It's hard to begin a blog post with a mop in your hand. It's hard to really consider the depth or complexities of a beer when you are wiping dregs of it from your ornaments, books and plug sockets. It's difficult to consider a beverage's place in your festive line-up when all you want for Christmas is replacements to your personal possessions it has just damaged.
I speak, once more, of a gusher. Like it's previous American resident in this Advent Calendar, Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabaza 9% was so eager to escape from it's glass bottled coffin that it gushed all over my floor. Although, in fairness to it's predecessor, this did not just gush, it erupted, continuously building volcanic eruption until more than half of it was emptied, either onto laminate flooring or into a drinking glass.
In truth I was looking forward to this beer perhaps more than any other in my Advent Calendar. My recent sample of Jolly Pumpkin's Luciernaga only made me salivate more, being my first taste of a brewery I now demand great things from. So let us now concentrate on what is left of this beer.
Another murky, swap water offering of deepest umber and forbidding, Noel de Calabaza's wicked, festive pumpkin smiles at you whilst you soak in its funky hazelnut, honeyed tang and Pepsi MAX nose. The taste is more sour than expected, with sharp apple bite, lots of Brett, sugar cane, Vanilla, Tarragon, all behind a fizz that's more Buck's Fizz than Champagne. I find the bigger the gulp the bigger the impact and fuller the body. It's certainly complex and different with each mouthful and mouth feel. Yet after 750ml, that is probably closer to 500ml after the clean-up, I've still not decided if I like this beer. This is a new feeling for me and something I've never experienced before. Did I enjoy Noel de Calabaza? I don't know, I just know that I'll be able to smell it around my house for weeks.
Purchased at Beers of Europe, June 2013
Enjoyed with OPEN IT OVER A FUCKING DRAIN