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Santa's Little Helper 2012 Grand Marnier Barrel-Aged - Mikkeller ApS

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Santa's Little Helper 2012 Grand Marnier Barrel-Aged
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very good

12 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 12
Reviews: 4
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 8.74%
Wants: 0
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.90% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: tbryan5 on 12-21-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 12 | Reviews: 4
Reviews by mrfrancis:
Photo of mrfrancis
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque brown-black with a creamy, lingering khaki head.

S: Aromas of oak, caramel, cream, spices, black cherry, plums, coffee, figs, dates, and blood orange fill the nose.

T: The entry presents robust notes of blood orange, oak, and woody spices. Impressions of coffee, toast, vanilla bean, candy sugar, dark chocolate, heavy cream, caramel, Medjool dates, plums, figs, raisins, and dried black cherries emerge around mid-palate. The finish is smooth and sweet with oak, toast, caramel, black cherry, spice, and blood orange flavors giving way to a delicate, liqueurish fade.

M: Relatively full-bodied, but much, much lighter than many ales of this style. Carbonation is delicate. Alcohol is restrained. Very easy to drink for such a big beer.

O: How much you will like this ale largely depends on two factors: 1.) how much you dig Mikkeller's aesthetic and 2.) how much you like Grand Marnier and/or other sweet, fruity liqueurs. Fortunately for me, I do not have a problem with either, thus I enjoy this beer quite a bit.

More User Reviews:
Photo of tbryan5
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of leckart
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Nice subtle hint of raisin in an ale that balances a sweetness with a little bit of a bitter on the backend. Not at all syrupy but not watery. Though raisin is the dominant flavor I get, it's not one note at all. Overall, it's a bit pricey but rather enjoyable.

Photo of drewone
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of ThePaleRider
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

As the standard offering of Santa's Little Helper is always one of the most anticipated beers to close out the year, new combination of tastes about as the barrel-aged variations abound. With the common sweet, strong, spicy and fruity flavors comfort the palate, its porterish and stouty toastiness are unique.

Like the standard "Little Helper", this Grand Marnier version leads with dark brown hues with cocoa-laden haze. Seemingly mistaken for porter, its head character is slow to build and is dainty in its structure. Though the ale is sturdy, its foam simply lacks confidence. A tepid trail of lace is much lighter than the ale deserves.

Fruity-sweet aromas are moderate as they are burried underneath bold toast, coffee and chocolate tones. Its barrel influence rolls in with sweet booze but little to showcase the true orange liqueur flavors that are anticipated. Instead, other fruit flavors of grape, date, fig and apricot do their part in creating complexity, power and intrigue.

Its taste is equally as complex as the taste of brown sugar, toffee and sweet liquour play out on a dry cocoa and coffee upstart. As the earthen sweetness rises, so does the honey and orange blossom flavor for a rise to the malt sweetness within. That's when its fruity middle palate really takes hold with plumbs, blackberries, currant, cherry and grape. Wrapping up with a notion of fruity booze, the taste of both fruit cake and orange fortification are bright early and often.

Full bodied throughout, the ale has a zesty quality that's lightly acidic but its full body is creamy, carbonated and lavish as its savory, succulent and rich taste offers up bready sweetness, sweet booziness and light toasty spice. and agave linger.

All of the Santa's Little Helper Beers are so rewarding and frustrating. They give all the necessary character of fruity, spicy and sweeter Belgian ales, but they offer porter-like chocolate and coffee with stout-like roast. Yet the beer doesn't really stand out with any of the best of these tastes. Its satisfying, yet forgettable.

Photo of ronricorossi
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.84/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a very deep, dark brown with a half inch, mocha head. Pretty decent lacing for almost 11% and being 2012 Vintage.

Dark fruit, spice and light Gran Marnier make up the moderately light smell. Oak drys out the end.

Plum, spices and slight chocolate start off the taste. Grains, slight orange and oak round out the middle. Pear and oak, with a bit more spice finish it off. Very light for bring a barrel aged spiced beer. Not bad, just surprising.

I liked it, but it is certainly not worth the steep bottle price more than once.

Photo of Bonsall_Phil
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of BeerBeast
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of DCLAguy11
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of Wolberjs
5/5  rDev +21.4%

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Santa's Little Helper 2012 Grand Marnier Barrel-Aged from Mikkeller ApS
88 out of 100 based on 12 ratings.