Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On the Seventh Day of Christmas... true love gave to me – Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale: 2011–12, Samuel Smith Old Brewery, Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, UK (England)

Some beers are meant to be drank at backyard barbecues—others with four course meals under candlelight. In the case of Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome, I find the perfect drinking scenario is while I'm doing the evening's dishes, munching on Christmas cookies, as Frank Sinatra and Cyndi Lauper belt out Santa Claus Is Coming to Town over the radio. Yeah, that's right, I do the dishes. It's not that I set that scenario up, in fact, it's quite the opposite—the scenario set me up. The dishes need to be done, Amy's mom happened to have made cookies, the radio was already on and the pint glass was full—I simply fulfilled my Tuesday night destiny. Yet, there was a holiday harmony in that simplest of household duties—beer, cookies and music all working in unison.

This winter warmer pours a lively copper, smelling of grainy bread and fruit—especially apple. It's big and malty with a mild herbaceousness. It's slightly toffee-like with a pronounced fruitiness as it warms in the pint—a bit tart and dry, like a pear, but still offering a good bit of dry sweetness. It's not particularly hoppy, but there is a element of English hop spice and earthiness—almost like peppered dirt. Its bitterness creeps up toward the end, edging the back of the throat after the swallow.  It has no seasonal spice, that is to say cinnamon, nutmeg, etc., and I'm glad of that—this beer doesn't need it. What is great with this beer, however, is my mother-in-law's Christmas cookies.

Just for everyones edification, the other two song's I heard while doing the dishes and drinking this one were, Last Christmas by Wham! and Jimmy Durante singing Frosty the Snowman. I'm fairly sure that other than lightening my mood, none of the songs affected the taste of the beer. Perry Como's It's Begining to Look a lot Like Christmas, might have been able to do that, but not Wham!.

No comments:

Post a Comment