If you like ginger, cinnamon, and honey spiced ales, then move to Ohio because that’s the Christmas beer style there. Fat Head’s Brewery of Middleburg Heights, Ohio makes Holly Jolly Christmas Ale, a spiced holiday brew that fits this profile.
Holly Jolly pours dark burgundy with a little head at all. The nose is has ginger, cloves, coriander and candy malts. The taste is not too sweet, more bitter spices. Cloves first, then ginger, nutmeg, coriander and cinnamon all sitting on a firm malt base. There’s a bitterness to the spices that the Ohio honey doesn’t cut. My bottle had low carbonation, with a clean mouthfeel. It’s 7.4% ABV and only 28 IBU.
Because Holly Jolly has a similar flavor profile and is from the same area of the country as the fan favorite, Great Lakes Christmas Ale, and my preference, Thirsty Dog 12 Dogs of Christmas Ale. Holly Jolly has more body and better blended spices than Great Lakes. Thirsty Dog has more ginger and is sweeter.
Fat Head’s brews another Christmas beer called Pimp My Sleigh Belgian-Style Christmas Ale. I look forward to trying this one someday.
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