Mikkeller Red/White Christmas Ale

Reviewed by on December 2, 2013 in Holiday Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Mikkeller

  • Origin: Denmark

  • Rated On: November 27, 2012

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 8.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: between cold and cellar temperature

  • Style: Spiced Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

This hoppy, spiced ale comes in a rather impressive 1.5L bottle, with some nice red and white (of course) snowfall imagery on the label. The ‘red’ and ‘white’ of the name refer to the blending of an English-style red ale, with a Belgian-style white beer. Another interesting pairing for this nomadic Danish brewer.

What we get when we carefully tip this behemoth into a nice chalice is a hazy, dark golden amber coloured beer, with a half-inch or so of compressed foamy pale beige head, which leaves a solid, slightly pocked wall of painted lace around the glass as it gently fades away. The aroma jumps out of the glass with crisp, bitter citrus hops, caramel and toffee malt, soft Belgian yeast, a bit of sweet pear fruitiness, and a further understated bitter drying hoppiness.

On the palate, we get a redux of the bitter citrusy pine hops, semi-sweet, soft bready caramel malt, weakly astringent wheat additions, some understated savoury spiciness, and a twinge of earthy yeast. A middling booze warming does well to linger in the background. The bubbles are rather laid back, the body showing a solid medium-heavy weight, and adequately smooth. It finishes on the bittersweet side of things, the citrus hops still unexpectedly outshining any other normal holiday ingredient, save the cookie-esque malt sweetness.

While the X-mas essences seem to get quite lost in all that’s going on in this beer, this is Mikkeller, after all, and they very much like the hops, rather well beyond what’s to be expected from the purported red and white input styles. At any rate, this is an enjoyable strong beer, and a good choice for those inevitable seasonal parties, my hop-head friends.

Brady White

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