2013 Christmas Ale - Sly Fox Brewing Company

Not Rated.
2013 Christmas Ale2013 Christmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

50 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 50
Reviews: 13
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 10.32%
Wants: 0
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sly Fox Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: woodychandler on 11-10-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 50 | Reviews: 13
Reviews by thecheapies:
Photo of thecheapies
3.46/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Can o'Sly Fox Christmas 2013. Poured into a pint glass.

Red copper color with a half an inch of tan foam. The head retention is average to meager. Actually, it's fizzing out a little fast.

Spice-o-rama, which I know it's what it's intended to be, but... jeez. Glogg-like, with obvious cinnamon, allspice, clove, and nutmeg. Has hints of candied ginger and cardamom. Birch-y maltiness offers roast, but not strength. Smells good, like a cherished Christmas memory.

Malts show up with an English twist, as there're some spoiled fruits in the parlor. But, the triumph belongs to the spices, which overtake the beer. Cinnamon and allspice, so big, it's dusty. Clove has a potency about it that doesn't irritate me because the cinnamon is so huge. If it weren't for the other mulling spices, I'd call this cinnamon spice beer. It tastes like Christmas Eve baking aromas, but the malt/hop combo of beer is getting lost. Ginger is still taking a back seat, and a spicier heat would take the edge off of the sweet dustiness and cocoa nuances. Needless to say, it's not very warming for a Winter Warmer, but the flavors imply something you'd want to cozy up to. I don't know, it seems overdone. It's definitely over-spiced or under-malted. No recognizable hop flavor, only latent bitterness. Roastiness is mild, in actuality, and needs some focus. Aside from some figgy tones, the malt base is rather muted.

Drinks with a happy glug-glug. Carbonation is middle-of-the-road... standard fare. No real warming alcohol, but I can taste it mildly.

I think I've liked this one more in past years. Or, my expectancy is heightening. Hard to say. It's another average craft warmer, at an oxymoronic, near-sessionable ABV.

More User Reviews:
Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a iced tea color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is strong with spices, nutmeg in particular. Taste is also very spicy, maybe a little to much so. Just a bit of malts as well. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer, but not something I could drink all night.

Photo of Dodo2step
3.57/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

P- Wegmans 22 0z.

A- a cherry cola like color that is somewhat clear. A lot of head when I initially pour (5 fingers) but later pour is only 2. A nice frothy mountainous head. average lacing.

S- heavy on the cinnamon and nutmeg. a tart cherry malt smell as well or maybe its clove that comes through. Very inviting and I am ready to drink.

F- ooo the flavor mocks the taste. It is just spot on an the cinnamon and nutmeg come out really well in the throat.

M- medium bodied and bubbly in the mouth. a rust-like cherry flavor remains behind as an aftertaste. not overly tasty.

O- The smell and flavor were good but the mouthfeel takes away from the overall quality. The lingering aftertaste coats the mouth in a bad way.

Photo of mindlucent2007
3.95/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The 2013 Christmas Ale by Sly Fox pours an amber color with a good head, moderate lacing, and excellent head retention. There's a great nose on it with a nice blend of spices and some pumpkin. Taste is sweet and spicy again with a little hoppy kick. Nutmeg and cinnamon stand out. It has an easy and smooth mouthfeel with medium carbonation. This is more sessionable than the Christmas Ales of Sly Fox past. Christmas in a can. Well done by Sly Fox.
TK

Photo of woodychandler
4.24/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The CANQuest (TM) was gifted one of these by one of the brewery's reps when we crossed paths in Baltimore but I had to await the picture's approval as spent CANs are truly unattractive.

From the CAN: "Ale with ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg & cloves"; "Season's Greetings!"; "A gift for you to truly appreciate & enjoy!"; "It's a real gift that we are able to gather 'round with family and friends to enjoy a most special brew accented by mulling spices and aromas which recall near-forgotten holiday memories."; "OG 14 [Deg.] Plato, 16 IBUs".

The Crack! not only revealed a brimful CAN, but it put a little spritz across my fingers. Whoops! The inverted Glug created a pseudo-cascade and this in turn formed just better than two fingers of fizzing, foamy light-tan head that fell at a rate faster than gravity. Color was a deep-copper (SRM = > 22, < 27) with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled like a liquid spice cake! We are on the verge of the coldest day in twenty years and I think that this beer might be quite warming. Mouthfeel was medium and there were loads of all of the spices evident on the tongue. I would put the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger at the forefront with the cloves and allspice in the background. Phew! Man, this was one spicy beer. Finish, as you might imagine, was quite dry as a result of all of the spices. Happy (belated) Holidays and Merry Christmas!

Photo of sulldaddy
3.87/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Sampling a cellar temp can poured into a tulip glass. The can is a gift from my brother for CHristmas.
The beer pours a deep mahogany color with ruby highlights. There is a dense creamy eggshell head of 2 cm foaming up and it fades to a thick edge layer and wispy islands in the center.
Aroma is sweet and spicy, I get rich nutmeg and cinnamon mixing with a sort of apple cider sweetness. Some brown sugar and bready notes as well just like a apple crumb.
First sip reveals an average body and smooth silky texture. Fine tingly carbonation that tickles on the palate after each sip.
The flavor is sweet and spicy just like the nose with caramel and brown sugar, sweet nutmeg and cinnamon that lingers on my palate.
A very nice beer that is sweet and may be too much if you dont like that, but I enjoy it and find it easy to drink.

Photo of 57md
3.93/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a reddish copper with a half finger of head that dissipated quickly. Seasonal spices abound in the nose. I also swear that I smelled a hint of evergreen tree. The flavor profile is a nice balance between malt and seasonal spices, especially gingerbread. The finish is quite dry and tinglingly hoppy.

Photo of justintcoons
3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz can poured into a shaker pint.

Appearance
Brownish amber with 1 finger of off-white head. Good retention, excellent clarity and well carbonated.

Nose
Nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, caramel and molasses.

Taste
Gingersnaps, sugar cookies and drizzles of molasses. Nutmeg, cinnamon and clove. The spices dry up the finish a bit and an additional touch of spruce is added.

Mouthfeel
Medium bodied, crisp, clean and semi-dry.

Overall
An easy drinking Holiday ale with well integrated spices. Always refreshing, never cloying.

Photo of candcholt
3.08/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tastes like gingerbread.

Feels a little heavy. Typical heavily spiced winter warmer. Fun to drink and hand out at the holidays, but nothing stupendous.

I have a lot of respect for Sly Fox, and tend to really enjoy the vast majority of their brews, but so far, haven't been impressed by their Christmas Ales.

The can itself is really fun, with an embroidered look, and a place to write To: and From: if you're giving as a little gift.

Photo of rudzud
2.56/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Received as an extra in a trade and poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a crystal clear light almost garnet hue with a thin half finger tan head that faded quickly to leave a thin, thin halo and light wisps. Pretty underwhelming.

S - Aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, sweet malts. Gingerbread...almost smells like a fake pumpkin beer. Yippie...

T - Taste is all spice notes. Ugh. It's like a drinking pumpkin pie spice. Just waaay too heavy handed on the spices here. It overpowers the malts...which actually is impressive when you think about it.

M - Mouthfeel is sharp, lightly spicy, rather watery though.

O - Overall, I've had my fair share of winter warmers, and this was basically just winter spices in a wine cooler. Quite unpleasant.

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.26/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

6.5 % abv version poured from 750 ml bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a nice mahogany color with ruby highlights seen shinning within. Upon pouring there is a gigantic cream colored head. The head is so massive and persistent that it must be poured in the glass very slowly over time. After waiting for ~5 min for the head to fade to a moderate level, it leaves some very nice lace on the sides of the glass. The head eventually fades over the long haul, with good foamy lace on the sides of the glass as well as a persistent film on the surface of the beer.

Smell – The aroma is gigantic of spice aromas with nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon dominating the aroma. Other spices of allspice and clove are there as well giving it a very festive-mulled smell. Along with the spice is a good level of a roasted smell, as well as some more faint dark fruit aromas of raisin, plum, and fig. Rounding out the smell is a bit of a molasses as well as a little bit of a bready smell, overall creating a roasty and spiced festive smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a roasted malt and bready taste with a rather strong flavor of nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon. Some sweeter flavors of molasses and dark fruit flavor are present from the start, with them largely maintaining their strength throughout the taste. The roast fades a little bit more toward the end, with some clove and cardamom joining the other flavors. The cinnamon and especially nutmeg and ginger get rather potent at the end, almost to the point to where they become obnoxious, leaving a super spiced flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel –The body of the beer is on the medium side with a carbonation level that consists of lots of tiny, almost champagne like carbonation bubbles. The fine carbonation with its prickly nature is nice for the massive spice flavors, extinguishing some of the potency, while the average body further helps keep it more drinkable then it would be with all the spice.

Overall – Quite a bit too much spice in this one for me. If only the spice was knocked down to about ½ the level it exists at now, then it would be a rather enjoyable brew.

Photo of BWED
3.37/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Can poured into a craft pint

A- Semi-hazed reddish brown. Yellowish head shows with a little retention.

S- Molasses and gingerbread. A pretty nice aroma. The molasses really sticks out.

T- Spices mostly, with a little sweet malt.

M- Spice lingers in the feel. A little too much.

O- The aroma of this beer was promising, but it came down to too much spice for me.

Photo of CHADMC3
3.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours an amber body beneath the light tan head which is quite abundant before dissolving to leave very faint hints of lacing.

Aromas are of Christmas spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger with sweet toffee and biscuit malt aromas taking a back seat.

The flavor is similar offering the same Christmas spices and some biscuit and toffee malts but the flavor also seems to have just hints of some dark fruits like dates.

Medium to fuller in body with quite a pronounced carbonation and a filling finish.

All around a nice festive brew although if memory serves me correctly the 2011 was a bit better balanced with the spices.

2013 Christmas Ale from Sly Fox Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.