12 Ales of Christmas – Part 2

I finally finished my 12 ales of Christmas! It took a bit due to late nights, having a bottle of wine now and then, etc. However, it was a fun 12 ales or beers. Fall and winter ales are my favorites, I think, though I don’t know that I would want these heavier ales in the hot summer.

Without further gabbing about them, here are the last 7 of the 12:

Very Bad Elf is a Special Reserve Ale, and it’s lighter and sweet but very good. I like just about all of the “Elf” ales.

Very Bad Elf

Bamberger German Christmas Bock was a bit of a disappointment. it was a bit bland to me, actually. It wasn’t bad, just nothing special.

Christmas Bock

Rogue’s Santa’s Private Reserve was one I expected to be overhopped and not that great, but it was really, really good. A bit of hops, but not too much, with good malts in the heart of everything. I can see why Santa keeps this one in his private stock!

Rogue Ale - Santa's Private Reserve

I’m a fan of Troegg overall, but I was afraid of Mad Elf. I just am not a fan of cherries usually, and this has cherries and honey. This may have become my favorite Christmas ale, though I’d have to try it head to head with Bad Elf or others in that series. What a horrible thing to have to do next year! The best of the Elf ales! Anyway, this one is not good, it’s GOOD! If you don’t believe me, believe Bumble…

Troegg's Mad Elf

Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale is just amazing for a cold weather ale, to me at least. It makes me think of Yorkshire weather, coming in to a thatch-roofed house with a huge fire going, early dark outside, and feeling warmed all over with the first drink of this ale. Samuel Smith always shows such great examples of English style brews.

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale

Delirium Noel is a Belgian dark ale that comes in a bottle that looks like it’s stoneware. It’s odd not seeing the beer, but it poured out dark and viscous, and was mostly good, though it had a touch of a sour note to it that was a bit off-putting to me. Overall a nice ale, but I prefer more of the English style dark ales.

Delirium Noel

The last of the 12 ales of Christmas was one I had last year and enjoyed, Rosey Nosey. This is just a good, solid dark English ale. It was a nice final ale in the series, and one I’d never turn down if offered!

Rosey Nosey

I hope all my readers had a great holiday season as 2011 starts off. One new thing 2011 will bring to Livefire is… Homebrewed ales! I just made my first one and bottled it on New Year’s Eve, so it should be opened around January 20. I did a kit for the first go-round, but will be moving toward all grain soon, I hope. It’s an English brown ale, with a touch of cinnamon and ancho chile added just because I had to. The bottling will be posted soon…

About Curt McAdams

I guess I'm a bit of a foodie, learning to cook from my mom, then getting obsessed with outdoor cooking, competition barbecue, bread baking and just about all things food. Lately, I've been trying to upgrade my photography skills a bit, though I still have a long way to go.

2 comments

  1. You had some nice beers there, and great photos. I have had similar experiences with the”elf” beers, though Troegs mad elf is great. Good luck with the home brew.

  2. Chalie,

    Thanks for the comment! Some of the “elves” are pretty nice, some are misses. I do like Bad Elf, but I’m sorry I held off on Mad Elf because of the cherry in it.. it’s not too pronounced at all, and a great Christmas ale.

    I checked out your site… you’ve got quite a collection of sampled beers there!

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