I'm a fan of Ridgeway, and while I'd normally go for their Bad Elf IPA, this time of year, I thought I'd try something new—and I'm glad I did! It pours a coppery, reddish-brown, with a bright but fading head. There is a mellow nutty, caramel matiness with a hint of spice and fruit in the aroma. It's rounded and smooth and has a nice weight to it on the sip. Its spice is subtle with a great Belgian-ish quality and it has a vanilla tone reminiscent of Bourbon. There's a hint of alcohol on the back end, even though it's medium strengthed at 6.0%. Along with that subdued alcohol heat, it has an ever so slight bitter edge and just a touch of earthy hoppiness.
This is the beer to have next to a roaring fire on Christmas Eve, after the kids are nestled all snug in their beds. It's not overly spiced or heavy—just a good, solid and warming libation.