LESS AGGRESSIVE than most Christmas ales, Breckenridge’s version is still 7.4% ABV and somewhat stauncher than their typical brew. Its medium amber color is perfectly transparent, modestly carbonated, and substantially dosed with caramel malt. Indeed, few fermentable malts are used in the grain bill at all, with chocolate and black likely present only for a touch of color. Thus the beer’s aroma is fairly narrow, carrying moderate amounts of caramel, a bit of nuttiness, and wintry spices (allspice, bit of nutmeg maybe), which carry over to the flavor along with a dose of leafy and slightly citric Chinook hops. The bitterness rises a little towards the finish where it’s capped off by a smidge of alcohol warmth. Overall a reasonable if undistinguished effort, easy enough to pair at dinner without feeling like it’s a waste of dessert.
Served: 12 oz bottle