Few craft breweries have the ability to put out more than one Christmas seasonal beers annually besides the Danish gypsy brewer Mikkeller. Thanks due to the unique situation at Mikkeller, the brewery is able to release close to ten seasonal Christmas beers. I recently wrote an article on the Fra Til Christmas
porter from Mikkeller which I found to be simply outstanding. Santa’s Little Helper is a annually brewed Belgian Dark Strong Ale brewed to 10.9% ABV. The high alcohol level is achieved by the addition of Belgian candy sugar during the boil.
Santa’s Little Helper pours a purely opaque viscous black oil with a thin dense tan head. A few bubbles slowly seep to the dying layer of head and a pungent rich aroma wafts out of the glass. The nose is incredibly rich and intense with massive chocolate and roasted almost burnt malt aromas. “Santa’s” has an
incredibly sweet molasses and brown sugar richness that accompanies the roasted malts well. This beer has a literally enticing and appetizing aroma that truly defines a great beer.
Taking the first sip I find a sweet, luxurious almost syrupy flavour with intense roasted malts following soon afterwards. Dark ripened and dried fruits joined with dark chocolate and a hint of of nutmeg spice are noted mid palate. I think I may have poured this a bit too cold and I cup the trappist glass to warm it up. The flavour of roasted malts lingers on well into the aftertaste despite a moderate alcohol presence on the finish. As the beer warms up the flavour profile seems to shift and I find more dried and candied fruits predominate. This is just an incredibly diverse and unique beer that I could describe as part Imperial Stout and part Belgian Quadrupel. Overall, Mikkeller never seems to fail and I’d have to say that Santa’s Little Helper sure doesn’t break that rule.
Grade: 94/100 Price: $12.99