Sunday, January 1, 2012

Beer Advent Calendar Day 25: Gritty's Christmas Ale

Happy New Year!  I've been on an unplanned hiatus from the blog due to traveling over the holidays.  I did have an opportunity to post a guest review over on the Beer Advent Calendar on Christmas Day!  Talk about coming full circle--one year ago, I was contemplating starting a craft review blog & one year later, I was invited to participate in a collaborative craft beer bloggers project, with fellow bloggers from all over the country.  How cool is that?  Just goes to show, if you pay attention to your internal voice, the one that nudges you to take risks, good things will follow.  I hope you all had a wonderful 2011 & a here's a virtual toast to an even better 2012!  Cheers!

Beer Advent Calendar, Day 25:
Who doesn't love a beer with the promise of Christmas in each sip?  I don't actually mean the "taste" of Christmas that one might associate with other holiday brews.  You know, those that have:  nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, all-spice, vanilla bean, honey, pine, miseltoe etc...No, Gritty's Christmas Ale contains zero additives, fruits or spices.  This beer is more about celebrating the spirit of Christmas, here in Maine than it is about attempting to artificially taste it.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a winter warmer beer that has a variety of holidayish flavors, but what I appreciate about this Christmas Ale is it's simplicity.  I think sometimes in the race to buy our gifts we forget what the true spirit of the holidays is (more on this topic below in Mom Factoid).  Interestingly, thanks to Gritty McDuff's clever packaging, they give you the image of Santa, in full regalia with his white beard, red hat and stockings stuffed with bottles of beer on the mantle. For me, this image evokes the perfect motif for a craft beer lovers Christmas celebration with family & friends during the holiday season.

Aroma: Malt balls with a subtle hint of caramel creme candy
Color:  Pours a roasted chestnut brown with reddish hues glistening throughout the glass.
Taste:  Malt forward with carmel notes on the tongue with a burst of mild bitterness on the finish. Balanced & clean on the palate. 
Thickness:  A medium to full body with a small quarter inch tan head that fades quickly.  Yet, there's pretty icicle-like lacing that hangs around throughout the tasting.  Carbonation is balanced.
ABV:  6.2%;  Not that high of an abv for a winter warmer styled beer, which results in easily consuming more than one in a sitting.

Mom Factoid:  As mentioned earlier, in the intro, I noted that sometimes in the race to buy our gifts, we forget what the true spirit of the holidays is.  Particularly, as a parent, coach and/or teacher, one of our greatest daily challenges is to set a good example for the children we interact with.  I find that the holidays can often bring out the worst in others with the mounting stress to buy more presents, without examining that it's in the shared act of giving that we truly gain an appreciation for what we have.  These can be complex issues to work through but, what's been wonderful about blogging, this past year, has been the daily reminder that there is a collaborative spirit that exists between others.  It's a spirit of sharing ideas, supporting each other's experiences and providing feedback that allows each of us to grow, not just our blogs but also ourselves.  Truly, this Advent Craft Beer Calendar is a perfect example of the collaborative spirit--one that symbolizes being part of a community. It is this simple recognition, that we are not alone but part of a bigger world, that I hope to pass on to my Little Duo, as being the true essence of Christmas.   

About Gritty's:

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on your year of blogging-- and the great opportunities for collaboration you are finding out there! Thanks for this review. I often hesitate around "Christmas" beers, because I fear that they will be too sweet or spiced, but this sounds like a great offering from Gritty's. Happy New Year and CHEERS!