I’m not going to lie, my fridge is still fully stocked of Martzens as Oktoberfest will never leave me. But I know that it’s Christmas time. And with that I need to start drinking more Christmas beers.
For the most part, those ‘Holiday’ releases tend to be winter warmers, and I’ve never been a big fan of those. I’ve always found them to be less like amazing beers and more like another massively treated Imperial Stout. And I’ve gotten a bit tired of treated Imperial Stouts.
But this one, West Floridian Christmas (Quadruple, 9% ABV) from Ocala’s Infinite Ale Works, is a little different.
I had the standard West Floridian, which was absolutely amazing. This version, however, was treated with cinnamon, clove, star anise, vanilla, and cranberry. Not going to lie, those are some wild flavors to put into a Belgian quad and I loved every moment of it.
There’s a very dark, lurking quality to the beer’s brown color, and in that realm of the lies big notes of dark fruit, honey, and spice.
When drinking the beer, you get a rush of all sorts of amazing flavors. It starts with a sweetness coming from a sticky, chewy, malt bill, plus a bit of the cranberry. From there, a honeyed wave washes over, bringing raisin, plum, and molasses notes, latched on to the cinnamon, star anise, and clove. It’s a beer whose flavors run deep and keep evolving quite nicely.
For a beer with a ton of adjuncts and a particular holiday quality it needed to hit, it sticks the landing perfectly. It is most definitely a holiday beer, one that is suited more for celebrating the season with flavors than it is assaulting the senses and weighing them down. Who knows, maybe this will inspire me to drink more holiday beers from now on.
Once I’m finished with my Oktoberfest beers, though.
Drink Florida Craft,
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