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Christmas Beer Review #2-6: An Inebriation Of Ales – Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, Mud City Stout, Deuchars Imperial Pale Ale, Huber Bock, St Peter’s Christmas Ale

Christmas Eve Beeringen

A nice pre-Christmas get together with my Dad and step-Mum for some Thai food (thanks to the amazing Yod Siam restaurant and their swift takeaway skills) has lead to the general destruction of my careful plans for a steady series of beer reviews. We’ve drunk five different beers this evening so I’m just going to have to deal with them all together or lose any hope of keeping up.

Day Two: Diversity Thy Name Is Beer

I may have mentioned that we’d well stocked the garage beer cupboard, so in preparation for parental arrival I randomly selected a group of my favourites and a couple of randoms. Inevitably we drank all of them, but wisely shared them by swapping pints at the third point. It’s a great way of trying a wide range fairly quickly. We had a very nice evening!

Christmas Ales 2-6

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout – 5.2% 500ml, by Wells & Youngs

This accompanied my delightful chicken balls and green Thai curry. It’s proven an endlessly reliable rich drink and I’m pleased to discover that it also goes well with Thai food. It might not have the kick of the Russian Imperial Stout I was drinking yesterday, but this is a very enjoyable longer drink with strong chocolate flavours (as you’d hope) and is really quite quaffable. I may venture out this evening to find another one.

Rating: Excitable Toucan

Mud City Stout – 6.6% 500ml, by Sadlers

We found this a while ago on the bargain beer shelves of Beeston. It’s slightly richer (and stronger) than the Double Chocolate Stout and I think is probably the better beer overall. It’s thicker in the taste as it rolls around your mouth. It’s the beer that reminded me just how fond I am of stouts this year: many thanks Messrs Sadler. I’ve been happy to introduce folks to this one for a while now, though I’ve yet to have the pleasure of finding it anywhere on draft.

Rating: Black Panther Extremist

Deuchars Imperial Pale Ale –  5.2% 500ml, by Caledonian

Y’know those pubs that don’t have anything you really want to drink? Straightforward Deuchars IPA  is one of the beers that I’ll take as a fall-back drink in those cases. I was quite excited when my other half stumbled across this Imperial version. In some way it harkens back to the days of empire when we had good strong beer all the time. It’s a much richer, rounded taste that stays in your mouth after swallowing. That’s a good thing in case you were wondering. It’s vastly superior to the vanilla IPA and I’d commend it to you.

Rating: Octogoat Overachiever

Huber Bock – 5.5% 330ml, by Minhas Brewery

Another random acquisition – spotted yesterday for 79p in B&N Bargains. I’ve always drunk Superbock when at Nando’s but had never especially noted  the ‘bock’ part of the name. Finding another prompted me to finally look the things up properly… educational! This is a very tasty malty lager, rather dark in colour. It’s quite sweet and very smooth and I’m happily impressed. It also got a boozy nod of approval from both my beer-educated parents. I shall certainly be seeking more of this American bounty. Why can’t all the vile shitty lagers we make in this country taste like this? Are they just too good for the Walkabout scum?

Rating: Komodo Dragon

St Peter’s Christmas Ale – 7.0% 500ml, by St Peter’s Brewery

I must confess to not having been thrilled by St Peter’s beers in the past, but I’m always suckered back in by the old-fashioned flask shaped bottles. Plus these were in the 4 for a fiver at Tesco… It’s a strong fruity beer that is definitely the best of their brews I’ve tasted so far. It has less of an alcohol tang than some of their other drinks – I think that’s what I didn’t always enjoy before; I’ve drunk plenty of equally strong beers that don’t have that sharp alcohol spike in them. But really I have nothing bad to say about this Christmas Ale – I may have another on Christmas day itself I enjoyed it so much.

Rating: Minced Reindeer


I also had a bottle of Huber Bock while wrapping Christmas presents and watching Pitch Black last night. The sequels are so utterly terrible they almost, almost undermine how fun the original was:


And how awful the sequels are (I can’t bear to repeat the last one):


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