Advent Beer Calendar 2008: Day 8: Harveys Christmas Ale

Harvey's Christmas AleToday we travel to England to discover a yuletide barleywine from Harveys: their Christmas Ale, of course. This is an 8.1% alcohol brew with lots of malt sweetness and dark fruit notes.

This description from the B. United site speaks to the tradition behind this beer:

Harvey’s Christmas Ale has been brewed for over a quarter of a century…

Christmas Ale is a ‘heavily hopped’ beer (approximately 45 IBU). Harveys pride themselves on brewing from local Fuggle and Golding hops grown within 35 miles of the brewery. Fermentation takes place in their traditional ‘open’ fermenting vessels using a strain of yeast which has remained unchanged in the brewery for over forty years.

Harveys Christmas Ale comes in 275ml bottles (that’s about 9.3 fluid ounces) which sounds just about right for stocking stuffers.

BeerAdvocate grade: B+. RateBeer score: 3.44/5, 80th percentile.