Friday, November 14, 2008

Shiner Holiday Cheer Review

Brewery: Spoetzl Brewery | Beer: Shiner Holiday Cheer
Style: Dunkelweizen
| ABV: 5.4%
Serving Method: 12 oz. bottle poured into Weizen glass

Shiner Holiday CheerShiner have been very busy lately, releasing a slew of new brews over the past twelve months. Their latest is a new Winter seasonal, Shiner Holiday Cheer. The beer is a Dunkelweizen, with peach and roasted pecans added for a holiday touch. Maybe my family was different, but I don't really remember many peaches around the house during Christmas. Peaches aside, Dunkelweizens are essentially a darker, more malty version of the German wheat beer, Hefeweizen.

It looks like this is the replacement for Shiner Dunkelweizen as Shiner's winter seasonal. I certainly can't imagine the brewery brewing two different Dunkelweizens for Winter, and I haven't seen the old one this season, so this appears to be the case. I was a big fan of the original Shiner Dunkelweizen, so I have high hopes for this beer.

Appearance: Deep mahogany with a stunning amber highlights and a creamy, craggy head that leaves wonderful lacing. This is a very pretty beer.

Aroma: Sweet peach, like that of peach yogurt, masks just about all other aromas. There's some beer down there if you keep sniffing, but you have to pull a lot of peach aside.

Taste: Luckily, this isn't the sugary peach yogurt beer that the aroma warned of. Instead, you find a complex, if a little thin, malty body with decent bitterness in the finish. I'm not sure if it's roasted pecan I'm getting necessarily, but the beer does has a pleasing nuttiness. Peach is certainly here, and in full force, but it compliments the beer instead of smothering it. I would never have thought of a peach infused Dunkelweizen (at least while sober), but it works. While it may taste a little thin in the mouth, the aftertaste is quite nutty and hangs with you for a while.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a slick, oily feel that coats your mouth. A bit fizzier than I prefer, but it doesn't spoil the beer.

Drinkability: Provided you don't hate peaches, this is an easy beer to drink. It goes down smooth and tastes pretty damn good.

Verdict: Between this and Shiner Dunkelweizen, it's no contest: Holiday Cheer just doesn't measure up. But that's not a fair way to rate the beer. Viewed objectively, this is a nice middle-of-the-road Dunkelweizen with an interesting splash of Peach. It fits well into Shiner's portfolio of beers stuck in a bizarre purgatory between macro and micro. I'm still not sure what peach has to do with Christmas, but I'm willing to look past that here.

Grade: B-


Anonymous said...

Just stumbled across your blog- great work! The combination of pictures, background, and personal commentary is quite enjoyable. Keep it up. Cheers!


Unknown said...

That really means a lot, thank you for the kind words.


Anonymous said...

Decent writing style with occasional errors. I like your descriptive tones and subjective direction. Overall, I like your blog. Clean things up and you've got a great product. Keep it up!

Unknown said...

Thanks! I'd love to know what errors you've found so I can correct the ones I've made and keep from making more.


Dave said...

Hey Chris,

Just found your blog...wish you were still posting. I just reviewed Shiner Holiday Cheer and agree that the malt body is a little, but I love that peachyness. Could use more of that too.