Breckenridge Brewery has delivered its Christmas Ale every year for more than 20 years. You’d think that after releasing a beer that consistently over time that something would change. Well, thankfully, not much has as it has been a holiday staple of Breckenridge’s winter lineup year after year.
Taking the concept one step further, Breckenridge has found new ways to innovate upon the beer’s very concept. What is perhaps Christmas Ale’s greatest innovation is the interesting and tasty, Holidale. This ale has been aged in whiskey barrels, giving beer drinkers a new taste of what Christmas Ale is.
Breckenridge decided to age their winter seasonal in whiskey barrels and man, does the whiskey taste show up in spades. From first taste, beer drinkers will easily be able to detect the whiskey notes. In fact, if you aren’t a whiskey fan, you may be chased away by the firmness of those notes.
As a whiskey lover, that taste was not bothersome at all. In fact, after several sips it became an enjoyable aspect of what became a very smooth and balanced ale. The whiskey barrels also produce tastes of oak, in addition to caramel hints during the middle part of the palate.
The Holidale does come with the note that drinkability isn’t as high as some other dark beers you’ll drink this winter. Given the intensity of whiskey and the high alcohol content, you’ll want to be choosy about when you enjoy a Holidale. That said, it is a treat for whiskey lovers as well as those who simply want to see Christmas Ale in a different light.
I recommend enjoying Holidale as a dessert or post-meal beer. It is the perfect ale for cozying up on the couch in front of a roaring fire. The brew does pair well with chocolate or warm baked goods like a brownie. For those heading up to the mountains this winter, make sure you have a few Holidales with you to enjoy the views.
Holidale comes with an International Bitter Units (IBUs) rating of 22. Its alcohol content packs some heft with its 10.3 percent alcohol by volume (ABV). Seasonals can carry a higher alcohol content and the 22oz. bottle that Holidale is available in should signal as much.
Holidale, like Christmas Ale, will be available from now until the end of December. For those interested in what is inside of Breckenridge’s Christmas Ale, check out our review for more. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on craft beer.