Shiner Holiday Cheer 5.4% ABV
While their regular beers, all in all, haven’t been that noteworthy (though wellmade), I tend to forget about Shiner’s seasonal beers. Their spring FM 966 Farmhouse Ale is excellent, so when their Holiday Cheer winter seasonal went on tap at the local wings joint, I went for it.
Christmas beers aren’t my cup of tea. While Schlafly’s sound great, being in Texas my entire life, the typical Christmas flavors are still foreign to me and so don’t “bring me back home” during the holiday season.
When trying the 2014 Shiner Holiday Cheer, without reading up on it, I was bracing myself for a mouthful of those typical Christmas flavors, waiting to “drink a Christmas candle”.
Shiner’s Holiday Cheer is deceptive in that it is a great dunkelweizen with a name that elicits in me the negative flavor image of Rudolph throwing up on Frosty. Far from it, Shiner’s dunkelweizen is very pleasant, great for the winter without being limited to the “holiday season”. Truthfully, between the spring FM 966 and the Holiday Cheer, I would bet on a brewery only selling those two brews.
Either when sitting near the heater while watching a football game or at the holiday meal table, Holiday Cheer is great. Holiday Cheer has notes of a pecan and peaches vibe, which is much more Texan than most Christmas beers. Initially, you’re hit with the peaches, in a sweet-but-not-too-sweet wave of joy which cleans up with a nutty finish from the pecans.
Holiday Cheer is filling, though not overly so, and is the one characteristic that would likely prevent it from being highly sought after in the summer months, though I’d gladly drink one in August.
This is a great beer to get a taste of a Texan Christmas, to bring to a party, to enjoy all yourself at home or any combo in between.