Skip to main content

Advent Calendar Window 11 - Noel de Calabaza

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


Popular posts from this blog

"They Had Their Issues, So..."

      There’s a set of garages to rent as storage units near my workplace. One of them is taken by a local florist that uses it to store flower arrangements for various events, that are more often than not funerals.   As such, at least once a week at 8am I will pass a car being loaded up with flowers arranged into heart shaped patterns or the letters M U M. It is a grounding reminder that, as I mentally grumble my way through the upcoming arbitrary grievances of my ordinary working day, a group of family and friends locally is going through the hardest time. It provides much needed perspective on days when I could do with being reminded of all that I have to be thankful for.   These little moments explain to me why it is possible for us to share a communal loss when a celebrity passes away. Grief is often a personal and lonely experience, shared between a minority of people in your life. When a co-worker loses a relative or friend, it has little affect on me, bar signing of

The Ten Pubs That Made Me - Part 3: Dr Okell's / My Foley's Tap House and Leeds

A pint in Mr Foley's Tap House from December 2022     This is Part 3 (the fourth post) of an ongoing project. Please see the beginning of Part 0 for details.    Come the end of this journey, there may be a lesson in procrastination that I am unlikely to heed. These posts stem from a list that I made three years ago and a series that I embarked on 18 months ago. We’ve only now reached a 30% completion rate and with this post we are back to fail for the second time.   This odyssey began with a trip to Mr Foley’s Tap House in February 2022 – named Dr Okell’s bar on my first visits in 2005 – only to discover that it was closed. It did reopen by the time that the post was coming out and I managed a brief visit in December 2022. However, my July 1 st 2023 trip to Leeds, on which this post is based, is met with this sign at the door of the bar:      A quick check of social media shows an Instagram post from the day before (June 30 th ) announcing the closure of the

LIVERPOOL - the City that Craft Beer Forgot Part II (and found...)

After visiting Liverpool, one of my favourite cities, in February this year, and not impressing people with my rather hasty but honest verdict on the city’s lack of craft beer, I jumped at the chance to return last week and hoped to come out with a more attractive judgement. A couple of friends and I visited on a day out, with neither of them having been drinking in the city before. It was left to me – or rather, I volunteered – to plan the day’s itinerary and places to visit. I had a couple of new or unvisited places in mind myself, but knew it would be unfair to miss out on some of the city’s famous gems. With around 10-12 hours in which to fit in an entire city, I opted to concentrate on the famous Georgian Quarter and see if we had time for the Dale Street end later on.    We planned to arrive in the city for around 11a.m. just in time to walk up Mount Pleasant to the new-on-me, though I believe it has been opened three years, Clove Hitch on Hope Street for breakfast.