Robinson's Old Tom
Behold the fourth consecutive year of Rob's Beer Quest's annual twelve beers of Christmas. Opening things up we have reliable classic with a cigar (much like the first first beer of Christmas way back in 2010). We've had some memorable entries over the years. You could now call them the thirty six beers of Christmas. But this year I will be trying to avoid last year's approach of 'the twelve supermarket (3 for £5, quid a bottle or any neckable grog I can find) beers of Christmas. As least to some extent anyway.
You could probably call Old Tom A benchmark UK brewed Old or Stock ale of the modern era. As recently as 2009 the World Beer Awards 2009 gave this beer the prestigious award of 'world's best ale'. I remember participating in the judging from home via beers sent from Beers of the World Magazine. I scored it highly.
When it was announced I remember thinking; World's best ale? Really? Good beer but.... Really? Besides, I honestly don't believe any beer could hold such a status.
Anyway where was I, o yes Old Tom the first beer of Christmas. I would probably recommend this as a go-to winter warmer, dark and strong it's all figs and fruit cake. Mature fruit meets sweet muscovado sugar in the finish with warming alcohols. A beer with plenty of depth and an old-school feel. It becomes obvious why it wins awards, plenty going on and difficult to fault.