Having previously tackled industry giants such as The Portman Group and CAMRA, BrewDog's caustic attentions now seem to have been turned to the beliefs of small children. It's a fair target: like the other two, small children have some odd ideas and could do with being taken down a peg or two. Hence There Is No Santa, a seasonally-adjusted stout.
It's a dark red-brown colour with a nice thick stouty head. And it tastes of gingerbread. Cocoa nibs and ginger stems are listed as the bonus add-ons, but I'm not getting much chocolate flavour, or stout flavours generally. Just gingerbread, or possibly ginger biscuits. Nice as it goes, but I was bored before the end of 33cl.
Just as well there's another one in the range, then. Despite the less cheeky name, Christmas Porter sounds very promising. Based on the damned decent Alice Porter with added cacao, chilli and spices. My kind of beer all round.
A point and a half stronger than TINS, at 6.2% ABV, showing an enticing beige head with a subtle chilli bite in the aroma. It wears that chilli up front, and it's more about the peppery flavour than the heat. I think I can forgive that. In the middle there's lots of chocolate and the chilli comes back at the end for a dry fruity finish. Again, it's nothing extreme or wildly off-kilter, but there's plenty to enjoy. As drinkable, sinkable dark beers, both are well-suited to the season of overindulgence.
Happy Christmas, readers!