SlyFox Christmas Ale

SlyFox Christmas Ale (canned) is a 5.5 ABV 16 IBU Winter Warmer, a bottled version comes in at 6.5 ABV.  The appearance is mahogany with a big head and the nose all mulling spice.  The flavor is similar, a bready malt backbone with strong notes of cinnamon, clove and other holiday spice.  Overall it’s a decent winter warmer, perhaps nothing memorable but the moderate and slightly creamy mouthfeel is very pleasant and the ABV sessionable.  You could do a lot worse than bringing six of these to a holiday party

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Unibroue Trader Joe’s 2014 Vintage Ale

Trader Joe’s 2014 Vintage Ale (brewed in Quebec by Unibroue) is a Belgian Strong Dark Ale and 9 ABV.  The appearance is dark ruby brown with a large head and the nose sweet Belgian funky yeast.  The profile is definitely Belgian with that distinct funky yeast along with notes of sweet dark fruit and spice.  Overall mouthfeel is a bit viscous and sweet but just short of cloying.  It’s a solid B+ but so far the best of the Trader Joe’s branded beers.

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Dogfish Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew

Dogfish Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew is a 9 ABV American Double Imperial Stout in honor of the 40th Anniversary of the 1970 recording.   The appearance is dark brown and the nose dark fruit and roasted malt.  The palate is sweet malt, dark fruits and a growing honey sweetness as it warms.  The Gesho root is often used like hops would be in tella, an Ethiopian beer.  Dogfish always gets credit for experimentation, fortunately this one really works.  Very recommended.  Courtesy of Tbone.

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Left Hand Fade to Black

Left Hand Fade to Black is an 8.5 ABV 30 IBU Foreign Export / Stout.  The appearance is black with ruby edges and a roasted malt nose.  The palate is creamy and lactose rich chocolate and coffee malts finishing with an espresso bitterness.  Mouthfeel and texture is full but finishes dry and all but completely hides that alcohol content.  Left Hand really nailed this one, I think it’s outstanding.  Definitely worth trying.

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Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast

Mikkeller (Denmark) Beer Geek Breakfast is a 7.5 ABV Oatmeal Stout.  The appearance is almost black and the nose dark fruit alcohol and coffee.  The palate is mellow oatmeal malts with notes of coffee and chocolate and finishing bitter with that dark fruit alcohol.  This is just balanced perfectly.  Mouthfeeel is silky smooth with a lower carbonation.  This is outstanding and I would highly recommend.

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Troegs Perpetual IPA

Troegs Perpetual (A)IPA is 7.5 ABV and 85 IBU.  Appearance is orange with a large head and the nose fresh citrus hop.  The palate is big AIPA, the floral pine hops outdoing the malts but not in a terrible way.  The finish is long and dry.  Mouthfeel is crisp and moderate and the alcohol is fairly well hidden.  It’s a really good AIPA but not one I’d rank top tier, this field is just overly saturated.  That being said I’d absolutely recommend trying.

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Great Lakes Christmas Ale

Great Lakes Christmas Ale is a 7.5 ABV 30 IBU Winter Warmer.  The appearance is orange with a fruit and spice nose.  The palate is sweet gingerbread malt and winter spice including strong cinnamon nutmeg and caramel.  The finish is a long and mellow bittersweet.  Mouthfeel is a bit heavier and very well rounded, only getting more pleasant as it warms.  This is a great winter warmer from a solid brewery.  Definitely get this one every holiday season.

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Boatswain H.L.V. Ale

Boatswain H.L.V. (Heavy Lift Vessel) (American Strong) Ale is 7 ABV and 70 IBU.  Appearance is copper with a large head and malty fruit nose.  The flavor is malty sweet and boozy apple finishing bitter.  I had mediocre expectations given the price and other reviews do I’m glad my hopes weren’t very high.  The mouthfeel is a bit syrupy and it leaves the palate feeling sticky.  There is also an unfortunate metallic quality throughout.  7% may be low for an American Strong but that booze isn’t very well hidden at all.  I’m not very impressed but it was a good value.

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Roscoe Brewery Trout Town

Trout Town from the Roscoe (NY) Brewery is a 5.6 ABV 14.3 IBU American Amber / Red.  The appearance is clear amber and the nose light malty grain.  The flavor is basic amber /red, biscuit caramel malt and finishing very lightly bitter.  The mouthfeel is light and crisp and while this is very sessionable it’s also a bit watery.  This is the one Roscoe beer I found bottled but visiting the brewery was a great experience.  You really get a personal experience at a place like this.

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