Merry Christmas (a day late) and Happy Holidays! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend celebrating with friends and family, and that it included a number of delicious beers. I am enjoying a large variety of styles over the holidays, from hop-bomb IPAs to malty stouts and barleywines. In my opinion you don’t need a specific style for the holiday season, anything delicious will do. There are a number of breweries that make holiday themed beers, and to be honest there aren’t many that I enjoy on a regular basis. Many of them are heavily spiced, which is never something I’ve enjoyed. Belgian style holiday ales are an exception, the dark malts and expressive yeast flavors can hold up to adjunct additions resulting in complex and flavorful beers that work well with the holiday season. One Belgian style holiday ale that I sampled for the first time this weekend was Blitzen, a Belgian strong dark ale from Lamplighter Brewing Company in Cambridge. Blitzen is available for a limited time at the brewery for samples, drafts and growler fills.
Lamplighter Blitzen pours a deep reddish brown with a moderate cream colored head. The scent is a mixture of dark fruit from the malts and esters from the yeast. The yeast leads the flavor, notes of pear, clove and nutmeg. This is complemented by plenty of malt flavor, touches of date, plum, toffee and bread dough. There are minimal hops, just a touch at the end to keep the sweetness from the malt in check. Blitzen is a full bodied sipper, but goes down pretty easy for a beer with 8.8% ABV. The finish is dry with some fruity yeast and malt sweetness lingering on the tongue. I really enjoyed Lamplighter Blitzen, it is the perfect style of beer to celebrate the holidays with! Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.
Previous Lamplighter Reviews: