It’s my last Sunday in Southampton before I go back to the beautiful North for Christmas. I’ve wrapped my presents, posted my cards and I’m almost packed – that calls for an extra special festive beer. Mikkeller Santa’s Little Helper 2012 (10.9%ABV) sure looks the part in its elegant 750ml bottle, topped off with red foil like it wants to be fancy champagne. I didn’t know what to expect since, as is often the case for Mikkeller, there’s not a lot of information other than the ingredients on the label! It’s a Belgian, strong, dark ale and it’s a deep opaque black with almost a reddish hue. The aroma is malty and fruity with some of the alcohol coming though, think boozy Christmas cake. The taste is just on the right side of candy sweet with a juicy mix of plump raisins and cherries, orange, nutmeg and cinnamon smothered in smooth chocolate. The warm glow at the finish is reminiscent of a fine Venezuelan rum. Exceptional. I’ll definitely be looking to buy another for Christmas Day and I’ll be looking forward to next years incarnation! If you have a little more discipline than me, I imagine this would be lovely to age for a while.