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Beer – #1,067 – Rhyme and Reason – Oamaruvian Xmas 2017

Rhyme & Reason Oamaruvian Xmas 2017, a beer for New Year.  A year ago I was drinking Brouwerij Huyghe – Delirium Noël / Christmas so two festive beers in a row, now a tradition that I just invented. I got one with a gold cap, there was a choice Red or Gold. I should have brought the set.

Don’t panic there is a fancy cheese and cracker selection to hand in case you’re wondering. I perhaps should start a cheese blog.  Don’t mention the ham.

stunning, deep, rich

Rhyme & Reason Oamaruvian Xmas 2017 is in a  500ml bottle, a beer that is 11.3% ABV, and this would be 4.5 standard drinks in NZ
Rhyme & Reason Oamaruvian Xmas 2017 is brewed as a Traditional Ale – Other ass far as I can tell, and that happened in 🇳🇿 Wanaka, New Zealand
Brewed on 14th June 2017, then barred on the 14th July 2017, then decanted on the 29th July 2019, this is beer that is best after August 2019

State of the Lad

Brewed in 2017, this spiced and dark fruited Dark Ale is reminiscent of Xmas Pudding. Barrel Aged for 24 months in an Oamaruvian NZ Whisky Barrel

The Xmas Pudding Beer was created in 2008 when head brewer Jess was brewing at The Hunter Beer Co. Since then it has been brewed annually, with tweaks to the recipe and often with a guest brewer.

What each release has in common is a balanced mix of fruit, spice and warming alcohol heat.

Lucky enough to snag another Oamaruvian Whisky barrel from NZ Whisky Co, the team created and aged this release for two years. The result is a stunning, deep, rich dark ale, with heaps of dark fruit, cherry and vanilla characteristics in deft balance with the whisky flavours

So, What could possibly go wrong?

Goodness,, there’s plenty of raisin and steeped fruits, and a sharp alcohol note.

Pour is of course dark with a head that seems keen, keen on only being a film and not a foam.  That’s the whole bottle in that glass, I could have added another half a bottle, what madness.  The aroma in the glass ha an earthy note about it, which would be my mistaking that wooden whiskey barrel effect, so I’m going with oaken, and whisky. It is faintly off note though in my mind, more a damp wood than a dry oakiness.

Plenty of carbonation in this, and a wallop of alcohol tang. That promise of all the Christmas cake fruits is on display as this is quite mellow and mostly soft drinking, but has a cutting dry edge at the back that leaves a thudding dryness underneath a lovely fruity boozy lingering note in the rest of the mouth. Quite the party.

A rowdy party that started as a grand plan and has ended up a bit of a rabble making noise but having a good time.  I don’t want to go all “It’s a bit thin” but I do think that there is something missing in the middle of the mouthfeel that would indeed fill this out and make it the after dinner sipper, with that Cigar I’m never getting.

To suggest that my thought that it’s thin does this no justice as it clearly is a well thought out concoction, and it might well gather some legs as it warms in the glass as I write this.  I hope.

You can tell when two things are happening by the number of words being written. Either I’m so enjoying it that I’m putting off drinking it to enjoy sip by sip, or it’s a bit off beam and I’m hoping that by letting it sit and let me contemplate my expectation that this will come back together and my exception and the delivery are matched. This is that latter one.

It does get nicer, but it never really gathers up about itself that really full mouthfeel that I would have liked.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 8 of its things from the thing. Great expectations, like any New Years Eve, what’s to come, what’s about to happen, and I really thought that this was going to be a bit of a blinder, and make me all gooey and send me to a happy place, and whilst it’s nice beer with some lovely flavours it didn’t really kick on for me to be the beer I think it could be or the beer I wanted.

The double dip review

  • Where did I get it? The local Liquorland of course.
  • Am I enjoying it? I am, it has lovely oak/wooden notes that are predominant and plenty of sweet fruits about it.
  • Would I have another? I wouldn’t mind if I had the patience to let one sit for a year or so to see what happened
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? Of course, it’s the end of the year, a time to reflect be happy and gather your expectations and memories for the years ahead. This is  a lovely sipping beer that would be great if I ever get that elusive new year cigar that I’ve wanted for years.

Music for this:  Slowdive by Slowdive which I have on Vinyl, but you should listen along on the Spotify, or of course your player of choice.

Slowdive are an English rock band that formed in Reading, Berkshire in 1989. The band consists of Rachel Goswell on vocals and guitar, Simon Scott on drums, Neil Halstead on vocals and guitar, Nick Chaplin on bass and Christian Savill on guitar.

Slowdive is from 2017.



A catch-all category that we use to classify all of those ancient or resurrected styles of antiquity that are appearing more and more in brewing today. From sahti to heather ale to sorghum beer to gruit, and beers like Adam and Midas Touch, these ales will vary tremendously in character from one another. Many are unhopped, strength can vary, but all are a glimpse into brewings past


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