Search the Site

Double-Digit 6-Pack: A Holiday Brew Review

Why settle for a beer cocktail when you can enjoy a boozy beer?

As the holidays come round again
And you gather with family and friends,
Boozy beers make us merry
With malt, chocolate, cherry,
And spice. Here are six I commend.

For a booze-infused brew you’ll repeat,
Try this toffee-hued ale for a treat.
From oak barrels it comes
To dispel the doldrums,
Dragon’s Milk: strong, yet caramel-sweet.

From Left Hand, this Imperial Stout
Is what blissfully boozy’s about.
Though it’s called Wake Up Dead,
You’ll feel festive instead
And start toasting in sweet roasty bouts.

Dessert in a glass? Well, why not
Indulge coconut, bourbon besot-
ted German Chocolate Cake?
Here’s a beer to partake,
For its flavor array is well wrought.

For a hoppier take on the season,
Try the RuinTen from Stone (within reason).
It’s so bitter, you’ll thrill
To the hops lingering still
After Triple IPA completion.

The Noël from Delirium pours
With fine fragrance and bubbles galore.
And its high ABV
will enliven your glee;
A delectable beer to adore.

With its beautiful coppery hue,
And a boozy that’s bracingly true
Whiskey boldness, this Rye
on Rye ale will supply
A spectacular barrel-aged brew.


Tasting Notes:

Dragon’s Milk Solera, New Holland Brewing Co., Holland, Michigan. 10% ABV.
This caramel-forward, barrel-aged ale borders on crushable for a boozy beer. Toffee-colored with a beige head, it finishes with a light, hoppy tingle.

Wake Up Dead Imperial Stout, Left Hand Brewing Co., Longmont, Colorado. 10.2% ABV.
Pouring the color of dark coffee with minimal head, this malt-forward, boozy stout withholds its java flavor till the finish. A chocolate sweetness tempers the beer’s intensity, and the rolled oats smooth out the mouthfeel.

German Chocolate Cake Imperial Stout, Wicked Weed Brewing, Asheville, North Carolina. 11.6% ABV.
Richly dark with a tan head, this barrel-aged beer enhances its roasty malt flavors with bittersweet chocolate and a bourbon booziness that gradually glazes your tongue. Coconut inflections in the finish.

RuinTen Triple IPA, Stone Brewing, Escondido, California. 10.8% ABV.
This I-dare-ya IPA is a bracing change from the sweet, fruity, and chocolate notes in most holiday beers. Refusing to settle for just the tip of your tongue, RuinTen’s bitter audacity will conquer it all.

Noël, Delirium, Huyghe, Belgium. 11.2% ABV.
Pouring dark amber with a fine-bubbled head and delightfully floral fragrance, this ale has the zippy-spicy finish we relish in Belgians. The boozy won’t weigh it down as the rich holiday flavors dance across your tongue.

Rye on Rye Barrel-Aged Ale, Boulevard Brewing Co., Kansas City, Missouri. 12.2% ABV.
Boulevard understands that bourbon barrels are just one option for brewing booze-infused beer. Rye is a more assertive whiskey, and it boosts this beer’s rye grain and boozy sweetness with a bold spiciness.

You can find more holiday selections in my “Beers Before New Year’s” review.


MARSHA BRYANT writes about literature, teaching, and craft beer. Her recent essays appear in The Bloomsbury Handbook to Sylvia Plath, the online journal Humanities, and the textbook Impact of Materials on Society. Marsha teaches in the English Department at the University of Florida. Her Untappd profile is LimerickLady.

Join the email list for our latest news