Monday, December 29, 2014

Holiday Cheer On A Sunday Afternoon

Colleen and I headed down to Capital Ale House for lunch Sunday afternoon. Just before we left the house I saw the pub's update to their Facebook page noting that they had the Redskins - Cowboys game on the TVs behind the bar. Crud, I thought, I hope there's not a crowd. I shouldn't have worried, few people were there watching the game. (And for good reason it seems.) We heard the list of "seasonal" beers from our bartender and settled in to enjoy some holiday cheer.

One of the beers was Hardywood Park Gingerbread Stout, served on nitro. I've had this beer previously, and despite the hype around it, found it good, but not exceptional. Colleen particularly enjoys the nitro serving, so opted for a glass of this seasonal. It was actually quite enjoyable; the nitro seemed to soften the astringency we noted in the past.

My beer of choice was Delirium Noël. I saw this one get tapped during a recent visit to Capital Ale House but didn't have the chance to order a glass. The ruby-red beer has a faint caramel and spice aroma. The flavor is surprisingly mild, with dark fruits and raison, some caramel and bready notes, with a touch of sweetness. The 10% ABV is extremely well-masked.

After what seemed an exceptionally long wait, our food arrived. By then I needed a refill. I decided to  keep with the holiday beer theme and try a glass of N'Ice Chouffe. Darker than Delirium Noël, this Winter Warmer also checks in at 10%ABV. The flavor profile is a bit bolder; with more robust dark fruit flavors, more malt and a tad sweeter. The alcohol was more prominent than the previous beer, but still unsettlingly hidden.

N'ice Chouffe and Gingerbread Stout

Coincidently, another couple sat down next to us, and I heard the gentleman tell the bartender he was "debating between the Noël and the Chouffe." As he was handed two samples, I offered my opinion that the Delirium Noël was the better of the two. That was the one he selected, and he must have enjoyed it as before too long he ordered a second.

Soon we had had enough of the football game (there's a reason I not a fan of professional sports) and Cialis ads, so we headed out into the rain to head home. Despite the wet weather, I remarked to Colleen that it was odd to be walking out into 60° weather at the end of December. Not that I'm complaining. The holiday beers provided good start to another week of vacation.

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