For centuries, the traditional European brewery standard is to release an exclusive draught during the holidays.
Traditionally, these beers are darker, a bit heavier in malt and alcohol, and spiced with your standard holiday seasonings. They’re a far cry from the gingerbread, white chocolate, rum barrel-aged, hay imported from Bethlehem sort of holiday special beers you find in the US nowadays.
Being decidedly European in styles and feel, Boca Raton’s Barrel of Monks created a holiday beer of their own, one which is getting a release in the area in their trademark champagne bottles. It’s a delightful little number by the name of Father Christmas (Quadrupel, 10% ABV).
Even the label has an old world feel. You have to love that.
The beer is awfully close to their Abbey Series standard Quadrophenia quadrupel. But, as mentioned, Barrel adds a wonderfully warm and cozy mixture of spices to the brew.
The end result isn’t a big and boozy 10% ABV beer (which, of course, it is), but more of a gentle, flavorful double brown ale. The aroma is very malty, with some hints of nutmeg and dark roasted malts and just a touch of their house yeast strand.
The flavor is surprisingly mellow, with the malt being thick, rich, and very soft. It’s not harsh and biting at all, which some double digit beers tend to be.
It’s a wonderful beer, and is easily enjoyed sitting by the fireside on a cold, cozy winter’s night. I drank mine by the pool outside, which considering this year’s winter, is about the same thing.
It’s still on store shelves; grab one now or else St. Nick won’t leave one in your stocking next year.
Drink Florida Craft,