Thursday, April 23, 2009

Marin Brewing Co: Hoppy Holidaze

Happy Holidays everyone!
Sorry for that. It's not even remotely close to the holiday season. In fact it almost hit 100° in my neck of the woods this week. Despite the hot weather, a spiced beer sounded tasty so I picked one up at the liquor store.

I went with Marin Brewing Company's Hoppy Holidaze: a powerful ale spiced with nutmeg, mace, orange peel, cinnamon, and vanilla. There is a lot going on in this beer and spices hit the palate hard on every sip. Sloshing through all the flavors it becomes quite clear that the nutmeg dominates. A slight orange flavor is present but I couldn't detect any cinnamon or vanilla. After the beer warms and the bubbles fade, some hops emerge along with a hint of booze. Believe it or not, the alcohol really compliments this beer as it is hard to distinguish the booze flavors from the nutmeg and mace tastes. I'm glad the nutmeg works well with the alcohol, as this ale tops out at 7% abv. Without the strong spices, it could be more difficult to drink.

Overall all the flavors fit together quite nice. While 'Hoppy Holidaze' is a clear play on words for a beer to match the strong flavors of a holiday feast, it's not the hoppiest beer in the world. If I worked for Marin Brew Co's marketing department I might have gone with "Naughty or Spice" and focus on the intense spices instead of emphasizing the hops. Either way when the holiday season comes you should give this brew a try. Or don't wait and try it now. It worked for me. Cheers.

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