well three to be precise.
One of the regular emails from Aldi dropped into my inbox, informing me that amongst their new offers were two xmas ales, namely Batemans 'Rosy Nosey' and Wychwoods 'Bah Humbug'. I picked these up earlier today, and put them alongside a bottle of Whittingstons 'A Winters Tail' (all their beer's names have links to cats btw).
I started with the Batemans beer, (surprisingly no regular endorsement from Roger Protz on the back, like their other non bottle conditioned bottles). 4.9% and 500mls. A dark amber colour with little aroma other than that unmistakable Batemans smell that accompany's all their bottles. Flavour is, well, average, some sweet maltyness, slight spices but nothing is distinctive, its quite thin and i wouldn't have said this was a christmas beer if i was given it without seeing the bottle or knowing its name.
Next was the Wychwood Bah Humbug 5.0%, again a dark amber colour, its aroma though is cloves, some cinnamon i think but clove dominates. Taste wise its again cloves, but there is no balance for anything else. The Schneider Weisse beer i tried recently has cloves but its balanced so that the other flavours come through. I wouldn't drink this again, its a little unpleasant.
Hastily i moved onto the Wittingtons ' A Winters Tail' 5.1% with its dark reddy brown colour and a creamy just of white head. Has a woody aroma with some dark malts, not quite a coffee or chocolate hit though, cannot put my finger on it. Taste is on a lightish body, its dry and malty, a very very light smokeyness with hints of fruit.
Overall i preferred the Whittingtons, a better balanced beer, the Batemans was pleasant enough, but the Wychwood will not be in this house at christmas.