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The Twelve Beers of Christmas

Andrew Nagy
Posted: December 21, 2012

(continued from page 4)

PALATE: A bright, bubbly liquid that starts off with sweet apples and pomegranate flavors soon brings in a background of nutmeg and nuts, with a nice and long tart apple finish.

CIGAR: Cuba Aliados Capa Habano Cabinet Reserva Robusto (93 points) The hints of red wine from the smoke coax more fruit from the beer, creating a near-apricot taste  on the tongue. The bodies of the smoke and liquid balance each other well.

Firestone Walker's XVI Anniversary Ale
(13 percent a.b.v., $23 for a 650 ml bottle)

Since 2006, Firestone Walker has released a limited-edition anniversary ale. The unique aspect of this beer is its a blend of multiple barrel-aged beers that the company brews on a regular basis. All total, 226 oak barrels and eight different beers have found it's way into XVI, giving the beer a complexity that is out of this world. This year's blend includes 42 percent stout and liquid that has seen time in barrels that housed tequila.

APPEARANCE: Comes out of the bottle a dark brown, nearly cola color that, when held up to light, shows olive green and red tinge. Thin coat of espresso-colored lacing revive with a swirl of the glass.

NOSE: A complex, boozy fragrance settles to offer mocha, licorice, bubblegum, cacao and vanilla notes.

PALATE: A lovely, smooth mouthfeel, trace bourbon and brandy notes hit the tip of the tongue and release a ton of flavor: spiced cacao, roasted cocoa bean. The drying alcohol and caramel finish begs for smoke.

CIGAR: Arturo Fuente Ańejo No. 77 (93 points) The cigar's salty notes grab a hold of the malts and balance the ride to a sweet conclusion, elongating the cacao and mocha flavors.

Hangar 24's Hullabaloo Winter Beer (6.5 percent a.b.v., $9 for a four-pack of 12 oz. bottles)

A Scottish-style ale, this brew is a true winter warmer, as the hops are downplayed by the European and American malts.

APPEARANCE: Pours a burnt, reddish-brown with a decent, off-white head.

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