Sunday, December 15, 2013

McMenamins Breweries - Kris Kringle Traditional Yuletide Ale

Somebody was nice this year...
I arrived home from work on Friday and was happy to see that the mailperson had left me a package. Beer mail! I love beer mail! I was more excited that a lisping Little Ronnie Howard waiting for the Wells Fargo wagon! (Please excuse the obscure Music Man reference. Great family film, BTW. Watch it with your kids.)

The wonderful folks at McMenamins sent me a bomber of their Kris Kringle Traditional Yuletide Ale. Thank you! That's the kind of Christmas present I can truly appreciate. If anybody else is wondering what to get me, well, there you go.

The brew comes with an ABV of 6.84% and the McMenamins website tells me this seasonal brown ale was brewed with four different hops varieties: Centennial, Santiam, Cascade and Sterling. Let's get right to the drinking and the reviewing...

The beer poured into my glass a hazy, amber/brown color with an off-white head. The head rose up to about a half inch tall and dissipated quickly. A spotty cap of thin lacing was left behind.

Aroma was light citrus and caramel malt on the initial uptake. Subtle Christmas spices in the background.

Taste gave a bold, bitter hops punch right up front. Unexpected, but very appreciated. Many winter warmers are just too cloying for my taste. Kris Kringle is definitely different. Lots of indistinct citrus flavors were nicely balanced by an earthy, toasted malt backbone. Hints of cocoa and light spice. Light clove and cinnamon. Delicious.

Medium mouthfeel with moderate to low carbonation. A bit thinner than most winter warmers, but the big hops flavor just keeps on keepin' on. A pleasant, complex bitterness was left rolling around on my palate. No alcohol taste that I could detect.

Now, this is an easy drinking holiday ale. Actually, I could drink this brew year round. Reminds me of a Maibock style. It's a nice, nice beer. I'm giving Kris Kringle a BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 1/2 crushed cans out of 4 AND a Droolie. My hops-loving beagle was drooling up some colossal dribbles from sniffing this brew. 


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