Asheville Brewing Co. Ninjabread Man
City: Asheville, NC
The verdict: This is how you do the “Christmas cookie”-style spiced beer right—it’s all about balance of spice intensity, the underlying beer and residual sweetness. ABC knows how to make a porter already, considering that they have a whole yearly line of various “Ninjas,” which helps put this beer on a solid footing. You get pronounced cinnamon and gingerbread on the nose, which is sweet, fragrant and inviting—distinctly different from some of the gingery Christmas ales that initially smell like spicy ginger ale/ginger beer. Cocoa notes make for an excellent supporting player, as does the “velvety texture” noted by one score sheet. A kiss of sweetness that avoids being cloying puts it right where it needs to be.
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