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2012 Christmas Ale - Sly Fox Brewing Company

Not Rated.
2012 Christmas Ale2012 Christmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

18 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 18
Hads: 69
Avg: 3.76
pDev: 14.89%
Wants: 4
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sly Fox Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Cylinsier on 11-08-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 18 | Hads: 69
Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is relatively clear amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger and a half high dense light beige colored head that gradually died down but left a large pillow of bubbles in the center of the glass, a collar around the edge, and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: The smell has a mixture of Christmas spice aromas in the nose—nutmeg and gingerbread seem to stand out in particular.
T: Like the smell, the taste is rather spicy but has a gingerbread-like sweetness and is almost like having a liquid gingerbread man.
M: It feels medium-bodied and somewhat smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I found this to be a nice Christmas winter warmer that had a good balance between the malty sweetness and spices—neither of which really stood out in particular. It is a nice choice for the holiday season.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a nice looking clear amber color with a foamy white head on top. The smell of the beer is surprising, It's got a really nice spice profile to it. There is also some hints of malt in there also. The taste has a spicy flavor as well and a sweet malt backbone to it. The mouthfeel of the beer is smooth, gently carbonated and quite drinkable. Overall, I was seriously impressed with this beer. I'm not a big fan of anything Sly Fox really puts out but since it was free sample I figured I would give it a try.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Poured into a pint glass, a reddish-brown color, hazy, with a foamy white head that retained well and left a bit of lacing. Lighter than the '11, but pretty similar otherwise. In the nose: cinnamon, sugar, ginger, herbal hops. Similar taste: caramel malts, cinnamon donuts, brown sugar, ginger, nutmeg, herbal hops. Nothing surprising, but still a nice ww overall. Medium body, pleasant and drinkable.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Winter warmers are not usually my favorite beer. This is my first one for this winter season and I have no plans on trying another. That being said this is a pretty decent beer. I would say the only problem is that the flavor profile is so thick it's almost too chewy and there are too many spices in the mix. Nose is really nice, but overall, a bit too heavy. Could be thinned out.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nothing says "Christmas!" to me like beer in a CAN! The CANQuest (TM) has been a victim of CANnus Interruptus of late, but today seems highly appropriate to crack one of these CANs open in celebration.

From the CAN: "Ale with ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg & cloves"; "It's a real gift that we are able to gather round [sic] with family and friends to enjoy a most special brew accented by mulling spices and aromas which recall near-forgotten holiday memories."

The Crack and inverted Glug was magnificent! Not only did I create a finger of dense, foamy, light-tan head, but the room smelled like a scented CANdle had been lit! Maybe I'll get lit over the course of the day ... Nose was incredibly spicy with cinnamon taking center stage, followed closely by clove and the others performing backup in this medley. Color was a deep-copper with NE-quality clarity. I once had a girlfriend whose hair was this shade, oh my. Mouthfeel was medium, at best, but the cinnamon flavor was immediate on the tongue. Big Red chewing gum, anyone? Cinnamon was the big flavor here, but the cloves became evident on the finish, which was veddy dry, by the way. Phew! The interplay of the spices was pleasant, but I probably would not want more than a couple at a sitting as hops are more my bag.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.04/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A CAN into a plain pint glass. Scooped this up as a single.

Blood orange with some light brown tints woven in, Sly Fox Christmas comes off with an inch of off tan colored foam that fades and leaves no stick. A ring around the glass is all that remains on the way down. Smell is big on cinnamon and ginger. Smells like it will come off sweet. There is a whole lot of spice that blends with some caramel from the malt. Not really picking up any hops in here. Smells like a big winter warmer. Taste wise spice rules, I get a lot of ginger and cinnamon, a small hint of cocco, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I am not a fan of ginger in beer, but the other ingredients mutes it a bit. Body is dead on medium with a light hit of carb on the tounge. The aftertaste is spice filled but does not stick on the tounge long, which makes this easier to take as the malt brings a sweetness towards the end. An enjoyable Winter Warmer, full of spice, full of flavor, not hard to drink at all.

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Photo of tone77
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a caramel color with a 1 inch head. Smell is full of spices, mainly cinnamon. Taste is also a lot of spice, some malt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Good job of capturing holiday flavors. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, brownish tinted amber, small cap of white foam. Scent leads with seasonal spice, heavy on the gingersnap cookies... ginger, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, clove. Taste follows suit, sweet malts bring notes of light caramel and molasses, lots of seasonal spice, mild citrus notes. Medium bodied, moderate carbonation. One of the better Sly Fox Christmas offerings in recent years... spices could be tough to handle after 2 or so of them.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a shaker pint.

Deep reddish amber with 1-2 fingers of tan head. Good retention and low carbonation.

Cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar cookies and caramelized brown sugar.

Oh yeah, this tastes like sugar cookies. Besides that there’s notes of caramelized brown sugar and buttery breads. Nutmeg and cinnamon are the most prominent spices as well as touches of allspice.

Medium-full bodied, creamy and crisp.

Easy drinking Winter Warmer. Not cloying. This really does taste like sugar cookies! :)

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

75 cl

Pours deep hazy brown, cherry red tint when held to light, with two inches of yellowy white pillowy head, dissipates pretty slowly to a film.

Smells of brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, some hints of ginger and whispers of a hoppy bitterness.

Tastes lightly sweet, with hints of ginger and candi sugar, over a base of nutmeg, clove, cardamom and ginger. Some hop bitterness in the aftertaste.

Medium to full body with tingly carbonation over the tongue.

Good appearance, nose and body. The flavor is unique, even strange. The spices feel imbalanced, with the wrong focuses. It's not bad, but it feels experimental. Drinks easy enough if the flavor doesn't throw you off. I think some people will really like this and some people will really dislike it. For me, it's worth trying.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.69/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-dark amber with a nice tan head

S-vanilla extract and gingerbread. Almost syrupy. Sour cream? Not digging the smell.

T-comes in with a decent taste of vanilla cream on gingerbread, along with some nutty grains. It's a decent taste. No off or adjunct flavors. The after-taste has more of the buttercream along with welcomed dark Belgian sugars. I like it. It's a novelty brew, but it comes together.

M-medium creamy carbonation with a dry finish

O-I wouldn't say this qualifies as a winter warmer. Due to so many novelty flavors, I'd just say its a herbed/spiced ale. It's fun though. Women are sure to like it. Something that'll pass well on the local taps. It's worth a try.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a sam adams glass, color is amber, with very nice clarity and transparency; head is light tan/off white, presenting 1/2" thick then dissipating to a ring, but some nice lacing.

Smell is subdued at first, mild cinnamon, clove and other spices; some lighter toast and caramel malts.

Taste is a crisp and not cloying winter warmer mixture, not heavy on the malt sweetness which helps accentuate the spices, most cinnamon, solid ginger with lighter clove and allspice; flavors mix well and hint at the flavor of ginger snap.

Mouthfeel is very crisp, a little sharp with spices on the tongue but not overly sweet - a good balance for a winter warmer.

Overall, a very solid winter warmer, I like this take with less emphasis on the strength and more focus on light malt flavors to backup a heavy spice profile.

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Photo of FickleBeast
3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can poured into a nonic.

Pours a clear ruby brown color with a finger of foam that laces nicely. Aroma is redolent of cinnamon, ginger, allspice, clove. Reminds me of a gingersnap cookie.

First sip is a rush of holiday spice flavor. The spices really overpower any other flavors. Ginger and clove are the most dominant, and not much else really comes through. Dry finish.

Another overspiced winter warmer. Not bad, but not something I'd drink again after I finish this 6 pack.

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Photo of magine
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a becker.

Pours a clear reddish amber. Thick off white head with lots of big bubbles. Head settles to a thick layer on the edges. Nice lacing. Good looks.

Brew smells of the season; nutmeg, cinnamon - spicy with malts. Good nose.

Brew is balance; some spice in there and finishes crisp. Some hops mixed in with the cinnamon, clove and nutmeg - just as described. A good brew.

This is a lower abv winter warmer which makes it more sessionable. A good drinking brew here. I would prefer it be a bit thicker in the mouthfeel and a bit higher in the abv - but it is good though. Good stuff.

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Photo of atr2605
3.41/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A-pours a caramel amber color with an off white head with decent retention
S-cinnamon, clove, ginger, brown sugar. basically smells like a big gingerbread cookie
T-The medley of spices continue in the taste followed with some suppressed sweetness, finishing with hop bitterness and lingering spices
M-medium bodied
O-definitely a spice driven winter warmer, and I think a good one if you dig that in the style. Not overly unique but a pleasant beer to enjoy on a wintery day.

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Photo of Teleweizen2
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - pours a crystal clear deep ruby red. The beer is practically christmas red. Two fingers worth of tightly packed off-white foam quickly dissolve. A touch of lacing left on the glass.

S - the nose is especially festive. The spices do dominate mostly cinnamon and clove. Toasty and bready malt character add a cake like element.

T - bready, toasty and caramel malts up front. Dusty cinnamon and spicy clove enter mid palate and only intensify as it warms on the tongue. Finish is quick dry and spicy.

M - medium bodied with a fairly smooth texture. High, bubbly carbonation.

O - a nice christmas ale. On the easy drinking side with plenty of spice character. Good stuff.

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Photo of One_Man_Gang
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

really good seasonal Christmas beer.

color was a dark, clear amber.

head was decent, good fit for the style. not abundant at all.

smell was very good. lots of spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, all of it is upfront and smells great.

taste follows the smell. not one spice is overpowering, all seem to blend very well. no real hop profile.

texture was thin and carbonated well.

overall a very enjoyable seasonal beer. smell and taste were lively. i really enjoyed it, and i am not a fan of this style.

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Photo of Chas58
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a growler filled at Joe Canal's Iselin into my Firestone Walker Nonic Pint Glass

Appearance - pours a coppery orange with a moderately active head that dissipates slowly and leaves a beautiful lacing on the edge of the glass, and some moderate head throughout. 

Smell - the initial aroma screams cinammon, but is quickly backed up by other "wintery" spices, including a hint of clove and nutmeg. The aroma is very rich and mixed with a maltiness that makes it very appealing. The balance makes this very inviting.

Taste - a very pleasant treat awaits. This has a very spiced taste, with all of the tastes described in the smell, but without the aftertaste that tends to make winter ales, beers that you can not drink more than one. The maltiness of this ale helps to provide a nice balance for the spices and allows a very spiced ale to not be over powering.

Mouthfeel  - a moderate level of carbonation with a tight carbonation and a nice maltiness and spiciness. There is a moderate film left on the palette of clove, but for the most part it is not an overwhelming or problematic residue

Overall  -  This is a very enjoyable winter ale, balanced, thick and spicy. The spiciness does not kill the enjoyment and the low ABV and matiness allow for several glasses before the spiciness wears you out. Well done Sly Fox.

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2012 Christmas Ale from Sly Fox Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 18 ratings.