Bless my dear girlfriend for accepting my beer interest for what it is and supporting it in every way. It was never proven more than her happy, gleeful face when she bought me a bottle of Lincoln Green's Holly Green 5.5% knowing it would be perfect for my Advent Calendar. Her excitement was heightened more when I told her the honest truth that, not only had I never seen this before, I'd never heard of Lincoln Green Brewery. It was the truth.
As I've found out since, Lincoln Green were only founded last year and seem to be trying to get in that unusual modern micro brewery market of being both "legendary" (according to their own bottles) and CAMRA approved. Rare, but not unwelcome, considering the stature just having a CAMRA approved Bottle Conditioned Ale provided just six years ago.
Holly Green gives little away about it's style from it's label and only hints at being a festive treat in it's endearing snowman induced label. Another murky umber beer that froths and bubbles like a chemistry lab test tube, the nose is very gentle; it's the sherry-esque, winter berry fruitiness over caramel malt base that is so frequent in these winter warmers, but it's much more subtle. The taste matches this gentleness and everything is comforting and warming in the traditional winter warmer sense, with deep toffee notes, rum soaked raisings, spicy malting and a welcome full body The finish is surprisingly long, woody, sprucey and fruity. It's a great little ale from this brewery leaving me intrigued as to what else they produce. I'm eager to find out.
Purchased at the Micro Bar, Manchester, October 2013.