Winter is my favorite time for seasonal ales and there are several breweries that brew some good ones. Two that I recently tried were Breckenridge’s Christmas Ale (7.4% ABV and 22 IBU) and Odell’s Isolation Ale (6.0% ABV and 29 IBU). Both beers emphasize malt sweetness and each had a nice head that took a bit of time to recede. There is very little bitterness with these ales and the Christmas Ale is sweeter than Isolation. Isolation has just a hint of bitterness / hops on the finish. Deschutes Jubelale and New Belgium Snow Day have a much bitter / hoppy finish. The winter or Christmas ales are usually only available for two to three month and then they are gone. I think these would go excellent with Thanksgiving dinner and I am sure the higher alcohol will put you in a festive mood.
Christmas Ale website description – “The chill of a Colorado high-country winter calls for a beer with extra flavor and warming characteristics. Here it is. Breck Brew's Christmas Ale. At over 7% alcohol, with a sturdy texture and rich flavors of caramel and chocolate, our holiday seasonal is the fermented equivalent of a good fire.” Available November - December.
Isolation Ale website description – “A funny thing happens here around summer’s end – our eyes start searching the skies for those first fall flakes. As we welcome autumn’s first snow, we celebrate the return of Isolation Ale. A sweet caramel malty ale that is balanced by a subtle crisp hop finish. Whether you ski, shred, or shoe, Isolation Ale will inspire you to make first tracks. Available October through December.”