Wednesday, December 24, 2014

2014 Advent Beer 24: Entendez Noël

At last, we come to the final selection for this year's Craft Beer Advent Calendar. I won't be drinking it tonight, as this cold has played havoc with both my olfactory and taste receptors, and this beer seems just a little too good to waste at this particular moment!
Entendez Noël comes from Sound Brewing in the U.S., and is a Belgian-style Quadrupel, meaning it has effectively been fermented four times, resulting in both a tasty and complex beverage, as well as a prodigious 11.5% ABV. I rather like these Trappist-type ales, and generally find them to be a crisp, fruity, bready treat, with a bit of sweetness as well as the aforementioned potency, which makes them an ideal fit for the Christmas season.

With any luck, I should have the opportunity to sample it in the next day or two, and can update this post with my impressions at that time. It's too bad, though; I have the right kind of glass for it, we are going to be up for a while yet picking and opening one present each...

Oh, what the hell, let's open it now, and let the devil take the hindmost! A meteor could hit the house tonight and I'd never know how it tasted...
Entendez Noëlpours a slightly cloudy but delightful shade of amber, and even my diminished capacities can pick up the yeasty, fruity goodness of the bouquet. There is only a wispy head that quickly takes its leave except for a trace around the rim of the glass, and moderate, if tiny, carbonation overall.

Hints of crisp apple and tart grapefruit mingle with the breadiness, and the high amount of alcohol gives very little additional sweetness or 'hot' taste. An ideal beer for Xmas Eve, meant to be cradled in the hand and enjoyed over a period of time, preferably with friends or loved ones. And robust enough to penetrate even my addled senses and assert its quality, although I should perhaps have another after I have recovered, just to make sure...

I hope you've enjoyed my meandering observations this third go-round with this wonderful tradition; I think this year's edition holds up pretty well, although not quite so many creative entries (smoked beer, fruit beers, etc) as previous editions. I will need to review my posts and receding memories to be sure, but at this point, the Icelandic stout, Gædingur is probably my favourite of the lot, although there were a number of entries I would be only too happy to revisit!

Wherever you are this long, dark and Holy night, whether on your own or with those you love, with a beer or a glass of milk, I hope your Christmas is as Merry as possible, and that some of the grace and peace this holiday is meant to be about comes to you and yours over the next few days.

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