Breweries "Visited"

Monday, December 24, 2012

Day 380: Breckenridge Christmas Ale and Christmas Came Early

I sent Gary out for groceries yesterday and he brought back groceries and a little surprise.
Oh those boys and their toys. Salinger approves.
It's actually not a small surprise at all. I'm the surprised dismayed proud owner of a 46" Samsung blah, blah, numbers, ACRONYMS television.  If I were less three dimensional, I would easily fit into this box.

Chinese-takeout-movie-marathon Christmas Day festivities have definitely been upgraded this year.  Merry Christmas to us!  Whoo-hoo!

There's a reindeer and balls joke
in here somewhere.
What better way to celebrate the holidays than with a Christmas ale. This one comes courtesy of Breckenridge Brewery in Colorado. It's a winter warmer and perfect for today. It pours a crisp, clear shade of deep chestnut with a white head that leaves just a little lacing. It smells of caramel malt and general beer aroma.

The flavor matches the smell nicely. Lots of malt, some light caramel. I'm not getting much in the way of spices. At a 7.4% ABV, it is also a bit boozy.

From the description of a winter warmer on the BeerAdvocate site, it's hitting all the right marks. Winter warmers tend to be malty sweet--big malt presence, both in flavor and body. The color ranges from brownish reds to nearly pitch black.  Hop bitterness is generally low, leveled and balanced, but hop character can be pronounced. Alcohol warmth is not uncommon.

Upon further research, not all winter warmers include spices. Per Breckenridge's description of their Christmas Ale, they went for the caramel and chocolate characteristics. So my assessment of no spice is accurate but I'm also not getting chocolate. Bummer. As my glass warms up a bit, more of the hop profile is coming out. It's just enough bite to balance the sweeter malt flavor.

Beer stats
Style: Winter warmer
ABV: 7.4%
IBUs: 22
Rating: Good

Previously reviewed beers from Breckenridge Brewery 
My assessment of the Vanilla Porter with notes of it being a great complement to cheesy eggs way back on Day 2
Gary's review of one of my favorite tailgate beers, Agave Wheat

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