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With only twelve days left to go until Christmas morning, I thought I’d spice up the countdown a bit by doing a series of reviews I’ll be calling the Twelve Beers of Christmas!  For each of the next twelve days I am going to review a beer that is either named for the winter season or my family’s December holiday of choice. All are welcome on this journey, so regardless of what you’re celebrating, or not, these next couple of weeks, I invite you to grab a brew and drink along with me!

Beer Name: Holiday Ale

Brewery: Two Roads Brewing Company (Stratford, CT)

Style: Biere de Noel

ABV: 7.3%

Description: According to the bottle, this is an American take on a French style traditionally brewed in the weeks leading up Christmas.  The beer accentuates notes toasted malt and caramel with an herbal presence imparted by Strisselspalt and Aramis hops.

Appearance: Translucent copper body topped by a bubbly off-white lacing that fizzled away pretty quickly.

Smell: Sweet, with hints of light, crisp malt in the background.

Taste: It began with a rich blend of malts, mixing caramel and molasses sweetness with a light toastiness.  The ending brought on a the aforementioned herbal hops, imparting a mild bitterness to the finish.  After the beer sat for a little bit, it the herbal flavors intensified a bit and the beer took on a bit of heat as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with right around moderate carbonation.

Hype: None I guess other than my own cautious optimism.  Two Roads is a pretty established name in my area and I was excited to review something a bit different than usual.

Overall: The initial balance of flavors is what really made this beer for me and, as such, I definitely preferred the freshly poured flavor profile over the boozy, herbal tastes it took on as it warmed.  That aside, I did like this beer, but don’t think I would ever want more than one twelve ounce bottle of it at a time.