Tag Archives: Christmas

The Target: Mikkeller’s Hoppy Lovin’ Christmas

Brewed by: Mikkeller (brewed at De Proefbrouwerij)
Copenhagen, Denmark
Style: American Double/Imperial IPA
ABV: 7.8 %

Commercial description: India Pale Ale brewed with Ginger and Pine Needles.


Pours a light amber/honey that is fairly cloudy. A massive three-finger off-white foamy head with great retention and a crazy amount of sticky lacing. There is a dense rocky island in the middle of my snifter.

AROMA (10/10)

Relatively mild, floral hop aroma, particularly for this style. Malty notes of caramel, sweet toffee, and bready crusts help balance a zippy hop profile comprised of light pine, grapefruit rind, and slight tropical fruitiness. A whiff or ginger and alcohol at the end.

FLAVOR (18/20)

Follows the nose a great deal. Oily, piney hops are assertive and bitter, but there are some sweet fruity notes coming through, with green apple, orange, and grapefruit being detected. More malt balance than the average hop bomb, with sweet caramel malt, toffee, light nutty notes, and some toasty flavors too. Bitter like a DIPA but balanced like an APA. As it warms the pine is very strong in the aftertaste but is tempered a bit by the sweetness. It has an interesting transition from bitter to sweet to bitter again. Not as much ginger as in the nose, just a hint in the aftertaste.


Nice carbonation, with a smooth feel to it. Light to medium bodied, and not too thick or hot like some DIPAs tend to be. A nice, easy drinking mouthfeel that compliments the balanced profile really well.


Overall this is a well-hopped IPA that offers up the subtle hints you’d expect from the name. The holidays portrayed with a gingerbread cookie-like sweetness and hints of pine. An aggressively hopped DIPA with some nice complexities but it doesn’t ruin you as some of the genre do

FINAL SCORE  (46/50)



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The Target: Hoppin’ Frog Frosted Frog

Brewed by: Hoppin’ Frog Brewery
Akron, Ohio USA
Style: Christmas/Winter Specialty Spiced Beer
ABV: 8.6 %

Commercial description: The essence of Christmas is captured in this very bottle you are holding. Perfectly blended spices compliment Frosted Frog’s rich malt flavors, creating the ultimate Christmas experience. Celebrate the holidays as you savor this very special seasonal offering.


Pours opaque brown with some amber highlights. Minimal head and decent retention and lacing.

AROMA (8/10)

Aroma is beautifully festive. Now the first whiff…man, they weren’t kidding about the spices. Strong cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in the nose. A bit of bready malt in there too.

FLAVOR (17/20)

Taste was similar to the aromatics, though not as intense. The ginger is more dominant than the cinnamon that was so strong in the aromatics. The combination of the two gives this beer a decent balance. You’ll either love or hate this because it’s heavy on the spice. It starts out with some apple-cider sweetness and cinnamon, then a nice amount of malt supports a takes over and lets the graham cracker and other spices take over.


Drinkable and medium body that is nice and smooth. Carbonation is dialed down to just the right level. It’s not quite thick enough to be creamy, but that’s not a big knock on it. It has a nice feel. This is tasty stuff that’s deceptively strong.


Very drinkable and solid winter warmer. At times the spices got a little over whelming which results in a bit of palate fatigue. Not something I would generally drink in mass quantities but a great holiday brew that really delivers the Christmas spirit.


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