‘Variation of Anderson Valley Solstice” adds cardamom, star anise and vanilla to orange-peeled ginger, black-peppered herbage and sugary crystal malts, creating a honeyed chai tea experience. Tertiary chestnut, chamomile and cinnamon illusions add further complexity of worthy medium-bodied herbal spiced mélange.
On tap at Valhalla, “pleasantly askew” Christmas-spiced moderation brings lemony green tea aspect to tingly nutmeg-cinnamon piquancy. Sugary vanilla-creamed corn malts provide sweet backdrop.
On tap at Morris Tap & Grill, mildly creamed lactose-sugared vanilla icing coats cinnamon-toasted pastry sweetness of well-designed winterized dessert treat. Cinnamon apple pie crusting nearly conceals holiday-styled gingerbread, nutmeg and mulling spice illusions.
On tap at Seven Lakes Station, thin barrel-aged sour ale infused with ginger and mint knocks off a Mint Julep. Lemon-twisted souring adds candied coating and outlasts ginger-mint combo. Serve as accessible crossover to poo-pooing sour ale contingent.
On tap at Growler & Gill, sweet malt-spiced tingle meets dank compost salting of ‘seasonal standard’ spice ale. Previous so-called ‘Swedish Glogg’ retained firmer orange-peeled cardamom, cinnamon, clove and ginger root spicing while avoiding cat urine smidge.
‘Hazy, crisp and bright’ gold-hued Xmas ale lacks full-blown seasonal resolve, becoming slightly arid by the citric-spiced finish. Refreshing orange-peeled lemon zest sparks ginger-minted cinnamon and nutmeg spicing as well as dainty currant and juniper illusions above meager wheat-dried pale malting.
On tap at Growler & Gill, warbling egg nog-like milk-sugared whipped creaming fades as sugar-spiced IPA fruiting (lemon, grapefruit, clementine) gains sharp hop bite. Wintry cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla accents bring gingerbread reminder to moderate-bodied winter warmer.
On tap at Plank Pizza, sugary cinnamon apple spicing and mild gingerbread stint gain pastry-like malt sweetness to contrast lingering astringent hop bitterness of well-designed hybridized IPA.
Caution: absurdly hot ghost peppering remains highly assaultive and dangerous to sensitive tongues. Immense chili pepper heat intensified further by serrano, jalapeno, habanero, fresno and anaheim varieties. In the far distance, sweet thai, cayenne and red peppering contrast the tongue-burning scorch. Depleted pale malt base and zesty lemon snip neutralized by major six-alarm chili fire.
On tap at Poor Henry’s, slick honeyed nectarine sweetness proves too whimsical for oncoming citric-spiced hop resonance, subtle orange blossom honey licks and cozy cracked coriander whims. Mild mandarin orange, tangerine and peach undertones regale zesty orange peel briskness just beneath the surface. May need deeper mandarin orange and nectar thrust.
Relegated chipotle burn gains strength at mocha-doused finish, penetrating chicory-rooted rye dryness, toasted oak smokiness, roasted chocolate malting and wispy citric nip. Light poblano, chili and jalapeno heat reinforces mild chipotle adjunct.
“Egregious” 2015 blend sequesters Stone’s Arrogant Bastard (7%ABV), Double Bastard (11%) and Oaked Arrogant Bastard in Kentucky bourbon barrels while adding serrano chili peppering for moderate jalapeno-like heat. Subtle bourbon influence picks up dry peat whiskey licks over light wood char. As peppery heat subsides, dark chocolate malts surge. But busy elixir lacks sweetness for contrast and needs firmer direction at murky finish.