Platform Esther pours a deep, rich maroon color, a very dark brown depending on the lighting. In a smaller goblet, it reflects the warning you would typically get from this type of beverage: it’s strong! At 9.5% ABV, it packs a bigger punch than the other Christmas ales you might sip on over the next couple months. Description of the beverage gives fair warning that this is a little different than most of the holiday ales you will undoubtedly enjoy: the ale is brewed with candi sugar, cherries, and honey. Though the maltiness is there, and a heavy maltiness it is, this Esther drinker definitely noticed the fruity notes, particularly the cherries. It’s a wonderful Belgian present wrapped in a tiny glass package.