The JW Dundee line is brewed by High Falls Brewing in Rochester. High Falls is probably most famous for brewing the Genesee line (sadly, this no longer includes the excellent 12 Horse Ale) but don't let that pedestrian lineup fool you. JW Dundee label has graced some fantastic beers including the unique and amazing Pale Bock. This is the first year I have seen the Festive Ale (6.2% ABV, 30 IBU) so I decided to check it out.
This one pours a clear dark mahogany and builds a frothy and persistent khaki head that leaves thick sheeting lace. There's the definitive smell of sweet spice. I'm getting nutmeg and coriander, along with other peppery spice aromas. There's a hint of lightly fruity malt.
In the mouth, this ale gives a nice balance of malt and spice. Although it's quite spicy up front, soon the fruity malt takes over and dominates the finish. The spice (nutmeg, cinnamon) lingers in the aftertaste as well.
A nice surprise and one that I'll have to seek out again.