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Advent Calendar Window 16 - Santa Paws and Hoppy Christmas

"Jessica Biel and Megan Fox
Wearing nothing but their socks 
Is all I really want for Christmas this year"

Christmas has many pairings. Cheese and crackers. Turkey and trimmings. Christmas beer and anarchy. It must be difficult for punks to really embrace this particular season. After all, non-conformists can't possibly embrace a time of year that is mainly made of joy, smiles and shit television adverts. But, Brewdog are trying to run a business here and a successful one at that. So, it seems only right that they jump on the Christmas beer bandwagon. 

Of course, these beers have existed in previous years and Brewdog did make an appearance in last year's calendar with their delicious Paradox Christmas. I had one of the two beers reviewed here - and yes there are two beers in today's Window - on keg in 2012 and found it nothing to do with Christmas. But let us see what we think here.

Santa Paws - 4.5%

Malts, malts, malts. I know this was intended to be malty with eight different varieties used in the brewing, but this really is thick with it. This is a Scotch Ale with a huge toasty and cashew nut background. There's hints of rum-soaked raisins, a tingle of coffee at the back and a sweet-pastry aftertaste. But there's just so much maltiness fighting over everything they've made here that you would think this was a collaboration with Timothy Taylor. The brewing is solid like you'd expect and the big body feels more than it's strength. Yet, I have issue with the term Scotch Ale as this is certainly a porter. Not Christmassy enough. 

Hoppy Christmas - 7.2% 

Where the Santa Paws was a festival of malts, this is a parade of hops. As soon as you begin to pour this, the room is filled with so much grapefruit and mango that I get a little anxious taking the picture as I want to taste it. This would have been criticised in previous calendars for not being remotely festive, but it's so delicious I don't even mind. It's not bitterly sharp and overpowering. The grapefruit, mango and tangerine flavours are perfectly balanced with a gentle toast background that makes this beautifully drinkable and so flavoursome. This might be one of the best Pale Ales Brewdog have created. A marvellous display of Simcoe hops that doesn't burn your teeth out. 

Christmas Spirit Rating: 45% I'd rather that Hoppy Christmas was called Hoppy Sunshine. 


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