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Advent Calendar Window 19 - Julebryg

Here's a little bad boy I picked up in Gent recently...
Whilst on the scout for anything Christmas and beer related, Amager Julebryg 2009 8.0% found its way into my basket almost effortlessly at De Hopduvel in Gent. The whimsical cartoon label appealed to me before all else had been considered. When I thought about it, Amager are a very well respected brewery that I do not have enough experience with. Despite  acouple of their ales, their Imperial Stout collaboration with Hoppin' Frog stands out as their most notable work to me, though I do have a few of their recent exciting brews in stock. Altogether, this Danish brewery have an impression to make on me almost starting from scratch.

"It's in the giving of a gift to another
A pair of mittens that were made by your mother
It's all the ways that we show love - that feels like Christmas..."
With a lovely off black deep brown colour, this beer initially smells like wrought iron. You could shave your wire rope clippings onto this ale and get the same scents. Once it gets settled within the glass, this drink excites and delights with it's warming cherry and sherry scents. In taste Julebryg comes over like a near perfect match between traditional Belgian Christmas Ale and huge Russian Imperial Stout. There's an equal flow of port, coffee, mincemeat, chocolate, brandy and roasted malts. It's a delightful mixture of Winter Warmers and traditionalism made just for this season. It's rightfully indulgent, cursing when it needs to be and letting you know with a holly nip that you might have something strong here, yet it never lets you waver from it's desire. Julebryg isn't mulled or spicey but it is decadent and Chritmassy. From the past nineteen days, this maybe the one I have enjoyed and savoured from start to finish, in a 500ml bottle, the most. Those that hate their Christmas beer may find this too sweet, but it is well balanced, settled and dignified. Amager Julebryg is another recipe that apparently changes each year, but I rather doubt they have come on more from their excellent 2009 version. Amazing stuff.
Purchased from De Hopduvel, Gent, November 2013.


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