While my favorite cold-weather drink is obviously glögg, I also like trying the special winter brews many Estonian breweries come out with in December. Many of these seasonal brews have the word jõulud or Christmas in the name, but they’re usually available through February or so. Here’s a look at some of the ones we’ve tried this winter.
This is A. le Coq‘s Christmas Porter. It’s somewhat rich and not very bitter, and I should also point out that the alcohol content clocks in at 6.5%. This lightweight right here definitely doesn’t need to be drinking strong beers on a regular basis, but it was fun (hehe) to try this one. Also, if I may be nostalgic for a minute, during the first winter I ever spent in Estonia (2005) A. le Coq’s seasonal offering was a Chocolate Porter that I really liked. I wish they’d bring it back since the Christmas Porter definitely doesn’t have as much of a chocolate flavor.
The name of Puls brewery’s holiday beer is quite dramatic– Jõulu Legend, or Christmas Legend. I unfortunately don’t remember very much about this one, except that it was pleasant enough and had a more normal alcohol content (5.4%) than the A. le Coq beer did.
I actually really like this one, also by the Puls company. It’s Jõulusiider, or Christmas Cider. The label doesn’t say what it’s supposed to taste like, but I definitely get a taste of cranberries (or lingonberries) with a hint of cinnamon and cardamom. It’s very sweet, like Estonian ciders tend to be, but I still like the subtle spice flavors and have enjoyed a few bottles of this in recent weeks. Actually, I think I might go stock up on a few more before we get too far from the holidays and they pull these from the shelves.