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Beer Advent Calendar Window Two - Christmas Kitty

After the briefest exchange with David Bishop (@BroadfordBrewer) - and I mean brief - I've decided that I am going to eat a Mince Pie alongside every beer in this Advent Calendar. As every beer is a Christmas themed beer, I've decided they should definitely be judged on their ability to be paired alongside my favourite holiday treat. 

Window two of this Beer Advent Calendar sees another Yorkshire brewery, this time east of York with Malton’s Brass Castle Brewery.

Beginning life in a garage in 2011, Brass Castle became a firmly established Northern favourite due to their popular Vanilla porter Bad Kitty. Their Christmas treat is a product of this beer with extra added Christmas spice, courtesy of a collaboration with North Riding Brewery

This beer was imbibed and reviewed close to midnight after a lengthy evening out.  

"Rats. Nobody sent me a Christmas card today. I almost wish there weren't a holiday season. I know nobody likes me. Why do we have to have a holiday season to emphasize it?"

Brass Castle - Christmas Kitty (Dark Porter with Vanilla and Christmas Spices) - 5.5%

Dark umber in colour, there's a strange Dr Pepper hum to the nose, or root beer, or sarsaparilla, A little dark chocolate is certainly overwhelmed by this familiar fizzy drink scent. The initial flavour is of old fashioned root liquorice. With it comes a meaty sweetness; there's something of the bacon jam in there. A flavour in the background that reminds me oddly of blue cheese comes through but isn't unpleasant.The vanilla that you've been expecting since handling the bottle is present in the aftertaste, next to a little clove and nutmeg. Similarly to when I had Bad Kitty in bottles, I'm getting plenty of flavour but it's all held together by a thin, carbonated body that doesn't blend any of the mixture together. I can imagine this being a very different beer on draught, just like Bad Kitty. For now, what is a decent festive idea just falls apart when it has the promise to be something; like a Christmas tree hashed together with any decoration it could find. 

Mince Pie Pairing Rating: 7/10. There can be no doubt the dark sweetness of the beer brings extra flavour to those fruits. 

Best Paired With: The Polar Express film. One to enjoy once and then move on to further and better festive ventures. 


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