12/3/20: Urban Artifact's Xmas Pickle

3:08 PM

Are we seriously at the second Christmas beer of 2020? Yep, strange as that is. This year's really sprinted right passed my ability to comprehend the flow of time.

Here's something else that's probably going to be strange: Urban Artifact's Xmas Pickle. I've had the original pickle a few times (the first time was, according to my Untappd, back in 2016) and I think it does a damn fine job of replicating the taste of a pickle. Let's see what I think of the Christmas variant, shall we?

Urban Artifact, one of the driving forces behind the Midwest Fruit Tart style of beer, has been open in Cincinnati's Northside neighborhood since 2014. They specialize in wild, tart, and fruited beers and regularly (pre-COVID) feature live music.

Xmas Pickle is, as stated on its Untappd page, "A Holiday Xmas Pickle Miracle." It's a 4.3% ABV gose that's, according to my can, brewed with fruit and spices. That's all I know about it.

*Not actually brewed in WI
Purrl's a huge fan of Xmas Pickle's bouquet--she gave my can 37 whiffs. She's a girl who likes pickles. I can't blame her; pickles are good. I'm finding a ton of sweet gherkin on the nose. I'm willing to bet this is a combination of cucumber, whatever souring agent UA used in the ale (bacteria/yeast/both), and holiday spices like cinnamon and honey. Overall, this is exactly what I'd expected from the gose.

The flavor profile isn't as succinct as the bouquet. It's sour, sure, but I find cucumber, honeydew, cantelope, honey, and some cinnamon and other holiday spices (maybe a hint of nutmeg?). It doesn't only taste like a sweet pickle, is what I'm trying to say; there's a lot more here than you might look to find, a pleasant nuance. There is, however, some definite sweet gherkin flavor in the finish.

This drinks like a perfect lawnmower beer. Crisp, refreshing, crushable. That ABV point really helps to add to this.

Turkey's a Thanksgiving food, sure, but my folks usually roast a second bird on Christmas. When I was a kid (all through high school) I'd wake at dawn on Christmas morning with my brother. We'd tear into our stockings while my parents got up and made coffee. Then, after we'd finished opening presents and had eaten breakfast, we'd settle into playing the video games, listening to the music, and reading the books we'd received.

In the early afternoon, we'd smell the turkey in the oven. It was heavenly. When we'd sit down to dinner, there'd be a jar of sweet gherkins at the table, just one wonderful side dish to an even more wonderful meal.

Urban Artifact's Xmas Pickle is a Christmas beer like no other. They took a good, somewhat novelty beer and gave it a good dose of holidayfication. The end product of this is a tasty, seasonal beer that, really, any beer- and pickle-lover should experience. It's a 9.0/10 for me.

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