12/13/17: Taft's Brewing Company's Santa's Bribe

5:36 PM

We're rapidly nearing the end of the line for Christmas shopping--I almost have all of mine done. And, by almost, I mean I'm not really even close. Let's hope your further along in your gift accumulation than I am.


If you aren't, hopefully I can help you out today. Maybe I'll be able to recommend this beer, Taft's' Sant's Bribe, as a gift to give the beer-lover in your life. I guess you'll just have to read on and find out.

Before all of that, though, I need to write this. Tomorrow, December 14th, the FCC will be voting on the future of the internet. Three of the five of them are expected to support Chairman Pai's dismantling of the net neutrality regulations that were put in place years ago. This means that ISPs would be able to (and probably would!) charge you extra to use the internet depending on what sites you frequent.

Think Netflix is too expensive already? Then head over to battleforthenet.com to find out what you can do to stop the FCC from ruining the open web. Please. This is our final chance.

Now, since the FCC hasn't put anything to a vote yet, you'll be able read this for tonight, at least, so let's get down to business! Taft's Brewing Company is a Cincinnati-based brewery from which I haven't had many beers. The only one I can recall trying was their Maverick Porter, but damn if that wasn't good.

Taft's began as an ale house, located in Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine. But, they weren't housed in their original locale alone for long; once it became clear that they were getting too big for their britches, Taft's moved production to a 49,000 square foot, 50 barrel facility. Check out their website if you want more information.

If you want to know a little about Santa's Bribe, be sure to click this link to get to an image for it on Taft's site. Don't want to click the link? I have you covered. Santa's Bribe is a 6.2% ABV Christmas Cookie Ale, which, I assume, means it's styled after a Christmas cookie. With it's notes of vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger, I think that's a safe assumption.

The ale's bouquet is subdued, or at least it is when contrasted against my expectations. It's sweet, yes, but not sweet like the frosted sugar cookies my family always makes for Christmas. Santa's Bribe smells like an oatmeal raisin cookie. The cinnamon and ginger are prominent here--I'm not getting much vanilla. Purrl give it five whiffs before stopping to pose for this picture.


The vanilla comes through a lot more in the flavor. It serves to brighten how the ale tastes and it's what lingers around in the finish. The cinnamon and ginger are both here, too. The oatmeal cookieness of it all persists.

The mouthfeel is bright and slightly bubbly. Sharp is the best word I can describe it with.

Santa's Bribe doesn't remind me of anything Christmasy, but it does remind me of something wintry. One afternoon at my parents' old house I whiled away the hours with a copy of Brian Jacques' Mossflower. The chair I sat in was directly in front of a window. From time to time, I'd look up and see snow gently falling outside. It was quite the experience to watch the snow pile up a little higher with each chapter I'd read (I'm a super slow reader).

Taft's Brewing Company's Santa's Bribe is a fantastic winter ale. While nothing about the beer itself absolutely screams Christmas to me, it'd still be a great choice of brew to enjoy with your yuletide activities. And at a John Likes Beer rating of 8.5/10, it'd also make a killer gift for that beer-lover in your life.

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