Ale to the King.

Edinburgh's quality beer and ale review and culture site.

Review: Mr Sno’ Balls – Aledvent Calendbeer 15

Beer: Mr Sno’ Balls
Brewery: Harviestoun Brewery
Type: English Pale Ale
Served: Bottled
Alc: 4.5% Vol
Aledvent Calendbeer Number: 15

The one thing we all want a Christmas to be is white. Unless we’re stuck on a train to York there’s nothing better than a blanket of snow covering the landscape, and Ale to the King is a big a fan of snow and the men you can build out of it as anybody.

Mr Sno ‘Balls (yes, the label matches the name) is a fine winter beer from Harviestoun, which is surprising as its not at all a dark one. Its got quite a light colour of copper with a mid level of transparency and a head that quickly vanishes into a bubbly island of white.

The nose is also rather fruity, and not in the way the way a lot of winter beers are. Instead of having the dark, rich cherry notes that’s common of this season’s brews, Mr Sno’ Balls has got a lighter, sweeter smell of grapefruit and dry roast unslated nuts. Its also got definite notes of toffee apples.

There’s a pleasant moderate fizz to this brew and it allows the more delicate flavours to become more noticeable. There’s bitter citrus that comes right the way through the taste, especially of bitter orange on the foretaste. The foretaste is soft and is accompanied by a nice little taste of walnut to compliment it, with the mid-taste giving fully over to the bitter orange and a little spice.

The after-taste is quite doughy and buicuity which nicely offsets the spicier notes. The citrus notes do mellow as the drink goes on but there’s still a nice balance all the way and its this that makes it such a drinkable beer. Its certainly citrus and crisp as described on the bottle and this allows it to remain interesting despite the low alcohol taste and content. If you’re after particularly seasonal session brew this Christmas, this could very well be the one for you.

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