Friday, December 24, 2010
Christmas with Krampus
In the USA the worst thing that can happen to children whose names are on Santa's "naughty" list is they may get a lump of coal or maybe a bundle of switches in their Christmas stockings. But in Austria, Hungary and some other European countries Saint Nick brings along a companion -- a demon called the Krampus, a cloven-hooved goat-horned demon with a tongue that would make Gene Simmons hang his head in shame who punishes bad children, beating them with sticks and chains -- if they're naughty enough he throws them in a basket and hauls them off to hell.
That coal's looking pretty good right now, isn't it?
Southern Tier Brewing Company -- who sound like they might be local (or at least regional) but who are actually headquartered in Lakewood, New York -- have a Christmas lager honoring this dark Christmas tradition.
This review is by request for my brother-in-law, Jamie.
(When he's not torturing and murdering children, Krampus is lusting after women -- though he seems a bit perplexed by this one. Can anybody translate?)
All right, let's go:
APPEARANCE: Light copper color, frothy head.
Oh by the way, this is one of those rare occasions when my girlfriend Kim and I are off on the same day so I've roped her into co-reviewing.
AROMA: Kim says it smells a little fishy and a little citrusy. I agree but then she smelled first and my olfactories are very susceptible to suggestion; so much so that if I smell a beer after India it smells a little bit like soy sauce.
TASTE: Very hoppy and, at 9% ABV, very warming. My co-reviewer says that beers -- for lack of a better word -- are either tight or broad to her taste buds. She says that this beer is tight but not as tight as Anchor Steam. Asked to elaborate she says tight beers are more crisp and refreshing. An example of a broad beer would be Blue Moon. I think I would like to have more co-reviewers. It's interesting to me how other people taste -- well, that didn't sound right, but you know what I mean.
BURP TASTE: Amazingly enough the burps are warming too. Now that's a first.
DRINKABILITY: Not a session beer at all, but a great Winter warmer. And the warmth of the burps is an added bonus.
Merry Christmas, everybody -- or as Southern Tier prefers it, "Merry Kramp-mas and to all a good pint."