Style American Brown Ale · ABV 5.8% · 330 ml can
Brewed by Spendrups Bryggeri · Vårby · Sweden
Read more www.spendrups.se

By now your chimney’s probably already been swept clean and Santa’s also long gone, back at the North Pole taking a well deserved 300-day long rest before things start picking up again for the 2012 season. Still there’s a bottle of Xmas ale in my cupboard that needs reviewing.

I’m begining to take somewhat of a liking to Spendrup’s craft beer department Brutal Brewing and their beers, commonly marketed and sold under the name Piston Head. It’s perhaps not the most complex or best of beers but they do a pretty good job creating drinkable, in the middle of the road, craft beer available to the majority of people and that’s got to count for something I believe. Let’s see what’s hiding underneath the cap on this one…

Appearance 2/3

I let a dark but clean and clear burgundy splash into my Anchor Steam-decorated pint glass. The pour produces a fluffy and creamy faded Post-it®-yellow three finger foam collar, leaving behind some random sticky lacing on the glass.

Aroma 7/12

Caramalts with light American hops, the Tomahawk/Columbus and Cascade coming through. The malt base is faintly sweet Coke and fudgy scented as well as slightly roasted.

Flavor 15/20

Maillard flavored, with predominantly roasted and caramalized malts. The funky “C”-hops are present, making a graceful leap from the nose to flavor. Nothing is coming on too strong though, not even the bitterness of the Magnum. As the beer warms I get orange peel and dark bread plus some fresh fruitiness.

Mouthfeel 4/5

First off the body is a light medium. Refreshing and maybe a bit watery for being an ale. The carbonation is packed with lots of small bubbles, washing the flavors of the beer over the palate. Finishing it off is a long medium bitterness.

Overall impression 7/10

Damn, I like this, although it’s nothing too exciting it is a robust enough beer fit for food or casual drinking. I like the fact that it’s not as heavily spiced like many other Xmas beers. What really caught my attention was the carbonation and mouthfeel, it’s light and refreshing yet it brings out the full flavor of the beer too.

Chimney Sweeper is part of Systembolaget’s Xmas release, check for availability.

Total Score 35/50

Very Good – Generally within style parameters, some minor flaws

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