This beer brewed in the depths of the Victorian winter to be ready in time for the festive season is one of Red Hill's longest-serving seasonals and, as with Christmas itself, is reassuringly consistent in its quality, albeit with a welcome lack of family arguments and late night meat sweats. A Belgian Dubbel by style, it's the colour of brandy snaps, pouring with a big, white head and full of dried fruit and spices of the star anise and cinnamon variety. It's moderately boozy at this relatively young age ('tis 8.3 per cent, after all) but not in any way that diminishes the drinking pleasure. Complex, zesty, spicy and dry at the finish, it could solve any Christmas Day family fallout (or at least dull the pain), perhaps even more so if you can keep your mitts off your bottles until Christmas 2013...
- Belgian Dubbel