Friday, December 23, 2005

Another post about beer

Last year I made an awesome discovery during the holiday season, and I am fortunate to experience it again this year: Saranac's 12 Beers of Winter . What can I say about this? I won't dally with teasing details; I'll get straight to the point. To me, Saranac's 12 beers of winter is the equivalent of a box of holiday chocolates. It's a sublime sampler of sophisticated suds. Each one is different, and UNLIKE the chocolates, each one is delicious. Especially the caramel porter. That's a new flavor, and man, does it rock!

Imagine it: 12 beers, all a different flavor, and all of them good! I get giddy whenever I open the box. Last year, when I brought it home for the first time (I don't think there were 12 flavors last year, I'm not sure), I accidentally drank six of them in one sitting while watching Fellowship of the Ring. Now, I don't usually drink more than two on a typical evening, but I got caught up in the excitement of new flavors and a terrific movie.

The only one I don't really care for is the Winter Wassail. I don't usually like spiced beers. This one reminded me of a fruitcake. Well, more like a fruitcake soaked in heavy beer. All of the flavors are rich and complex. The colors represent the full spectrum of the hoppy rainbow. Tasty, "sippin' beer" just begging for a fire place.

Saranac makes good beer in general. Fact of life. But they really pull out all the stops for this seasonal collection. Go to your grocery store and pick one up while you can. If you've never had Saranac, you may have seen them. During other parts of the year, you can usually find their standard 12-pack, called a Trail Mix. It's an assortment of their regular flavors.

That's enough sales pitching for now. Me, I'm going to pour me one and watch Family Guy. I wonder what I'll choose...their black and tan or the oatmeal stout? The chocolate amber? Oh, maybe the nut know how much I love brown ales, and this one is incredible.

I'm a beer dork.

Playing on XM: Twangbangers
(their 9-minute version of Hotrod Lincoln features a study of guitar-playing styles!)


  1. Man, we just don't agree on beers, do we? See, I've got to say, I really don't like Saranac beers. My Mom had one of the Winter 12 packs at the house over Xmas, and I had one. And I realized why I never buy Saranac-99% of their beers taste skunky. I had a friend who always used to buy cases of it in college, and that was my opinion of it then, too. The flavors are nice, I suppose, but overtop of all of them is a distinct "Saranac" taste that, to me, tastes as if the beer has just started to turn.
    As far as winter beers go, my favorite has always been Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic. They don't produce it every year (to my knowledge) but when I do see it, I have to get a 6 pack. I'm sure it has something to do with my love of all things cranberry, but damn, that's a good beer.


  2. Okay, now see, you're wrong. That's all. And I can say that definitively because, well, it's my blog.

    You're right, now that I think about it, about the distinctive "Saranac" flavor that runs across all of their brews. But it's not a stale or skunky flavor. Rather, I find it to be crisp and tasty.

    I can tell you all about how to discern if a beer is going to taste skunky. There's an easy test that'll let you know right away. But that's something for yet another post...

    You're right about the Cranberry Lambic. It is rather tasty. Sam Adams has several seasonal flavors that I like. Two of the others are a Cherry Wheat, which I haven't had in a couple of years, and Old Fezziwig.

  3. Yes, the Sam Adams Cherry Wheat is very good as well. I don't care much for the Old Fezziwig, too much "stuff" in the flavors for me, sort of like your reaction to Winter Wassail.