Mikkeller Santa’s Little Helper 2012
Purchased at Taylor’s Market ($14.99/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.
This “Belgian ale brewed with spices” pours a prune-y dark brown with a medium-sized, brown sugar head, and an amazing nose of chocolate-covered raisins, caramel apples, and other dark fruits. On the tongue, chocolate and fruit flavors are balanced against perfectly understated spices on the finish, with a surprisingly light mouthfeel for a sweetness-forward 11-percenter. Plums, figs, apples, nuts, and caramel all make an appearance, and although the spices are difficult to discern due to their subtlety, I think detected ginger and a touch of cinnamon. Perfectly balanced with a remarkably crisp finish, Santa’s Little Helper 2012 is easily one of the best brews I have sampled this year.