Monday, January 31, 2011

Beer of the Month - January

The beer of the month for January is St. Bernardus Christmas Ale {10% abv}. I know what some of you are thinking, "'s too late for a Christmas Seasonal Beer to make BOTM." Fools! With the recent parading of Belgian inspired beers, we now have a genuine Belgian Family Brewers product. St. Bernardus Brewery was founded in 1946 in Watou, a Province of West Flanders in Belgium. What makes beers from this part of the world special is the brewing technique; once the finest ingredients and water are combined and brewed, the beer spends an additional three months time in tanks to mature before prep for bottling. This process results in a naturally produced carbonation, which is noticeable to the palette. The most important benefit of this carbonation technique is it allows you to age your bottled beer for up to 15 years. I know from personal experience, that bottle aging beer (that's capable of being aged) over a year or two's time smooths out the texture tremendously.

St. Bernardus Christmas Ale is dark and full bodied; flavorful is an understatement. Malty texture resides up front with hoppy tones singing backup. Familiar holiday spices finish the experience. This Abbey Ale is a brew to be sought out; accordingly, I give this authentic Belgian 4 stars. The tricky thing is if you want to try St. Bernardus Christmas Ale, you need to get your hands on a bottle or two now. Thankfully for me, I got it as a gift from my buddy Matt last month. Good news is you can age a few bottles in your home in case this ale is hard for you to get. Who said only wine aficionados can take advantage of affordable in home aging? And if you couldn't tell by the abv, this ale packs a left hook. Slow sipping is highly recommended...but when isn't it?

1 comment:

  1. Good Goly! What a beer... I still have one left :-) I may wait a few more weeks!



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