From the Bottle Collection 4 Days Before Christmas Beer

One Bottle Collection beer for every 5 days before Christmas. Rating system: not actually meant as a “tense” comment. All these beers either don’t exist anymore, or I tasted in the past. Hopefully, if not so hot before, they’re better now. If they do still exist. Or hopefully, if not better they’re as dead as the… Dickens.

Ghost of Christmas Present… remember him? Jolly, fun: the kind of guy you’d invite to a party for the season, and the kind of beer you could bring to a festive affair and not be totally laughed out of the room by festive beer geeks. That’s the best a beer gets in this series. Now Ghost of Christmas Past isn’t a great award. You can see from the picture he can be a bit of a grump. Probably from mediocre’ beer. And best not bring a Ghost of Christmas Past Beer to a beer geek festive affair. You’ll be the limp wet noodle of the party. A Ghost of Christmas Future beer? You remember that guy, right? If you want to be laughed at, have to bring most of your offering home and feel like you’ve just attended your own funeral instead of a party, bring a Ghost of Christmas Future beer. Some Ghost of Future Beer might best serve as embalming fluid.

Sam Adams Special Winter Lager

Hopefully this has changed, for my memory of this Lager is nil. Not a good sign. And Sammy has done better. Of course early Sam, if I remember right, suffered from contract brew blues. Some folks simply shouldn’t be in the contract brew biz: like Oldenberg which is where a lot of contract beer in the South used to come from. No “contract” at all, just “whatever we have that’s the closest.” (Actual quote from a tour guide there years ago.) This was most likely an Oldenberg brew. Sam has better control over its brews these days.

Not spicy in any sense. A lager, just a tad darker than most but no roast, not that much body.

I’m going to be honest here: I have yet to have a Winter, seasonal, lager that has impressed me. It could be done, of course, but IMO the season practically screams “ale,” so it had better be a damn good, and complex, one.

I remember it as unremarkable, though not offensive in any way. So another bland Christmas past award.

Without intent, I have collected well over 1,000 beer bottles since the early 70s. When something finally had to be done about the cheap paneling in this old modular, I had a choice. Tear down the walls while, oh, so carefully, replacing the often rotted 1X3s. Or: cover them with… The Bottle Collection.