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2010 Christmas Ale - Sly Fox Brewing Company

Not Rated.
2010 Christmas Ale2010 Christmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

37 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 37
Hads: 42
Avg: 3.77
pDev: 15.12%
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:
Beer added by: caddybuyer on 11-20-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Brewed with Ginger, Clove, All Spice, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 37 | Hads: 42
Reviews by womencantsail:
Photo of womencantsail
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of CloudStrife
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

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Photo of caddybuyer
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Perhaps my all time favorite seasonal...the only one that I buy a case of caged and corked 750's of every year, half of which go to friends as gifts that are always appreciated. This one always benefits from some age, but is also very nice fresh. The 2010 version is no different and I'm tickled pink to be the first reviewer for 2010.

A-Glorious garnet ruby with a thick, foamy, rocky tan head. I always find it amazing that they are able to achieve such an amazing head on this beer given the style.

S-Cardamom hits the nose in this years version along with the cinnamon and cloves that define this beer. I pine for my old standby Snowbound by Left Hand when smell this. Somewhat different than in years past, but pungent and wonderful all the same.

T-The spicing appears to be more forward this year than in years past, although perhaps I am comparing it with the recently opened 08 that has been slumbering in the cellar (and which was wonderful) This beer definately matures with age, but as a youngster it has many charms to offer. Spices carry the slightly sweet caramel malts through to a somewhat astringent finish.

M-mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium and in its young state this beer is definately overcarbonated...the weakest point of this beer when fresh. One year settles this down a bit, and after two years it is prime.

D-Drinkability? This one charms me every year , is superb aged, and is one of the few very well done spiced ales out there. As always, cellar temperature is where this shines. What's not to like. Bring it on, and Happy Holidays.

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Photo of tempest
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a $4 pint at Liberty St Tavern. Overall, I though it was a nice American-leaning take on the style. The flavors are cleaner than your typical British WW, and the beer seemed to finish with juicy citrus hops. Up from there's a mix of cinnamon and all-spice-like spices (I won't claim to know exactly which) with a very mellow cocoa bread malt backbone. The body was smooth with a medium weight and a mild hop bite at the end.

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Photo of dahlen22
2.15/5  rDev -43%
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!!

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Photo of njmoons
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

In a 'nutshell' the spices were not quite in balance for me. The ginger was too assertive in the overall taste of the ale.

A: dark copper, look good

S: nice mix of spices over a malty base. smelled good.

T: a well made beer, but the ginger tended to dominate the beer. Initially up front where the othe spices and beer flavor were lost, and at the finish where the ginger tended to linger. Not terrible, just to much ginger for my liking.

M: as expected for the style

D: didn't have any problem finishing the bottle.

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Photo of claspada
3.99/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Aroma is of mulling spices; lots of cinnamon with some underlying ginger and allspice. There is also some sweet malt and yeast.

The taste starts off with nice sweet caramel and pale chocolate malts with a really nice balance of the mulling spices listed above. Finishes with some more sweetness as well; almost a caramelized brown sugar quality.

There is a boat ton of carbonation in this winter warmer with a medium body and a semi-dry finish.

Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. Just sampled Nogne Underlig Jul / Peculiar Yule which was over-spiced in my opinion so this amount of spicing was much more desirable/enjoyable. Really happy that I sampled this and will add this to my holiday line-up each year from now on.

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

A - Poured a nice dark amber color from a 750ml bottle. My bottle may not have been chilled enough but it was extra foamy.

S - Faint smell of the spices used in the brew... cinnamon and ginger hit me the most. Not overpowering.

T - A nice mellow malty flavor with a combination of the all spice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and clove made for a delicious beverage. No spice overpowered the other, it was a perfect blend.

M - Medium body.

D - A wonderful winter warmer from Sly Fox. Two non-craft beer drinkers shared this with me at dinner and they seemed to enjoy it and not complain!

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Even though these have been released every year since 2006 this is the first year I saw the brew! Paid 7.50 for it so hope its good!

A - Dark amber hue with impressive inch of head. Looks like it will reduce to a nice ring of lace!

S - On first whiff from the bottle mostly ginger but second smells brings cinnamon and yeast to the nose. Smells wonderful!

T - Ow man hope its good! Wow it's pretty bready with the yeast but not overbearing, then you get some ginger and sweetness from a cinnamon. Finishes spicy and floral with mild hops and clove. Really complex!

M - Kind of medium/heavy. Yeast really brings it up making it a sipper.

D - Well I pretty much bought it on a whim to get a beer with a cork top and this one was pretty good. I didn't like it enough to buy it again but would pick up next years batch to compare. Good beer.

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

Served in a standard shaker pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a nice clear dark cherry wood color with some bright gold highlights where the light reflects off the inside of the glass. There is virtually no head to speak of and what foam there is forms a small ring around the glass and creates a thin irregular island on the surface of the liquid. Sipping leave no lacing behind as everything slides back down into the liquid.

Smell: The slightly spice laden aroma has traces of clove and cinnamon but they are not very strong and nothing much stands out in any way.

Taste: The flavors are light and subtle with a light malt sweetness supporting touches of spice. The spices include some cinnamon and clove, with the tang of the ginger riding on the top.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is on the light bodied side of medium and there is very light, persistent carbonation that leaves a soft prickly feeling. The finish is medium in length, begins in the spice mixture and ends in a touch of earthy dry bitterness.

Drinkability: This is the first one of these I've hand in a couple of years and I know now why. It's an OK Christmas beer with pleasant enough characteristics that I enjoy drinking it but I don't find it outstanding or worth going out of my way to find. But that said, I'd happily drink it again if the opportunity presents.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean and clear coppery brown, minimal head and lacing. Scent comes across as pale and muddled, some carmel sweetness, mustynees and little spicing left to be found. Taste is slightly more together, but still muddled... carmely sweetness, some mustyness and a faint and muddled spice profile thats more medicinal. Medium bodied, light in carbonation. A step back from previous versions of this beer.

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Photo of benz08
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Rifugium
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.81/5  rDev -25.5%
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.

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Photo of mountsnow1010
3.47/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice brown color, mediocre head though.
S - Ginger snap cookies and molasses.
T - Spicy ginger taste with a lot of other spice flavors going on - a bit too busy for me. No truly defining flavor. Hops present but barely. Aftertaste is just ginger snap cookies, again. Very confusing. Also got a bit of a soapy taste which I didn't like.
M - Not bad, pleasantly carbonated.
D - Probably could have had another, but I'm not sure I woud have.

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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.

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Photo of mattgreger
4.68/5  rDev +24.1%
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

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of thedoubler55
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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Photo of turnstile
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL Belgian bottle directly into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours golden out of the bottle. Hazy, mahogany brown with copper and red highlights in the glass. A thick off-white head quickly recedes to a heavy film. Decent retention and signs of carbonation; great lacing.

Smell & Taste: Generally sweet aroma; huge bouquet of warm winter spices. Nutmeg, ginger and clove dominate the nose with a fresh bready note in the background. Spices are also most present in the taste with nutmeg up front. A sweet malt backbone supports the spice with a faint toastiness. Dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and slick. The carbonation is just right for this Beglian-like brew.

Drinkability: Sip this one deeply. Super smooth. Grab a few bottles and share with friends on a long winter evening.

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Photo of haazer
2.94/5  rDev -22%
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.

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Photo of Nezzy
4.6/5  rDev +22%
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.

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Photo of Jayli
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of pburland23
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged 25 ounce bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Enjoyed while decorating my house for Christmas

Pours a dark garnet color with not much of a head. The beer's aroma was lacking in my opinion. I expected a fuller nose. What I got my a slight whiff of cinnamon, nutmeg and a few other Christmas spices.

The taste was very mild. It was spicy and full of cloves and some all spice. I also picked up a little bit of a yeasty, Belgian dubbel kind of fruitness which was enjoyable. This is a good tasting beer.

The mouthfeel was medium and smooth with an appropriate level of carbonation.

This was the first time I tried Sly Fox's Christmas Ale and I was impressed with the drinkability. The level of spicing was on the moderate side. This appeals to me. In my opinion, too many Christmas Ales have the kitchen sink of spices dumped in without any restraint resulting in muddled flavors. Sly Fox used a light touch with the spices and as a result they created a Christmas Ale I'l look forward to drinking again and again.

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Photo of beergod1
3.41/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at upick6 in Erie PA. Poured a nice Chestnut color, with thin persistent head. Aroma was spice,malt....something grainy? My first sip was all I needed to know something was off. Maybe because I killed the keg? The "Grainy" smell was in the taste too, The beer had potential, and by looking at the ratings maybe I'll have to find this in a bottle and let it sit for a yr. or 2. Not bad, but after drinking Great Lakes Christmas, 12 Dogs Christmas and Old Man Winter....It's a hard act to follow.

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2010 Christmas Ale from Sly Fox Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.