5. Widmer Brrr Seasonal Ale
Widmer Brothers Brewery, Portland, Ore.
We don't generally like to include repeats on the holiday beer list, but we're making a noteworthy exception this year based strictly on the 2013's flavor. The Craft Brew Association (BREW) sends its holiday wishes from Oregon with this deep red beauty imbued with the citrusy fragrance of Cascade hops. That's just about all for aroma, however, as caramel and chocolate malts balance do a great job of balancing it out. It's the little hint of dark cherry on the end of this year's edition, though, that reminds of of another favorite -- Troegs Brewing's Mad Elf out of Hershey, Pa. That has a similarly pleasant finish, if a bit more of a ruby color, but may be just a bit stronger than Brrr's 7.2% ABV. Basically, you can have a second of the Widmer Brothers' brew without heading into hibernation.
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