Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bing Does Not Come With Every Bottle: White Christmas

White Christmas by Samuel Adams
Witbier 5.8% ABV

Our 10th beer of Christmas is new to the Sam Adams line up and brewed in 2012 -- White Christmas was suggested by one of our faithful Beer411 readers who also happens to be my brother. After tasting it, I know why he recommended this beer for our Xmas countdown; he loves witbiers. His go to brew is Blue Moon, year round.

For the Belgian white lover when the temperature drops, this beer seems to be the best of both worlds. The intent is to marry together the crisp, malt, wheat flavor of a witbier with the seasonal winter spices of clove and cinnamon to create a lighter seasonal ale, a departure from the heavy, coffee, chocolate, porters, stouts and ales that are around this time of year.

The label:
As crisp as the first snowfall of the year, this unfiltered white ale is blended with holiday spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange peel. The familiar citrus and wheat characters of the ale are complemented by the warmth of the spices for a festive brew that’s perfect for the season.

I’ve seen this beer in the Sam Winter Seasonal Variety Pack and also as a solo sixer, so it’s pretty easy to find for those that are interested in wrapping their hands around this new brew. I grabbed a bottle of White Christmas at the Coolidge Corner Club House in Brookline. (You know, the place where the menu is 27 pages long and all the menu items are named after sports legends)

The Pour: A two finger fluffy white head settled on top of a cloudy, golden-yellow body

The Nose: Grassy and sweet with apricot and honey

The Taste: It’s a crisp and bubbly brew with a tart dry finish. Medium bodied. It has a well-balanced bready, malt flavor that is cut with citrus and orange. The beer overall is not as sweet as the nose would suggest, which is not a bad thing. My gripe with the White Christmas is that I am not sure it belongs in a holiday line up. The winter spices didn’t show up for me the way I thought they would. I checked out the reviews on BA to see what others were saying about it and I was surprised to read that some tasters thought the spice was too much. (hmmm?)

All in all, it was just ok for me, (sorry bro!). I felt like I was drinking a wheatier Magic Hat #9.

Like most wheat style ales, this beer would go great with any creamy, tart goat cheese. Sam also suggests cranberries or sweet desserts like cheesecake and tarts.

I’d say if you are like my brother and love Belgian whites, this holiday six pack might be the perfect gift for you.

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