Santa’s Swallie

500 mL bottle from Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA.
Pour delivers a classic, English Pale Ale appearance with a slightly clouded, light amber hue with a spotty head that produces some nice retention and some sticky lace. All is well with the appearance.
Nose offers some lovely malt notes that have depth, plus a pronounced, buttery, toasty aroma. Nice.
Tastes reflect the nose and also bring a slight, light-rum character. NOT boozy, but it does have some raisin and bready notes. Short finish which is quite dry for the the level of malts that are present and defies the origin of the beer. Any sice notes (nutmeg and cinnamon are mentioned on the label) are extremely subtle, and that’s one of the strengths here.
For intents and purposes this drinks like an English Pale Ale, and if you are anticipating a Scotch Ale or a Winter Warmer, forget it. Simple biscuit malts with hop character that adds a degree of unexpected bitterness is the real element here, and it tastes very good. Subtle, refined and gentle, many will miss the charm and sophistication of this beer.

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12/11/2010
Format:
bottle
ABV: 4.3 %
Appearance: 4.5
Taste: 4
Mouthfeel: 4
Smell: 4.5
Overall: 5
Total: 4.33
Series Name:
Year:

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