Archive for January, 2010

70 – Hoppin Frog Frosted Frog Christmas Ale

Hoppin Frog Frosted Frog Christmas Ale

Located in Akron Ohio, Hoppin Frog has quickly turned into one of my favorite breweries on the east coast. Brewmaster Fred was gracious enough to give us an interview at Steel City Big Pour 2008 and it was love at first hop.

Hoppin Frog Frosted Frog Christmas Ale
brewery: Hoppin Frog –
beer website: Frosted Frog Christmas Ale
style: Winter Warmer
abv: 8.6%
serving size: 22oz
glass used: pint glass
price: $7.99

The essence of Christmas is captured in this very bottle you are holding. Perfectly blended spices compliment Frosted Frog’s rich malt flavors, creating the ultimate Christmas experience. Celebrate the holidays as you savor this very special seasonal offering.

What I think
Christmas has been over for close to a month now and I’m fed up with winter but one sniff of this warmer and I was ready for a night chillin by the fire. The spices are dominate but not so much in a way you think you’re inhaling potpourri, it’s a  feel like you walked into grandma’s kitchen on Christmas day. First taste… gingerbread. Oh yeah, spoon is having flashbacks to the pretend holidays experiences he never had. Smooth, soothing and a malty finish. Oh heck I’m just gonna say it. It’s like a glass of milk (or soy milk for my lactose intolerant brothers!) and gingerbread men. Ungodly amazing! This did come in a 22oz which by the end I was satisfied and could take a nap… and I did, for 2 hours, it was better than any other nap in the history of naps.  I love you Hoppin Frog! Solid finish with a medium sweetness and mild spice.

Oh yeah, if you’re a homebrewer looking for bottles you want to stock up on these empties. The labels peel off perfectly and leave no glue.

Spoon’s rating: A


69 – Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve 2008/09

2008 on the left, 2009 on the right.

I do stupid adventurous things even when people tell me not to and this is one of those moments. Actually this was an “I really don’t know what will happen… spoon will do it!”. The 2008 bottle above is left over from the case I bought after Christmas 08 and reviewed. While cleaning my basement I noticed that behind a 6pack of beers I was aging, a few bottles of  2008 Santa’s Private Reserve were hanging out. In the name of science I rushed out to buy the 2009 bottle and see how it would hold up. I was fair and cleansed my palate after each beer. Do not try this at home. You’ll hate yourself. Trust me.

Santa’s Private Reserve
brewery: Rogue Brewing –
beer website: Santa’s Private Reserve
style: Red Ale
abv: 6%
serving size: 12oz
glass used: pint glass
price: $41/case in 2008, $3.75 bottle in 2009

Rogue’s annual holiday offering, Santa’s Private Reserve, is a variation of the classic Saint Rogue Red, but with double the hops–including Chinook, and Centennial, and a mystery hop called Rudolph by head brewer John “more hops” Maier!

What I think
You can probably figure out what happened here. Epic FAIL. I knew that the ABV wasn’t strong enough for it to last and that the style wasn’t right for sitting a year but wtf ever. I drink it so you don’t have to. If you wanna be stupid you gotta be tough.

2008: The nose was a huge bouquet of hops. Hop Heaven I’d even call it. Quickly turned and shot to hop Hell when I drank. Flavor was gone. It was stale. Couldn’t cleanse my palate fast enough. Stomach started to churn and I had more gas than a zeppelin.

2009: Shockingly the nose was almost non existent. I even had Lushie give it a shot and nothing. first taste I had slight hops but that would quickly die. The whole profile I had in review 29 was gone. It was dull with a bitter finish. My once favorite Christmas beer was turned to coal.

Spoon’s rating –  2008: D 2009: – C

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