Fallen Acorn Egg Nog (500ml bottle, 5.3% ABV)
Egg nog, eh? It’s as Christmassy as stollen, or mince pies, or crippling credit card bills. Although, in my case, I have to confess I’ve never drunk it. Initially I thought this might make for a difficult beer review, until I realised that literally none of the ingredients in a traditional egg nog (milk, cream, sugar, eggs, spirits) appear in Fallen Acorn’s brew of the same name.
Do not be deterred, brave drinker. Fallen Acorn’s Egg Nog is a lovely pint. It’s an impenetrable black once poured, with a head of tiny bubbles that might remind you of a certain other famous stout. An aroma of roasted grain and the tang of alcohol make their way up through those tightly packed bubbles.
Coffee, vanilla and spicy hops are the predominant tastes. The booze is bold without being obnoxious, and the texture is unctuous and velvety and as smooth as a black panther’s chat-up line. Things finish with a crisp, coffee-bean bitterness and the spice seems to develop a little more assertiveness once the rest of the flavours fade.
Most milk stouts don’t include actual milk, but do make use of lactose, or milk sugar. This one doesn’t, so where is that creamy vanilla character coming from, given that the only ingredients are barley, wheat, hops, yeast and water? I like to think that the answer is a closely guarded brewer’s secret, as mysterious as the location of Santa’s headquarters.
Written by Richard Salsbury