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Advent Calendar Window 19 - White Christmas

"Everyone is singing, 
I hear those sleigh bells ringing
Santa, won't you bring me the one I really need?  
Won't you please bring my baby to me? 

Perhaps a sign of my (rapidly ending) youth, but Saltaire Brewery feel like they've been around forever. Perhaps the fact that they opened the year I moved to Leeds, 2005 - and were frequently available there - has something to do with this. Based in Saltaire, just outside of Bradford, for a long time this brewery was synonymous with my introduction to the Cascade hop, as well as their excellent Raspberry Blonde.

Obviously, Saltaire are adapting with the times and are now doing kegged beers and styles such as Black IPAs. But, for me, they are masters aof the 4-5% cask ale. 

So, Christmas is rapidly approaching and thanks to the masses who spray deodorant directly into the O-Zone layer and drop petrol into the atmosphere (as is my understanding) we're unlikely to get a white Christmas this year or any after this. This Saltaire beer behind Window 19 in my Beer Advent Calendar is about as close as I'm going to ge to  a White Christmas


"Light hop flavours enhanced with coriander seeds and orange peel added to the final boil" 

Light amber with swiftly failing head, this beer is much maltier on the nose than the colour suggests. There's lots of caramel, sweet esters and a large toast backbone. The initial flavour evokes shortbread, fudge and  large yeastiness. It's very "Saltaire" in flavour, with the spine of this beer similar to their Blonde and Pride, something I'm okay with. The hopping is subtle and not bitter, with caramel malts driving everything along. The finish is where those coriander seeds create a grittiness, but I thought more of tarragon than coriander. It's another beer that just... was and didn't make me turn away in disgust or find excitement. I think I had already assumed what this beer was going to be prior to drinking it which is the reason for my disappointment. Orange and coriander flavours amde me think of wheat beer and the colour suggested it was going to be more hoppy. In the end, we have a beer that doesn't have a WOW factor and isn't particularly festive. A White Christmas that didn't make anybody sing. 

Christmas Spirit Rating: 30%. It's not going to snow tonight.

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