You’re lagging in the Christmas spirit this year. Just like last year. And the year before. Scrooging has always been your go-to reaction to the yuletide, but as you grow older, and more sentimental, it’s increasingly unacceptable to be crotchety and contrarian. It’s unsavory. So, Peaks and Pints decide to be proactive. We will elicit Christmas cheer daily through Dec. 24, as we are closed Christmas Day. By which we mean Christmas beer. We will dedicate our daily beer flight to holiday and winter beers. After all, Christmas is about nothing if not overconsumption, and you have a lot of catching up to do. We kick off our 24-day holiday celebration today with a 20-foot tree and Peaks and Pints Christmas Beer Flight 12.1.19.
Peaks and Pints Christmas Beer Flight 12.1.19
12% ABV, 21 IBU
Brasserie Dubuisson introduced Bush de Noël in 1991 to respond to consumer demands for the ideal beer to add luster to their end-of-year celebrations. Americans know it as Scaldis Noël — a name change to avoid confusion with Busch. Its bouquet is impressive, with smooth alcohol, honey, and cracked pepper notes that all vie for attention. The flavor sinks deep into the tongue with toffee and honey sweetness, followed by raisin, plum fruitiness, peppery spice and assertive bitterness. It’s so easy to drink you don’t realize it’s around 12 percent alcohol until you ask.
9% ABV, 60 IBU
Yes, the wreath on Three Magnets’ Wreathing Havoc Winter Imperial Red Rye can dons an expression only the 10 dummers drumming could muster. Doesn’t matter; the craft beer is pure joy. The winter warmer starts in the nose with subtle hints of berries and burnt sugar, moves to the tongue with a toasted raisin and rye spice, and finishes strong with maple and pine.
7.5% ABV, 65 IBU
“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” sung by former jockey Jimmy Boyd, takes a humorous approach to a child’s shocking discovery of his mother’s infidelity. The Pelican Pub & Brewery in Pacific City, Oregon, brews a beer that pairs with Mommy’s merry adulterer — Bad Santa. This mysterious dark elixir is filled with complex malt flavors and aromas with toasted malt and roast character, blending seamlessly to the alluring herbal hop aroma that comes from copious amounts of Fuggle hops. Bad Santa doesn’t care if you’ve been naughty or nice; he just wants Mommy.
7.5% ABV, 85 IBU
The name comes from the following statement made by beer author John Mallett dates back to 2013 when he was asked about Bell’s Brewery’s new beer Hopslam. He stated, “I’m going to have a beer that we make 4,000 barrels of, one time a year. It flies off the shelf at damn near $20 a six-pack, and you know what it smells like? It smells like your cat ate your weed and then pissed in the Christmas tree.” Nice. Gigantic Brewing’s version is hazy gold in color and uses Northwest Pale Malt and Simpson Medium Crystal malts plus Chinook, Simcoe, Mosaic, Cascade and Nugget hops for a dank, sticky, drippy and piney IPA with some spice and sweetness.
10.6% ABV, 94 IBU
Heathen Brewing’s Reindeer Tears is a bourbon barrel-aged American barleywine. It pours cloudy rosé copper with a cream-colored pillow of fine foam that reduces after a minute or so. The nose is brown sugar, burnt orange, wheat, bourbon and citrus. The Tears begins with smooth malts molasses, a bit of toffee followed by caramel. As it warms sweet dark fruity esters appear. As the Tears rolls the bourbon, booze and light spicy oak note along with blunted aged pine hops and spicy wintertime cookies cut perfectly into the thick bodacious sweetness.