Christmas is over, but that doesn't mean you can't still indulge in some of the treats that the holidays provide. One worth quaffing well into the winter is Noel de Calabaza ($15) from Jolly Pumpkin Brewing. It's a Belgian style Christmas ale that is aged in oak barrels with a deep mahogany appearance and a light, slightly tart zing. Add in some sugar plums and fig and along with a 9% ABV sticker you can make the holidays last long into the new year.
We are all for some variety when it comes barrel aged beers, and so are the folks at Widmer Brewing. They've expanded on their already successful annual release of Barrel Aged Brrrbon Ale to include a Ginger Barrel Aged Brrrbon ($10) in 2013. This limited edition treat came about when fresh chopped ginger was added to a few select Kentucky bourbon barrels of Barrel Aged Brrrbon. The outcome is a very interesting and unique winter warmer, with notes of oak, vanilla, caramel, but most importantly, tons of ginger.
Just because it's the holidays doesn't mean hop lovers need to take a break from palate challenging beers. While most Christmas brews are sweet and festive, Three Floyds Brewing offers up Alpha Klaus ($12), a hopped up holiday Porter. The cousin of their hoppy pale ale Alpha King is brewed with English chocolate malt, Mexican sugar and a nice variety of festive American hops. So if you like your holiday beers hop forward with a nice dry chocolatey finish, Alpha Klaus has been gift wrapped just for you.