Pros: Pleasant taste, different from other holiday brew.
Cons: Hard to find; a Little sweet
Looking for a little holiday cheer? One way to brighten up any holiday occasion is with some good beer and the Christmas season is highly anticipated by beer lovers everywhere due to the re- issuing of winter seasonal favorites and for the occasional brand new holiday beer. I have my favorite regular winter beers, but a new seasonal is most welcome and one brand new beer I got to try for the first time is Shiner Holiday Cheer, a fruity holiday seasonal.
Basic Facts About This Beer:
Shiner Holiday Cheer pours to a dark mahogany color with a nose that combines nuts and fruit. The fruity aroma is like a combination of peaches and cherries and is quite pleasant. There is also a nice head of light brown foam on this beer, and it lasts a good amount of time.
Shiner Holiday Cheer offers a taste that is peachy, peachy, and peachier. There are some other flavors in this beer also, like pecans, apricot, wheat, toffee, and just a touch of cinnamon. A small amount of hops closes out the tasting experience, which then returns to a sweet, peachy aftertaste.
Shiner brews its Holiday Cheer with peaches, pecans, wheat malt, and other ingredients. The alcohol content of this beer is 5.4 percent by volume with a bitterness rating of 22 IBU.
Shiner Holiday Cheer would be right at home served with pecan pie, peach cobbler, berry pies of different sorts, and other desserts. It also matches up nicely with salads and anything else that is compatible with the taste of fruit.
Shiner Holiday Cheer is a Christmas seasonal product offered by Spoetzl Brewery, the company that helped to make Shiner Bock a household name. Shiner Holiday Cheer is, if I'm not mistaken, the first holiday beer offered by Spoetzl and sources tell me it replaces Shiner Dunkelweizen as the Shiner beer for the holiday season.
Winter seasonal beers are typically spicy and warming, with a small amount of fruit flavor sometimes added in but with an emphasis on cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices. Shiner Holiday Cheer, however, is a little different. The dominant flavor in this holiday beer is peaches, with only a small amount of nut flavor and spices. Spoetzl brews this beer using Texas pecans and Texas peaches, creating a beer that is like a fruit pie or peach cobbler served with a wheat crust and some nuts sprinkled on top.
Shiner Holiday Cheer is a sweet beer overall, but it does manage to offer some bitter contrast in the finish. There isn't much, but there is enough hop character to keep this beer from getting too sweet. Yes, it does have a body that is a little syrup- like and it does remind me of a serving of fruit cocktail. But the taste isn't so sweet that it tastes like a fruity malt cooler. You can still tell you're drinking beer.
The taste that dominates this beer is, as stated many times, peach. I continue to emphasize this because the peach flavor is very dominant, from the nose all the way through to the finish. Spoetzl wanted to brew something that was different from other holiday beers, so they decided to go the route of peaches. This is probably due to the local peach crop grown in Texas, along with the locally grown pecans. Rather than concoct something completely out of this world, Shiner decided to stimulate the local economy and brew a beer made with local ingredients.
Shiner Holiday Cheer isn't going to be around for very long. I tried to find some more to buy as a gift and I was unable to find any, even at one of the local Specs beverage stores- large stores known for their extra large selection of beer. According to one of the employees at a local Specs, Spoetzl has already run out of Shiner Holiday Cheer- at least, in my area. Other parts of Texas and possibly other states might have some Shiner Holiday Cheer available for sale, but in my area, it appears to be sold out for the season.
Overall, Shiner Holiday Cheer is a pretty good- tasting holiday beer that is great for those who love the flavor of peaches and want something a little different in a holiday brew. In many ways, it reminds me of some homemade beer I have cooked up in the past and while it may be a little too fruity for some, it still offers enough real beer flavor to make it worthy of a sampling.