- Samuel Smith's Winter Warmer (2011-12 vintage). I have such a soft spot for the SS Warmer. I still recall a Thanksgiving several years ago when a friend also visiting family in CT stopped by our hotel room with a bottle of seriously vintage SS Winter Warmers. Not because he collected them or anything, he just wandered into a gas station selling them for cheap 'cause they were old. He loved the Winter Warmers and scooped up pretty much the rest of the stock. God, they aged great. But I digress! The Samuel Smith Winter Warmer is on the list of the Anchor Christmas and Sierra Nevada Celebration that I look forward to every holiday season. For a winter beer, it pours out quite light- a dark gold, which is somewhat unusual. But it's all malty biscuits and warming without going down "hot." Tom says it tastes like Christmas in a glass. I don't know that I'd put that description on it (I'd reserve that for the Anchor Christmas Ale line) but it is damn delicious and dangerously drinkable.
- Trader Joe's Christmas Ale as brewed by Unibroue (2008 vintage.) This beer has taken me all night to drink- at first sip it was OK but somewhat flat in the flavor department. This is one of those beers that NEED to warm up to let the flavors develop. About the same color (maybe a tweak darker) as the Samuel Smith, it is aged and smooth and goddamn wonderful.
Tomorrow- 10-10-10 and 11-11-11 Stone Vertical tasting! And other stuff, one assumes.