Belgian beer lover Warwick Little first conceived of his Christmas Ale for the 2013 GABS festival. Unashamedly taking inspiration from one of his all-time top brews, Rochefort 10, it did a damn fine job of flattery, tipping the scales at the exact same ABV and offering a softly warming yet complex approximation of the biggest of the Belgian beer styles.
Second time around, there have been a few wee changes. For one it’s tagged as a quadrupel so you know where it sits with the brewery’s Dubbel and Tripel and they’ve added more spices and made it a little boozier. That said, when the beer was already 11.3 percent, what’s 0.2 percent between friends? Warwick also reckons its darker and rummier and may need a little more time to “come together” like 2013. Certainly a beer this big and relatively young is never going to say no to a little cellaring yet even now it’s pretty soft on the palate with the booziness coming across like a freshly soaked Christmas pud and chocolate and coca cola alongside the fruits and spices. It’s the colour of Christmas cake with a head the colour of brandy snaps too, so if you’re looking to plan ahead for your festive boozing…
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