The Bruery in Placentia, California. This beer is 75% Belgian-Style Dark Ale and 25% Ale Aged in French Oak Barrels. As usual, an excellent wine-bottle presentation with the standard shield on the front. The green background is accented nicely with an orange-red trim.
This is of course the third verse of their Twelve Beers of Christmas series. There is a fleur-de-lis inside the C in French, but I don't think these guys have become Saints fans. That would be much too tall an order for any mortal! While I've had this for many months, I've not had it anywhere near the nine years they say it can be aged.
I drank 2 Turtle Doves last year and did not like it one bit, so here's hoping for a different outcome this time around. The label also says WÆS HÆIL! meaning Be Well in Old English and forming our current word Wassail. Finally, serve this at 50 degrees F.
Prunes, raisins, and cherries in the nose share spotlight with a nice caramel and brown sugar aroma. Sweet candy and brown sugar meet some lightly tart cherry flavors right in the beginning. A bit of the 10% alcohol shows up about that time to give some alcoholic qualities to the raisins and plums, yet does not provide any warmth or burn. That is AOK with me, too--great! Caramel and cocoa nuances keep the sweetness theme going, while some yeast character and spicy flavors, perhaps some cinnamon, add some additional intricacies.
Woody flavors are noticeable and not overdone for my anti-wood palate, spot on. Nice body, rich but not syrupy at all. Creamy smooth, too. I will say that the sweetness gets a bit tiring after a while, but overall, this was a very tasty beer. Thank God I can say 3 > 2 and I don't need to write another controversial Math Theorem. Check it out if you have the opportunity.
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