Monday, December 24, 2012

Shiner Holiday Cheer

If I had to name a guilty pleasure when it comes to beer in general, it would be that I tend to like fruity beers. Even in the case of a beer like Shiner Holiday Cheer which is a fairly direct palate, the end result is a good-tasting, easy to drink beer. So why not give it the good score it deserves?

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (775) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 24, 2012
I received a six pack from my sister for Christmas (who got it from a friend who traveled out of state - so thanks to everyone involved!). I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Beautiful dark ruby red, translucent body. Forms an average-size, off-white, soapy head which mostly dissipates and leaves minor lacing on the glass.

Smell: Canned peaches and a subtle floral scent.

Taste: I’ll be honest, there’s not a lot to Shiner Holiday Cheer, but what’s there is pretty good. The label literature claims it’s actually a dunkelweizen brewed with peaches and roasted pecans, but the actual palate is more akin to an ESB or other British pub-style ale with a strong fruity finish. It’s actually a bit disappointing that the wheat character doesn’t come through stronger as I think it would pair really well with the peaches and pecans. It also doesn’t seem to be brewed with Bavarian yeast as there’s no banana or clove flavors or aromas, either.

So what IS in this beer? Well it’s a two-stage palate. Dark, sweet malt flavors open the palate. The pecans aren’t all that discernible, though they do add a nuttiness and earthiness to the beer. There’s light, dry hop bitterness at the apex, followed by a strong, delicious taste of canned peaches on the finish. It’s one of those rare instances where a canned flavor actually tastes better than fresh as there’s a touch of syrupy sweetness to appeal to your sweet tooth. It finishes fairly clean, maybe even a little too clean for its own good. Still, it’s thoroughly enjoyable and there’s no overt flaws, so what’s not to like?

Drinkability: What keeps Shiner Holiday Cheer from being a great beer is the fact it’s a little too light all around. The mouthfeel is thin and crisp with a clean aftertaste that’s actually kind of refreshing for a moment there. This does not drink like a wheat brew in any way, which is a shame because as smooth as it is, it could be even smoother. At 5.4% ABV it’s got a pretty efficient body as it imparts a lot of flavor, but doesn’t have any raw density to it. I’m not sure what so "Christmasy" about it as I think this would actually work better as a summer seasonal, but I’ll take what I can get.
 Grade: 7/10

1 comment:

  1. Glad you MOSTLY liked it Bro! It's one of my most favorite beers, too bad its not available year-round, I'll settle for regular Shiner Bock in the meanwhile...