for Christmas, but I do like a Christmas beer. I like the fact that a bunch of new beers turn up at this time every year, custom made for the festive weather and spirit. Christmas shopping is bearable only because of the associated tradition of escaping the chaos to find somewhere cosy for a pint or two of something dark and tasty. Christmas Day means cracking open a few of those dark, strong and particularly delicious bottles from the back of the cupboard, feeling like you’ve definitely earned a treat.
This is a beer for those occasions. Going Belgian means there’s no need for the fruit or spice additions often deployed in Christmas brews, because it’s all right here in the yeast, helped along by a sensational speciality malt - Malterie du Chateau’s Cafe Light. The morning after I brewed this, I opened the brewery door and half expected to see Rudolph appear from behind the fermentor. The aroma was incredible. That was a few months ago, and the beer has been carefully nurtured since then, rounding off any rough edges and getting used to life in the bottle. Like all the best Belgian beers, it’s bottle conditioned and will continue to mature and develop, so get a few of these stowed away ready for next year. If it’s anything like this year, you’ll be needing them...
Bottle conditioned, vegan friendly
Malts: Maris Otter, Vienna, Cafe Light, Crystal, Carapils
Hops: Admiral, Brewer’s Gold