Resounding candi-sugared plum and currant tartness picks up chewy dried prune sweetness for oaken foeder-aged Belgian dark strong ale. Tannic red wine foeder barrels add mossy earthen dew remnant to dried fruited nature deepened a tad by tertiary blackberry, boysenberry and cranberry illusions. An arcane peculiarity for adventurous denizens.
On tap at Shepherd & Knucklehead, ‘audacious’ 25th Anniversary Belgian dark ale lets honeyed date and green raisin adjuncts sweeten beside dark candi sugaring. Molasses-sapped vanilla bourbon whir and sustained brown chocolate influence outlast fig-dried berried fruiting of rich oak-aged elixir.
On tap at Morris Tap & Grill, lovely Buffalo Trace bourbon sweetness picks up brown-sugared molasses spicing and caramelized vanilla creaming for velvety Belgian dark ale. Sweet orange-peeled coriander, cardamom, mace and grains of paradise flutter by alongside tertiary coconut milking.
Bustling brown-bodied Belgian dark ale (with well disguised 12% ABV) loads spicy dried fruit pleasantries atop dewy cellar funk and vinous grape must. Rum-soaked raisin sweetness, oaken cherry tartness, dry burgundy-sherry wining and hard-candied citrus souring combine for dauntless medium body.
Slickly cloying whiskey-malted caramel and toffee viscosity burned away by murky ethanol acidity. Though almond-pasted pecan sweetness and dried-fruited prune, raisin and fig sugaring aren’t out of place, they’re buried behind oily alcohol astringency.
On tap at Growler & Gill, updated 2017 version lists ‘Belgian-style’ on amber ale label. Closer to a straight-up Belgian dark ale than its lighter pale style, its beet-sugared prune-raisin, apricot and banana sweetness contrasts lightly vinous red wining, whiskey-daubed medicinal hints and wispy acidic solvency. Dewy peat earthiness provides fertile base.
On tap at Biggie’s, mighty fine high octane 2017 (11% ABV) version of Christmastime Belgian dark ale boasts heightened ethanol esters, darker rub red hue and intensified Bing cherry essence as well as more refined wildflower-honeyed astringency. Distant cinnamon, clove and allspice seasoning sweetens treacly backend alongside sugarplum, cocoa and pine nut nuances.
On tap at Ambulance, dandy Christmastime Belgian Strong Ale (9.5% ABV) tweaks honeyed chocolate, caramel and toffee malting with candi-sugared tart cherries. Beneath light molasses-draped mocha malt spicing lies vanilla-sweetened banana, raisin, date and fig illusions escalated by rummy 8% alcohol burn.
On tap at Taphouse 15, welcoming hybridized Belgian Dark Ale (sans “cherries and honey” of original Christmastime elixir) retains syrupy dark fruiting and candi-sugared Vienna malt spine. Sugar plum, fig, date and raisin illusions pick up sinewy orange-bruised liqueur warmth. Just a tad dryer and less complex than Troegs Mad Elf.
On tap at Ambulance, luscious fruit-soured ale finishes like a raspberry-filled dark chocolate cake. Lightly soured raspberry candy tartness gains Belgian-like candi sugaring to contrast plum-dried lemon pucker above raw wheat-oats spine.
Imaginative ‘mixed fermentation’ allows stylish dried fruit spicing to get sour aged in sherry casks and be affected by moderate brettanomyces acidity. Desiccated prune, date and fig tones receive sour lemon juicing as mildly vinous green grape esters, oaken cherry dryness and latent cider pucker bring leathery respite to fizzy seltzer flow.