Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Santa's Private Reserve

Thanks to Jen for getting this last week during our brew and tasting night. Tried this following a session of P90X in substitute for a morning run following class.

Appearance: Bronzed brown with semi-clarity but some haze left. Strong head that dissipates into a foamy tan film. Carbonation somewhat visible, but negligible.
Aroma: Spicy malt smell that incorporates a sweet potato aroma to it. There is some orange peel and ginger snaps with a splash of citrus
Taste: Spiciness is the first impression followed by a grassy taste in the back of the mouth. The astringency isn't very appealing, but the fore-taste reveals a lot in its complexity. By way it has a bready biscuit malt character with a ginger/nutmeg bitterness to complement the slight under bearing sweetness. The finish is slightly resinous and gives the beer a hotter impression than the alcohol actually conveys. I find somewhat of a coining flavor to the finish. Caramel malt emerges more as the bitterness begins to fade. The color gave me the impression there would be more malt umph to it, but this was not the case.
Mouthfeel: Very smooth and palatable. Medium to high body. Carbonation is stellar and really helps carry the flavor once the bitterness wares off and exposes more of the complexity within the malt profile.
Overall Impression: This beer lacked a bit in the sweetness it could have had to fit the winter ale line-up. The emphasis here was more on the hops and spices than the sweetness. It did however achieve a nicely warming sensation of most winter ales.


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