Thursday, December 9, 2010

winter beer makes me warmer

In the past, I made quite a bit of wine. Lately, I have been in the mood for beer.

My favorite beers are dark with roasted malts and hints of coffee and vanilla, and winter is the season for these porters and stouts. The Bodega has started to bring in the seasonal beers, and I'm well into sampling them, but this weekend I came across one of the best "Christmas" beers I've ever had.

Gouden Carolus Christmas by Het Anker (Belgium) is a Belgian Strong Dark Ale that smells like black licorice. In fact, it tastes like black licorice. If I were to have even considered making a beer flavored with anise, it would be this beer. I don't think it is overpoweringly sweet, like many of the reviewers say. I think it is a perfect balance of malts, anise, and other spices with a sweet, but not sticky sweet, finish.

I would drink the Gouden Carolus Christmas beer every day of winter if it weren't 10.5% and eleven dollars a pint. So in its stead, I often turn to the ever-tasty Dogfish Head Chicory Stout. Another seasonal beer, I wait in anticipation and then buy up a couple of six-packs to last me through the season.

Interestingly, Wikipedia just told me that chicory is one of the little blue wildflowers that pop up along the side of the highway in the summer. Next year, I am going to see what I can do with it!

1 comment:

Deb said...

Yes! Chicory is what we in East call corn flowers. The pretty little unassuming blue thing that grow in and among the corn stalks!