Saturday, 30 January 2016

Christmas Eve at a New York City Hotel Room

Returning to Toronto after an xmas visit to New Brunswick, I found myself entirely starving and so ducked into Northern Belle, a little bar at the end of my street for a sandwich and a drink. While waiting some pulled pork, I tucked into an Imperial stout called Christmas Eve at a New York City Hotel Room--I was drawn in both by the Yuletide theme and by the sterling reputation of the brewer: Evil Twin Brewing--brewing this time out of Stratford, Connecticut. This beer was likely a bad idea to tear into on an empty stomach, as it contained a raunchy 10% alcohol. The only saving grace was that the bottle was only 355mL.

Jet black was the beer, opaque, and crowned with a quickly receding tan head. It had a malty aroma with deep notes of dark fruits--quite mild given the strength. The flavour proved to be quite interesting and not mild at all, with some heavy malty sweetness, raisin elements, and with a whiff of peat smoke that really sealed the deal. Bitterness was also well represented, particularly at the back end, where espresso and cacao flavours lurked. And, the stuff was boozy, but not oppressively.

This was really a lovely ale--warm, flavourful, and multifaceted. A great buy--well worth the $11 bucks I paid at the bar. Not as bitter as some Imperial stouts, but built around some lovely tastes.

Rating: 9.0 out of 10.

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