It’s been a fairly productive Saturday, cleaning up the house and taking down Christmas decorations. I’ve already cracked open a 2012 Bigfoot from Sierra Nevada tonight, which aged nicely. Since we took down the Christmas trees today, I figured I’d crack open this Belgian-style Christmas Ale. I got this a few days ago from my friend Betty who lives in Portland. She picked it up at a fairly new brewery in Hood River, PFriem that specializes in Belgian style beers.
Location: Poured into a TEKU style pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 8% ABV, 30 IBUs, ~270 Calories
Ingredients: Malt: Gambrinus Canadian Pilsner; Hops: German Perle; Adjuncts: Belgian Dark Candi Sugar, Coriander; Yeast: Belgian Ale
Appearance & Aroma: It’s brown in color with some brick-red highlights and it’s pretty cloudy. It has a huge, fluffy, cream-colored head on it that stuck around a while. The aroma is a heavy Belgian spiciness and coriander.
Taste & Feel: The body is surprisingly light for such a big beer, and the mouthfeel is crisp from the carbonation. Up front, the flavor is hard to pick up, but there’s a hint of maltiness with Belgian spiciness and quite a bit of carbonation tingle. The malty sweetness cuts through the carbonation in the middle, with a bit of toffee maltiness. The finish is a mix of maltiness and spices, with the spiciness lasting for a little bit in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: This beer has a lot of spiciness, and I think it would pair perfectly with something that’s a little bit lighter, like turkey or pork, to bring out the spices in the beer more.
Overall Impression: This was a very good Belgian style beer with a smooth spiciness along with a nice maltiness. After I let it warm up, and stirred some of the carbonation out of it, it got even better – allowing the spices and maltiness to come out a bit more. Overall, I thought this was an excellent holiday beer, and I’d love to try more of their stuff.