A Beery Advent - Part 4 | Mashtun and Meow: Sheffield Beer Blog

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

A Beery Advent - Part 4

So the big day is almost upon us and we're definitely raising the festive stakes with this one...


16. Mikkeller - Beer Geek Big Blend, 8.0%
A coffee oatmeal stout with a barrel aged twist... in fact more of a rollercoaster, with bourbon, brandy, cherry wine, cognac, tequila and whisky aged beer all blended together. The result is c
omplex and ornate, much like an "Edwardian armoire" (said Jim, unusually verbose for midday). A beer in harmony - not one of the barrels takes precedence over the others, but each adds another layer of depth and texture. The body of the original beer is still apparent, and is absolutely lovely, but undeniably bolstered by the oaky character of the wood and most of all the time spent in there. One to sip on and savour.

17. Weird Beard - Black Christmas, 4.5%
We've spoken before about our love for Sorachi Ace - an adoration we share, it seems, with the guys at Weird Beard. This festive stout is full of this intriguing hop, which in this context provides an utterly divine coconut rounded nature - we imagine this is what a fruity Bounty bar would taste like. It's a little more difficult to pick out any specific cranberry tartness, but the fruit juice added to this brew provides a welcome lightness and delicate balance. And it's sessionable! Could quite easily polish off a good few bottles of this. Laura's highlight of Beer Advent so far, hands down.

Tosin thought some Beercat modelling was required for this one
18. Red Willow - Baubleless, 6.0%
A trip to Macclesfield earlier this year was predominantly comprised of drinking beer and gin in Red Willow's brewery tap... a great way to spend a day, I'm sure you will agree. This beer is one we've had in since last Christmas, and having enjoyed a couple of bottles a year ago decided to cellar one to see how it would age. Our experiment went pretty well - sweet maltiness provides a lovely boozy backbone to this barrel aged stout, with the tannins from the oak providing a richness which is almost oily in nature. Thick and tasty - a good one to sip on with the fire roaring away.

19. Great Heck - Black Santa, 5.4%
We've been consistently impressed by Great Heck's output over the past couple of years. This brew holds roasted flavours and oaty richness coupled with a vanilla sweetness, lifted by delicate but unmistakably Belgian yeastiness. This is deep yet light somehow both at once. There's something a little bit synthetic tasting in there though that's not unpleasant but just a bit puzzling, given that the brew reports to have used proper Madagascan vanilla pods. An enigma of a beer.

20. Brass Castle - Christmas Kitty, 5.5%.
It's been quite a week for dark beer chez Mashtun as we build up to our festive finale! Bad Kitty is one of our ultimate go-to beers (the cat approves of it too) so the Christmas edition was a must-try for our household. And very merry it it indeed - rich, heady, cinnamon-y aroma that's just like Christmas pudding, and a dark fruit palate with creamy hints of vanilla and festive spices. Bold without being cloying, this is a deliciously well-crafted beer.

Cheers,

J&L

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