11th December: Bristol Beer Factory, The 12 Stouts of Christmas. 4.5% to 10.5% ABV
From: Bristol, England. Type: Variations on the theme of Stout. Source: The Bristol Beer Factory online shop
I feel like I’m peeping inside the wrapping of a present under the Christmas Tree. This entry is a bit of a cheat, because I haven’t drunk them yet. I did, though, drink some of last year’s 12 stouts, and they did sell out quickly, as this year’s batch is bound to. Especially as The Guardian beer tasting panel has just recommended it.
Bristol Stout is a regular at craft beer bars like Euston Tap, and the reason I sought out the full range. I hesitate to describe it as the “vanilla” of the range, because with the names of the others, you might be surprised that vanilla is not an ingredient. And besides, it has a rich, roasted-bitter full flavour, like a stout should.
Blackcurant and liquorice, chipotle, port, and mocha, contribute flavour at the lower end of the ABV scale. Crème brulée (from oak-ageing) and raspberry are on the “ultimate” scale, which is one below the whisk(e)y barrel-aged versions of the imperial stouts.
There are beers to drink on their own, some with hearty stews and festive dishes, others to accompany or be dessert, and at the top end beers as after-dinner noggin.
I’m not so much of a cheat as to put one of each down for the rest of my Advent Calendar windows, but the thing is, I’m not sure I can wait until the first day. And even if I do, will they last the 12 days of Christmas?