Holgate Nut Brown Ale and Christmas Ale

I am certainly learning to appreciate the appearance and aroma of beers much more and in many cases this seems to be having the effect that I am slightly disappointed by the actual drinking. I often expect more than what is delivered. I suspect this is a matter of educating my palate a bit better but it may simply be my choice of beer. Just as I was getting a bit worried about this along comes Holgate’s Christmas Ale which had a taste that blew my socks off.

‘Research’ continues…in the meantime here are my latest thoughts.

Holgate nut brown aleBrewer: Holgate Brewhouse, Woodend.

Variety: Nut Brown Ale (5.3% ABV)

The marketers say: brewed with roasted macadamia nuts and six different malts for a rich palate interweaved with an assertive hop character

Appearance: Pour dark red/brown and clear with very little head

Aroma: Strong nutty (surprise surprise), chocolate aroma

Taste: Smooth and nutty with some chocolate and caramel.

Overall: A fairly simple but very enjoyable drop. This was a 10 year anniversary special but a good one thats worth themhaving another go at.

Holgate Christmas aleBrewer: Holgate Brewhouse, Woodend.

Variety: Christmas Ale (8.5% ABV)

The marketers say: Aged on french oak and infused with ginger.

Appearance: Pours dark dark copper with no head to speak of.

Aroma: There is no doubt, this smells like Christmas. Ginger, cinnamon, brandy infused fruit pudding with custard  – the works.

Taste: Excuse me while I pick myself up off the floor. There seems to be a confusion of flavours – everything mentioned above plus more. Strong, spicy and sweet.

Overall: If I was inclined to sip port at the end of a long Christmas day and happened to be in the northern hemisphere with snow outside and a roaring log fire then this may be just the beer for me. Unfortunately, I’m not so inclined and the flavour was just too strong and contained too many elements for me. Maybe worth a try if you are a desert wine type

Cheers

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