firstly: I know, I know. Its supposed to be the first beer of Christmas on December the 1st. Yet, its Christmas Eve. What is wrong with this man, you ask? Why is he reviewing a "Christmas" beer on day 24?
Well the simple answer is, because I can.
Also, my Christmas 2013 beer stash wasn't collected until last night and its only now that I have started to tap into it. There are 18 pints of sedimented Abbeydale Absolution and 12 bottles of rather excellent and at times expensive beer to get through. Not that my supplier, Archer Road Beer Stop is expensive - its just I bought a couple of strong Durham beers and a bottle of Fantome Saison. Which is approximately a million pounds....
So, after an hour of festively moshing to Cathedral and Acid Reign, what better way to cool off than in a spare room chilled to below room temperature (although arguably am in said room and erm...well, its the temperature that it is?....) with a cold-ish bottle of excellent beer.
The first of my box, part of a series of potentially two reviews of the 12, is Blue Monkey Bludolph. Its 5% and an orange hued golden colour and it smells rather fab. Dave told me in the shop that its three lots of three types of hops which are chosen by the brewer every year. It's been a very long 24 hours since yesterday however so you may be better off looking at the link here from real ale store - since he brewery are. um, too busy to update their website....
It has a lovely tangerine kick with some dry bitterness, a hint of lemon and a pleasing soft malt in the background which means the bitterness settles back into the beer rather than jarring at the forefront throughout; although the aftertaste is lingeringly bitter, after the more calming malt has dissipated.
Obviously better than your average brown spiced nonsense, it wins plaudits foe being umpologetically hoppy and not remotely interested in Christmas pudding or berry fruit.
In conclusion, a great example of a Christmas beer that doesn't taste of sherry and rum and raisin chocolate with treacle, like so many of the ilk have a tendency to do. And it was so good that I didn't take a picture.
This is virtually anti blogging.....
Merry Merry Christmas!