The last one! The night before I had to go back to school after the holidays, Chris and I split a new Belgian beer, the Noël des Géants. I knew nothing about it other than the fact that is was Belgian, and seeing as we like Belgian beers, I picked it up. It wasn’t one of our favorites, but it was interesting. (Chris favored it more than I, though I found it enjoyable enough.) The smell was rich and sweet–we got hints of plum, but also some of the cloying scent of alcohol. It’s over 8%, so I guess this isn’t really a surprise. The beer itself was a pretty color–I tried to get a picture of it, to varying degrees of success. As far as taste goes, I initially got a strong alcohol flavor, but it tapered down into a caramel and plum sweetness. The initial carbonation was a little strong, too, but that also eased up as the beer warmed up. Overall, while I enjoyed this one much more than the Scaldis Noel, I think it still may be safe to say that there’s something about the Belgian holiday styles–Belgain candy sugar, perhaps?–that I don’t like quite as much as other styles.
And overall, I was, too. I think I’ve decided that I will not undertake this challenge again. Was it really interesting, forcing me to sample a wide variety of beers all claiming to be a particular seasonal style? Certainly. Did it get me to branch out and try some new beers? Sure. But I don’t really need a challenge like this as an excuse to do so. By the end, I actually found it rather limiting. I felt like I had to push myself to complete my challenge, when what I really wanted was to have another Mad Elf because Dad managed to find some of this ever-elusive treat, or to drink the last Weyerbacher Winter Ale before Chris drank it instead. ( 😛 ) When I found a beer I really liked, I wanted the chance to go back to it and have another, so this challenge was a little constraining. Also, for me? With my busy-crazy life? Twelve different beers is a pretty lofty goal! But, overall, I’m glad I did it. It was fun, and I definitely found some new beers that I’ll look for again next year. And I chronicled my journey, and I suppose that’s worth something too.