Name – 5 Wold Rings
Brewer – Wold Top
Classification – 'Amber' festive beer.
Strength – 5% ABV
Verdict - At A Glance
On the eye – Another of those suspiciously sunshiny Xmas offerings...
On the nose – Spiced liquorice. Plenty of sawdust low notes.
On the tongue – Intense! Ho, Ho and thrice Ho!
On the subject – Just one of Wold Top's Christmas brews, they like drinkers of all tastes be happy at this time of year. And why not!
On the market – ASDA are among the supermarket's currently stocking (the nearer to Yorkshire the better it seems!), or try Beers And Sprits of Knaresborough. Plenty of other's these days due to growing demand.
On the whole – 7.5
This beer tastes far darker than it looks, if you take my meaning.
It has that oak soaked bite of a much darker malt, and it kicks like a much darker mule.
The fact is though, this is another of those bewilderingly light looking Christmas beers. I'm beginning to spot a trend, and I have to say it's a trend which leaves me vaguely bemused.
Having said that, leaving people vaguely bemused is what Christmas does best, so why should I be surprised!
Leaving the anti-festive visuals aside, this beer has firm malts, robust hops and a citrus twang in the finish which, if you're not careful, will happily draw your attention away from a complementary trace of honey flapjack.
It really is a fine little brew, but I can't keep myself distracted from the issue of its appearance. In common with last night's seasonal offering Oldershaw's 'Hollydaze' there is a suspiciously summertime radiance to the drink, though it is perhaps possessive of a slightly more late-summer character than the Oldershaw. But it's a summertime feel all the same.
On balance though, this beer does have more of a sense of that extra spice-infused zing which seems to help identify most of the Christmas ale options these days. That said, I'm still rather on the fence on the subject of festive spice. Surely there are other ways of encapsulating the merriment of the moment, spice can't surely be the only taste sensation which says 'peace on earth and goodwill', can it?
At least this beer uses such spice with a skilled subtlety, which I did appreciate.
Given the date and the current weather conditions (it is currently unseasonably 'seasonal' here in the UK) it's probably a little too late for most of you to get some of this stuff onto your shelves.
But for those lucky enough to have a nearby Wold Top stockist – you might want to get those knee high boots back on again...
This festive tipple is definitely worth an extra trudge through the snow.