De La Senne: Equinox (Belgium: Strong Dark Ale: 8% ABV)

Visual: Dark cloudy bitty dark red beer which froths out of the bottle and created an initial large head, but it is very short lived.

Nose: Brown sugar, hops and terry chocolate orange. Fragrant- air freshener.

Body: Burnt roasted malt, nutmeg, a rounded flavour and nuts popping at Christmas. Slight strawberry and treacle.

Finish: Roasted nuts, strawberry. Cocoa, chocolate and cherries.

Conclusion: Will the Christmas beers never end? Who knows? But this beer doesn’t overly tip its hat into the Christmas beer style, rather relying on its solid nature and being a fine example of a Belgium dark beer to make it welcome.

In this it does well, with a good balance of sweet and bitter and plenty to savour. It succeeds despite contradicting winter beer treads (or maybe because of it)

Very welcome, for any season.