From the Bottle Collection: 4 Days Before Christmas Beer

One Bottle Collection beer for every day 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.

Note: the ghosts have varied a bit over the various versions, but even Mr. Magoo’s version the Future was bleak. In the pictures chosen for this series the most visually pleasing ghost was Present.

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.

Written by Ken Carman

1995 -Nache-Beuno?

I honestly don’t remember much special about this beer. South of the border beers tend to be fair to poor, though there are exceptions. It’s from Dos Equis. I find Dos Equis, how should I put it? Oh, “vastly over rated.” Relatively a clean tasting, yet inferior, version of what used to be a classic German Style: Vienna. What made this “Christmas?”

I’ve had decent Vienna. Dos ain’t it. And I’m not even sure what to classify this one as.

Nothing I know of. Unlike other reviews I read: no nose except the slightest hint of corn. Ya gotta “love” what they did to a classic style south the border, and this slight bounce off that classic style: if you love going see a love story at the movies only to find out the mad butcher kills everyone in the middle at the wedding.

“Seasonal?” Not spiced in any sense. There was no sense of a fresh, crisp, almost fresh hop snow like hop taste like Saranac’s Big Moose Ale. A little more malt, perhaps, but nothing that makes it “ho, ho, ho.” Certainly not ABV so high Santa burns his toes while sipping it by the fire quaff… and doesn’t notice. More than anything it’s just a slightly darker amber version of Dos without even much of a darker malt sense, a slight roast. Mouthfeel not that malty. Pours sort of brown. Good carbonation especially in mouthfeel. Clarity good. Nice head that lasts. Moderate, unremarkable malt with no hop taste. Nothing that screams out the season. All in all except to cash in on the season, why the hell did they bother?

Oh, that’s right: to cash in on the season.

Though I have qualms about its supposed seasonal nature, since it’s an OK beer, just another slightly more irritated “so what” bland Ghost of Christmas Past award. Tis better than Dos… marginally.
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Top Ten Christmas and Holiday Ales


Great Lakes’ Christmas Ale- The Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Christmas Ale is a repeat World Beer Championship Gold Medal winner. The full-bodied, spirited beer is copper in color and has a combination of cinnamon, fresh ginger, and sweet honey tones. Christmas Ale is crafted from American two-row wheat, roasted barley, and English crystal hops, among other ingredients and is designed to complement most holiday meals.

 Anderson Valley Winter Solstice – From the first sip of Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale , your senses will be aroused with the vision of a glowing fire, warming the hearth and home, as gently drifting snow flakes silently blanket the trees outside. Each lingering sip will gently warm your soul with thoughts of family and friends, gathering around the table for the feast. Luscious, creamy, smooth, and warming, this medium bodied ale is brewed with Caramel and crystal malts to give it just a hint of sweetness, then paired with our private blend of holiday spice. Winter Solstice Ale is great alone or as an accompaniment to any meal, and it has been known to liven and spice up nearly any social event.
Pyramid Snow Cap – A rich, full-bodied winter warmer crafted in the British tradition of holiday beers. This deep mahogany colored brew balances complex fruit flavors with a refreshingly smooth texture, making Snow Cap a highly drinkable and desirable cold weather companion.

Sweetwater Festive Ale – A full-bodied, high-octane brew capped off with our use of cinnamon and mace. This beer will warm you all the way to your bones. Brewed only one day a year for the holiday season.

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