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Slumbrew Yankee Swap

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Here’s another Christmas Ale brewed locally in Ipswich, MA.
Slumbrew Yankee Swap Ale brewed with maple syrup. Ipswich, MA. 12% ABV. Dark brown opaque color, nutty sweet smell, very sugary, boozy taste that’s pretty heavy on the maple syrup. Kinda sickeningly sweet with a short bitter finish. Might be good as a donut glaze but not really a beer. Try dogfish head 75 min IPA for a better use of maple syrup in beer.
goodwilltasting grade: C
EDIT: The taste actually improved as it came up to room temp. So maybe C+ but that is generous. Sorry Slumbrew!
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Heavy Seas Yule Tide Ale

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I’m a few days late but I wanted to keep sharing some of the Christmas beers I’ve been enjoying this winter. Seasonal beers are what make this miserable season worth enduring. Especially here in frigid Boston!

Heavy Seas Yule Tide Imperial Red Ale. Brewed with ginger and aged in rum barrels. Baltimore, MD. 9% ABV.

Dark copper color, minimal head, fruity smell, heavy on the ginger, notes of coconut. Really gingery taste with good malty backbone, smooth, not too boozy for a 9% beer aged in rum barrels, sweet finish. Pretty complex and spicy beer to ring in the holidays.

goodwilltasting grade: B

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Anchor Steam Christmas Ale 2013

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Here we have Anchor Steam’s 2013 Christmas Ale! This is something I look forward to all year.  The recipe changes year to year so it’s always a surprise what they’re coming out with.

Winter Warmer Ale, 5.5% ABV. Dark black coca cola color, minimal head with moderate lacing. Pine, nutmeg, clove on the nose, nice nutty, roast-y taste with subtle sweet hop finish. Well done Anchor! I like it more than the 2012. But not as much as the 2011.

goodwilltasting grade: B+

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Duchesse De Bourgogne

Duchesse De Bourgogne

Duchesse De Bourgogne Flemish Sour Ale. Brouwerij Verhaeghe, Belgium. 6.0% ABV.

Dark amber color, fruity acidity hits you right on the nose, tart taste with notes of cherry and plum, crisp mouthfeel with pretty strong carbonation, delicate finish. Oddly enough this is served at Han Dynasty in Philly with their spicy schezuan-style Chinese food. And I think it pairs nicely.

goodwilltasting grade: B-

Full Disclosure: I’m generally not a fan of sour ales so take my grade with a grain of salt.

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Mikkeller Black Buffalo

Mikkeller Black Buffalo

Mikkeller Black Buffalo. Denmark. Imperial Stout aged in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels. A whopping 19.4% ABV.

This beer is serious. And you should be too if you’re taking on the Black Buffalo. Jet black, used motor oil color, roasty malt smell with a hint of that bourbon, rich bittersweet chocolate notes that give way to straight sweetness, heavy, velvety mouthfeel with a warming finish. Drink it after dinner as a digestif like you would a nice port wine. Could go well with some dark chocolate and berries, but for sure stands up on its own. Drink it closer to room temperature. People drink stouts too damn cold.

goodwilltasting grade: B+

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Coronado Brewing Company Idiot IPA

Coronado Brewing Company Idiot IPA

Coronado Brewing Co Idiot IPA. San Diego, CA. 8.5% ABV.

Golden amber color, medium hop nose, bitter citrus notes, smooth sweet finish.

goodwilltasting grade: B

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Brew Dog Hardcore IPA.

Brew Dog Hardcore IPA.

Brew Dog Hardcore IPA. Scotland. 9.2% ABV

Dark amber color, aggressively hop-forward, rich bodied, short bittersweet finish.

goodwilltasting grade: B+

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