After a couple of sips of Lakewood Brewery's Holiday Bonus, I started wondering if a cocao aficionado could identify the chocolate that was used to flavor the brew. Dark, rich chocolate is the first and most prominent flavor to present itself when you taste the brewery's new porter. There's some toasted malt floating around in there too.
Lakewood's Holiday Bonus is this year's nod to the most wonderful time of the year. Each season going forward, Lakewood plans to brew up a little something to complement all of those candy canes and Christmas trees, and this year the brew is bold.
Poured into a glass, the porter produces a thin head that dissipates quickly. It's thick but not quite syrupy and takes a sip or two to really settle in. I didn't taste any of the citrus notes the packaging promised but the chocolate came through loud and clear, along with some sweetness. It makes a hell of an alternative to those cinnamon and nutmeg tinged beers you're usually subjected to this time of year.
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If you enjoy the beer, it's hard not to wonder what Lakewood will think up next year. The brewery is currently undergoing an expansion, set to be completed early next year. The extra space should give them the capability to take over the whole state of Texas and beyond with their beers, but also hopefully allow them to spend more time making specialty beers. There's another bourbon barrel aged Temptress stout on its way, for instance. You might even see it at bars by the weekend.