Looking nice in a Spiegelau glass
I have to be honest from the start, I shouldn't like this beer. I am not a huge fan of the stereotypical Christmas flavours and I despise Christmas pudding. I suppose I was expecting to be a bit Paul Daniels on this one- I thought I would like it, not a lot, but I'd like it.
Paul Daniels after enjoying some Sheps
There was quite a lot going on in this beer. Plums, spice, red wine, all laced through an inviting malty sweet backbone. It is the sort of beer that really suits this time of year and I couldn't see myself with a glass in hand in the middle of the summer. It did remind me of some of the 'Christmas flavours' I usually don't care too much for but it just all worked so well together. Maybe I am growing up!
I would say it is a real pudding or cheese beer. I enjoyed mine with some Taleggio cheese, which is a lovely soft Italian number. The sweetness of the beer cut through the creaminess of the cheese, although the spice may have overpowered some of the more subtle flavours Taleggio usually shows.
All in all, this is a great example of a style that I do not usually care for, but Shepherd Neame have somehow pulled it off. You can get some in good bottle shops or on the Sheps website .
Cheers and Beers!
P.s I was not paid for this post, although Shepherd Neame were kind enough to send me the beer for review. The above review is an honest interpretation of my thoughts on the beer and has not been influenced in any way by the brewery or anyone else.