Black Raven Festivus Holiday Ale Review

Here’s a unique Christmas ale, well, actually a Festivus Holiday Ale. Black Raven Brewing of Redmond, Washington created a spiced double IPA that the Costanzas would be proud of. It’s called Festivus Holiday Ale. Let the feats of strength begin!

Festivus pours copper with a thin tan head. The nose is lemon zest, piney hops, and a blend of fresh spices – sage, holly, and Douglas Fir. The flavor is that if a hop-forward beer that is spiced, as opposed to the usual spiced beers which are sweet malt-forward. I taste citrus hops, pine, tangy lemon, perhaps the cranberries, ginger, and behind all this light spices. The flavors blend to form a unique treat of hops and spice and fruit. At 7.1% ABV it’s not quite a feat of strength, but it’s up there with double IPAs. For all the hop flavor, it’s a surprising low 48 IBU.

Black Raven is an award-winning brewery just a few miles away from the Microsoft headquarters. Certainly a brewery to watch.

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    While it’s difficult to picture Santa as a young man, he was once. He met the future Mrs. Claus one snowy night when she offered him a winter ale that she brewed herself. It was love at first sight – for both the Mrs. and her winter ales. With Santa’s growing fame, his favorite brews became named after his favorite day – Christmas. Santa now travels the world each year to spread the joy that began in a stable in Bethlehem two millennia ago.

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