Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Christmas (Beer) in July

Feliz Navidad en julio!
Today is July 25, exactly five months until Christmas. So I decided it was appropriate to celebrate (with a) Christmas (beer) in July. Okay, so it's not exactly a Christmas beer, but the label has a Poinsettia on it. That's good enough for me. I figured we all need something to help keep us cool during these hot summer days, and this beer does the trick!

This beer is brought to us from Mexico by Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma (part of the Heineken company). The only other Mexican beer that I've ever had (thanks to my father-in-law, by the way!) was Tecate, which incidentally is also brewed by CCM. In fact, I believe that the large majority of the beer I've consumed to-date has been domestically brewed. Makes me wonder what I've been missing. If you've got any suggestions for great foreign-brewed beers, please let me know.

Noche Buena is a Bock weighing in at an average 5.90% ABV. Apparently I'm on a Bock-blogging kick, since my last post was also about a Bock. Noche Buena is of the darker variety of Bocks. Admittedly, I am a big fan of darker beers. Their colors color my opinion before I even taste them. They just look like they're going to have more body, more depth than a lighter-colored beer. Of course, some of the lighter-colored wheat beers such as Hefeweizens are fairly alluring simply because of their hazy, unfiltered, golden-clouds-in-a-glass, come-and-drink-me look that foreshadows the tantalizingly tart flavor profile awaiting your tongue. There's still just something about the alluringly dark beer that beckons my taste buds.

But I digress.

"Get on with it!"
Appearance: An opaque burnt sienna with a frothy, off-white head.
Smell: A good "dark beer" smell. Hard to say exactly what that means, other than it seems to fit the style.
Taste: At first, there's nothing particularly interesting about the taste. But as I thought about how to describe my tasting experience, I realized that there was a slight bitterness present on the back end. Not so much that after having one beer you'd notice it all that much (unless you're trying to write about it!), but I believe that it'd start to catch up with you after having several. So the finish was not entirely clean (would you call this "somewhat messy"?), but it was satisfying.
Mouthfeel: Smooth with a bit 'o bubbly, though not too much.
Overall: This beer was a refreshing reminder of cooler weather. Pretty good.

71 BeerAdvocate users rate it a 78/100.
115 RateBeer users rate it 26/100 overall and 66/100 for the style.
Justin's Brew Review gives it a solid B.