Dec 11, 2015

Karl Strauss Six Suits A’Hangin’

Each holiday season, as part of their “Twelve Days” series, Karl Strauss releases, you guessed it, a holiday-themed beer. It’s usually big, warming and packed with flavors that are appropriate for the time of year. Each limited release has been of a different style, pushed to the limits with the brewery’s inventive flavor profiles. This year — with Six Suits A’Hangin’ — the company kept things relatively simple, but still delicious.

This 8.5% ABV imperial brown ale is brewed with a Belgian yeast strain and a malt bill that imparts a wonderful nuttiness and richness. The beer was then aged on French oak that gives off a bit of vanilla within the beer’s brown depths. There’s not much of a woody character, but the vanilla is in the mix at just the right level, making for a festive and seasonally appropriate blend of flavors without going over the top.


Six Suits A’Hangin’ pours mahogany in color with a ruby edge. A sizable head of khaki foam falls to a thing ring around the surface.

Karl Strauss Six Suits A'Hangin' photo


Carmel, bread, peppery yeast (almost rye-like in nature), faint woody notes, a light nuttiness and a hint of fig all come together in an inviting nose.


The beer is earthy and nutty with soft spices that gently numb the tip of the tongue with each sip. A good amount of bready malt, caramel, a peppery yeast and light touch of vanilla file in smoothly. I don’t pick up all that much wood on the tongue, but there is that hint of vanilla that adds nicely to the flavors. A moderate sweetness lingers on the lips as the brew finishes lightly drying and with a warming glow.


Much like the last couple of releases in this series from Karl Strauss, Six Suits A’Hangin’, hits the nail on the head with a wonderful blend of holiday flavors without turning into that one aunt who demands more attention than she deserves at family gatherings this time of year. I love the earthy nuttiness that this beer brings to the table — it blends wonderfully with the peppery yeast and malt flavors. It also doesn’t drink as big as the “imperial” label would indicate, which is also nice. I’m not sure how this one would age, but the adventurous beer drinker could set it down for a year or two without too much degradation.

Rating: 4/5

This is a review of a promotional sample.

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