Special Holiday Ale

12 oz single from Tower on Piedmont. $2.99 for the pleasure.
Well, the marriage of these three breweries certainly makes for an intriguing combination, but at the same time it makes me a little nervous. Jolly Pumpkin has been very hit and miss for me (I just don’t want funk in EVERYTHING), Mikkeller aren’t exactly know for their subtlety and Stone have pushed a few boundaries of their own.
Dark garnet pour with a tan head and sticky lace. It looks rich – and that’s good because it IS! (In fact if there is one word to describe this I would use “rich”).
Nose reveals basically a Standard Belgian Dark. The standard dark fruits, plums and raisins. Very rich and full of promise.
Tastes also reflect many of the usual Dark Belgian notes but the detail (and the Devil) is in the finish. The ending is where the rye, marmalade, all spice, orange peel and bitter figs drop in to say Hi! They linger too, to leave an aftertaste that is distinctly Winter Warmer like. a touch of alcohol in the end too.
VERY interesting beer (which in no way should be surprising at ALL), and it almost splits into two separate experiences. Essentially a classic, Stone, Dark Belgian early on, and then followed by the influence of the other two breweries with the spice, bitterness and weird ingredient combo. Funny, since you could almost predict the whole thing from the label. VERY tasty, very interesting and very moreish. Great stuff.

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01/25/2009
Format:
bottle
ABV: 9.0 %
Appearance: 4.5
Taste: 5
Mouthfeel: 4.5
Smell: 4.5
Overall: 4.5
Total: 4.73
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