Bit of a disappointment, this one. I’d intended to brew a really dark, really strong ale for Christmas 2014 to round-off my first year of brewing.
While colour-wise and strength-wise, the result was what I was looking for, the grain bill was wrong and the resulting brew had a dominant charcoal note which overpowered the hops and left a really bitter, almost gritty aftertaste in the mouth which lingered for far too long.
My idea this year was to not go too far to the dark side and try and come up with a chocolate orange ale for the festive celebrations. Alas, time was against me with everything else going on in my life… so maybe next year.
- Interestingly, the name of this beer is my only one to date not influenced by music. I was reading Neil Gaiman‘s amazing Smoke and Mirrors at the time (the vid below nails Nicholas Was…, which was no doubt an influence) and I’ve always been a massive fan of Tim Burton‘s The Nightmare Before Christmas, which also probably influenced my thinking.
The label above is my favourite for this beer, but there are a few variants below which made it on to the few bottles I didn’t keep back for myself… Santa smashing the pumpkin was my nod to the aforementioned Burton masterpiece.