It’s time once again for the Christmas spiced beers to show up on the shelves. The quality of the Christmas offerings varies widely from brewery to brewery, and more Christmas spice beers show up every year. The latest release from Black Husky is St. Nikkilausthe brewery’s take on a Christmas Spiced Ale. Christmas beers can be hit or miss, and even great breweries can release a less than stellar Christmas beer just to have one in their lineup. People like seasonal beers, just look at the annual release of pumpkin beers; and any new seasonal beer that can be added to a lineup represents additional sales potential. That said however, I have never had a bad beer from Black Husky so I figured it was safe to pick up a bottle the last time I was out looking for beer.
Moving on to the review, neither Beeradvocate or ratebeer currently have a score for St. Nikkilaus since it’s new to the shelves.
Nikki is the most unlikely of candidates to wear a silly Santa hat?? and be the spokesdog for our Christmas beer as he came to us from a musher who treated him unkindly. Over time Nikki learned that there is kindness and there is charity to be found on this earth – and after all, is that not the true spirit of Christmas?
St Nikkilaus pours an opaque deep black walnut in color with a thick, creamy khaki head that holds very good retention (~4 min) before fading to a collar around the ends of the glass and leaving thin lacing behind. Sweet caramelized sugars, dark malts and Christmas spices lead the aroma. Cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, and cloves are all prevalent along with a slight hint of citrus on the back end. The aroma is reminiscent of Wassail.
The flavor is very similar to the aroma, although it is both more complex, and more intense. Nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and clove lead in the flavor with slightly sweet, toasted malt notes and caramelized sugars rounding out the back end. The finish and aftertaste, much like the front end has a massive dose of all spice, clove, and cinnamon. St. Nikkilaus is a full bodied beer with a moderately high level of carbonation, giving the beer a hint of carbonic bite.
St. Nikkilaus is exactly what I expected out of a Black Husky Christmas beer. It is decidedly not balanced, but balanced isn’t really what Black Husky is all about. This is not a beer for the meek, or for that matter, the average beer drinker. If you like Christmas spices, or mulled beverages, you will love this beer. If however, you have an aversion to Christmas spices, please send the bottles my way and I will dispose of them properly. As with every previous Black Husky release, St. Nikkilaus is a great beer, it might just be a little extreme for some people but pick up a bottle while it’s still in stock, and toast it at over the holidays!
That’s all for today, check back soon for another post!
Happy Drinking, Happy Holidays, and always remember to Drink Wisconsinbly!