Destinations Magazine

Product Reviews: Christmas Beers

By Emma @glasgowfoodie
Product reviews: Christmas beers

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Get merry with these Christmas beers!

We've been hard at work (yes, really) sampling some new (to us) Christmas beers that are available this festive season.

Cottage Delight - Staffordshire Brewery gift pack

if you're looking for a pack of Christmas beers, Cottage Delight has put together this trio of beers.

Product reviews: Christmas beers

The gift pack is available to purchase from CottageDelight.co.uk and the beers include:

Cold Turkey

Golden premium ale
ABV: 4.5%
500ml bottle

A really lively, clear golden beer with a great head. Pleasant sweet aroma with a metal tinge but thankfully it doesn't smell like turkey! It has a light taste with mild bitterness. It's soft, smooth and lemony.

The Nutcracker

Strong ruby beer
ABV: 4.8%
500ml bottle

A very dark red/ruby beer which is very lively with malty dark chocolate, raisin and fruitcake aromas. The taste is malty and dry - there's a sour blackberry flavour and it's actually a bit fino sherry like!

Santa's Christmas Cracker

Light hoppy beer
ABV: 4.5%
500ml bottle

A very lively, clear and golden beer with a good head. The aroma is reminiscent of a sweet cereal pilsner with a bit of plastic. It's a light ale with an upfront sweetness and a lasting bitter finish, like that of Seville orange marmalade.

Individual Bottles

Allendale - Christmas Ale

Product reviews: Christmas beers

Traditional Christmas ale
ABV: 7%
500ml bottle

Good head, dark red and lively with a Seville orange marmalade aroma. The taste is sweet with rich malty toffee and biscuity notes and possibly even a wee bit smokey. This isn't a spiced ale which we thought it would be.

Available to buy from alesbymail.co.uk (£2.94 per bottle).

Brewdog - Hoppy Christmas

Product reviews: Christmas beers

Festive IPA
ABV: 7.2%
330ml bottle

Thin head, clear amber/lively, mixed fruit and plastic aroma. Tropical taste - orange, papaya, mango, pineapple, lime with a mild sweet finish. Not sure what make this a Christmas beer as it tastes just like an IPA and is by far the fruitiest of the beers on our list.

Available to buy directly from brewdog.com (£1.95 per bottle).

Cheddleton - Christmas Ale

Product reviews: Christmas beers

Traditional Christmas Ale
ABV: 4.6%
750ml resealable clip top bottle

Brewed at the Staffordshire Brewery in Cheddleton, like the gift pack beers above, this has a surprisingly low ABV for a Christmas Ale. This is triple-filtered and sold in resealable 750ml bottles to keep you going throughout the festive period! It's dark ruby red, lively and has a good creamy head. The aroma is malty and nutty with a hint of vanilla and the taste is initially sweet with tart red berries to follow. It actually tastes quite strong for the low alcohol content!

Available to buy from CottageDelight.co.uk. Click for 500ml bottle (£2.95) or 750ml bottle (£8.95) - we had a 750ml bottle but the 500ml is obviously better value though doesn't have the resealable clip top.

Flensburger - Winterbock

Product reviews: Christmas beers

German winter bock
ABV: 7%
330ml resealable clip top bottle

Not totally sold out this one. A clear golden beer with a thin head. It's sweet and tastes like a strong lager, there's no winter spice. A bit boring to be honest!

Available to buy from beersofeurope.co.uk (£2.29 per bottle).

Fyne Ales - Naughty

Product reviews: Christmas beers

Black ale
ABV: 4.4%
330ml bottle

This is a rich, pitch black ale brewed with ancho chillies so you'd expect this to be hot and spicy but thankfully just the smokiness of the chillies comes through - think of the flavour of paprika. So it's dark and smokey with a good head and sweet liquorice flavour. There is also a "Nice' beer produced by Fyne, a white IPA, to contrast with this offering.

Available to buy from eebria.com (£2.40 per bottle) or beerhawk.co.uk (£2.49 per bottle).

Hardknott - Figgy Pudding

Product reviews: Christmas beers

Festive seasonal beer
ABV: 7%
330ml bottle

Dark dark red, lively, huge foam head. Aroma is very potent - lots of spice and molasses so there's a savoury HP sauce aroma. Strong but still sweet though not tasting any fig, in fact there's a savoury taste too with a dry, bitter finish but this could be the closest thing to the Marmite of beer!

Available to buy direct from hardknott.com (£2.49 per bottle).

Hopback Brewery - Pickled Santa

Product reviews: Christmas beers

Christmas Ale brewed with spices
ABV: 6%
500ml bottle

Lively, dark amber ale with a great head. The aroma is a bit yeasty and smokey. Taste-wise it's quite low on spice for a Christmas ale brewed with spices!

Available to buy from maisondubiere.com (£3.38 per bottle).

Ridgeway - A very bad elf

Product reviews: Christmas beers

Special reserve ale
ABV: 7.5%
500ml bottle

Good head, very lively, clear amber. Strong but smooth, full-bodied. Very sweet toffee/caramel malty flavour and pleasantly drinkable for the alcohol percentage!

Available to buy from beersofeurope.co.uk (£3.29 per bottle).

Ridgeway - Black Elf

Product reviews: Christmas beers

Black pale ale
ABV: 4.5%
500ml bottle

Good head, pitch black, very lively. Metal aroma. Light, smooth, sweet roasted malty taste with porter notes of dark fruit. Bit of a spicy savoury finish and rather enjoyable.

Available to buy from beersofeurope.co.uk (£2.49 per bottle).

We hope this little roundup helps inspire you to try some new Christmas beers this festive season!


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