This Legal Draft Co. Winter Warmer Gets A Lukewarm Rating On Our Scale For Its Imbalance — Though It Does Pair Nicely With A Hot Meal.
Welcome to On Tap! Each week in this recurring feature, we’ll take an in-depth look at one of the many beers available in the crowded North Texas brew scene. The goal here is to look at these area beers without our local goggles on, and to wonder aloud, “Is this beer good or do I just like it because it’s local?” Let’s find out! Cheers!
This week I sipped on Legal Holiday from Legal Draft Beer Co.
Fast Facts about Legal Holiday
Style: Winter Seasonal Beer
International Bitterness Units (IBUs): 20
Proper Glassware: Snifter, Belgian Tulip
Availability: Draught & Cans
Legal Draft Beer Co has appeared in this column a number of times before but always we have tried their core brews. While a fan of a couple of those beers, notably Accused and Smash & Grab, I’ve not ever studied their seasonal or limited offerings so I thought to change that this holiday season with their Legal Holiday winter warmer.
On a side note, I love the theme this brewery has going and the creativity of word play in some of the beer names.
Background on Winter Seasonal Beer
Historically, we really don’t know where winter seasonal beer, often called winter warmers, got their start. To a degree, just as making lighter beer for the heat of the summer makes sense, so to does making heavier beer with a higher alcohol content make sense for the winter. Often these beers are spiced with traditional holiday spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove, and ginger to serve around the holidays.
Winter seasonal beer tends to be darker and more malt forward. American and Belgian styles tend to be used more as the base beers for these brews as the English and Germans don’t often uses spices in their brewing. The beers tend to be big on alcohol and low on bitterness, with ABVs starting at around 6 percent but often much higher, and IBUs on the lower end of the scale. A warmth from the alcohol in both aroma and flavor is common.
Legal Holiday pours a comfy and clear brown with a low, light tan stand of foam. From the front this beer can look a bit on the muddy side but with a touch of backlight, this beer shows off a luscious clarity that speaks to the care and quality of the brewing. The head has low persistence and it continues to disappear until there is nothing left at all.
One of the most malt forward beers I think I’ve ever had, Legal Holiday attacks the nose from the off with notes of caramel and dark toast. I can smell the malt sweetness in a way that is almost distracting. Swirling this beer in the glass, I stir up floral hop aromas but those soon recede back under the …….