12 Beers of Christmas (plus 3)
Bell’s Christmas Ale
The joys of fatherhood includes sitting through rehearsals for Christmas Pageants. Mr. Ben is making his theater debut playing a shepherd. Luckily it is a non-speaking role. We conned him into it by telling him he gets wear a costume which he replied “like a Transformer.” I made the mistake of saying “yeah, sort of.” He was convinced it was going to be Optimus Prime meets Baby Jesus.
Well, we finally got him to stop practicing transforming from a shepherd into a tractor-trailer. He actually did most of what he was told by the director at practice tonight. I drove the future thespian home, dunked him in the tub and into bed. Now it’s Daddy Time.
I looked to see what the Beer Fairy had brought me for the Fifth Day of Christmas Brews and it was Bell’s Christmas Ale.
I need to call Mrs. Dan-in-laws right now. They live not far from the Bells’ Brewery and I hope that can find me some Christmas Ale in one of those little kegs. That would make a great Christmas present. Wait a minute… HEY.. Auntie Carol. if you read this you better pack a mini-keg of this stuff on the way down for Christmas. It’s the price you have to pay if you want one of my Tomato Pies on Christmas Day!
So far this is my favorite Christmas Brew. A very malty start and a hoppy finish. Has a nice sweet nutty taste not the overly toasted nut taste that some Winter brews have. The hoppy finish trails off and kinda hangs for a while but the flavor at the start is really nice. Nice mouthfeel. That finish is so lingering it’s nice to have something to nibble on to clear the palate. According to the label they use 100% Michigan two-row barley malts and a mix of Michigan and Northwest Pacific Hops. It has some flavors I would best describe as toffee bouncing around too.
I visited their website and they say “The basic inspiration for Bell’s Christmas Ale was to create a sessionable holiday beer, using locally grown malt, which would stand apart from the array of spiced winter warmers that are typically introduced this time of year. In contrast to many other seasonals, Christmas Ale doesn’t contain any spices: all of the dry, toasted notes & subtle toffee flavors come from the 100% Michigan-grown barley, custom malted by Briess Malting, while a blend of hops from Michigan & the Pacific Northwest lend earthy, herbal aromas. At 5.5% ABV, it stands as a smooth, highly drinkable beer intended to complement holiday menus.”
I had to pull up an online dictionary to see what a sessionable beer is. (Once again forgo the Urban Dictionary definition since it says it refers to a weak beer which this is not). I had never heard of that term but it is similar to the old Lay’s Potato Chips Jingle. “You can’t eat just one.” If you keep coming back all night long to have “just a little more” then you have a sessionable beer.
Wow. I was kinda shocked that they don’t have any spices in there. My compliments to the brewmaster for pulling this one off with just malts and hops.
Hey, Auntie Carol. Looks like you might be off the hook. They only have it in bottles and draft. I don’t think they will let you check a full keg (plus Delta charge you a ton for the overweight fee). But then again when you get picked up at the airport someone could drive you directly to Wine World and you can buy me a six. You will have just enough time to get it in the fridge before I get back from my brother’s famous Christmas Eve Smokehouse Gathering in Griffin.
Time for bed. Wonder what the Beer Elf (sounds better than Fairy) will bring tomorrow? Maybe it will be the Anchor Steam Christmas Ale or the Sierra Nevada Celebration.
Brewery: Bell’s Brewery
Size: 12 oz
12 Beers of Christmas (plus 3)
- Day 1: Santa’s Butt Winter Porter
- Day 2: Scaldis Noël
- Day 3: Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale 2009-2010
- Day 4: Blue Moon Winter Abbey Ale
- Day 5: Bell’s Christmas Ale
- Day 6: Anchor Steam Christmas Ale
- Day 7: Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve
- Day 8: Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
- Day 9: Reindeer Droppings
- Day 10: Shiner Holiday Cheer
- Day 11: Breckenridge Christmas Ale
- Day 12: Corsendonk Christmas Ale
- Day 13: Bell’s Winter White Ale
- Day 14: Michelob Winter’s Bourbon Cask Ale
- Day 15: Petrus Winter Ale