I’ve fathered four children (the old-fashioned way), and a few years ago I installed a 14-foot by 14-inch by 4-inch steel beam nine feet off the floor with no special equipment, all by myself. I offer those bits of information by way of explaining why I’m secure enough in my masculinity to admit that I like sweetly flavored beer.
This week, it’s Blue Moon’s Cinnamon Horchata Ale.
Horchata, the Internet tells me, is a somewhat sweet traditional beverage in Spain and Latin America, made with some sort of nut or grain. In this case, it’s long rice.
The beer is amber in color, with a light, subtle flavor that seems like it would be more appropriate in the winter. Hold it on your tongue and breathe out through your nose, and the sensation is something like Christmas sugar cookies with a dash of cinnamon. That’s not bad, not bad at all, and it’s definitely not overpowering. (Have I mentioned that I once got into a fight that left a hole in my lower lip that made it difficult to drink without the beverage leaking down my chin? Masculine, like I said.)
As for flavor combinations, I’d recommend none. This beer might be better as a desert or a nightcap, especially because the best part comes a few minutes after finishing, with the lingering taste. That’s not often the case with beer.
But it’s Halloween, so let me backpedal a bit on the winter-beer claim. There’s something appropriate to autumn about the residue of an unfiltered ale floating around in the glass after it’s poured into a glass. When temperamental New England weather grants us t-shirt weather in October, the relatively light and mildly flavored beer might be more appropriate refreshment for a mid-autumn evening than as a comfort on a frigid, cuddling, winter evening.
And the scent of mild cinnamon mulling that precedes the cookie aftertaste is a good reminder that cider precedes eggnog on the calendar.
Then, after the sun sets and the costumed children stop ringing the door bell, Blue Moon’s Belgian White Wheat Ale blends very well as the doctor-recommended second alcoholic beverage for the evening.