I have an inside joke with this beer and my wife. I’ll explain later.
One thing people love about the holidays is being with family. And one thing people hate about the holidays is being with family.
In a world of people using all of the warm fuzzies of the holidays as advertising for their seasonal beer releases, it’s actually a bit refreshing to see Tampa’s Coppertail Brewing use the alternative when releasing their Seasonal Relief (Baltic Porter, 8.5% ABV).
Basically, this is the beer, they would argue, to drink to unwind once the monsters you call relatives finally leave you alone to a house full of dirty dishes and wrapping paper remnants.
Style? Baltic porter. A bigger, bolder version of a standard porter, such as their wonderful Night Swim.
Only this one wasn’t so big. It was noticeably bolder, with an extra 3 or so points of ABV higher than their standard porter, but it didn’t seem to be overly brutal. It was very mellow and delightful. What I did notice was the slightly higher carbonation. It tickled a bit more on the tongue and was noticeably more effervescent, which I rather enjoyed.
In addition to a wonderfully dark malt bill, resplendent with heavy notes of roast cocoa, coffee, and a touch of molasses, was the fruity adjuncts.
Goji berries and elderberries were added to the mix. These aren’t bright, fruity, sugary berries, either. They’re dark, meaty, and round out the dark malts very nicely.
It’s the elderberries that make me chuckle a bit. You see, my beautiful wife directed an incredible production of Arsenic and Old Lace a few years ago. And if you’ve never read it, at the center are two old sisters that have a penchant for killing lonely traveling gentlemen with an arsenic-laced elderberry wine.
So having a beer intended to relieve the stress of having family over for the holidays, and having that beer laced with a berry that, to my wife and I, immediately recalls murder, is just too delicious an irony.
Then again, so is the beer. Besides, I don’t think Coppertail wants me dead.
I’ll just show myself out.
Drink Florida Craft,