Dark Horse 4 Elf Winter Warmer Ale Review

Dark Horse Brewing gave their 4 Elf Winter Warmer Ale all the elements of a good winter brew: lots of malts, spices and alcohol, yet ended up with a very drinkable beer.

4 Elf pours dark burgundy with a tan head that transforms to lace in a few seconds. Candy malts and spices greet

Bell’s Christmas Ale Review

Here’s a beer to drink with lunch or dinner or snacks when you don’t want the flavors of the beer to take center stage. Bell’s Brewery of Comstock, Michigan created a scotch ale they simply call, Christmas Ale.

Christmas Ale pours dark copper with a light tan head that dissipates quickly. It has a earthy malt aroma, caramel with some bread and spice. Bell’s says there are no added spices, it achieved through the malts and hops. The flavor begins with very light caramel, toasted malts and some bitterness from hops. It’s dry, not sweet. I think Bell was aiming for drinkable, and that’s how I’d describe this beer. It’s 5.5% ABV and trying not to stand out.

Bell used 100% Michigan two-row barley malt and mixture of Michigan and Pacific Northwest hops. Bell’s Christmas Ale will please those who are not looking for a heavy, spiced, out-there, Christmas beer. Enjoy!

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Nøgne Ø Special Holiday Ale Review

The label of this beer has a silhouette of the 3 Magi traveling on camels to find the Messiah. Three brewing kings collaborated on Special Holiday Ale – Nøgne Ø of Norway, Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales of Michigan, and Stone Brewing from California.

Special Holiday Ale pours brown with a few bubbles but no head. Sweet malts, juniper, cherry and sage greet your nose. I pick up

Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabaza

Today’s Christmas beer is from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales of Dexter, Michigan. There’s no pumpkin in it, that’s just the name of the brewery. Noel de Calabaza Special Ale is their Belgian Strong Ale. I’m tasting a two-year aged bottle marked “Blend 3, Bottled 10-25-2012”.

Noel de Calabaza pours dark mahogany. It’s cloudy and translucent, perhaps due to Jolly Pumpkin’s open fermentation process, lack of filtering and bottle conditioning. I pick up sour yeast on the nose along with