Holiday beers. I usually hate 'em. I think it's the overused, artificial "holiday spices" in them that just rub my palate the wrong way. (Rewind to 7 years ago, and my all-time favorite seasonal beer was Harpoon Winter Warmer. I think I drank too many of them).
Brewery: Block 15, Corvallis, Oregon (I've only been to their new Tap Room (they have two locations in Corvallis), and it has a great atmosphere - with delicious food and plenty of fresh beers on tap!)
What: Figgy Pudding 2015
Tasting Notes: Let's be honest upfront: this beer isn't amazing fresh (Block 15 suggests aging it, and I do, too!), but when it comes to holiday brews - per my note above - it's a solid choice. After fermentation, Figgy Pudding is aged in brandy barrels and then seasonal gems - like mission figs, cinnamon, and nutmeg - are added to the mix. Fresh, and on tap, I loved the sweet molasses, subtle dark fruits, and real notes of cinnamon and nutmeg (vs. the artificial, powdery stuff). It's a strong brew, but also one that's worth savoring and sipping.
Pairing Suggestion: This beer has a lot going on, so I really just enjoyed it on its own. However, I can see it pairing well with a festive holiday feast, or even "heavier" cheeses for a holiday party appetizer (I'm thinking goat cheese or a nice aged cheddar, for example).
Where Can I Find It? At either one of Block 15's locations. (Or, find an Oregon friend who will send you some ;)). It's also been on tap at a few places around Oregon, so check Untappd to see where you can try a glass near you.
Are you a fan of holiday beers? If yes, what's your favorite?