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Columbus 12 Hops Of Christmas | Columbus Brewing Company

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10 Ratings

Brewed by:
Columbus Brewing Company
Ohio, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by prototypic on 12-04-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 10 |  Reviews: 6
Photo of resistdefy
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of projectflam86
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of AuroraTheWhite
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of Adamostella
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of ne0m00re
3.67/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

02/13/11- Had this one at the Studio 35 tasting with Zoolander.
A: Murky light brown with a thin cream collar.
S: Cheese, black tea, earthy, brown sugar, figs and dates and raisins, with pecans.
T: Brown sugar and figs with a bright finish with tea and earthy, woody citrus. Good.
M: Thicker, frothy.
D: OK.

I guess we kicked the last keg at the tasting.

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Photo of Ryan011235
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap in a fluted glass at the brewpub 12/3/10

This is a murky looking beer. Dirty, almost dull brown. Deep amber highlights around the bottom. Poured just a head just shy of one finger that is slow to dissipate. Wispy retention with some bubbles & a smooth foam collar. Rather impressive lace.

With a dozen hop varieties, coupled with CBC's propensity to hop the dickens out of their beers, it stands to reason that the nose is densely hoppy. Note to self - feel free to copy paste all of the descriptors of the series thus far: dank pine nestled within a blanket of citrus. Spicy hop crackle of grapefruit, lemon zest, tangerine, pineapple & orange peel. Some toasted malts in the back with a hint of caramel. I'm guessing Simcoe, Citra, Centennial, Amarillo, Cascade, maybe Columbus.

The taste actually surprises me; not that it's hoppy but rather how the hops are expressed. Thick, oily bitterness hits upfront, tapering off minimally. It's fairly sharp throughout. Spiciness moves in to round it out. Citrus drops last, more of an amalgamation than distinct flavors. The Noble hops tend to get lost as well. Upon the first sip I reasoned 12 Hops is more malty than most of the other Hop Odyssey beers. I'm not sure I can agree with that assessment long term. Instead, the dense feel of the beer seemingly bolsters the heft of the malts. Toasty notions throughout; caramel, too. Some sweetness akin to honey.

As mentioned above this is a dense beer, resulting in a resinous, full bodied feel. It's quite sticky with a slow-rolling underpinning of grittiness. The finish is wrought with residuals of the flavor profile. Nay, it isn't so much residuals as it is an even fade out. Coating feel as it warms.

12 Hops of Christmas is alright by me. I'm rating this as a Double IPA as it comfortably fits the style (more so than Bodhi, even). It has some similarities to Midwestern heavy hitters such as Double Trouble & Double Crooked Tree. The abv seems high; it sure does hit hard. Regardless, I think it drinks pretty well. If nothing else, this is pre-gaming for Hopslam. Well done, guys.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Bodega. Normally Im right there getting a growler filled every month, but the combination of a busy, hectic month and the reported price of almost $30 for a growler fill put a big damper on my plans. Bodega has had the Hop Odysseys without fail so I knew not all was lost. I dont recall Bodega's price for this one but I do remember making the comment that it was much cheaper than what CBC was selling it for. Served in one of Bodega's silly 10oz glasses.

A- Appearance scores given to beers reviewed from bodega are usually going to be too low because they fill right to the rim resulting in minimal head on every beer, but I work with what I got. The color is a caramelly amber. It has the usual unfiltered amount of haze that most CBC beers have, and for the record I enjoy that look very much. As I said, my pour had little head but lacing was still trying to happen.

S- A mish-mash of hops, but hey, it ain't no Batch 10k. My friend had a good line for the aroma. "Its like someone's dirty house who has too many cats and dogs, dirty cat house." Partly shes right, there is a litter box/dander type of smell. Thankfully its not like ammonia, again, its not Batch 10k. But there is every kind of hop aroma all competing.

T- Everything pulls together much better in the flavor, and thats where it counts. Its very much like a bigger, maltier double IPA. Think Double Crooked, but not as crazy big. Nice tropical hops with pine bough and herbs and spices. The malt arrives in the second act, providing a sturdy antagonist that can stand up to an insane hop bill. Did you like all of my theater references? Anyway, the malts are really what help give this beer drinkability. Its not going to knock the flavor receptors off your tongue, its got a nice balance.

M- Medium bodied and smooth. Its carbonation is right where a beer like this should be. Its not a light, refreshing IPA, its a bigger, slower hopwine.

D- Again, the balance of flavors gives this one its drinkability. It leans over towards the hoppy side, but not so much to ruin it. The alcohol is hidden well, despite being one of the highest ones in the series (I think Creeper was higher at around 10%).

Im sad to see this series end, but it leaves me impatient to see what CBC will do in 2011. I have a feeling next year will be big.

Thanks Eric and crew, its been a fun year.

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Photo of Spider889
3.47/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Ah, Twelve Hops of Christmas. Perhaps the most overhyped beer of the series, and certainly the one I was most looking forward to for the last several releases.

This beer turned out to be a bit of an enigma for me. At first everything seemed appropriate and extremely delicious, though over time I grew increasingly less fond of it.

Had on tap at the brewpub. Served in a 'pear tulip' (I think that's what the bartender called it) due to the high abv. I could have sworn she told me the beer was 9.8% abv but whatever.

I also disagree with the style listing, much more of a sweet DIPA to me (like the ones some people argue ought to be barley wines). The malting is what makes this different I guess, and strong ale is all encompassing so I digress...

A - enigma #1. The bar was dimly lit when we arrived so at first I was blown away by the appearance of the beer. A dark cloudy copper color with a tall head - frothy, dense, and sticky as hell. A nice syrupy lace was being left behind in splotchy rings. Lots of visible carbonation. I wanted to give this really high marks here, and at first I felt that the beer achieved a pseudo-winter warmer type of coloring, which would be suitible given the name/release of the beer. However, the more I looked into my glass, the more I felt that the cloudy copper/brown greenish/orange color was unappealing. I still enjoyed the appearance enough to give it a 4 though.

S - best part of the beer. I could smell roots of columbus IPA in there, minus the pine notes. Lots of citrus and tropical fruit, and some muddled earthiness underneath. The beer definitely smelled bitter, like a double IPA, but also sweet and with some biting alcohol notes piercing through the hops. I wanted to give a 5, but things started the get a little messy as the beer warmed. Caramel malt intermingles with some other malt that was indistinguishable, yet heavy - weighing down the lighter, airy fruit esters.

T - enigma #2. My first impression was that this was a solidly outstanding Double IPA. Slightly sweet with just enough bitterness to make you pucker and keep my wife at bay from drinking this all herself. Grapefruit and mango dominate the hop bill. The alcohol is apparent and prickles the front of the tongue and warms deep into the belly. But as the beer warms it morphs into something slightly sinister. The malts are all over the place... messy, and suddenly it dawns on me - Batch 10,000! The horror! Not quite as off-putting as the Bells amalgamtion from hell, but certainly reminiscent to say the least...

My final decision was that this beer tasted like the bastard child of Batch 10,000, Columbus IPA, and Bells Oracle. Sweet, fruity, hoppy and bitter, with a sweet but strong alcohol bite and a messy malt profile that is all over the radar.

M - well carbed, almost too much, but I enjoyed it. Strong alcohol, sticky and sweet. Full bodied, almost chewy for such a hoppy, highly carbonated beer.

D - would I drink this again? Yes. Would I rather have other incarnations of the Hop Odyssey? Hell yes. And at $29 a growler this felt way overpriced. I was content with my glass priced at $6.75.

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Photo of nrbw23
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a hazy reddish copper color with a egg shell colored head. Head has good retention, becomes a nice layer of bubbles on top of the brew and leaves some really nice lacing.

S- Smacked right in the face by hops. I think about every type of hop is covered here. A very tiny bit of caramel malts here. All hops here and its really great.

T- Again tons of hops here. Tropical fruits everywhere here along with a good piney punch. A bit of malts and touch of alcohol but this is just plain a great tasting beer.

M- Medium in both body and carbonation.

D- I found this beer very drinkable. I split a growler with a fellow BA. The main draw back on this one is its price 28.95 for a growler fill really sucks.

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Photo of prototypic
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

December has officially arrived and brings us 12 Hops of Christmas, the final release in the 2010 Hop Odyssey series.

12 Hops of Christmas pours a very hazy caramel brown color. The haze still allows a little light through, and gives it copperish orange highlights. A cream colored crown tops it. It stands about a finger and a half tall. A nice web of sticky lace lines the glass.

The nose is excellent. One whiff is all it takes for the nose to succumb to the mighty hop aroma. This thing is loaded with hops. The hops feature just about every hop fragrance in the book. They're citric, piney, floral, grassy, and danky. I'm sure there are some adjectives I'm leaving out in the process. Whoa! If you're into hops, this beer is for you. There's a little bit of a malty scent, but it pales in comparison to the hops. Alcohol is there, but doesn't smell too strong.

I knew after the first smell that this would be delicious beer. I'm a huge hop fan, and this beer brings it strong! It kicks off with a bit of a sugary sweet, malty flavor. It fades quickly in the avalanche of hop flavor that follows! It features strong grapefruit and other citrus flavors, as well as a strong mix of pine, floral, grassy, and herbal flavors. How's that for a mix? It's certainly bitter, but surprisingly, it's not palate-wrecking bitter. It's not exactly balanced, but it all works together beautifully! Alcohol is there, but isn't too strong or hot. Finishes hoppy and bitter.

12 Hops of Christmas has a medium body and carbonation that's dialed down nicely. It's smooth, but not quite svelte. Drinkability is extremely high! This is one hell of a tasty beer that's so inviting...it's just sick. At 9.5% abv, it's a little strong to tackle the entire growler. But damned if it isn't calling me to have another.

It's a little inaccurate to say that 12 Hops of Christmas closes this series with a bang. It closes it with a thunderous boom that leaves you a little stunned! This beer is what the series is all about...a shameless love for all things hoppy and bitter. I could go on and rave about this beer for a while. It's that good. What's not to like? Well...the price tag. A growler fill is $28 bucks (not including the glass jug)! This is great beer, but I probably won't be grabbing another growler. It's cost prohibitive. Nonetheless, it's a fantastic end to the series! It's my favorite of the series, but not by a lot. Black IPA, Uncle Rusty, and Big Frank are very close behind.

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Columbus 12 Hops Of Christmas from Columbus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.22 out of 5 with 10 ratings
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