There's an old Christmas song called “Last Month of the Year” (The Blind Boys of Alabama do a rousing version) that runs through the twelve months in call-and-response seeking the month in which Jesus born. They eventually reach December and sing for joy in celebration of the holiday.
And so it is for me. I tick off each month's seasonal releases, paying no mind to maibocks in May. I skip over the kolsches of spring and the saisons of summer and I push pass pumpkin ales in October. All in favor of the Christmasy delights of December.
From George Gale's very English version to the appropriately named Peculiar Yule from Nøgne Ø, to Anchor Christmas and the one I'm trying to clone now – Jubelale from Deschutes, I love the blend of alcohol warmth, fireplace smokiness, hop bite, not to mention the often-present chocolate, dark fruitiness and range of spice that some of the best Christmas ales exhibit. Jubelale hits them all and is a deeply satisfying ale with, I think, broad appeal.
And so I'm trying to make my own version....