Skip to main content

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


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.