Friday, December 25, 2009

Warmer Winter Winter Warmer Ale

Merry Christmas! I pretty much started my holiday yesterday afternoon. Right before I quit work for the day, I shared a great RUN-DMC Christmas video with one of my coworkers. All that she asked me was, "Is Hollis in Pennsylvania?" which made my day. I didn't stop laughing for a long time!

We were out late at our friends' house for Christmas Eve. So although "up at 730 AM" didn't rival what we used to do to my parents, they didn't have us out after midnight and they didn't drink a ton of whiskey and wine either.

What a terrific morning! Great presents, my kids loved them, but we had some setbacks, nonetheless. Nothing super-dad can't overcome! Son's Netbook does not work without some network setup here. That is NOT my forte. Anyone? Chinese directions on the remote-control helicopter could prove fatal for the copter this afternoon. (hint: I don't read Chinese). Apparently the keyboard didn't come with it's A/C Adapter so it looks like I'm going to be battery poor by the time I call Casio and complain about the missing item. But heck, lots of work putting stuff together. Yet the smiles are totally worth it.

One more thing I plan on doing is sponsoring a child. We have been fortunate for so long and Christmas is one time to make sure your children get involved with charity and giving. I have a few charities in mind, but if you have further suggestions, I am open to them. I'd like a charity that has an impact in bringing children out of poverty, so anything linked to that, awesome!

Now it's my turn! My older kid on the streets somewhere with some remote control something with some other kids. Younger kid in my bed watching Toy Story 2. Me, I'm in the middle of a wine-sized bottle of Warmer Winter Winter Warmer Ale brewed by Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, Florida. Finally a Florida beer I am looking forward to, but although they are only across the way in Tampa, this is the first I've seen their beers here. I even asked their owner several months ago about that, and he mentioned they are working on expanding to the Miami market. The bottle mostly talks about what to expect in the beer, but does mention that the name of the beer is a little bit of play on words considering our 80 degree Christmases.

There are malty caramel and dark fruit scents to start. Very inviting! Mmmm. Chocolate with dark fruits, berries, and raisins open the flavors up so wonderfully. The 10% alcohol shows its way in right away as well, but like a candy with alcohol in the center or some beautiful cordial. Just works great! Caramel and malty, too, but any initial sweetness is balanced out by some citrus, orange and hops. As this (did I mention) wine bottle warmed up a bit, some definite smokiness crept into the profile, along with some light burnt and toasted flavors. Medium to full-body, nice and chewy. Great for winter, as I just turned up the air conditioner. Still rich toward the end, and the alcohol is still noticeable, but it's not really a burner or a warmer (YET). Just a super-great compliment to the entire experience. Smokey chocolate is left on your palate and lasts forever! I'm not sure that Cigar City has that great of distribution, considering they barely get to my local market. (I could drive there in less than 2 hours). But if you can get your hands on this beer, or are willing to import yourself to their extremely local territory, you should try this beer! Hands down terrific! I have another bottle. Call me if you want to split it!

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