ClubGonzo’s Warming Christmas

Warming Christmas by ClubGonzo, Spice/Herb/Vegetable / Mead, 9.5% ABV, 43 IBU.

This is probably one of the most experimental brews I’ve ever had. A beer with several syrups, candi sugar and oak aged mead. Wow.


ClubGonzo’s Warming Christmas, aka. batch 32.

It pours a dark amber to orange body that is slightly hazy. The head is very light brown and leaves some lacing on the glass.

The aroma is strong, sweet and lovely. Distinct notes of dark dried fruits, sweet caramel, burnt sugar, honey and an overall vinous feel.

The taste is moderate to heavy sweet with a moderate bitter long-lasting finish. It feels fairly well balanced.

The strong flavours are dominated by the dried dark fruits, but there is also spices that I didn’t pick up in the aroma, also wood. There is too much alcohol mid-palate, but it gives way for some lovely sweet honey notes in the late finish.

Is it a beer? Is it a mead? No, it's a braggot!

Is it a beer? Is it a mead? No, it’s a braggot! [edit: it turns out that this isn’t a braggot,  see comment from the brewer below]

The body is full and has a nice, creamy texture. The carbonation is moderate to soft, hints of dryness in the finish.

Conclusion: an extremely interesting and complex brew that is both tasty and drinkable. A pleasant surprise!

Aroma:      8/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      7/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:    13/20
Ratebeer score: 3.6/5.0

One comment on “ClubGonzo’s Warming Christmas

  1. One of those “Terje-likes-my-beer-better-than-me”-cases. 😉 I found this one to be far too sugary in its flavor components; the syrups, while comprising only 10 % of the total grist, dominated far more than I wanted them too, resulting in a much drier, light-bodied and alcoholic beverage than expected. I actually added the oak aged mead just to add some complexity to the otherwise rather surprisingly straight-forward sugaryness of the brew. Oh well, there have been good feedbacks from others as well, so maybe my dismay lies primarily in the fact that I didn’t succeed in brewing the full-bodied Xmas ale with hints of syrups, as was the intention… It’s not bad per se, but I probably would have landed on 3.1-3.4 or something like that.

    Fact fixer: to call a beer “braggot”, at least 25 % of the initial grist must be honey. This one is merely a blend of mead (pre-made) and beer, and the total amount consists of far less; around 2,5 liters on a 28 liter batch. 🙂

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