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  1. #1
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    Favorite Winter/Holiday beer of 2012...

    So I enjoyed the responses I got to the "Thanksgiving Beer" thread I started. Learned a lot. Now I figure I better see what everybody is drinking this winter holiday season. I've had a few of my holiday standbys so far, including Jubilale, Pyramid Snow Cap for cheap, and Sleigher from Ninkasi. I'm in Oregon, so I mostly know Northwest beers.

    My pick for beers so far this year is Terminal Gravity's Festivale. Smooth and tastefully flavored so as not to be overbearing. I finished the beer and had the "man that was good" moment. I went and looked at the ABV. I think it said 8.4%. Holy crap could I not taste the alcohol. Would have thought it 6% at most to taste it.

    Terminal Gravity makes a good argument for being the best brewer in Oregon. Edit: This may be a bit of overstatement, but when I wrote it I was thinking of brewers who have 6 packs readily available.
    Last edited by Slow Danger; 11-27-2012 at 07:28 PM.

  2. #2
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    I've always been partial to Rogue's Santa's Private Reserve

    And I don't even care for Rogue beer that much!

  3. #3
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    So far I've had only PNW beers
    -Jubelale is very good
    -Sleigher is very nice, have it on tap locally
    -Sleepy Hollow Nut Brown (Fall McMenamins) has been my favorite beer this fall, waiting for their Kris Kringle)
    -Brrr has been a long time favorite of mine

  4. #4
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    The chocolate Bock and the white ale in the Sam Adams Winter Sampler Pack are good. Probably go out and buy some anchor Christmas ale, kind of a tradition i have going on.
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  5. #5
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    Port Brewing Santa's Little helper, and even better is Bourbon Barrel Aged Santa's little helper.
    Ride Bikes, Drink Craft Beer, Repeat.

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  6. #6
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    I've been loving HUB's Abominable in tallboys for build days.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluestatevirgin View Post
    My pick for beers so far this year is Terminal Gravity's Festivale. Smooth and tastefully flavored so as not to be overbearing.

    Terminal Gravity makes a good argument for being the best brewer in Oregon.
    If you like Festivale, try Hair of the Dog Adam. Blows Festivale out of the water.

    TG is a decent little brewery, but they have a long way to go before getting that crown. Pretty cool that they're brewed in Enterprise...one of the most isolated cities in the state.

    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    Port Brewing Santa's Little helper, and even better is Bourbon Barrel Aged Santa's little helper.
    I had the BBA Santa's last weekend. Excellent stuff...so much better than the non-BBA it's ridiculous.


    My favorite Winter beers are SN Celebration, Deschutes Abyss and Stone Enjoy By 12-21-12.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeePhroh View Post
    I've been loving HUB's Abominable in tallboys for build days.
    I had that one, and liked it too. Certainly worth giving another test run.

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    It's a toss up between Anchor's "Our Special Ale" and Anderson Valley's Winter Solstice. I always look forward to both of those, and think that Anchor's offering is particularly good this year.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino View Post
    If you like Festivale, try Hair of the Dog Adam.
    For whatever reason, I haven't seen Hair of the Dog's beers in my area. Is the Adam a holiday/winter release? Or carried year round?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluestatevirgin View Post
    For whatever reason, I haven't seen Hair of the Dog's beers in my area. Is the Adam a holiday/winter release? Or carried year round?
    Adam's brewed year-round, so if you have HOTD distribution it should be readily available. I've even seen it at a couple of the upscale Safeway stores around here.

    Their holiday seasonal is the Doggy Claws --- yum!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boognish View Post
    It's a toss up between Anchor's "Our Special Ale" and Anderson Valley's Winter Solstice. I always look forward to both of those, and think that Anchor's offering is particularly good this year.
    Yah! Just picked up some Anchor and agree it's a winner this year.

    "Our Special Ale" is my "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown" of beers. Kicks my cynicism right in the balls every year.

  13. #13
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    Weird thing I find about Anchor outside California. Back in the old days, when seemed like Sierra Nevada and Anchor Steam were the only micro/craft brews a person could find, Anchor Steam was everywhere. Now, I can hardly find an Anchor beer in stores.

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    sierra nevada's celebration ale is especially good this year, still early in the season so i haven't sampled many others yet

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    I second whoever said Chocolate Bock but this year I think I am going to stick with local breweries (In Colorado). I will have to get back to you after I have had a few more seasonals to let you know which ones pleased my palette most

  16. #16
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    Anderson Valley Winter Solstice
    Avery Old Jubilation Ale
    Troegs Mad Elf
    St Bernardus XChristmas Ale
    Fantome De Noel

    I tried SouthernTier's new 2Xmas over the weekend, which ST market's as being brewed in the Swedish Glogg tradition. Meh, I really like Glogg, but this was a little too over-spiced, but otherwise underwhelming for me.

  17. #17
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    +1 for Winter Solstice

    Our "leave for Santa instead of milk" beer this year is Sailing Santa from Saint Arnold.

  18. #18
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    +2 for Anchor Christmas

    My favorite last year was Xmas Sucks by Lagunitas it was a magical double IPA.

  19. #19
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    Velvet Merlin is one I always look forward too. (this thread needs more pictures)


    I also really liked the Haandbryggeriet Nessefar i had last year, might try and find that again...



    Glad to hear the anchor christmas is good this year. I LOVED it a few years ago, but thought last 2 year were total duds. I will give it a go.
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  20. #20
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    Ohhh Can't believe I didn't include my local favorite: Equinox Midwinter Warmer Barley Wine. This is amazing and you will catch me drinking it often over the winter months.

    "Any wheel size is better than sitting at a computer all day." -Myself

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeePhroh View Post
    Adam's brewed year-round, so if you have HOTD distribution it should be readily available. I've even seen it at a couple of the upscale Safeway stores around here.

    Their holiday seasonal is the Doggy Claws --- yum!
    Had a 2009 Doggie Claws over the weekend. T'was good.

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    I've had the Velvet Merlin during the summer months. It is a year round release, right?

    Edit: Hey all, feel free to post up any beers you enjoy this time of year. I don't mean to look like I'm insisting on special releases only. I just happen to drink porters and stouts year round, so I don't think of them as winter beers. Actually what I think of as winter/holiday beers are the reds that I find cloyingly sweet and way high in alcohol. I tend not to prefer them so I started this post to get some options.
    Last edited by Slow Danger; 11-27-2012 at 07:34 PM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluestatevirgin View Post
    I've had the Velvet Merlin during the summer months. It is a year round release, right?
    Yes.

    Had it at the brewpub this weekend in Paso Robles along with a Double DBA.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus View Post
    Yes.

    Had it at the brewpub this weekend in Paso Robles along with a Double DBA.

    It is year round??? I thought it was their winter seasonal. Even says "Limited Release" on the bottle.
    "Any wheel size is better than sitting at a computer all day." -Myself

  25. #25
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    oct fest

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guerdonian View Post
    It is year round??? I thought it was their winter seasonal. Even says "Limited Release" on the bottle.
    Either way, the Merlin is my favorite of the Firestone beers...but I haven't had that double IPA yet.

  27. #27
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    Winter Warlock, by far the best seasonal beer I look forward to every year.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitechredneck View Post
    Winter Warlock, by far the best seasonal beer I look forward to every year.
    Oooohh, that is a good one, only obtained a bottle from Jfryauff a while ago, it was tasty.
    "Any wheel size is better than sitting at a computer all day." -Myself

  29. #29
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    Jubleale is very very nice this year. I just found Widmere Bourbon No.12 in the store the other day. I have been liking their Nelson NW ale so I gave the Bourbon beer a try. Very nice for around $4 a bomber and 9% Alcohol. Not too sure it is a Holiday beer, but on a cold snowy evening, I bet the little bourbon finish will make you think it is a holiday.

  30. #30
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    Haven't had Full Sail Wreck the Halls yet this year. But, I do like the name.
    I was gonna stop by and see you, but the Jehovas witnesses came by. When they left I started drinking. Voicemail from Paul

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by debaucherous View Post
    Haven't had Full Sail Wreck the Halls yet this year. But, I do like the name.
    It's not my favorite (see my post above), but it's surely in my top five!

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    Dirt, Ya tried the Abyss yet this season?. We have not gotten the shipment yet.

  33. #33
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    So I've been going through some holiday beers since starting this thread. I've had Sierra NV's Celebration, WInterbraun, Hub's Abominable Snowman, Snow Day from New Belg., Double Bastard, Gnome, and a few others I can't think of right now, but far and away the best still has been Terminal Gravity's Festivale. For me, nothing else has come close to beating it. I had a couple last night...after having one for the first time back when I started this thread. Even better the second time around. I don't know how available this beer is outside Oregon, but if you can get one, try a bottle. Out in six-packs.
    Last edited by Slow Danger; 12-07-2012 at 03:53 PM.

  34. #34
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    So far, Iíve been keeping warm thanks to the Jewbelation 16. 16 hops, 16 malts, and 16%ABV.
    QUOTE from MTBR.COM: You have given Brewtality too much Reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thom H View Post
    Dirt, Ya tried the Abyss yet this season?. We have not gotten the shipment yet.
    Yes! I missed the release party several weeks ago, and the vertical tasting, but it's still as good as ever!

  36. #36
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    Like a beer hug.

  37. #37
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    Great Lakes Christmas Ale!!

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by debaucherous View Post
    Haven't had Full Sail Wreck the Halls yet this year. But, I do like the name.
    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer View Post
    It's not my favorite (see my post above), but it's surely in my top five!
    I just grabbed a case of their Holiday Session lager.
    Great stuff!
    "A fine beer may be judged with only one sip, but it's better to be thoroughly sure."

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oaken View Post
    I just grabbed a case of their Holiday Session lager.
    Great stuff!
    I do like that. It's much better than their regular Session, or their Session Black Lager

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer View Post
    I do like that. It's much better than their regular Session, or their Session Black Lager
    I considered buying the holiday session at the store the other day, but checked myself because I had such a negative experience with the Black Lager Sessions. I'm gonna have to try this holiday session. I think the regular session is ok, at least in the way any flavorless beer is good. I've not had a lot of luck with the Full Sail beers, but I haven't tried them all. Got any Full Sail recommends outside this one?

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluestatevirgin View Post
    I've not had a lot of luck with the Full Sail beers, but I haven't tried them all. Got any Full Sail recommends outside this one?
    Try the Wreck the Halls...haven't had this year's yet, but I've usually enjoyed it. And, of course, there's Black Gold (Bourbon-aged imp stout) and Top Sail (Bourbon-aged imp porter) -- both really nice. Some of the vintage Black Gold is on the order of Abyss...

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guerdonian View Post
    Velvet Merlin is one I always look forward too. (this thread needs more pictures)


    I also really liked the Haandbryggeriet Nessefar i had last year, might try and find that again...



    Glad to hear the anchor christmas is good this year. I LOVED it a few years ago, but thought last 2 year were total duds. I will give it a go.
    Good stout but my complaint is that its called a oatmeal stout yet it's weak bringing the oatmeal flavor. Have some in the beer fridge so it's not all bad...lol
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  43. #43
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    Just picked this up last night.....not for the hop heads that's for sho.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Favorite Winter/Holiday beer of 2012...-jewbelation.jpg  

    Quote Originally Posted by k1creeker View Post
    "yeah, she's fat, but you'd take her for a ride."

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-FXR View Post
    Just picked this up last night.....not for the hop heads that's for sho.
    I want to try this but I know my wife won't like it and I'm not sure I should take a full one to the head.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-FXR View Post
    Just picked this up last night.....not for the hop heads that's for sho.
    Ha. I bought that one too because the beer store guy got it in and where I live he has a hard time moving some of the stranger creations. I like to support his adventurism, but he may know even less than I do about beer. I bought it without even realizing it was 16% alcohol. I was too scared to drink it by my lonesome, so I gave it as a gift. I think it only cost me a little over $5. I got a good deal.

    On a funny aside, the beer store dude also got a few of the Happy Chanukah 8 packs so you can have a different bottle of beer each night over the holiday. The beer store guy told me:

    "Hey, this 8 pack makes a great birthday gift because it comes with a glass you can break and some candles."

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus View Post
    I want to try this but I know my wife won't like it and I'm not sure I should take a full one to the head.
    I'd split it with ya, if you lived closer. Mine doesnít like it either, so more for me! Iíve been known to drink a bottle of port in a night tooÖso just buy one an enjoy it over a few hours. Trust me I love malty craft brews and this is in my top 3 all timeÖ.just a well balanced beer with a malt explosion.

    Ha. I bought that one too because the beer store guy got it in and where I live he has a hard time moving some of the stranger creations. I like to support his adventurism, but he may know even less than I do about beer. I bought it without even realizing it was 16% alcohol. I was too scared to drink it by my lonesome, so I gave it as a gift. I think it only cost me a little over $5. I got a good deal.
    On a funny aside, the beer store dude also got a few of the Happy Chanukah 8 packs so you can have a different bottle of beer each night over the holiday. The beer store guy told me:
    "Hey, this 8 pack makes a great birthday gift because it comes with a glass you can break and some candles."
    Seriously...it's one of the best craft beers Iíve ever had, and I never pass one up. I've had several of last yearís "15" and it's not a beer you'll consume quickly. Itís a strong beer but nothing to shy away from. $5 bucks!!!! WHAT!!! That is a killer price for it. I love beers that go off the beaten path and explore art making in beer, minus fruit and heavy hops, if you like a beer w/ malt type finishes do yourself a favor and pick this upÖ
    Thatís if you guys wonít drink it Iíll head over to TW&B and do my part to economically support Shmaltz Brewing tp appease the beer GodsÖ
    Quote Originally Posted by k1creeker View Post
    "yeah, she's fat, but you'd take her for a ride."

  47. #47
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    Agree with all the others on Anderson Valley Winter Solstice - it's always a good go-to. Other good ones I've been getting into in Colorado are Great Divide's Hibernation, Ska Brewery's Euphoria and Avery's Old Jubilation.
    All are pretty good, hearty winter/holiday beers.

  48. #48
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    I have Dechutes Jubelale, Ebinezer, and Santa's Little Helper as well. I have Rouges chocolate stout, while it's not a winter/holiday specific beer it does get an honorable mention, basically a chocolate bar in a bottle....yumm
    Quote Originally Posted by k1creeker View Post
    "yeah, she's fat, but you'd take her for a ride."

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thom H View Post
    Dirt, Ya tried the Abyss yet this season?. We have not gotten the shipment yet.
    Got a case of it.....I won't be opening it up until next year. Methods for it's proper care are being enacted and enforced. But last years is pouring very nicely! Also the Black Butte is tasty as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by k1creeker View Post
    "yeah, she's fat, but you'd take her for a ride."

  50. #50
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    New Fav.

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