Graham L. Barron's picture

Holly King

February, 2016

Holly King

Judges Rating: 
21 / 24
5 / 6
37 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

This holiday beer pours a deep amber color with perfect clarity and only a hint of a head. A very woody nose on this beer leaves no doubt that it spent a significant amount of time in an oak barrel. Strong notes of vanilla mix in with dark fruits, caramel and burnt sugar. There are no hops to be found and, surprisingly for a holiday beer, no spices either. Flavor follows suit with notes of plums, cherries, and a sugary, molasses-like sweetness that tastes like a burnt sugar cookie mixed with fruit cake. Oak and vanilla are just as prominent in the taste as in the aroma. The alcohol content is evident with a warming in the finish to go along with a slightly astringent woodiness. Overall, this is a medium-bodied, slightly sweet and warming beer that diverts from the more traditional holiday spiced beer formula and is perfect for winter sipping.