Puto Bumbong Holiday Ale

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Great Islands Craft Brews released their second Christmas seasonal beer at the Global Beer Exchange Bottle Shop –  Puto Bumbong Holiday Ale. It was a limited batch of fourteen 750-ml corked bottles, and I was lucky enough to get my hands on the last one. Fellow hopheads and regulars Nicole, Bryan and Francis had been sharing one bottle amongst themselves, and offered me a taste. I decided to bring the bottle I bought to a Christmas reunion party the next day.

 

 

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I found the puto bumbong (purple glutinous rice cakes) notes a tad underwhelming. The dominant flavors were toasted rice and coconut. I was expecting a bit more sweetness and even some buttery diacetyl note, though. Also, coming from the excellent Candied Ginger and Honey IPA, I expected a bigger, thicker, richer beer in line with the holiday ale/winter warmer tradition. Nevertheless, this was a good beer, very “sessionable” and well-made. If I didn’t know it was supposed to taste like puto bumbong, I’d say it made for a solid, everyday brew.

The back label shows the expertise that goes behind the crafting of GICB’s beers. It’s complete with an ingredient list, recommended serving temperature and glassware, as well as pairing and tasting tips.

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GBEX owner Jim then shared some Australian craft beer, Chevalier Saison, which came in a champagne bottle. This was a bit on the sour side, and quite creamy, which left me reminded of my lack of fondness for beers brewed with lactobacillus. As far as saisons go, the best one I’ve had is definitely the Stone, Dogfish Head and Victory collaborative Saison du Buff. The latter is probably more US than Belgian-styled though, I’ll admit.

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