First off if you still haven’t tried Grand Teton Brewing’s offerings shame on you. They clearly put a lot of time and effort into their beer and they are one of the few smaller breweries that can be found all over Kansas (well at least around Manhattan). They pretty much rock out. Coming Home Holiday Ale is so far one of the simplest and most unique beers I’ve had so far this winter (come to think of it, yesterday was technically the first day of winter so this is the only one I’ve had this winter). Instead of going with the standard Winter Warmer they opted for a Belgian-style Quadrupel. I love Quads because they are sweet and high in alcohol content and usually complex on the palette. This one weighs in at 10% ABV and is pretty low on the IBUs at 40. Coming Home Holiday Ale is part of Grand Teton Brewing’s Cellar Reserve series. This is one of the best series I’ve found on the market (no really, I bought some Pursuit of Hoppiness for a party and shared it to showcase the high IBUs with low harshness from the hops). They really are pretty amazing. I know I haven’t done much for their small bottle special releases and regular releases yet, but that’s because every time I think about it I find another awesome Cellar Reserve beer (I do have Lost Continent in my fridge awaiting review). I promise I will get to some of their regular beers in 2011.
The body color was a dark reddish brown with a thick tan head. They call it deep garnet, but it looks more like dark toffee to me. The aroma was mostly sweet with notes of fruit I thought it smelled grapey, like a braggot or Midas Touch, and caramel, and strong alcohol. The taste was also sweet (couldn’t tell if that was the candi sugar or caramel malts) by sweet he means SWEET! and fruity with a hint of brown sugar in the finish. The mouth feel was smooth and warming. I like it. It’s my least favorite of Grand Teton’s, but that could just be Christmas candy overload talking.
I know we haven’t reviewed a Quadrupel before so if you are curious it is inspired by Trappist Monks and is related to Dubbels and Tripels. This means it will be more robust and sweet with low hop bitterness. Usually fruits such as figs, dates, and raisins are added for flavor as well. Coming Home Holiday Ale is a fantastic beer for sharing with friends and family. If you need to travel home for the holidays and your family and friends are beer drinkers pick up a bottle and share with them. One warning though. Be sure to share. I drank this bottle by myself as Amber did not seem to care for it and needless to say the sweetness led to a sugar hangover the next morning. I must of angered the patron saints of beer by not sharing this delicious beer. He tried. What’s that you ask? You didn’t know beer had saints? Check back on Christmas Day and we will have a little write up about that.
One final note. To everybody at Grand Teton Brewing Happy Holidays! When you tweet or repost this little blog I get some of the biggest hits. Thank you and keep brewing what you brew. I look forward to more of your offerings in the coming year.