Mikkeller - A Red & White Christmas
Serving Temperature:45–53° F
Suggested Glassware:Tulip, Chalice, Goblet or Pinot Glass
Longstanding members of The Rare Beer Club will note that we also definitely have an affinity for Mikkeller’s limited-release holiday offerings (Santa’s Little Helper and the delicious Win Bic come to mind, first and foremost), and we’re loving Mikkeller’s approach to its latest wintertime release. A Red & White Christmas is a cross between imperial red ale (hence the “Red”) and Belgian-style witbier (hence the “White”), and we think this masterfully spiced result is a perfect antidote for when the weather turns cool.
This is equally matched to To Øl’s Snowball in its hefty 8% ABV, but it also manages to pull off that beer’s exceptional drinkability. Here, hops take a significantly amplified role, offering a dense, almost-pine-tree punch of hop bitterness to the tip of the tongue, while staying way too smooth and easy-drinking overall. A Red & White Christmas pours a hazy, almost-ruby-like auburn color, approaching cranberry in certain lights, capped by a mixed-bubbled foam of no small significance. Aromas of round coriander and earthy, pine-forward hop presence are backed up by dried orange, generous fruit leather, and a pop of those toasty core malts.
We’d happily drink this one year-round. The piney- and earthy-hop theme above is a major player in this beer, despite the holiday overtones, and don’t be fooled—those special additions of coriander seeds and Curacao peel are secondary notes here, additional touches of savory and citrus notes adding extra flourishes, helping further smooth out an incredible hoppy red ale.
Given the hop importance, we’re inclined to enjoy this one fresh. Still, those follow-up notes from the coriander and Curacao additions could be interesting with the hops dialed back a bit. As for pairings, the pine and complex hops seem promising beside a creamy, herbal goat cheese.
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