Barrel of Monks Brewing - Father Christmas 2022
Serving Temperature:50–57° F
Suggested Glassware:Chalice, Goblet, Tulip, or Snifter Glass
Barrel of Monks Father Christmas is a Belgian-style holiday strong ale brewed with European malt and hops, a classic Belgian yeast strain, and gently accented with holiday spices.
Father Christmas pours a deep-dark cola color capped by medium-brown foam, exhibiting solid retention and a bit of lacing around the edges of our glasses. We found generous levels of cola, brown sugar, and smooth spicing in the initial aromatics. Nicely developed Belgian-style yeast characteristics were focused around clove, ripe fruitiness, and subtle black pepper. Pleasant core caramelization and expressive floral and fruit notes: ripe pear, apple, and dark berries. From the initial approach, this strong ale proves to be a beautiful combo of complex Belgian yeast character, dark specialty malts, expressive ripe fruits, and subtle spicing. This is exactly what we’re looking for from a strong, Belgian-style holiday ale.
It's medium-full to full in body, with vibrant underpinning carbonation along with fresh, ripe fruit elements keeping this super lively. There’s expressive Belgian yeast character bringing along some delicious white pepper and clove notes. Nice core bitterness that tempers the generous caramelization and sweet, yeast-driven fruitiness throughout this beer. This Barrel of Monks Father Christmas is very lively on the palate overall, as we’d expect from the best of Belgian-style holiday releases, bringing a ton of complexity but still staying super easy to dig into and very flexible in terms of pairing options. Significant dark berries, impressive complexity from the specialty-malt additions, and just loads of toffee and caramels and subtle chocolate tying everything together. A beautiful Belgian-style holiday ale. Lasting finish of toasty clove and white pepper, lingering generous caramel and toffee, and some vibrant red fruits to the end.
Per the brewery, this vintage aged release should age gracefully for years. Father Christmas is bottle-conditioned and exhibits a potent ABV—suggesting this should have plenty of life ahead. For pairings, we’d look to the core notes for guidance: generous pepper and clove, vibrant fruitiness, and significant core caramelization have us looking to a variety of pork and turkey options. Perfect for the holidays, and as flexible as you’d expect from a well-handled, Belgian-style offering.
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