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Advent Calendar Window 23 - Winter Yule Smith

Well this is truly very good. Just like the beer yesterday, Alesmith, Winter Yule Smith 8.5% has had to battle through my brutal seasonal cold to form part of my Advent Calendar. I'd been really quite looking forward to this one and considered forfeiting today's beer as, not only did I have a feeling this would be good, it was also rather pricey and it seemed to be wasted on a cold that has numbed both my sense of smell and taste. Luckily, this happens to be good enough to fight through it all.
This is, of course, the Winter Yule Smith where this beer is brewed as a big Imperial Red Ale; the Summer Yule Smith is a Double IPA that I have sadly never tried. It's not a traditional choice for a festive beer, but this is more of a celebratory beer for the season, just like Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale. Prior to tasting that beer in Window 17 I was disappointed to think that this Alesmith beer was going to be a big hoppy affair, rather than a warming winter treat. Since then, however, I've really looked forward to what I hoped would be another clever take on the season.
"This is going to take a long time and I wonder what's mine
Can't take no more
Wonder if you'll understand, it's just the touch of your hand
Behind a closed door
All I needed was the love you gave"
Alesmith Winter Yulesmith pours dark copper with decent carbonation and cream head. It's powerful hoppy nose with sweet cherry malt base easily tear my cold to pieces better than Beechams or Covonia ever could. The taste slides down my throat ripping mucus apart and punching on my swollen glands with sharp, grapefruit right hooks and unexpected toffee tickles. There's plenty of lemon curd, marmalade and damson jam here spread over a buttered piece of toast. In the background there's honeyed ham and pine needle forests. The malts are the real gravy in this Christmas main course; bringing together and enhancing everything on the palate with their soft sweetened nuttiness. One can only imagine just how good this is with my senses intact. The sticky mouth feels allows a long bitter finish that's tangy to the tonsils without being stingy to the sinus'. Another beer I never though I would rate for Christmas, but I'd happily have this aside the turkey on the big day. Wonderful.
Purchased at Beermoth, October, 2013


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