9. Lagunitas (Sucks) – Holiday Ale (Brown Shugga substitute)

Because Santa only drinks Coke

If you haven’t already, hurry up and get into the Christmas Spirit!

You have less than two weeks to join the masses and get all those presents picked out.  Don’t forget Grandpa George, Aunt Ellen, or Cousin Jonathan; your great-great-great-uncle-five-times-removed William’s neighbor’s daughter Edna will never forgive you if you slight her again this year!  If you’re shopping online, I recommend giving this a look (you still have time!).  I really must emphasize that you shop online.  Nobody wants to be stuck in a mall the week before Christmas.

image: xkcd.com

Speaking of Christmas Spirit, it seems that every radio station is playing Christmas music.  Personally, I’m already tired of Christmas music.  It’s the same stuff every year.  Over and over and over and over and over, etc.  Has anyone released a new Christmas song?  It reminded me of this graphic over at xkcd.com (shown at right).  We’ve been listening to the same Christmas songs for about 50 years now.  Apparently it’s impossible to write something better than Silver Bells (or as is inferred by the comic, Baby Boomers love tradition).  I know Dave Matthews and U2 tried to write a couple, but you hardly hear them.  I’m sure Celine Dion has something, and I think I even remember N’Sync writing something (or more accurately: singing something someone else wrote).  None of these new songs seem to stick.  Oh well.  I guess Christmas is all about tradition.  Or at least tradition 50 years ago.

Since I’m trying to get into the Christmas Spirit, I’ll be reviewing a couple Christmas beers.  This week it’s the Lagunitas (Sucks) Holiday Ale (Brown Shugga substitute).
Every year around Christmas time, Lagunitas releases the Brown Shugga.  It’s a delicious beer.  It’s a beer that many people look forward to.  If you were one of those people, you were disappointed this year.  Due to production issues, Lagunitas had to replace the Brown Shugga with a different beer.  And, based on the name they gave it, they’re sorry they didn’t ship out the Brown Shugga.

Sight:  The Holiday Ale is yellow in color and crystal clear, similar to a macro lager.  It has a thin white head that faded fairly quickly.

Smell:  The aroma is very hoppy and floral.  It has a slight fresh-cut-grass smell.

Taste:  Very hoppy (which for a holiday ale, it’s very uncharacteristic).  There’s a light maltiness (but nothing heavy).  It has a rye-like spiciness with a big hoppy flavor at the end.  It finishes up surprisingly clean with very little bitterness.

My overall grade: B+

It’s not the Brown Shugga, but it’s not bad.  I’ll give you a break this year, Lagunitas.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to hum a bit of Frosty the Snowman.

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