ClubGonzo's Spicy Christmas

Spicy Christmas by ClubGonzo, Spice/Herb/Vegetable, 7.4 % ABV, 38 IBU.

The previous ClubGonzo christmas beer I had was the fabulous I Hate Christmas, let’s see if this beefed up version is even better!

Spicy Christmas a.k.a. Batch No 14. I was so shocked by the alcohol attack that I forgot to take a picture before the glass was empty.

It starts out promising, it looks nice in the glass, even if the light-brown head is a bit small, reduces a bit too fast in size and doesn’t leave that much lacing on the glass. The body is clear with a dark brown colour with a red hue.

The aroma is strong and absolutely delicious! It’s quite malty and has some light yeasty hints, but most of all the sweet smell is dominated by christmas spices. I get nutmeg, clove and cinnamon. Also a faint vinous feel.

The taste is well balanced and nice, with a moderate sweetness and a moderate bitterness. Now, the flavours… Let’s mention the two positive things first: the taste is quite strong and there are some nice spicy notes of nutmeg and clove. But what in Ninkasi’s name what did you do to this beer? Poured in a few litres of solvent? Or is it nail polish remover? Or did you ferment this stuff at 30 degrees to really bring out the fusel? An overwhelming, stinging and horribly unpleasant alcohol flavour is totally dominating! The worst thing is that the heavy alcohol feel just increase in the aftertaste, making this stuff hard to drink. My dear ClubGonzo, I know that our opinions very often differ when it comes to how alcoholic a beer feels, but come on, even you have to find this one unpleasant?

The body is medium to full, the texture is oily and the carbonation is soft, and there is a light dryness in the finish.

Conclusion: A lovely aroma and some nice flavours, but the beer is hard to drink due to the violent solvent-like alcoholic feel.

Aroma:      8
Appearance: 4
Taste:      4
Palate:     2
Overall:    8
Ratebeer Score: 2.6


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2 comments on “ClubGonzo's Spicy Christmas

  1. No, actually I completely disagree on this one. The alcoholic strength, coupled with the spices, is in fact what makes this a nice, full-on spicy Xmas ale! As far as solvents go: I don’t get them at all, and I suspect that what you are getting are really the massive amounts of ginger-and-orange-peel-combo which boiled for around 20 minutes, and which you noticably omit in your review. I’ll counter your comment with “how can you NOT detect all the ginger and orange peel?” (Especially since the amount of clove is diminishing, there is very little cinnamon and NO nutmeg…spices can be tricky sometimes… ;-)).

    All in all this was my favorite Christmas beer this season, and although I’m planning something else for this year I strongly disagree with your rating. Which is half the fun, of course. 🙂

  2. You might be right… I admit that my rating sounds a bit strange since I didn’t pick up any notes of ginger or orange-peel, so it might be those elements that I identified as fusel. Or I might have a highly evolved higher alcohol detection capabilities. 🙂

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