Templmore’s White Gypsy is the first up with its festive dark ale, Yule Ól. Unlike their core 70cl bottled range (due back before Christmas, I might add), this is bottled in a 50cl bottle and pours a dark, deep ruby colour with a fluffy tan head. It’s more Christmas pudding than Christmas cake on the nose, with an emphasis on dried fruit rather than seasonal spice. There’s plums, figs, redcurrants and brown sugar sitting on top a nice base of nutty brown bread. On the palate it comes across a little more toasty with a hint of chocolate and plenty of sweet dried fruit on the finish. The 6% ABV means it’ll warm you up just the right amount too. Certainly one to try with some quality hard cheeses after dinner.
Anchor Brewing has been brewing its Christmas Ale since 1975, making this year their 40th Christmas brew. The recipe has remained a closely guarded secret throughout this time and slight variations are made every year. Judging by the aroma that leaps out as soon as the cap is popped, it’s a very long recipe… Talk about festive! Cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, raisins, figs, toffee and ginger nut biscuits abound, with rich molasses on the palate finishing in intense clove spice. This deep, heavily spiced porter truly epitomises Christmas ale and would go great with the Christmas pudding or simply enjoyed by the fire. This year it also comes in a 1.5L magnum, the perfect gift for the craft beer connoisseur!
Finally we have a festive brew all the way from Denmark; Mikkeller’s Hoppy Lovin’ Christmas. In true Mikkeller fashion, it’s a slightly twisted version of a Christmas beer. The label features a few lads in Christmas jumpers (and signature Mikkeller bowler hats) feeding some reindeer mistletoe in their living room, which kind of sets the tone nicely…enough said. This is described as an IPA brewed with pine needles and ginger, which I suppose could be considered festive. I mean, to be honest, who doesn’t love the smell of a pine tree at Christmas? And that’s what you’re getting with this beer. It’s like a Christmas tree in a bottle. Very intense pine fills the aroma and palate with some tropical fruit and subtle spicy notes behind it. Not your traditional festive brew but a damn fine quirky IPA for the season.
There are plenty more Festive beers in stock in-store and online, all in limited supply, so pop in and get them before they’re gone!
Merry Christmas from McHugh's!