Today’s selection is the annual Yuletide ale from the McMenamins breweries of Oregon and Washington: Kris Kringle. This Winter Warmer makes its appearance every year from roughly Thanksgiving through Christmas, and this year for only the second time ever McMenamins has made it available in bottles—last year it was an extremely limited run of only 200 magnums, and this year it was bottled in 22-ounce bombers.
The 2011 version of Kris Kringle is a hearty and robust ale with a big and bold malt complexity as well as an intense and flavorful hop profile. This “winter warmer” highlights the rich, toasty, aromatic and chocolaty malt flavors as its very sturdy foundation. Generous amounts of four different hop varieties were added in five different additions that delivers a magnificent and massive hop assault. There’s still some ginger and cinnamon added into the batch but the spices are a little more subdued than in years’ past.
It’s 6.84% abv and you can find it on tap at any of McMenamins’ many locations. The bottles, however, are only sold at a few locations I believe, but you can buy them online to be shipped anywhere in Oregon. There’s a certain fun irony in having “Santa” (aka Kris Kringle) delivered to you rather than Santa himself doing the delivering—fortunately this delivery doesn’t come via chimney!