Merry Christmas to all! And Happy New Year as well! Another Christmas in the rearview and it's kind of sad already. A lot of work for one day, but I had a truly wonderful holiday. Spent time with family and friends, received some nice gifts, and enjoyed quite a few craft beers.
First, the best of the lot that I had over the holidays--Goose Island's Ten Hills IPA. This APA is 6.2% ABV and was poured from a bottle into an SPG. This beer gives you everything you would want from a pale ale. There is a creamy head sitting softly atop a copper-colored beer and as the glass was emptied, nice lacing remained around the glass.
Big scents emerge immediately--tropical citrusy fruit, some maltiness and hints of bitter grapefruit. The taste is also quite good. The usual bitter hops of a pale ale blended with a nice bready mouthfeel make for a very good beer. This is a solid 4, but limited. If you see it, buy it.
Now for maybe the worst of the lot. Ridgeway's Bad Elf Winter's Ale, is a poor excuse for a winter beer. Maybe I was expecting a true winter beer--spicy, hearty, delicious, but Bad Elf offered none of that. Instead, the thin, pale IPA from England is just OK even for an IPA. I believe this beer to be more of a holiday novelty than a serious brew, as there are other beers in their holiday line that are much better. Some of those include Lump of Coal Dark Holiday Stout, Pickled Santa English Xmas Ale, and Insanely Bad Elf Imperial Red Ale.
To football. The Pittsburgh Steelers were bounced from the playoffs Sunday afternoon, when the Chiefs back-up players were cheated out of a win over the Chargers (yes, I'm bitter). But, that's football. It stinks that the NFL officials wait til the day after to say that we fucked up--I already knew that, but would rather them keep it to themselves since the game was over.
There's always next season. Speaking of seasons, before you know it spring will be here. Will we see some more Orioles magic in 2014? I hope so.
More beer reviews coming Friday. Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year's to all.