Reviewed by Brady White on December 24, 2015 in Holiday Guide
- Brewery: Phillips Brewing Company
- Origin: Victoria, BC, CA
- Rated On: December 24, 2015
- Best Before: N/A
- ABV: 9.5%
- Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature
- Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
- Rating: GREAT !!
This 341ml bottle pours a clear, dark rusty brown colour, with one flabby finger of weakly puffy, somewhat foamy, and mostly just bubbly tan head, which leaves some calving iceberg profile lace around the glass as it evenly recedes.
It smells of sweet, sugary nougat, grainy caramel malt, zesty cinnamon and nutmeg spice, a twinge of minty cocoa, sozzled orange rind, a bit of peppery yeast, and that slice of fruitcake you know you’re never going to finish. The taste is bready, very gingerbread-like caramel/toffee malt, further edgy clove and cinnamon spice, my Mom’s brown sugar cookies, both mint and orange flavoured After Eights, a leafy, grassy, and pine resin-heavy hoppiness, and some loitering, sniffing around for trouble booziness. The bubbles are quite understated in their barely supportive frothiness, the body a sturdy medium weight, and as smooth and maybe silky as a fallen angel who gets their kicks out of pinching the kiddos. It finishes sweet, but in the moderated sense of the holidays – sugary, yeah, but the spice and alcohol keep it all in line, if not exactly your way of walking after the fact.
I gotta say, this turns out all right, the kitchen sink of various seasonal affectations providing much to dissect and discuss, sure, but overall, I’m more inclined to just say that this is a pleasant, very warming strong and spiced Belgian ale, and I wish that I could procure more of this to help make Christmas Day activities pass more – just more.