5 Extreme Christmas Beers

Next week in Portland, Oregon the Holiday Ale Festival runs from December 3 to 7, 2014. The line up includes 50+ Christmas beers. Here are 5 extreme Christmas beers I’m looking forward to tasting.

Cascade Brewing Gingersnaps, 12.1% ABV Sour Strong Ale
This NW style sour ale is a blend of Red, Spiced Red and Spiced Quads aged in Bourbon and rum barrels for up to two years on spices. This flavorful concert starts with alternating aromas of Bourbon and rum with a supporting harmony of spices including ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg, and figs. Chocolate and rum hold down the low end while Bourbon and spice hit the high notes on the palate. The finish is a crescendo of raisins, dates, chocolate and ginger with a lingering boozy warmth.

Stone Brewing & Liberty Station New Desecrator, 12% ABV Black Barley Wine
What happens when you take Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine and allow Liberty Station’s Brewing Manager to play with the recipe? You get Old Guardian’s arch nemesis born from the shadows, New Desecrator. This black barley wine has nearly the same profile as Stone Old Guardian, but surrounded by de-husked darkness. To give this demon its own flair, Stone fed it generous portions of Herkules, Amarillo, Comet, El Dorado and Pacifica hops. Coming in at 100+ IBUs, the New Desecrator may just end your holidays early.

Rogue Ales Rogue Whiskey Barrel Aged Caramel Porter, 7.9% ABV Imperial Porter
Rogue Whiskey Barrel-Aged Caramel Porter is an imperial style porter brewed with lots of caramel malt to balance out the traditional roasted and coffee malts. It is then aged in Rogue (recently named “Distillery of the Year”) Oregon Single Malt Whiskey barrels for more than three months to bring out vibrant vanilla, oak and whiskey aromas and flavors. All together, it is a flawless marriage of caramel, coffee, vanilla, chocolate, and smokey, rich whiskey.

McMenamins Edgefield Brewery Lord of Misrule, 7.6% ABV Rum Barrel Aged Imperial Mexican Mocha Stout
Appointing a Lord of Misrule, the official in charge of Christmas revelries and the Feast of Fools, is a holiday-time peasant tradition that can be traced back to Roman times. This dark and spicy imperial brew was made keeping all the joyful customs surrounding this ancient practice in mind. Brewed with cacao nibs, kilned coffee malt and habanero peppers, then aged in rum barrels post-fermentation, this Lord of Misrule is meant to inspire Saturnalian delight and promote merry mischief making in a time of year where good cheer and good beer can be one and the same.

Coalition Brewing Big Maple, 9% ABV Imperial Porter
Coalition’s popular Loving Cup Maple Porter has been training, beefing up, and getting ready for winter: meet Big Maple, Loving Cup’s big brother. A blend of base malts provides the platform for a complex mix of specialty malts. Patagonia caramel 15 malt adds a malty sweetness, while two different chocolate malts provide layers of roast and chocolate notes. Vermont grade A maple is added to the boil, bringing a subtle sweetness and maple aromatics. A whisper of smoke balances this winter treat. Enjoy this one-off beer while you can!

See you at the 2014 Holiday Ale Festival!

Question: Which beers from the line up would you like to taste? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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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.

    Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.