Craft Beer Advent Calendar 2014 – Tasting Notes

2014 Craft Beer Advent Calendar

The first edition of the Craft BeerAdvent® Calendar was distributed in 2012. The demand was so intense that retailers were sold out in days. Edition 1 featured a roster of European craft brews. In 2013 the production was increased to supply the demand. The calendar sold out again and featured beers from North America.

The 2014 Craft BeerAdvent® Calendar is serving up 24 different premium craft beers that are not presently available in stores. In fact, more than two thirds of the beers are being brewed specifically for this calendar edition. This year the beers are originating from 18 countries and 6 continents.

Let’s get started!

Craft beer Advent Calendar 2014 - Nogne 0

December 1: Nøgne Ø – God Advent

Nøgne Ø is Norway’s leading and largest supplier of craft beer and the first and only producer of sake in Europe.

The Nøgne Ø God Advent was specially brewed for the Craft BeerAdvent Calendar. The BC Craft Beer Advent Calendar features Nøgne Ø Tindved (a slightly sour beer with Sea Buckthorn) as there was damage to the product in freight, so a swap had to take place.

I enjoyed the small bottle, especially for a strong tasting beer. 250 mls is a great taster size, and even then, I couldn’t finish it. It packs a punch, has a lot of spice, and while ‘not my thing,’ was interesting to try.

Here’s what others had to say:

“Sweet smell. Very sweet taste at first but hits you with that 10% and a nice bitter finish.”Trevor D

“Dec. 1st beer is a strong Norwegian ale with both barley and wheat… The kicker is juice of sea buckthorn fruits… Problem for me is that I’m not a big fan of wheat or fruit in my beer and unfortunately the first thing I thought of was my wife’s Weleda body lotion that has sea buckthorn in it. So bring on Dec. 2nd.”Steve Dunbar

Hippaheiki Craft Beer Advent Calendar Day 2

December 2: Teerenpeli – Hippaheikki T.E.S.B.

Teerenpeli is a restaurant and brewery from Lahti, Finland. This Hippaheiki ESB (Extra Special / Strong Bitter) will have dark golds to copper colour, low carbonation, and the malts tend to be more pronounced, often toasty and fruity.

This was a very easy drinking beer. Nice citrus hop on the front with a tart finish.

“Very clean taste, with crystal/cracker character, moderate bitterness and a spicy hop note. The yeast is a bit too clean for a British style but otherwise it’s a well-balanced beer with enough hop dryness to be appetizing.” Oakes

Penpont Brewery Chateau Civrac Old Ale

December 3: Penpont Brewery – Chateau Civrac Old Ale

Day 3 of the 2014 Craft Beer Advent Calendar leaves Scandinavia for the UK. This morning we cracked open an offering from Penpont Brewery in Cornwall, UK. The shop is a converted milking parlour on the edge of Bodmin Moor, Cornwall. The award winning range of ales are created with their own spring water. The brewers say they “aim to produce innovative beers packed full with flavour in a range of styles.” So let’s see what they have offered for December 3 with this Chateau Civrac Old Ale, brewed specifically for the 2014 Craft Beer Advent Calendar!

Chateau Civrac is a Bordeaux winery which provided the barrels for this brew to age in. You can expect a thick pour that “smells like cognac” with dried red fruits and vanilla on the nose.

This brings memories of the complex layers I love in Innis and Gunn beers. Taking a beer and aging it in barrels of another product brings so much depth of flavour. There is a bite of red wine on the finish that, just works. Excellent product.

“Aroma is caramel with some light fruits and herbal notes. Taste is a herbal and grass hop bitterness with a caramel and fruity sweetness.” reebtogi

Peak Organic Hop Blanc - Craft Beer Advent Calendar

December 4: Peak Organic Brewing Company – Hop Blanc

Portland, Maine’s Peak Organic was a featured brewery in last year’s Craft Beer Advent Calendar and they are back for another round with a Hop Blanc.

It’s a nice, crisp, citrus, fresh, hoppy beer. Better suited for a summer day than a winter’s evening, but a nice pick.

“Great quality IPA with a mild bite like a mild spice finish…I truly enjoy drinking this beer as a go to IPA in my house.”weaf

Krampus Beer - Craft Beer Advent Calendar

December 5: Birrificio Del Ducato – Krampus

Huge love to the Craft Beer Advent Calendar people for serving up the Krampus beer on the feast of St Nicholas. Krampus is a character from around Austria who hides in the woods and eats misbehaving children. He is deliciously evil, someone you never want to encounter. Just like this beer.

I love that Krampus from Italy’s Birrificio Del Ducato was hidden in door number 5, but just as you don’t want to experience the cloven hoofed, goat headed evil-doer, you want to keep as far away from this beer as possible.

“Drawing inspiration from Belgian beers, it features 9 different spices,” say the tasting notes from the brewery. “Its citrus nose and sour mouth are delivered by the use of wild yeasts (Brettanomyces) and lactic bacteria that during the beer’s 12 month aging, trigger a secondary fermentation. Surprisingly charming and rich, it is dedicated to all those moments that will never come back.”

Like the moment before you had this beer. You’ll never get it back. Very few people are enjoying it and the comments on Untappd are fun to read.

Yes, it is a sour beer. Yes, it is supposed to taste like vinegar (I think), but it was absolutely undrinkable. I had a sip, and dumped the rest. No Krampus for me, I’m waiting for Santa.

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