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Stogie Spirits: Holiday Belgian Ales

18 Jan 2011

Christmas may be over but, if you hurry, it’s still not too late to pick up some of the fantastic offerings that breweries create for the holidays. I recently selected three Christmas-inspired Belgian ales from my local beer store.

While the following brews can be hard to find, I wasn’t necessarily looking for these particular beers; rather, I was more interested in the broader Belgian ale style, which has the strength, flavor, and complexity to go well with cigars.

Delerium Noels

Over 20 years ago, before micro-breweries took off and Belgian ales could be found with regularity in the U.S., Huyghe Brewery released the well-known Delerium Tremens ale. In 2006, the brewery produced a Christmas Ale, which features a cola-like sweetness and fruitcake flavors. That light sweetness goes perfect with a Cameroon-wrapped cigar, like the Fuente Hemingway.

St. Bernardus Christmas Ale

This abbey ale from Watou in West Flanders has a remarkably strong, intense nose. The 10% alcohol-by-volume beer features fruit notes of cherry and dates, a syrupy intensity, and roasted nut flavors. It’s a full-flavored beer that can stand up to a maduro. I recommend pairing it with the EO 601 Blue.

Corsendonk Christmas Ale

Available November through February each year, the Corsendonk Christmas Ale  is an inviting mahogany color. It is well-balanced with chocolate notes and a touch of citrus, Christmas spices, and molasses. While each ale was enjoyable, of the three this was my favorite. My pairing of choice is the Davidoff Millenium Blend.

These three holiday ales demonstrate that while whiskeys and rum may be more classic pairings, a flavorful Belgian ale can be an excellent accompaniment to a fine cigar. And don’t worry if you can’t find these specific beers, as there are many great and unique others (and finding your favorite can be part of the fun).

If you have a favorite Belgian ale that you think pairs with a fine cigar, let us know in the comments.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

4 Responses to “Stogie Spirits: Holiday Belgian Ales”

  1. Todd Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 9:15 am #

    Its not a Belgian Ale, but I'm a huge fan of Sierra Nevada's christmas "Celebration Ale." Goes great with andthing Nicaraguan.

  2. cj Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    You can never go wrong with corsendonk!

  3. TriMarkC Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

    Man! Your beer descriptions alone make me want to go and get those 3 bottles! 🙂

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