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2007 Christmas Ale - Sly Fox Brewing Company

Not Rated.
2007 Christmas Ale2007 Christmas Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

29 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 29
Reviews: 29
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 9.36%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sly Fox Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  ABV ?

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Biscuit033 on 11-22-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 29 | Reviews: 29 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by corby112:
Photo of corby112
2.75/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on-tap at Jose Pistola's in Philadelphia, PA.

Pours a light amber color with a thin yellowish head. Aroma is very weak with lots of cinnamon and not much else. Taste was very watered down with loads of cinnamon and cherry and a slight hoppy dry finish.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Billolick
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Large bottle, capped and corked. It open with a typical "poof" but the initial head, as many others have have noted, is wildly huge and almost easily over the top of the glass. After allowing the bottle to breath and calm down without any cap on it for at least 1/2 hour, things do become more typical, and the head more controllable. The liquid is hazy darkish typical amber, under a thick dark tan head. The nose is malty and softly of spices. Malty brew, some wintery spices are picked up. Caramel, whole wheat toast, nutmeg all picked up. Decent brew, would work as a wintery sessioner. As a fan of bigger & bolder beer, this mellow, middle of the road offering really doesnt do much for me. Certaintly nothing special. Doubt I would go for this one again.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

(Served in a chalice)

A- With the first pour this beer filled the glass with nothing but tan foam that turned rocky. After a bit of settling and filling a warm brown crystal clear but a bit dense body fills the glass. There was a big carbonation of large bubbles supporting the head.

S- The soft smell of pine and ginger has a bit of a soapy smell and then a nice biscuit malt aroma comes through. The finish is a cinnamon funky smell that is pleasant.

T- The taste of dry biscuit malt and brown malt soon give way to a myriad of spice flavors. A soft allspice note comes through and some dry nutmeg and cloves come through followed by a dull cinnamon flavor and a finish of bitterness. There is a light ginger dry spice flavor that lingers after each sip.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a tight fizz finish and a soft alcohol heat when it warms a bit.

D- The malt flavors are nice but the spices are a bit of a muttled train wreck. Some are interesting some are a bit bla but they are all fighting with one another. In a bomber it is a beer you want to share with friends.

Photo of Sammy
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very enjoyable spicy ale, and glad I cellared it. Medium body with big head. amd a full mouthfeel, the aroma delivers into flavours of nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cinammon and carmel in the background. Though a bit aggressively carbonated, it was suitable.Thanks Dr. Jay.

Photo of prototypic
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to guinnessdoc for this one.

2007 Christmas Ale pours a dark amber or copper color. It's mostly clear. Backlighting reveals a nice red tint. A foamy light tan head caps it off and stands over two fingers tall. It's quick to dissipate and leaves very little lacing behind. Not bad.

The nose is just a tad weak, but isn't bad. Holiday spices hit first and resonate throughout. Ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg are present in equal parts. To a lesser extent, clove is noted. Caramel malt seems to hold things together nicely. It smells sweet overall. Perhaps a little sugary. A light yeast scent is present. Alcohol is never a factor. I suspect it's not too strong. Pretty good overall. More strength would only help.

The flavor is on par with the nose. This is pretty good stuff. The immense holiday spice flavor is very tasty and doesn't overwhelm in any way. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and clove are all noted. Caramel malt does a nice job of adding some sweetness. It blends nicely with the spices. It definitely falls on the sweet side, but not by much. There's a bit of a yeasty flavor, but it's nice and really adds something to the overall flavor. I like that. I suspect the abv isn't very high. I'm not getting any alcohol. This is a pleasant surprise. I like this quite a bit more than I anticipated.

The body is light and a bit too thin. Carbonation is just a tad high and buzzy. Nonetheless, it still goes down easy and doesn't have an overtly bad feel. Drinkability is good. I like the flavor and would happily drink quite a bit of this stuff, particularly during this time of year.

Sly Fox did a nice job with the 2007 Christmas release. It's not perfect, but is a nice seasonal release that satisfies overall. The nose could use a little more strength and more body wouldn't hurt. But, other than that, it's solid beer. Thanks for the opportunity, Josh.

Photo of DavidSeanNJ
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A- Darker than expected- a ruby brown color- huge bubbly head. No lacing. Head does stay around for quite some time.

S- Smell was malty and gingery, some alcohol notes.

T- Wow! This might be the spiciest beer I've ever had. The cinnamon, cloves, and allspice really come through. I'm also surprised at the huge ginger flavor- just like the cookies.

M- Mouthfeel was very warm and carbonated.

D- With all the flavors going on here, this one is a sipper. It will tingle on your tongue all throughout the glass.

Once a year, this is a treat!

Photo of MmmIPA
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I loved last years Xmas ale from the Fox.

Dark brown with some ruby highlites.Nice thick,3 finger tan head setteled to a small thick ring.No lacing on this baby.The body looks like tree bark.

Faint notes here,not like last years.I smell some oxidation,cinniman,nutmeg.It has a woody taste to it.

There is a spiciness from the cinniman,some sweetness.Nutty tastes also there floating around.The taste is also very faint.

Mouthful is nice and easy.

Last years really reminded me of Xmas and so does this years but not as much.Still good but not like last years.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to my secret santa for sending me this and the 08 version to do a nice little vertical with. I went with this one first, the corked and caged 750 ml bottle beckoned me with its yule tide presence. Served chilled and poured into a snifter, this one was consumed on 12/14/2008.

The pour was nice with a rich brown color with some nice light highlights around the side and bottom. A nice tan head rose up to three inches above the surface before settling down into a full crown with modest side glass lace.

The aroma was charged with ginger and cinnamon. Lots of spice here with only a modest touch of anything else to balance it out in any way. The flavor was more of the same, big, rich, and loaded down with tons of spice. Light cherry notes coming through as it warmed but this one was pretty one sided. Nice feel though as th smooth consistent carbonation kept it pretty well grounded, a nice sippable beer.

Overall not bad. It did not come across as too big at all, in fact it was just about right. A solid offering for sure and something I cannot wait to see how the 2008 edition came out.

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pretty nice amber colour with a big slightly off-white head that has sparse stickiness to it and dissolves fairly quickly.

The aroma is a good blend of ginger, nutmeg, piney hops ,a touch of caramel and a bit of bread. Would have liked the spices to have been beefed up a bit more but other than that, no complaints.

Any punch that the aroma lacks is made up for in the flavour, which doesn't overpower you by any means, but rather gives you a solid, tasty balance throughout each sip: caramel leads the way right off the bat but gives way to a healthy dose of cinnamon, which stays with you to the finish of each sip, where it blends with some nutmeg and a bit of ginger. The pine flavour from the hops is apparent mostly in the after-taste of each sip. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a slight bit of slickness to it.

This is good stuff overall. A more powerful aroma would have led to a more festive, holiday seasonal vibe (not that this one doesn't have that anyway) and simply helped the overall presentation. Aside from that, which isn't even really a knock on the beer, this one's got some good stuff going for it. A nice holiday seasonal that's certainly worth a try if you see it around.

Photo of Lupe
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy honey-amber with a huge frothy head. The head slowly shrinks to a fluffy sheet and leaves sporadic lacing.

Sweet malty aroma with ginger and holiday spice.

Nice malty flavors of biscuit, molasses, and roasted malt. The sweetness is well balanced by the spice - ginger, clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In comes fresh baked bread, a bit of dough, and more spice to keep things crisp. Very well balanced between the sweet and spicy.

Medium bodied, smooth and creamy with nice carbonation. Great drinkability. More comforting than impressive - a great beer for the season.

Photo of BBM
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a deep ruby red into the pint glass with a thin white head resting atop it. Aroma was of cinnamon, caramel, and allspice.

This kind of reminded me of a Christmas version of a pumpkin ale. The cinnamon dominates, and although there is (obviously) no pumpkin, it feels like a spiced holiday offering (which, it is). And unlike, say, Harpoon's Winter beer, this beer doesn't beat you over the head with the cinnamon. Everything here is perfectly adequate for what it is. Mouthfeel is thin and carbonated, and the beer goes down smoothly. A nice dessert beer for the holidays.

Photo of dsa7783
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ML bottle copped caged and corked from Oak Tree in South Plainfield... Green 2007 logo sticker stating "Ale with ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and clove" - the description certainly mirrors a pumpkin ale, and both the taste and smell confirmed this assumption... outstanding dark brown, copper hue with an incredibly huge frothy and foamy head that exhibited impressive staying power and lingered for a few minutes... very attractive ruby-red appearance... the smell certainly pays homage to the description on the logo, with obvious nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice bursting through... the taste also strongly complements the aroma - very malty, with pumpkin-like flavors that included ginger, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, caramel, and candied sugars... very taste flavor without being overbearing or too cloying... definitely a great Winter brew... Sly Fox did well with this one, although this sample could also easily pass for a pumpkin beer... From what I understand, the ABV is around 5%... easily drinkable with a good mouthfeel and no alcohol detected, just rich, sweet, thick, flavors... good stuff... Recommended...

Photo of jwc215
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml cork-caged bottle:

A huge head took over the glass at first (despite slow decanting). But, it did settle quickly to reveal a reddish copper body with plenty of clarity. The head sat atop the body for most of the duration before becoming a patch.

The smell is spicy - ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves - just as listed on label - some maltiness in the back.

The taste is very spicy, especially at first (same as in aroma). The spiciness settles to reveal an underlying carmelized sweet maltiness. The spices almost take turns standing out. Sweetness becomes more dominant as it progresses with a balanced spicy finish.

The body could be heftier for a winter ale, but it fits in neatly to medium-bodied. There is a touch of an odd effervescence to it. Smooth despite spiciness.

A nicely spiced, fairly complex winter ale that is not overdone. A fine winter sipper.

Photo of Gavage
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: hazy copper in color with a big fluffy 3"+ head that lasts quite a while. Some moderate lacing developed.

Smell: caramel and spices are a bit softer than expected.

Taste: caramel, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, red grapes, black plums, and a hearty bitterness make up a nicely spicy winter time ale.

Mouthfeel: a bit too crisp for my liking for the style. Medium bodied. Spicy aftertaste is short-lived.

Drinkability: the bubbly / crisp mouthfeel was a bit of a turnoff for me as I wanted a more smoother mouthfeel with a hearty malt profile. Not a bad beer flavorwise, but one bottle was more than enough in a session.

Photo of flexabull
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of guinnessdoc, thanks again!

Pours a cloudy amber color with a huge head.

Aromas are spicy, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and cinnamon. But the aromas aren't really all that strong, they are pretty subtle.

Taste is creamy and sweet. Spice flavors are there, but not overpowering, mostly just providing and interesting finish. Cinnamon and nutmeg are the most obvious flavors.

Mouthfeel is nice and full, with good carbonation.

Drinkability is good. Overall nicely done Winter Warmer. Nice smooth easy drinking beer with good spice flavors. Not a powerhouse of flavor, but still tasty enough.

Photo of Biscuit033
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured gently and recieved an abundance of head which fizzle down to a top coat (similar to last years). Mahogony in color.

S: Mulling Spices are very present but so is a sweet maltiness.

T: Though the mulling spicies are present and obvious there is a malt sweetness and hop bitterness that is noted. This spice are very well used, not too overpowering. You get a pleasant lingering cinnamon taste and warmth on the tongue.
There is good balance on the sweetness as well.

M: Creamy on the tongue and warm and full enough for a winter beer.

D: Very drinkable for the style. Would enjoy it a bit more with some alcohol warmth but this could be sip all night after a holiday meal.

Photo of SwillBilly
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to GuinessDoc for this beer.

Appearance: Pours deep auburn, almost mahogony in color with a 2 finger off white head that fades slowly to thick lacing topping the beer. Very clear with bubbles of carbonation racing to the surface.

Smell: Not as fragrant as I thought it would be. Plenty of dark sugar and fruit with a fair amount of holiday spice (nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice) in nose with also just a hint of citrusy hops. The fragrance was rather muted in my opinion.

Taste: Starts nice and malty with caramel and dark brown sugar sweetness that is followed by a good dose of spices. Nice amounts of cinnamon, allspice, clove and nutmeg make their selves known. Finishes with a very subtle hoppiness. Alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel: Very carbonated making in light in the mouth compared to its complexion.

Drinkability/Notes: A very nice winter warmer. Not a beer that hits you over the head, but one that is subtle with its spices. Very drinkable and makes for a nice, easy drinking beer on a cool winter night. Alcohol is well hidden but slowly warms the face. Nice and malty with an easy hoppiness in the finish that balances out the spices and malts. Definitley a beer I would drink again. Good job to the folks at Sly Fox. Recommended.

Photo of Wasatch
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml
Caged/Corked

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this brew.

Poured into a tulip a nice reddish color, very nice carbonation, huge two-finger creamy tannish head, lots of nice thick sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, with some slight yeast tones, nice touch of spices (nutmeg, cinimmon, ginger, cloves), with some caramel. The taste is sweet, malty/yeasty, nice touch of nutmeg/cinimmon/ginger/cloves, and caramel. Medium body. The alcohol is hidden very well. Drinkable, this is a very tasty winter warmer.

Photo of Foxman
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a slightly hazy and frenetically carbonated russet amber. An explosive four fingers of frothy beige head swell and swell. Lacing is rampant, staggered, and variously textured.

The aroma carries sweet caramel malt, brown sugar, and earthy honey. A clean brace of ginger joins nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. Crisp esters boast green apple and join a draft of alcohol.

Upon sipping, there washes a roasted malt homey sweetness, hinting at molasses, and a touch of biscuit. The spices here are more blended, but still sassy with clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Ginger seems to pair with alcohol to cleanse the middle. Baked dough and extra crisp esters move toward a finish that lingers with a dry, moderated bitterness. It's a nicely balanced bottle of savory seasonal sensations.

Medium bodied, it has a smooth, creamy presence that's countered by a bright fizzy glow.

Sometimes a beer's well crafted and blended enough that it lulls and soothes rather than wows and oohs. This is one of those beers. It sips smoothly with a touch of impertinence. The ABV is just a little large, and it does nothing to impede one happy drink after another. This is one yuletide tipple that's tempting and easy to enjoy.

Photo of TMB0424
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml cork caged bottle into pint glass.

Pours a light, creamy brown body with amber hues around the edges. Looks like melted caramel or apple cider. Nice. Large, creamy slightly off-white head slowly reduces to a cap. Splattered lacing throughout.

Aroma is a little weak, but pleasant. Roasted nuts, sweet malts are in the forefront with wisps of cinnamon, ginger, dark fruit, and clove spice in the background. Very "fresh" smelling.

Taste is very sweet upon first sip. The cinnamon comes right at you first, then the ginger, followed by a great roasted nut element, finishing with clove spice and alcohol warmth. Very good.

It's slick in the mouth, a little oily actually. Very refreshing and warming. Has a definite Belgian feel to it. It's a very sweet beer due to the ginger and cinnamon, even after being aged this long, but the spice and alcohol even it out for the most part. A pint of this is just a perfect dessert drink on a cold night. Great beer.

Photo of Phillyduke
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is bottle-conditioned and packaged in a 750 ml champagne-style bottle. After corking the bottle, I poured the beer into a nonic pint glass. This is a two-serving bottle, so about half remained. It had a beautiful chestnut auburn red color with a vigorous frothy three-finger head that quickly dissipated leaving a fine layer of foam on the surface of the beer. It had fine lacing and excellent retention.

For a spiced ale there wasn't a discernible nose to the beer. It just had a nice, malty aroma that was warm and inviting.

Again, for a spiced ale, one could anticipate the flavorings to overpower the rest of the ingredients. This really isn't the case here, and I for one am happy about that. The flavors are subtle and balanced, and really work together in harmony. I actually ended up tasting this the way I taste wine, pursing my lips and drawing air across the liquid in my mouth, which really helped to open everything up. Thankfully, the malt is really the star here, though the spiced edge is quite noticeable, mostly the nutmeg and allspice. A slight hint of vanilla shows up in the aftertaste, giving way to a pleasant bitter finish that lingered with me a tad. Flavors continued to reveal themselves as the beer approached room temperature. Overall a wonderfully warm seasonal flavor that reminds me of when the lights were up and carols were still on the radio.

This beer had quite a lot of carbonation for a bottle-conditioned offering. The bubbles and spices tingle on the tip of the tongue and really stimulate the entire palate. Overall feel is medium-bodied and normal for what I'd expect in an ale, though probably a little crisper than what I had hoped for. This being a spiced holiday seasonal beer, I would have preferred it to be a little smoother and creamier.

All-in-all I was quite pleased with this beer. With so many breweries (especially the big macros) making holiday offerings that are so overdone it's like drinking potpourri, it was nice to sit down with a Winter Warmer that does exactly what it purports to do: warm the insides on a cold night while still tasting like beer. The added spices only helped to enhance what was already a lovely medium-bodied malty brew, and never once took center stage. One of the most drinkable Christmas beers I've had, and after a double-serving left me feeling very "festive". I look forward to next year's offering, and to how the remaining 2 bottles I have from this year will develop with age.

Photo of mikereaser
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750ml bottle on 12/24/09.
Might have been a bad idea to lose this one to the back of the shelf for so long. The cork refused to come out in one piece, the bottle mouth chipped & the cork screw got bent.

A - pours a murky chestnut brown with a big fluffy, tan foam that slowly disappeared

S - sweet malt, some ginger, spices, nothing too strong

T - malts mainly, some peppery spice and ginger

M - good carbonation, decent mouthfeel

D - 2 years old, will try an 08 & 09 soon to compare

Photo of Jmamay22
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A very heady brew that settles down to one finger depth. The head is a dark cream and the beer itself is ruby red and crystal clear. Clumpy lacing left behind.

Smells of subtle spices such as cardamom, allspice, and cinnamon. Very sweet smelling brew almost of molasses with a pine scent lurking in the background.

Taste similar to its smell. Begins with an initial burst of sweetness. This gives way to a pine bite that mixes with the spices.

Carbonation is almost over the top, but there is an enjoyable near creamy consistency. Drinkability is somewhat low and the beer became tiring towards the end of the corked and caged 750mL. Try finding a friend before popping this one open. This comes off tasting like Sly Fox's attempt at Anchor's Christmas Ale. Good, but not quite at the same level.

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked/caged bottle.

Poured with a massive head which dissipated relatively quickly - no lacing or retention.

Smell was quite sweet, with spicey cinnamon, clove, and alcohol coming through as it warmed.

Mmmm, tasty. Rich, ripe fruits (grape/raisin), dark chocolate, continued sweet spiceyness, and some smokey aftertaste.

Mouthfeel was relatively rich, leaving a light coating that lingered for a while.

This is an enjoyable, festive, and nicely crafted winter warmer.

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.05/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A 750ml corked bottle split with brothercannon and poured into a pair of standard shaker glasses. The ale appears a hazed dark amber brown color with a huge three plus fingers of fluffy foam. Nose and flavor are of spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, followed by a dose of sweet grains/caramel malt to cut the spiciness. A bit thin bodied and quite overcarbonated. The high carbonation level really hurts the drinkability here.

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2007 Christmas Ale from Sly Fox Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 29 ratings.