12/18/21: Wolf's Ridge Brewing's Gingerbread Cookie Clear Sky (Holiday Series 2020)

2:47 PM

This beer is the one I'd originally lined up to drink for this year's Christmas in July. See, shortly after Christmas last year, I found myself (as one so often does) in a local bottleshop. They had Wolf's Ridge's Holiday Series two-pack discounted to $15 or $20. I snagged one, figuring I'd drink a bottle for this Christmas and the other for X-mas in July.

Well, as you might know, I drank something else, something a little more unexpected, for that July post. Instead, I figured I'd sit on both beers until this December. Since it's this December now, and I have a weekend off and both beers still to drink, the time's come to break into that pack. Here's the first: Gingerbread Cookie Clear Sky.

Columbus, OH's award-winning Wolf's Ridge Brewing has a two-fold brewing mission: 1) Use the best ingredients to make standard beer styles sing and 2) push the boundaries of beer expectations, bringing new ideas to this ancient artform. 

Gingerbread Cookie Clear Sky (GCCS, henceforth) (we're using Untappd since it's not on Wolf's Ridge's website) is a modest 5% ABV cream ale that boasts ginger, molasses, and (hopefully holiday) spices.

My bottle (which is a gusher) features a nose that has some ginger, some molasses, and a faint hint of spice (nutmeg and clove). Really, the bouquet is tinny. Have you ever had canned water? That's a big part of what I'm finding here. I'm not saying she's right, but I can see why Purrl only gave my bottle two whiffs. I'd probably give it five, myself.

A light pull (because, again, GCCS is a gusher) gives me more of that tinniness. Searching beyond that, though, there's ginger, clove, orange peel, mild vanilla, cinnamon, and molasses. The ginger, cinnamon, and molasses are the flavors (along with a general seltzerness) hanging on the ale's slight finish.

This is an effervescent beer. GCCS drinks like seltzer water. It's body is damn light.

When I was a kid, a pivotal moment of each holiday season was when my folks made their Christmas cookies. These were sugar cookies that'd they'd bake without us before my brother and I were brought into the kitchen to help frost and sprinkle. 

I remember the whole process of frosting taking hours. But, I was a kid so everything seemed longer than it actually was. We'd listen to Christmas music while we worked, sneaking a spoonful or two of frosting in the process. Tonight, Michelle and I are starting on our own cookies, following my parents' recipe. 

It might just be because GCCS' label features a gingerbread cookie recipe, but I'm in a particularly Christmas cookie mood this evening.

I'm a little let down by Wolf's Ridge Brewing's Gingerbread Cookie Clear Sky. I dig the featured flavors (ginger, molasses, clove, orange, cinnamon, and nutmeg? Yes, please). But the canned water flavor is absolutely working against the rest of the ale. I'm giving the stuff in my bottle (granted, it's a year old) a 7.0/10. Let's see if tomorrow's Holiday Series entry fares any better.

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