So, this is the time of seasonal, of novelty, of festive. Down the Old Badger, which Max will soon be set on frequenting (pun intended), we have been sampling the Christmas fayre. Of particular interest, for notes of licorice, spice, toffee, blackcurrant, and especially chocolate is/are the Christmas Steps of the Butcombe brewery. Even my Chardonnay-drinking partner pronounced it a fine tipple. I could only agree and observe that it was much cheaper than that small dollop of insipid tastelessness (identical in price to a bottle of the same from Tesco) she sipped.