The problem with seasonal drinks is that, well, they're seasonal. Why the hell do you want to taste pumpkin in spring, or get the sting of peppermint come summer? So when I heard that TAPS Fish House released a "Toasted Santa" holiday ale, I wanted to worry.
Then again, we're talking about TAPS, Brea's saving grace and one of the pioneers of OC's craft beer movement. They could release something tasting like sunscreen in the dead of winter, and it would still be fabulous. Thankfully, they're not doing that, rather concentrating on their Christmastime special (the first time TAPS has done something for the holidays) in order to make it something that can carry through the seasons.
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I usually don't drink beer, but the TAPS gang always seems to brew creations that my pals find and urge me to try. First debuting earlier this month at the OC Brew Ha Ha's recent Brew Ho Ho ale festival, it's like biting into a liquid gingerbread house. The ale is heavy, filling, fulfilling, heavy on the cinnamon, with a molasses linger that makes your lips sticky and sweet. I can see it pairing well with pork, especially with a sandwich--and yes, the flavor isn't so topical that it'll feel like Bermuda shorts in New England right now if you decide to store it through the spring. It's not novelty; it's legit.
But better get on Toasted Santa soon--TAPS only produced 24 kegs, which means it'll be gone faster than tacos at your Festivus party.