On tap at Taverna Rossa, veritable party-in-your-mouth lets rich Scotch-licked bourbon spicing prod brown chocolate-sweetened vanilla beaning. In the midst, rich bourbon chocolate theme receives nutty coffee refrain, sparkly blackberry brandy wining, teensy cinnamon-curried spicing and mild peat-smoked black peppering. Complex wee heavy Scotch ale for nightcap.
Profound Belgian quadrupel aged two years in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels retains creamy mocha sweetness and dried fruited intensity. Rich brown chocolate-spiced dry bourbon entry gains subtle Scotch whiskey boozing as raisin-prune-date conflux, candi-sugared caramel malting and sweetly soured red wine esters deepen bold complexity of bourbon-barreled (10.5% ABV) Belgian dark strong ale.
On tap at Ambulance, superb 9th Anniversary English-styled old ale aged in bourbon barrels (with heightened 16.1% ABV) brings luscious cherry-bruised sherry wining and caramelized crème brulee sugaring to the fore. Sweet bourbon vanilla midst allows ripe raisin, plum, raspberry and peach tones to deepen its candi-sugared vibe.
On tap at Liberty Craft House, luxurious 22nd Anniversary ale loads dark chocolate syrup upon advertised vanilla-sugared nutmeg and cinnamon spicing as well as sweet orange peel zest. Dry bourbon, sherry and Scotch undertones deepen resolve of robust 11.1% ABV dessert treat.
On tap at Poor Henry’s, stylishly light alcoholic (7% ABV) strong ale lacks spicy holiday spirit its name implies. Instead, an Imperial Red Ale-like caramel fruiting leads the way as red grape, brown apple, peach, fig and plum illusions pick up a sharp hop spicing as well as toasted nut whim, resinous pine notions and earthen grape stem phenols.
On tap at Growler & Gill, pleasing array of Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad’s sweet cherry bruise and white grape souring, Firestone Walker Stickeee Monkee’s warming caramelized barleywine styling and Boulevard Imperial Stout X’s whiskey-aged cherry tartness. Foremost, bourbon-soaked rum spicing and peaty Scotch licks penetrate rich oats-sugared brown chocolate and vanilla creaming (from Firestone’s Velvet Merkin Oatmeal Stout). Mighty fine.
On tap at One Mile House, sour brettanomyces yeast affects sweet cognac warmth of 10.4% ABV dark strong ale. Vinous white and red wine sourness blends into leathery oaken cherry bittering above mild rye wheat malting. Sharp hop spicing picks up tertiary black currant, anise and illusions. Subtle cognac sugaring tries to shine thru sour appeal.
On tap at One Mile House, interesting 2016 bourbon barrel aged strong ale blends candi-sugared Belgian dark ale with smokey amber ale picks up vinous oaken red wine overtones to balance against caramel-burnt milk chocolate sweetness. In the backdrop, rum-spiced whir contrasts dry Scotch whim. Complex.
On tap at Poor Henry’s, exquisite bourbon-barreled Curieux Tripel infused with muted cane-sugared cold press coffee retains soothingly soft-toned Jim Beam bourbon whiskey warmth and mildly creamed molasses-honeyed sweetness. Floral-perfumed citrus zest upends oaken vanilla, coconut, pecan and tobacco illusions. Delicate Ethiopian coffee bean adjunct fades fast at calming Scotch finish.
On tap at Craft House, fascinating barrel-aged rye ale with botanicals and bitters reminiscent of a sugar-spiced gingerbread cookie on first sip. Dry WhistlePig rye whiskey malting deepens ‘classic cocktail,’ as light orange and lemon-peeled gentian root bittering contrasts mild cherry-juiced cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander and clove adjuncts as well as wispy Belgian candi-sugared bourbon vanilla syruping. High end 19th century-derived 10% ABV liqueur perfect for the holidays.
On tap at River Of Beer, modest strong ale (with well hidden 9% ABV) will appeal to India Pale Ale fans with its sugar-spiced citrus pleasantries and aggressive hop astringency. Evenly dispersed grapefruit, orange, tangerine, apricot and plum fruiting sits atop caramelized Scotch-licked Maris Otter malting.
Reliable IPA-fruited strong ale (8.8% ABV) contrasts homegrown wet-hopped green grass astingency against modest demerara-sugared crystal malting. Zesty lemon-orange-pineapple tang gains sinister honeydew-melon respite as moderate alcohol burn singes the fruitful finish.