Slow Beer

Friday, May 15, 2009

Cool Weather Warmers

Holgate Christmas Ale - 8.5%abv
Odd choice you say? Well try it now and thank me later! Some more of this great brew has just become available once more. Christmas in July anyone?

Pours dark ruby tending to amber with a small cream coloured head. Aromas of fruit and spice are in abundance with support from sweet caramel malt. Palate delivers a great degree of stewed red and dark fruits with caramel upfront, before darker malt carries some sweet toffee. Finishes with significant spice (cinnamon, clove, ginger) and fruity esters, sweet malt lingers. Alcohol is present but handled perfectly for the style. While on paper it sounds too sweet to work, the spice presence really brings it to life!

Red Hill Hop Harvest - 6%abv
The cold weather beckons and you know what that means? Hop Harvest release followed by Imperial Stout release!

Pours a murky amber with nice beige collar of foam. Aromas are quite bold, with caramel/toffee malt supported by apricot and marmalade notes and resinous hops. Palate lets the darker malt come through early before some fruity esters pop up. Finish is driven by fresh, resinous hops. This is definitely Red Hill’s bread & butter, and they continue to impress with it year in, year out. Great robust example of the style!

Emerson's Taieri George - 6.8%abv
Every year, this is probably one of slowbeer’s most anticipated releases. The punters just never seem to get enough of it. And with good reason, there is little doubt that this is among the most unique brews produced in Australia & New Zealand.

Pours dark red/brown with a nice tan coloured head. Nose is quite peculiar. Very overt spice notes, surely additions and not yeast driven. Clove, nutmeg, cinnamon & perhaps some cardamom. Also some fruit cake-like dark malt. Palate tones down the spice notes a touch, allowing the chocolate malt & dark fruit notes to come through. Finishes with lingering spice notes, but not in the traditional phenolic sense. Really interesting, I’m definitely hiding a few of these away for the winter months!

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