Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Advent Beer 24: Rudolph Winter Warmer

I'm not sure how they decided which beer coincided with each day of this magnificent calendar, but the last two were probably my favourites, although, in the case of tonight's final beer, that may be situational.

Bad Attitude's strong beer, Rudolph Winter Warmer, tops out the scales at 8.34%, and pours out a murky amber colour, like a rich apple cider. Very sweet in how it presents, there are hints of caramel, and the warming notes hinted at in the name are definitely there. Other web sites describe this as an American strong beer, but I've never heard of such a style. It reminded me of some of the Belgian style ales (dubbels, triples,etc) than anything else. It is representative of a type of beer you would probably not have more than one of in a sitting, but a great way to end an evening.

The lovely lady holding the bottle is my mum, Helen. This is our first Christmas without my Dad being around since he passed in May of this year. We have travelled to her snowbird home in the southern Okanagan, at the edge of the Sonoran arid bio-zone, which for all intents and purposes, is a desert.

We sat in a church unfamiliar to all of us tonight, hearing familiar songs and stories, and when the minister spoke of how some people might experience a difficult Christmas, with an empty seat at the table, it obviously sank home pretty soundly.

Still, even traversing Rogers's Pass in the dead of winter in order to experience Christmas in a motel room is pleasant enough, if you do it for the right reasons, and with the right company. After church, we went back to Mum's RV, and had some ham, and cheese, and spinach dip, and an amazing salsa made with cabbage (cole slawlsa?), and the garliciest home made dill pickles I have ever had. I had my beer, and we all had some port, and we talked about what a great Christmas this one had been, and some good ones from the past, and it was awesome.

So when I tell you that this Rudolph Winter Warmer was one of my favourite beers of the two dozen I got to experience over Advent, please bear in mind that there is a multitude of situational context that contributed to that enjoyment that would be difficult, if not impossible, to replicate.

I really hope this doesn't put anyone else off trying, however, and hope all of you enjoy your Christmas beverage of choice, and the people you share it with, in the spirit of the season.

Merry Christmas, and God bless.


"There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say," returned the nephew. "Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round -- apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that -- as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!"

Excerpt from "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens

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