|Parallel 49 Brewing Company's "Black Christmas C.D.A."|
Seeing as I first got this as a gift from a co-worker, I decided to actually try it right when I got it. Hence, the photo was snapped of the bottle before I opened it.
On first sniff, there are definite smells of dark chocolate, hops, and what seems to be citrus-y pine. I'm not sure if that's just me, or if anyone else smells that too. Either way, it doesn't smell like an average winter warmer, nor does it smell like an average north American-styled winter ale.
On first sip, there are tastes of dark cocoa mixed with citrus-y hops, and a bit of pine in there too. I'm not quite sure how they managed to make cocoa, citrus, and pine all work in a brew, but all I know is that they did. Now, it's a really dark brew, unfortunately I don't have a picture, but it looks black and has a good inch of tan-coloured head when poured.
It doesn't have the most outstanding, mind-blowing taste to it, but it's a great brew to have during the winter season. It wouldn't be my first choice at a bar (because I love chocolate stout), but if I was bringing a few different brews home during the holidays, this would definitely be on the list.
The Black Christmas C.D.A. is definitely in my top 10 winter brews that I've had over the season, as it deserves a spot on the blog. That being said, it's got a very distinct taste to it, and a heavier 6.5% ABV. So if you're used to drinking crappy econo-beer, this will definitely be a change for your taste buds.
If there are any left in stock at your local liquor store, I recommend you go out and grab one before they're gone! Since it's still winter, this beer is still likely to have some stock remaining.
What I would really like to try with this beer, is cooking with it. It has such distinct tastes to it, that I would want to try cooking ground beef with it, and perhaps some stews. Even adding it to a steak marinade wouldn't be far off the list.
The Parallel 49 Black Christmas C.D.A. gets a well-deserved 8.0 / 10