HTBN Beer Advent Calendar

advcalartLast year Hoppy Trails Beer News published My Twelve Beers of Christmas. This year we are upping it to 25 classy winter warmers from local and national brewers. Starting December 1, we will open a new winter brew every day through Christmas.

In addition to posting our responses and thoughts about the beer, we will include ratings from popular beer reviewers like Beer Advocate (BA) and Rate Beer (RB). You can keep up with us on Twitter. @Bob_at_HTBN – or #25beersofadvent.

The page was getting a little long, so I put all the reviews and beer info from the first three weeks here.

December 1-25

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12/22 – Winter from Alaskan Brewing, Juneau, AK

ABV 6.4% – IBU 22 – RB 72 – BA 83 – Untappd 3.49

Brewed in the style of an English Olde Ale, this ale balances the sweet heady aroma of spruce tips with the clean crisp finish of noble hops. Its malty richness is complemented by the warming sensation of alcohol.

HTBN Review – Oh so good. Spruce tips are subtle but there with other interesting flavors. Nice job Alaskan Brewing.

12/23 – Pray for Snow from 10 Barrel Brewing, Bend, OR

ABV 7.6% – IBU 75 – RB 93 – BA 83 – Untappd 3.68

This delicately balanced Strong Ale starts with dark copper color mixed with slight reddish hues and a light tan head. Big malty aroma with a Munich character give way to a slight caramel & toffee mixed with spicy noble hop aroma, all wrapped together with a medium-bodied mouth feel. German malt flavor profile with slight roasty notes give Pray for Snow a subtle toffee sweetness balanced with spicy hop bitterness and slight alcohol warming. Served appropriately in a classic snifter.

HTBN Review – Hold the cookies and milk. Set this beer out for Santa. This is a surprisingly good beer. The 70 IBU must be a typo because the roasty maltedness takes the front seat on this one.

12/24 – Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewery in Denver, CO

ABV 8.7% – IBU 37 – RB 98 – BA 90 – Untappd 3.68

Our celebrated winter tradition since 1995. This robust, dry-hopped ale has a malty richness balanced with a complex hop profile and hearty, warming character.

HTBN Review – Robust and malty. Lots of rich warming flavors to go with a higher than most ABV. Very easy to drink. Very complex and mildly hopped. I would have another – NOW!

12/25 – Cozy Sweater from Iron Horse Brewery in Ellensburg, WA

ABV 4.5% – IBU 22 – RB 81 – BA 81 – Untappd 3.59

Here we’ve taken a dark and chocolatey beer foundation and added a few twists. The addition of lactose has the benefit of adding a smooth and round mouthfeel, plus a touch of sweetness. On top of what could already be considered a revelation in a bottle, we decided to throw in a hint of vanilla, because who doesn’t appreciate overdoing it?

HTBN Review – This is the last beer on the calendar. I have liked this in previous years. I hope it is as good this year as I remember it.

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And the favorite beer from the 2013 HTBN Beers of Advent is (drum roll) . . . . .

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 COMMENTS Have a comment or suggestion for the readers? Write to bobshoemaker@hoppytrailsbeernews.com and I will put all tasteful posts on this site.