West Sixth Christmas Ale

Reviewed by on December 16, 2015 in Holiday Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: West Sixth Brewing Company

  • Origin: Lexington, KY, US

  • Rated On: December 16, 2015

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 9.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Winter Warmer

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

Wow, an 18-proof spiced Christmas ale, in a can, no less, and from the Bluegrass State (it’s Kentucky, before those of you who need the Google go off to figure that out).  A brew that comes to us out west via the good graces of the Craft Beer Advent Calendar.

This 12oz can pours a clear, dark red-brick brown colour, with one finger of somewhat foamy, and gently bubbly ecru head, which leaves some melting iceshelf lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells of pungent cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove spice, bready caramel malt, a lesser biscuity toffee sweetness, some raisin and fig dried fruitiness, and a surprisingly soft citrus-tinged vodka-like booziness. The taste is gritty, grainy caramel malt, more testy seasonal spice – metallic cinnamon the most prevalent – with some nutmeg, allspice, and edgy clove, a sturdy black orchard fruitiness (one now part of a fruitcake), a subtle earthy dryness, and some well-hidden alcohol heat, again tied to a mild citrus character.  The bubbles are quite understated in their generally supportive frothiness, the body a decent medium weight for the style, and actually smooth, with a congenial creaminess apparent from the get-go. It finishes still on the sweet side, but duly moderated by spice, fruit, and the sauce alike.

Overall, a pleasantly engaging and warming seasonal offering, the spices not taking any prisoners, and the big ABV keeping its hands to itself. Oh, and the red can it comes in has no problem displaying some snowflakes, and the word ‘Christmas’, like it hasn’t gone out of style, or something.

Brady White



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