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Advent Calendar Window 4 - Holly Daze

So day four leads us to Scotland's own Fyne Ales and their Holly Daze 5%. The earliest recollection of the beer I can find is 2006 which may well be the case for a brewery that opened in 2001. A brwery with a very solid core range, the fact that the colleague who picked today's beer said "Oh, it doesn't have a funny picture of the label" in disappointment only pleased me and reminded me of how good packaging like this can be. What isn't exciting me is the bottle's description of "Fruity Hop flavours" and the website's "No Strange Spices" for this seasonal beer.

"Later on, we'll transpire
As we warm by the fire
Face unafraid, the plans that we made..."

Holly Daze lands a quite thin, rusty amber colour. You initially get a traditional hit of malts to the sinus' before finding orange peel, nutmeg and shortbread. On tasting, the oily mouthfeel is rather immediate combined with flavours of gentle orange hopping and a solid biscuit base. It's rich in the more classic ESB considered sense. The "no strange spices" description maybe fine, yet I found them on the nose and ironically the flavour would have benefited from those scents being present in the taste. There's a slight hazelnut hint to a digestive finish and with that the beer is over.  It is a good Winter bitter that most certainly achieves what Fyne intended. Personally, I look for something more at Christmas.

Purchased from Beer Ritz, September 2013.

Drank alongside a chocolate choirboy and yet another snowman. No comment


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