12/6/21: MadTree's Holly Days

5:07 PM

It's been more than a month since I've talked about MadTree. That's a bit of time for me; a spell I'll end today.

For years, I've yearned for a MadTree Christmas beer. Sure, they put out Thundersnow annually, which is a killer winter warmer that has the spices one might associate with a Christmas beer. They also did Luna Lux, a great white IPA. Yet, neither of these really scratched that Christmas itch for me. Chalk it up to the lack of Christmassy marketing for each brew. 

This year, though, MadTree's finally done it. They've put out an honest to goodness Christmas beer. This is exactly what I've been waiting for from them, and something I'm excited to crack into. Here it is: Holly Days.

For those of you who aren't familiar with MadTree, please allow me to direct you to the brewery's "About" page. MadTree's made up of individuals who are passionate about the environment, about their community, and about great beer. They're proud of the environmental work they do and they're proud of the beer they brew.

One of those beers is Holly Days, a 6.8% IPA that's brewed with spruce tips (this adjunct should make the ale an incredibly Christmassy affair).

Holly Days' bouquet is gorgeous. It's big notes of tropical fruit (mango, pineapple, some guava) and orange. This is all swaddled in a wonderfully Christmassy piney aroma. Lottie's also a big fan of the ale's nose; she gave my can eighteen whiffs. Really, this is exactly what I'd hoped the IPA's bouquet would be.

A swig of the ale provides a some fruity notes--those tropical flavors I mentioned above, as well as the orange and a bit of apple. The pine is here in spades. There's a little funk kicking around in the finish, where the soaring fruity hops are grounded with a slight earthiness.

This is a pillowy IPA. It's a fantastic mouthfeel.

Michelle and I typically try to get ball and burlap Christmas trees--our yard's about a half an acre, so we like to get living trees that we can plant and continue to enjoy long after the holiday season's passed.

Well, last year we missed out on ball and burlap trees. Instead, we headed out to a tree farm to chop down a tree of our choice. After we got home, the tree and I posted up in the garage where I refined my cut on the tree's trunk, so we could put it in the stand we bought for it. The garage smelled wonderfully piney for a few days after we put the tree up inside. That afternoon spent in our cold garage, perfecting our Christmas tree for that year, is what I'm thinking about while sitting on my couch with Holly Days.

MadTree's first official Christmas beer gets a 9.0/10 from me. Holly Days is a killer piney IPA, and one I hope will be a staple of my holiday season for years to come.

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