Xmas Ales

Okay, the Gordons is Belgian. I have since googled this. I am a bit puzzled as all the Gordons beers appear to be brewed by Anthony Martin and have been brewed(originally by John Martin) since the 1920s. I have a 1991 European Beer Almanac by Roger Protz which features Gordons Highland Scotch Ale at 8.5% brewed by Newcastle and Scottish in Edinburgh. I know this is correct because I have had bottles of this and I know it had Newcastle and Scottish as the brewers on the label. It was brewed exclusively for the Belgian market but you could pick up the odd bottle in specialist beer shops. I cannot google any reference to Gordons Scotch Ale having been brewed by Newcastle and Scottish at all. I don't know how long Newcastle and Scottish had been brewing this beer, perhaps they brewed a version under licence.
 
I have heard that the beer was brewed in Edinburgh, but until when I don't know...Was it ever associated with the Caledonian Brewery? Anyway, I'm drinking the fantastic La Trappe Quadrupel...possibly the greatest 10% Belgian beer, yet underappreciated, I feel. Sweet, but light and elegant, with some (not much, perhaps) evidence of hops...and a distinctive pear drops taste...as subtle as a 10% beer can beer can be. I have started ordering my beer direct from Belgium (vastly cheaper) and always include some of these...
 
Confusing isn't it! My copy of Michael Jackson's "Beer" (first published 1998) says this about Gordon Xmas "Scottish Courage brews this beer for the Belgian market...Much the same brew is made for France under the name Douglas". Had a Delirium Christmas Ale which didn't quite hit the spot last night. A Sam Smith's seasonal ale was good if a little underpowered. I've enjoyed the German lagers more such as Augustiner Lagerbier Hell for their refreshing qualities after the rich food and wine.
 
Damn, you couldn't let that pass...We all know it's brewed in Holland, but some of us who have been drinking it for years and now buy it from a beer shop in Belgium that only sells Belgian beer (I know, I know), well, the old mind thinks of it as a Belgian beer...
 
I've had it a while, I will inspect more closely and report back

I bought 3 bottles of Rodenbach Caractère Rouge in France this year, they're limited editions from 2013. I gave one to my brother who said it was very sour and took some finishing, I'm sure I'll manage it okay! I'm slightly envious of the other beers in the photo, Mikkeller & Siren I believe.

Anyway, here's my choice to see out 2016 - sour year, sour beer.

SourBeer.jpg
 
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I've not had Hoegaarden for ages, I considered it a thirst-quenching summer drink. I persevered with the Girardin and actually enjoyed it today, without the heartburn!
 
7 quid for a 750ml Cantillon! I was in Belgium recently and these were going for around 40 euros. They have never been cheap, but I can't believe how much they are now.

To get back to Xmas ales I have recently had an M & S Southwold Xmas Ale. This is only a modest 4.2% but is actually quite good; dark and malty with dried fruit flavour. I will get more of these if they are around next year.
 
Thanks, Dave! That price is astonishing...Beer is so much cheaper there. Thankfully I've found a place in Belgium that I order from that has some very cheap high quality stuff (that would be double the cost here)...Alan, I presume it depends which Cantillon you're talking about, but yes, that was very cheap, even then (2013, I think)...I haven't bought much from M&S lately, but yes Adnams are a very reliable brewery, I should have bought that one.
 
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