I’D TAP THAT: 2XMAS is sure to turn up the holiday spirit in your home
Glassware: The aroma of 2XMAS brings the holidays to the forefront of the mind and glassware that captures them is a must. This is also a beer that opens up quite a bit as it warms. Glassware such as a snifter or tulip glass are the best choices, but if you do not have any available an oversized wine glass will get the job done as well.
Description: Southern Tier 2XMAS pours a clear, ruby red color, showing a slight golden hue with a mild beige head that quickly dissipates. The aroma of figs, cinnamon, raisins, gingerbread and slight hints of clove and orange are clearly evident. Immediately upon your first sip, the cinnamon and ginger spices instantly make an appearance on your taste buds and the taste will linger long on your palate. The aftertaste has slight hints of caramel, along with the aforementioned spices, with a mild amount of heat from the alcohol, but not enough to detract from the experience. 2XMAS is a very malt forward beer with very little evidence of hops, mainly due to the spicing involved. The carbonation in 2XMAS is very mild, but enough to rinse the palate after each sip. This is a true holiday treat and no holiday celebration would be complete this year without this beer on the table. Southern Tier actually based the recipe for 2XMAS on a traditional Swedish Glögg recipe. Swedish Glögg is a spiced red wine served traditionally during winter, especially around the holidays. So, 2XMAS is very much a great meeting point for wine and beer lovers alike.
Food Pairing: Southern Tier 2XMAS is a perfect dessert beer that is a dream for any chocoholic. The smooth and subtly sweet malt bill makes this a dream pairing with chocolate, especially the dark variety. The best way to experience this pairing is to take a bite of chocolate and allow it to melt slightly on your tongue and then take a sip of 2XMAS, the chocolate will instantly grab onto the beer to provide a truly exhilarating and wonderful holiday treat!
This is also the time of year when kitchens are overflowing with baked goods, namely cookies, and 2XMAS is a perfect match with a variety of holiday cookies. The obvious pairings would be with those of a spice variety such as gingerbread or anise, but it is also a great pairing with sugar cookies. A wonderful holiday treat to give or receive is rugala and if you are gifting some of these wonderful cookies to a beer lover, be sure to give a 6-pack of 2XMAS with it as they are the perfect match for one another! Whatever you pair this delicious beer, with enjoy every drop and soak up the holiday season to its fullest!
The Final Word: Southern Tier has built up quite the reputation for award winning beers and every year they continue to release new beers that continue to amaze. 2XMAS was added to the beer lineup in 2012, and it has successfully made it into the seasonal rotation and with good reason!
The wonderful dosing of spices and smooth body make this a wonderful beer to enjoy while warming up by the fire, and what sounds better than that during the holidays? This is a very unique take on the traditional higher ABV style and is also a great beer to serve to those friends who prefer wine; you just might win them over with this great beer! 2XMAS is a must to have every holiday season, so grab yourself some bottles and start a new holiday tradition!
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.
Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing Co.
Style: Herbed/Spiced Beer
ABV: 8.0 %