Secret Santa | HopDog BeerWorks

Secret SantaSecret Santa
7 Ratings
Secret SantaSecret Santa

Brewed by:
HopDog BeerWorks

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by dgilks on 12-09-2011

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7 |  Reviews: 6
Photo of chogm54
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Secret Santa 2013 version (brewed in Dec 2013). No bb date. Interesting mix - the label mentions coriander and orange peel, NZ and US hops, and I heard there might be some gingerbread in there as well.

A - pours a cloudy tawny brown, with a decent white frizzy head

A - bready malt, earthy belgian yeasts, huge spice hit (cinnamon, coriander),

T - sweet caramel malts at the start and finish, with a punch of spice, ginger and hoppy bitterness in the middle. Fruity (passionfruit) after taste.

M - full bodied, moderate carbonation, alcohol is noticeable but not too strong, slightly astringent taste

O - interesting, but the mix of yeasty flavours and huge spiciness threw me off a bit at first. Not sure how much I would have like this during summer though-definitely a winter warmer.

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Photo of Vanz
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of CrazyDavros
2.3/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Impossible pours, ridiculously heady.
Weird aroma of apple cider, spicy phenols, doughy yeast notes, orange peel and ginger/nutmeg.
The cider note is not as pronounced as a flavour thankfully. However the alcohol is very prominent and the orange peel and spices seem disjointed rather than well-integrated.
Ridiculously over-carbonated.
Trying HopDog’s range is like a rollercoaster...

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Photo of joecast
3.8/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My last Hop Dog beer from the recent Australian group trade.

Brilliant golden amber. Fairly clear. Medium carbonation. Thin foam covering sits above the liquid goodness. Not getting to hung up on style but this is quite light for a Belgian strong dark. Can't mark down much for that as I don't expect it was specifically brewed with that style in mind. Anyway, it's a good looking beer.

Light yeast spiciness without being sharp. Cinnamon type aroma also that hints at its holiday roots. Gentle maltiness helps round things out. Little indication of the alcohol.

Taste is full on without being a kick in the teeth. Big malt base (though not overly sweet) confirms the abv on the label. More spice here from the yeast again but also some different spice notes. Very nice and very interesting. Looking at other reviews it may have needed a bit more time to really come together. Though in saying hat, I don't know that any more age would improve it as I wouldn't want to see this with any less of that pice character.

Mouthfeel is balanced just right. Enough to carry a fairly big beer but not making it heavy or a chore to drink.

Drinkable? Way more than it has any right to being. The balance and character of the spice is so well handled against the rest of the already quite characterful beer. Very impressed.

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Photo of MrKennedy
2.88/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

330ml bottle from Platinum Liquor, poured into a Golden Monkey tulip.

Looks copper-amber in colour, with a beige head of foam that falls too soon without leaving a trace. Large yeast lumps form on the bottom of the glass.

Smell is sweet, plenty of sugar, some green pear and green apple, along with some plastic. Some alcoholic warmth but not over the top. A good deal of spice, but i couldn't detect coriander which was added to it, despite its often overpowering presence.

Taste is where the warmth is. Plenty of alcohol coming through. Nice spiciness accompanies it, but it is the alcohol that wins out over the nutmeg and hint of ginger.

Mouthfeel has plenty of size to it from the beer, but also the booziness. I get the warmth for Christmas but this is probably just pushing it.

An average Belgian style ale, plenty of boozy warmth, some spiciness, best suited to a northern hemisphere Santa, as intended.

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Photo of
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle pours slighty hazy red-amber with a small healthy head. Minimal lacing. For some reason I thought this might have been a few shades darker... Oh well.

The nose is heavy with sweet Belgian yeastiness. Tart apples and orange peel come to mind. Some alcohol stands out as the beer warms.

Straight away I get a real brash candied fruit simplicity on the palate. Theres spices aswell, nutmeg and ginger, and a tart cherry flavour to finish. A little simple and unbalanced.

Medium thin body, needs more bubbles.

Overall I was left wanting a little more from this beer - a little pedestrian.

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Photo of dgilks
3.6/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy amber red colour with a small, shortlasted, off white head. No lacing.

Very fruity aroma with lots of stone fruit, raisins, nutmeg, cinnamon and pear. The ester profile is almost too great compared to the phenols. Plenty of alcohol. Sweet.

Sweetish malt with a touch of tartness and bitterness in the background. Lots of fruit again with hard fruits dominating. Some spice. Lacking balance.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. A little bit flat compared to what it should be.

This is okay as a Belgian but it lacks finesse and, like my home brewed Belgians, displays evidence of hot fermentation. I like it but I feel that it could be much better.

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Secret Santa from HopDog BeerWorks
Beer rating: 3.3 out of 5 with 7 ratings
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