Let's not fool ourselves, Christmas is taking over the world at this time of year, and that bleeds into the craft beer world too. Novelty beers are aplenty these days, and this particular one is my first of the year, and comes courtesy of the excellent and growing selection at Bradleys. Also a reminder that you can now buy online so there are even fewer excuses for not trying the goods.
Yule Ól is brewed by White Gypsy in Tipperary, I brewer I've got masses of respect for. While their Belgian Dubbel was dubious, the Russian Imperial Stout was good drinking and I look forward to trying their APA and Doppelbock. Interesting to see how this fares.
It pours like a glass of Coke, with a similarly short-lived fizzy head. The aroma gives sharp sweetness, hints of bubblegum, quiet woody malts and a touch of red berries. I can't quite describe it, but it feels lacking in richness or something. The taste opens better, with juicy red berries the order of the day. Darker malts betray the light presence of the toffee and coffee malts described on the label, before again tapering off into a slightly dry, very light-bodied finish. Really, I can't say this a bad beer, but I feel let down. It just doesn't have the richness or fullness of flavour that I'd like in this style. It feels very much like a beer without confidence, much like the Belgian Dubbel.
Certainly worth a go, I can see this being quite popular. However, my favourite White Gypsy beer remains my first, the Bruinette. I'm eager to investigate the other two bottled beers, as well as explore the core range of draught beers that earned them their reputation in the first place.