1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

2010 Christmas Ale - Sly Fox Brewing Company

Not Rated.
2010 Christmas Ale2010 Christmas Ale

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

42 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 42
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 15.38%
Wants: 0
Gots: 4 | 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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Brewed with Ginger, Clove, All Spice, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg.

(Beer added by: caddybuyer on 11-20-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by OWSLEY069:
Photo of OWSLEY069


2.83/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clean orange-ish to copper color with an off white head. In the aroma, big, dry cinnamon spice. In the taste, big on cinnamon and a bit sweet. It kind of tastes like a gingerbread cookie. A smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry, small cinnamon like spice in the aftertaste. Big spice, but average, I kind of feel like it is made for the main stream.

Serving type: on-tap

01-08-2011 23:22:15 | More by OWSLEY069
More User Reviews:
Photo of Stinkypuss


4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decanted into a 22oz glass. Pours a clear amber color with a soapy white head. Aroma of cinnamon and spice. In the taste, doughy malts, cinnamon, ginger and clove. Has a semi sweet caramel malty ness and a dry spice. Medium bodied with a dry finish. Overall, a really nice cellar treat. Delicious.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2014 03:15:17 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of CloudStrife

New York

4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml split and poured into a snifter. Expired 10/22/12 per bottle. Talk about hard to open.

A: Pours a very opaque dark orangish ruby with a full three finger lightly tanned head. Doesnt leave any lacing. Some visible chunks floating in the body.

S: A good deal of spice. Clove, cinnamon, allspice still very well rounded. Lots of graham cracker crust characteristics. Brown sugar in there as well.

T: Not an overload of spice, a well done and nice blend. Hints of sweetness round it out nicely. This is a balanced beer, perfect for a winter warmer.

M: Fairly light body with medium carbonation. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel but really none too heavy. Isnt too sticky from the sweetness but finishes rather clean.

Overall for a light ABV beer this one has held up pretty well. Any of the rough edges that may have been present earlier have melded together leaving a balanced brew.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2013 01:10:54 | More by CloudStrife
Photo of t0rin0


4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

01-27-2013 15:25:02 | More by t0rin0
Photo of brendaniel


3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

01-29-2012 18:04:52 | More by brendaniel
Photo of bkbergen


2/5  rDev -46.9%

01-15-2012 04:13:33 | More by bkbergen
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sly Fox Christmas has a murky brownish complexion that looks like a sum of all its spices. As much as the bubbles are responsible for assembling head, they are equally accountable for tearing it down. Sprightly soda-pop carbonation acts like a hailstorm; parts of the surface are thick while others are ravaged bare.

Even after a year in the bottle Sly Fox Christmas has enough clove and allspice fragrance to possibly make you sneeze. Fresh it was even more overwhelming. But it's tactfully done and balanced with rich, toffee-like malts. It smells like a pumpkin ale (owing that most pumpkin ales only taste 'pumpkin-y' because of all the spices).

Sly Fox pulled out all the stops in 2010: ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and clove. The only thing they could possibly be missing as far as holiday flavors are concerned is orange peel, but the mouthfeel has plenty of zest as it is given the assertive spicing. Dried fruits maybe too, but again there's some figs and raisin flavours anyhow.

The pumpkin-pie (err, make that "Christmas") spices dominate the mouthfeel but the most pleasant part is the malt bill, which has thick bready and molasses-laden gingerbread flavors. It is the liquid version of the kind of dark, heavy loafs popular in Slavic, Germanic and Scandinavian countries, especially at this time of the year.

Almost wincingly high carbonation, fine yeast and ample spicing, combined with a suspicious lightness on the palate, puts this winter warmer a little closer to a dark wheat beer. Notes of smoky dark caramel and grain challenge the spices as things warm up, although the latter (especially the ginger) always reign supreme on the finish.

All the many elements in Sly Fox Christmas 2010 worked to make it quite enjoyable. It may be by some accounts an intense experience but it is certainly a gratifyingly festive ale and a wonderful tradition of this Pennsylvania brewery. These beers are guaranteed to improve one year to the next in the cellar but are fantastic fresh too! Grab some!

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2011 19:15:29 | More by biegaman
Photo of dwaz


5/5  rDev +32.6%

12-09-2011 23:31:21 | More by dwaz
Photo of benz08

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +6.1%

11-17-2011 02:38:07 | More by benz08
Photo of russwbeck


3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer flowed out of the bottle much like 2009 did, but not as intense. Bubbly off white head, nice lacing, brown pour.

S: The smell is much more strong than the 2009. Winter Warmer spices, caramel malts, and hints of booze.

T: The taste, while not as developed as the 2009, is better. The spices start the beer off, followed by a maltiness before the taste just falls off.

MF: Light, carbonated much better than the 2009. Less boozy.

O: Better in every faucet compared to the 2009. Don't think I'd get a 2011 version though.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2011 22:28:45 | More by russwbeck
Photo of thedoubler55

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A light Brown color with a bit of redish tint to it, almost no head at all and barely any lacing on the glass.

S - Ginger, honey, brown sugar and lots of cinnamon!

T - First taste is sweet honey and cinnamon, a bit of hops, some ginger notes as well, but taste just like christmas.

M - Medium bodied and just a bit of carbonation

D - Not bad for an aged brew, But I have had other winter warmers that are better than this one.

Serving type: on-tap

07-20-2011 16:21:26 | More by thedoubler55
Photo of Rifugium


4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: bottle from Pinocchio's beer garden, Media, PA

Loved this. Poured a hazy copper color with a nice thick head of delicate eggshell bubbles. Spicy aroma! Lots of cinnamon, nutmeg, and a sweet toffee base. Similar to the aroma, big cinnamon up front in the taste, all spice and nutmeg underneath the cinnamon, rich toffee, caramel malts, and ginger snaps. Complex and spicy. Medium-bodied and very smooth, and super drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2011 04:10:01 | More by Rifugium
Photo of Jayli


3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Acquired this from G311 via Nobody Wants to See a Beer Geek Naked 3 so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!
Poured in to a my Brooklyn snifter

A: This beer pours a murky reddish, brown with a ridiculous four finger of khaki colored head. Head recedes at a moderate pace leaving no lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is cinnamon, hearty malt, ginger, orange peel and clove.

T: Taste is very spicy and very winter warmer at the forefront. Holy cinnamon batman. As the beer warms the cinnamon gives way to a strong ginger presence. Caramel malt comes through with a decently present orange peel.

M: Medium body, moderate to high carbonation, crisp body with a bit of a light stick in the finish.

O: Goes down relatively easy (probably should have drank it in the winter months), somewhat tasty, not fililng, mild kick, decent representation of style. More and more, winter warmers aren't my thing, but this is done well for those who are in to the style.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2011 02:34:35 | More by Jayli
Photo of Knapp85


3.15/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This Christmas ale isn't too bad. Tried this one right after the New Year in 2011. The beer poured out as a deep red color almost brownish, the head was minimal and faded quickly. The aroma on this was spicy enough to spark my interest. The aroma of sweet brown sugar and Cinnamon were key on the nose. The taste was mild, there was some nutmeg in there, along with the cinnamon and just a very small amount of Mint. The mouthfeel isn't thick at all and rather watered down in what seems to be typical for Sly Fox. This is probably one of their best brews that I've had but it's still nothing spectacular.

Serving type: on-tap

04-18-2011 04:04:59 | More by Knapp85
Photo of ujsplace


4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a becker.

Brew pours a deep brown color with a huge foamy light tan colored head that leaves plenty of lacing on the edges of the glass. Suspended yeasts can be seen floating throughout.

Smells of bready yeasts, sweet malts and plenty of spices - ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and a hint of clove (as advertised)...

Tastes spicy - although not overdone. All of the spices really meld together nicely - and without stepping all over the place. Has a nice bready yeast flavor as well - like fresh baked bread.

Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation.

As far as spicy winter ales go, this is definitely a winner. If I see another bottle of this I would consider aging it. Personally I really enjoy the stuff Sly Fox puts out there - the brewpub is awesome - even if I don't get there as often as I'd like.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2011 01:36:05 | More by ujsplace
Photo of womencantsail


3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing this one, Bobby.

A: The beer pours amber in color with a very, very large tan head.

S: There is no mistaking the spices/flavorings in this beer. Tons of ginger right away followed by clove and nutmeg. The cinnamon and all spice there, but seemingly not as intense as some of the other additives. Underneath it all, there is a decent enough bread and toffee character.

T: Things are pretty much the same on the palate. Lots of ginger, with an almost gingerbread type of flavor. There is a pleasing sweetness that works well with the typical winter types of spices used in this beer.

M: The body is medium with a moderate to high level of carbonation.

D: For a spiced winter beer, this was very nicely done. While the ginger was the strongest of the flavors, none of them were overdone.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2011 22:29:30 | More by womencantsail
Photo of Gobzilla


3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: poured an amber brown in color with orange highlights and had a finger worth of head leaving plenty of frothy lacing sticking to the glass.

S: the ginger was very noticeable upfront on the nose but had nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and various grain notes.

T: the ginger character also dominated the taste alongside allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon accents and had a touch of underlying clove as well.

M: the brew was medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, spice, and grainy finish.

D: it drank good and was a decent christmas brew for the holidays.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2011 19:19:12 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of sliverX

S. Georgia & S. Sandwich Isls.

3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a nice rich brown with a nice white head bubbles streaming pretty steadily
Smell is malts and spices not much else
Taste is big malt yeast kind of like a Belgian, nice
Mouthfeel is medium but way over carbed
If it was less carbed it would be much nicer

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2010 02:43:11 | More by sliverX
Photo of haazer


2.95/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle poured into a tulip.

A- Pours a dark cherry beer with apricot undertones. Kind of resembles maple syrup. Head is thick, bubbly, and khaki in color. Fairly well carbonated.

S- Very hard for me to pick out. Yeasty, little bit of cinnamon. Same caramel and other spices. Again, very weak aroma though.

T- Good spice profile. Cinnamon, some brown sugar, tastes a little like egg nog. Yeast flavor is bready. Decent aftertaste.

M- Light to medium bodied. Crisp on the tongue from the decent carbonation.

D- Meh, is what I say to this beer. I was expecting a better aroma & stronger flavors. The beer looked the part, but fell short afterwards. Not bad, but there are certainly better winter beers out there than this.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2010 00:20:19 | More by haazer
Photo of dahlen22

New Jersey

2.13/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Brownish-Amber with a good head

Aroma: Can get some of the spices listed on the bottle (cinn., cloves, ginger)

Taste: Too much going on here in the spice department. Spicy with a malty aftertaste followed by more spices in the finish.

Overall: I am surprised that this one got so man good reviews, but I am starting to wonder if people who work for the breweries are using this site to advertise their beer??

Anyhow, IMO, skip this one. I continue to find good American Belgian-style Christmas ales, but this one fell short. Way too spicy with not enough other flavors to balance off the spice. I struggled to finish the bottle off, but after fighting it down, all I was left with was indigestion. Cheers!!

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2010 13:15:26 | More by dahlen22
Photo of jmdrpi


3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle corked and caged.

clear ruby dark copper color. monster 3 inch head from a gentle pour. thick clumps of head cling to the glass as I drink.

aroma is spicy - ginger and allspice. the taste is also the classic winter warmer flavors, ginger seems to stand out the most of the 5 spices listed on the label.

higher carbonation, a little fizzy. clean mouthfeel.

flavors are not too intense, so it's still easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2010 05:14:12 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of mattgreger


4.72/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This Christmas brew poured an dark burgandy, with a few specks of red and orange when you hold it to the light. The brew poured witha nice head and a lot of sticky lacing.

The aroma of this brew is amazing. I can tell there is a big difference from the 2010 and the 2009 ales. There are some spices that are right up front, being ginger, nutmeg, and a nice caramel malt aroma as well. Everything is blended so well, its hard to pick out every aroma.

I have to say this has been one of the best winter warmers I have had this season. It has a nice smooth flavor. As you sip it, the spice and the cinnamon stick out. Its caramel malt profile, helps give this brew an amazing flavor and the ginger aftertaste is perfect. These flavors blend together very well.

The mouthful on this brew is heavy up front, causing the top to nearly blow as you open it, but it doesn't stick around. Its not a very heavy brew and goes down very well.

This 2010 Christmas Brew was great. I have had a decent amount of winter warmers this season, this one probably is on the top or very close. I like this years blend, better then last. The brew just makes you feel festive as you drink it. During our Christmas snacks before dinner, this brew went well with the cheese and meats we had out. It paired amazingly with everything we had. It went down easy and gave you that wonderful warming feeling, with out overdoing it. Great Brew by Sly Fox

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2010 03:05:23 | More by mattgreger
Photo of Chas58

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: After removing the cage and popping the cork I readied a tulip glass for the long awaited Christmas Ale. The first pour which was gentle, yet yielded a glass with more than half foam, patience was going to be needed before getting at the pleasant brownish red beer. The thick mocha colored head dissipated slowly.

Smell: The beer has a rich, pleasant smell with a clear holiday smell of cinnamon, and Ginger with a hint of citrus. The smell is pleasant and not overpowering. You know you have treat awaiting you.

Taste: The taste of this ale is magnificent it is not subtle but well balanced and pleasing. What you smelled is what you get with a tight and pleasant amount of carbonation. The hint of citrus as well as the cinnamon and ginger come through the maltiness of the ale. The alcohol does not come on too strong but you recognize it exists. 

Mouthfeel: The upfront carbonation is moderate and appropriate and allows the taste to shine through

Drinkability: This is an enjoyable and drinkable beer. I am surprised when the 750ml bottle is empty. The true test is your reaction when empty and I clearly am looking forward to the next cool evening for the  Sly Fox Christmas Ale to find it's way into my glass again. 

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2010 02:18:52 | More by Chas58
Photo of Nezzy


4.65/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Enjoying this one to keep me warm on a snowy day.

Appearance: An almost burgundy red mixed with red and the slightest tint of orange. Poured with minimal head and has some mild lacing, not a lot.

Smell: The smell is very well evened with everything blending together but it makes it slightly hard to point out some aromas. However nutmeg and spice cloves are the strongest.

Taste: Just what I would expect in a winter warmer. You can really taste the all spice and cinnamon, with an after taste of ginger. It very well blended and I can definitely taste malts.

Mouthfeel: Strong upfront carbonation but ends with little to none. Goes down easy and doesn't really stick around.

Drinkability: I've been struggling to find really decent winter warmers this season but this one succeeds. The taste and feel of the beer feels almost like you are eating a cookie and definitely is warming me up. I would want to see how it stands out more paired with food, but even on its own its a great beer that is easily drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2010 22:22:27 | More by Nezzy
Photo of gford217


3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Alex for this bottle, 2010 vintage.

Pours a murky reddish brown that shows through a hazy amber when held up to light. There's lots of carbonation and a big fluffy beige head that shows decent retention and lacing.

Aroma is spicy with cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. There is a sweet caramel malt and cocoa presence as well.

The taste starts with an initial cinnamon and nutmeg tingling on the tongue with a big yeasty bread backbone before the ginger and other spices leave a spicy burn on the palate in the finish.

The mouthfeel is very lively with strong carbonation - light to medium bodied for the style.

This is definitely a spice-heavy winter warmer but nothing is overpowering and the body keeps it very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2010 19:03:26 | More by gford217
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
2010 Christmas Ale from Sly Fox Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.