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2006 Christmas Ale - Sly Fox Brewing Company

Not Rated.
2006 Christmas Ale2006 Christmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

19 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 19
Hads: 19
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 9.55%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | 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: NJpadreFan on 11-20-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 19 | Hads: 19
Reviews by number1bum:
Photo of number1bum
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Arena Bar & Grill in Wilkes Barre. Reddish-brown with a bit of tan, foamy head. Smells very nice - nutmeg and cinnamon, maybe some clove, and definitely some malt that seems as though it will be sweet. Tastes like it smells - a lot of spice up front, that nutmeg and cinnamon again, primarily. Very smooth with a pleasant malt sweetness. Not much at all in the way of hops. I really enjoyed this beer; perfect sweetness and beautifully balanced with spice, this is a great winter warmer. (497 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of Billolick
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sly Fox- Christmas Ale 2006
Belgain bomber, caged and corked, no freshness indication. Pours ruby, dark amber. Active carbonation, larger bubble head showing good retention and morphing to some dimpled meringue. Leaves just thick gobs of lacing, nose is sort of unimpressive, perhaps just a hint of cola and some powdered sugar. Pleasant brew, balanced, moderate spicing picked up. Some notes of cola, vanilla and nutmeg. Then later some smokyness, and more tasty spicing. Nice stuff, well worth a try for those who enjoy a nice balanced and tasty ww, get out some stinky cheese, nuts and the seasonal desserts and enjoy. (622 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bocktown Beer and Grill draft offering and first appearance of this one I have seen in Pittsburgh so far...appears a ruby amber tone with a nice sized off white cream head dwindles at a moderate pace leaves behind specks of scattered lacing on my pint glass. Aroma comes off initially with subtle spicing nutmeg, cinnamon, mild wood character along with a pronounced caramel malt sweetness that is balanced by pine cone scented hoppy accents. Flavor...the spices liven up a bit especially as it warms a multitude of Christmas spices really scream festivities and there's a great piney bitterness going on here that goes great with that caramel cinnamon slightly herbal tone. Mouthfeel is medium bodied ale with moderate carbonation somewhat noticeable residual sugars giving a mild syrupy character to the texture, overall a smooth flowing Christmas ale. Drinkability goes down nicely very entertained by Sly Fox once again I'm sure I will be sampling this one again in the next few weeks. A note from the website that the draft is 5.5% abv compared to the bottled 6.5%...it was good just like all of the Sly Fox stuff that has crossed my palate. (1,146 characters)

Photo of IntriqKen
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love Winter Warmers and this is exactly what they are supposed to be.
Aromas of warm winter spices (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg) and a light biscuit yeast or malt.
Taste is sweet amber malts, soft cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, and very, very soft hops at the end.
This brew is exceedingly mellow...very balance for as many different flavors exist in it. Nothing overpowers...everything works well.
This is a winter warmer as it should be...I love it.
Thank you April.
The season has started and finished with this brew. (523 characters)

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sly Fox- Christmas Ale 2006

Appearance- copper red with a small lacing head.
Smell- Strong cinnimon, nutmeg, eggnog aroma.
Taste- Like pumpkin pie!? Graham cracker, clove, nutmeg, cinnimon.
Mouthfeel- Spicy and warm. A nice sipper.

Overall- A good seasonal ale. I enjoyed it but 1 was enough for me. (308 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mostly foamy head on orange body. Medium mouthfeel,lots of spice, not too crazy on the ginger, then there is nutmeg, orange, cinammon, clove. Hops back there, and not bitter. Kind of thrown all together, a spicy flavour beer.Not my best Sly Fox, but quaffable. (260 characters)

Photo of MmmIPA
4.89/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Overflow city...This beer's head was massive and went all over my table. 22 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A-Reddish/Orangeish body with a huge head.Very fluffy and no lacing on my glass.

S-This is the best smelling xmas beer I have ever smelled.It really does remind me of xmas.I can smell cinnimon is very potent and nutmeg isnt as evident.I dont taste any hops at all.

T-Cinnimon hits ya first then I taste the nutmeg on the sides of my tongue.I do taste pumpkin pie also.Damn this beer is good.

M-Very carbonated, it almost attacks your tongue in a harsh way.

D-I really like this stuff,Its very xmasy and puts ya in the spirit.It may be one of the only beers that I can tell what the different flavors are in it.Im gonna buy a bottle of this for xmas eve.Thanks to Slyfox for making this tasty brew.

As the beer warms, the spices really start to come through to shine. (899 characters)

Photo of wcudwight
3.11/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Kramer17801 and BA Fantasy Football for the brew.
Pours a nice clear ruby color with a large 3 finger bubbly head from a conservative pour. Head has decent retention and leaves a sticky spiderweb lacing. Nice looking beer.
There's a plethora of spices in the smell but they are mixed together as such that I can't tell them apart. There's a funkey herbal aroma.
Very interesting flavor for a winter warmer. It's very spicey but still hard to destinguish one spice from another. I would prefere a bigger malt profile to go along with the spiciness. Sharp bitter aftertaste. The alcohol is more noticable than I would expect out of a 6.5% beer.
The mouthfeel is highly carbonated and bubbles and fizzes in the mouth.
Overall this is not a bad beer. It's interesting, unique, and complex. With that said the spiciness, bitterness, and carbonation hinder the drinkability a bit. (889 characters)

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this via trade!!! This is a wonderful example of a winter warmer.

A - Nice dark reddish brown color, billowy tan head. Actually looked like bits of cinnamon color swirling in the head.
S - Faint cinnamon and nutmeg, light sweet malt and an underlying spicy yeast.
T - same as the smell for most of the brew. Towards the middle to bottom third a pleasing nutmeg ginger symphony arise.
M - medium bodied, vigorously carbonated. Smooth across the tongue.
D - finished the full 750 feeling satisfied and happy. Does not overwhelm in any one area. Very well balanced.

I would gladly serve this to friends for the holidays! (634 characters)

Photo of Enola
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Many thanks to wcudwight for sharing his corked and caged 750ml.

This beer was a deep ruby red with a sizeable head. The smell was of spices and cinnamon. The taste was heavily spiced. This beer was good winter warmer, albeit different. The mouthfeel was fizzy, and highly carbonated but as the beer warmed and the carbonation settled it become a pleasant sipper. The abv was somewhat evident but not too much. Just right. A different take on the style. Thumbs up. (468 characters)

Photo of grub
3.49/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pre-holiday tasting at my place attended by me, DrJay, Viggo, biegaman, and northyorksammy. DrJay contributed this bottle. thanks jay!

pours a nice red-brown colour with a huge fluffy tan head. the head drops slowly and leaves tons of clumpy lace.

aroma is nice. lots of spice. cinnamon, clove, nutmeg. roasty malt. bit of alcohol. ginger. the spice is very strong, more than i enjoy.

taste is nice. bready malt. bit of bitterness. the spice is much more subdued than in the aroma and much nicer. nutmeg with light clove and cinnamon. bit of alcohol.

mouthfeel is good. nice body with a good carbonation level.

drinkability is good. the spice is a bit high for my personal preference, but the taste works much better than the aroma. (747 characters)

Photo of auntfloyd
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 750 ml corked bottle into a pint glass.

Pours an enormous, billowing, light tan head on top of a small amount dark reddish-mahogany ale. This beer is almost all head at first, with huge bubbles and excellent retention. It will take a while for this ale to settle down enough to actually try it.

The nose is winter spices like cinnamon and allspice, and sweet maltiness.

The flavor is spices upfront with bitter cinnamon predominating, alongside clove and allspice, mingling with the much sweeter malt backbone. The bottle mentions cinnamon, allspice, clove, and ginger, although I could not personally taste any ginger. Very nice balance of sweetness and spice,

The mouthfeel is slightly thick, and as noted above, this is an extremely foamy ale. The drinkability is good, presumably especially on cold days.

All in all, an excellent winter ale. Spicy and sweet at the same time, like so many other holiday flavors. Recommended if you're a fan of the style, or spiced beers in general. This is one of the better ones I've tried. (1,058 characters)

Photo of foureyedgeek
4.11/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle bought while on business travel at Sly Fox Phoenixville, poured into a pint glass, and shared with no one (all for me!!), less a few sips for my wife.

A nose stuck in the bottle yields a load of spice.

Pouring even the smallest amount (its just below the taper on the bottle) leaves me with a huge, well-standing head in a tan, creamy color, very tight foam. Body is a very nice, clear ruby red color with a lot of obvious bubbles of carbonation. The head on this is quite resilient, I'll be waiting more than a few minutes to pour the rest of my glass.

As I wait, the dropping foam leaves some nice fingery lacing, almost like frost on a window pane. I only wish there were a few inches (or even feet, I've got nowhere to be!) of snow to make me feel more seasonal.

Oops, now I've poured to fast again, distracted by my rambling and I've got another three inches of foam on the top of my beer. Maybe this is a Sly Fox ploy to encourage sipping and savoring of their Christmas release, they're ensuring you can't rush through this bottle.

On the label Sly Fox calls this an 'ale with ginger, cinnamon, allspice,nutmeg and cloves'. I don't have the nose to pick all of those out one at a time, but I can tell you the aroma is spicy. There's also a nice malty sweetness, although the overall aroma isn't as big as I expected with all the spices involved. There's also the lightest hint of alcohol at the end of my sniff.

The taste of this beer reveals more of those spices the label promised. There's a good amount of malty sweetness up front, a little vanilla in the finish. There's a slight hoppy bitterness in the finish, plus a little fruitiness as well.

Mouthfeel is full and warming, a well-bodied beer thats an easy drinker and a tasty sipper. The mid-range ABV gives you that lovely warm feeling without knocking you out before 10:00 pm.

Edit: Wow! On second pour, those spices really come out in the taste. Those extra minutes of warming really allowed this beer to develop. That alone adds an additional .5 to the taste rating. Sadly though, the warming of the bottle did little for the nose. oh well, what a tasty winter warmer. (2,177 characters)

Photo of flexabull
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not much pop when the cork is removed, but this beer poured with a big foamy head, and a nice dark amber color.

Aromas are of nutmeg, and pumpkin pie.

Flavor is sweet and malty. The spices aren't as pronounced as I expected, but they play a nice secondary role. This one finished crisp, dry and with some ginger noted. This is quite tasty.

Nice thick mouthfeel and balance.

Very enjoyable beer, reminded me a lot of Anchor's Our Special Ale.

Thanks to Aprilluvsbeer for this one. (494 characters)

Photo of Viggo
3.99/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml from DrJay, bringing us love from PA.

Pours a clear red/orange, really neat colour, off white head, very pillowy, no lacing, head goes pretty quick. Smell is very spicy, caramel, citrus, some pine, reminds me of Christmas. Taste is toffee, very malty, spices, apples, some yeast, pretty neat. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation, dances on your tongue! I enjoyed this one, subtle spicing, lacking in complexity however, but a treat, thanks Jay! (467 characters)

Photo of DrJay
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Corked and caged 750mL. This one poured a deep brown with a reddish hue, quite clear, topped by a moderately coarse light brown head. There was a little lacing and it had pretty good head retention. The aroma was a combination of malt and spice (mostly cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg), bready, sort of like a fruitcake. Moderate bitterness with plenty of malty sweetness. There was a little fruit character along with the spices, which were a little more muted than in the aroma. Lots of carbonation, medium bodied, with some alcohol warmth. Tasty and spicy, a solid Xmas offering. (578 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for spreading the Christmas cheer with this kind present Dr.Jay!
Pours with a HUGE, bountiful head. A copper ruby colour. A light and warming aroma. A lot of orangy flavour, nutmeg, and general spices. Very high carbonation. A taste of cake, cinnamon, and plenty of nutmeg on the aftertaste. A lot of gingerbread. Spices strong, but it works still. I'd say the flavours could use some mellowing but blend very well now. A great draft of a seasonal offering. (464 characters)

Photo of Aprilluvsbeer
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Okay, this is my very first beer review in which I am only doing for myself so I remember what the heck it tasted / smelled like! :) So here it goes:

I only had this Christmas Ale once, so this is my inital reaction: yummy! A great way to get into the holiday spirit would be to drink one (or two) of Sly Fox Christmas Ale. Lots of spices that remind one of the holidays. You can smell cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, and the taste is packed with same. Not too bitter, which I like. As a matter of fact, I liked it so much that I bought a few bottles to give as gifts to my Yuengling Lager drinking friends - try to get them to the dark side :) And of course, I am saving a bottle for myself on Christmas Day!

One of the better holiday beers that I have had so far.

April (787 characters)

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Initial pour is a tulip completely filled with foam. Eventually settles into a dark red body, with good clarity, strong carbonation streams topped by a dense beigge foam. Thick patches of lacing.

Aroma is a spice rack, dominated by cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

Taste begins with a surprising clean malt base, stury but light, not syrupy. Spices rise up and peak on the swallow - ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, etc - but are well integrated and the beer avoids the dry dusty finish many spiced ales have.

Smooth, silky mouthfeel. Surprising drinkability.

This is one of the best integrated spiced ales I've had. Exceeded expectations. (641 characters)

2006 Christmas Ale from Sly Fox Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 19 ratings.