The ale pours a crystal-clear amber and is topped by a mountainous stack of rocky, cream-colored foam that shows fine retention. A web of sticky lace is spread amongst chunky gobs clinging to the glass.
The aroma is a dank blend of pine sap and resin. A scent of spices and booze appear as the beer warms.
The palate begins with a taste of orange peel and toasty bread. Sweet caramel follows and finishes with a bite of grassy, piney, and citrusy hops; warm with spices and booze.
Its feel is smooth with a body that’s medium-full and has less-than-moderate carbonation. Finishes dryly and warmly from the alcohol.
It’s possible that the Red & White Christmas isn’t classified appropriately as it’s far from a typical Witbier. Its appearance doesn’t match the style as it’s much darker in color and shows high clarity. Its ABV is very high and its presence can be smelled, felt and tasted. Its feel is heavier and less carbonated.
This brew is closer to a Belgian Strong Dark Ale instead of a Witbier. Its bitterness would be high for a Dark Ale but its spicy palate and boozy warmth works well—not just for the style, but for the season.
Red & White Christmas isn’t a beer that fits neatly into any one box, but it’s an enjoyable brew just the same.