Timing is everything. And there was certainly something amusing about the release of a spiced ale that's close to double figures for alcohol content coming so close to news that Lion - not a company known for its promotion of such esoteric fare - was planning to take control of 100 per cent of Little Creatures. While their Pale Ale has continued its successful charge across the country as one of the best craft beer converters, the Single Batch series has helped keep those at the more extreme end of the craft beer market satisfied. There's no holding back here, either, with a beer inspired by the spiced ales of Europe. Unlike many of the spiced winter warmers released by a handful of Aussie brewers, this isn't a dark beer, rather a ruby red, rich, slightly sweet and fruity Belgian style ale with aromas and flavours that hark of Christmas time in northern Europe, of tasty treats and mulled wine. Hopping is subtle, with the focus more on the upfront spices, the rich, slick malts and warming sweet alcohol. One to share with fruit cake around a roaring fire.