Thursday, December 15, 2011

North Peak Blitzen Festivus Ale - Craft Beer Review #160

Here is what the Brewer says:
North Peak Blitzen is a Festivus Ale with raisin, current and berry notes attributed to Bramling Cross hops, 3 types of Crystal malts, Cara and Chocolate malt. A combination of citrus peel and citrus pith flavors are accented by the Hercules, Cascade and Pilgrim hops added throughout the boil. Riwakas’ subtle spiciness in combination with the crisp spiciness from the Rye malt liberates flavors reminiscent of savory holiday cakes. This is a well balanced, rich, Festivus Ale that will warm the palate and soul, awakening memories of holidays past. It is brewed in Traverse City, MI, on Old Mission Peninsula incorporating locally grown hops.
ABV: 6.8% IBUs: 55
My Thoughts:

Look: This beer poured a dark brown/plum color with an inch of head after a medium pour.  The head quickly diminished, but a fair amount of lacing remained throughout.

Smell: The nose on this beer was very light.  Faint hints of plum, raisin, and burnt sugar were all that I could detect.  Based on the nose, I didn't expect much from this beer.

Taste: Where the nose fell short, the flavor does come through nicely.  The raisin and burnt sugar that was faint on the nose is much more prevalent in the taste.  There are also notes of citrus bitterness throughout, but especially in the second half.  I also detected a faint chocolate flavor mid-drink into the finish.  This brew is well balanced in terms of sweet and bitter notes that play off each other.  This beer is nothing like your spiced Christmas ale.  It brings in other flavors of the holiday season in a mild and very pleasing manner.

Mouthfeel:  The body on this beer was medium to slightly full with an above average carbonation level.  Both of these factors provided a very nice mouthfeel to go along with the flavors.

Drinkability: I found this beer very easy to drink at 6.8% with no noticeable alcohol anywhere in the taste. This would be a very tasty alternative to all of the spiced winter ales because of its balance of sweetness and bitterness.

Serving Type: 12oz bottle
My Rating: Overall 78.8/100
Look:4 | Smell:3 | Taste:4.2 | MouthFeel:4.2 | Drinkability:4.2

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