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Special Holiday Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Special Holiday AleSpecial Holiday Ale

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

312 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 312
Reviews: 290
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 10.94%

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

A collaboration ale between Jolly Pumpkin / Nøgne-Ø / Stone with chestnuts, juniper berry, white sage & caraway seed and 25% rye malt.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-23-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 312 | Reviews: 290 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black, little head. Easy drinking, subtle x-mas spices,everything blends well together,toasty chestnut, dry finish and understated carbonation. Tasty no sourness at all, only a tad of wood and a mellow bitterness and glad I caught up with it.Liam's bottle.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2012 02:14:55 | More by Sammy
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Blood orange with persimmon colored highlights and a veritable blizzard of fine yeast. This is as good a hue as any for a winter warmer... and is better than most. The brown sugar colored crown filled almost half the glass after a spirited pour. It's melting exceedingly slowly and is beginning to lay down a thick blanket of finely stippled lace. Outstanding.

One whiff is all it took to tell that juniper berries are present. Special Holiday Ale smells like the beer equivalent of spiced gin and mulled wine. Chestnuts, white sage and caraway seeds are present as well, although I could never have identified them on my own. The nose is different, interesting, and enjoyable.

The same can be said for the flavor. It looks like Stone's first foray into winter warmers is a successful one. Credit must be given as well to the brewers from Nogne and Jolly Pumpkin. It can't be easy to come up with original beer these days (that works), but I've never tasted anything quite like this sweet-bitter-spicy-herbal exilir.

There's plenty of barley present, including 25% rye malt and what tastes like a fair amount of caramel and/or Munich. Hops have definitely not been forsaken, because at its current age, this sucker is still bitingly bitter. I love the way the lupulins and the alpha acids cut through the malt sugars like a hot knife through butter.

Specifics include well-toasted rye bread studded with caraway seeds, English toffee, black tea leaves, citrus zest and medium-dark fruit macerated in Tanqueray. I'm not sure if the brewers made up a few test batches or if they designed the beer on paper and went full steam ahead, but the flavor combinations work extremely well.

Since the flavors become even bolder (and better!) with warming, I have no choice but to bump the taste score. Amazingly enough, not one iota of alcohol is present on the palate. The body/mouthfeel is a fraction lighter than expected. That said, more full wouldn't have worked as well. The beer is softly silky and is crushed velvet smooth.

Stone/Nogne/Jolly Pumpkin Special Holiday Ale won't be everyone's cup of Christmas grog, but I think it's an inspired creation. If big, bold and bitter beer scares you, then stay away. If it entices you, then pick up all you find (if it's still available). It sure would be nice if this became a Stone winter seasonal, but I won't be holding my breath.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2009 14:40:46 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from a kind trader this week, as I had actually never had one before. Served chilled and poured into a snifter, this one was consumed on 05/08/2009.

The pour was decent. Dark brown and cloudy with a light tan head on top that reached a height of around an inch before settling back down to earth. Spicy aroma, cinnamon, tree bark, roasted nuts and caramel like, nice, but not blowing me away here by any means. As I take a sip I am underwhelmed I have to admit. Smooth, like alcohol notes, but there is just nothing really big, noticeable, or standout about this one. Lots of roasted nuts and cinnamon, but everything just seems kind of off to me if I am being honest. Kind of like a light oxidation in it. Flavors just did not meld together well at all for me.

Overall a bit of a let down, not really something I would go back to again anytime soon.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2009 13:59:10 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail


3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this back when it originally came out, but picked up another bottle yesterday to do a side-by-side tasting with the new Nogne-O brewed version.

A: The pour is an opaque dark brown with reddish highlights. A thin layer of tan foam sits on top.

S: The nose is a bit weak (could be the age, however). A slight sourness seems to be present, but it could be the combination of the herbal ingredients and different malts. The spice of the rye is definitely present, as is the juniper.

T: The spice character has really developed in this beer. A huge contribution from the rye and the juniper and sage add interesting flavors. I don't necessarily pick up the caraway seeds, which is disappointing because I'm a big lover of rye bread.

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

D: This beer is still in the "interesting" category in which I placed it over a year ago. Good, but not something I get all jazzed up about.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2010 02:45:32 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with garnet highlights and a frothy head that leaves a nice web of lacing behind

Smell: Herbacious caramel, with sage and juniper clearly discernable; a bit of pine, too

Taste: Caramel, up front, but toned down from a sweetness perspective by the spices, so that while it provides a malty backbone, it serves as a platform for the sage and juniper flavors; there is some spicy rye and piney bitterness in here, too, but the bitter flavors are more herbacious, and last quite a while after the swallow; the rye just adds to that effect; almost an herbal tea-like concoction

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Drinkability: Another collaboration, where the brewers proved that they can brew a beer of subtle distinctiveness, which has apparently dismayed some folks around here who were expecting something more over the top; one of those beers whose character changes completely as it warms, this beer has a lot going for it once you latch onto its distinctive characteristics

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2009 20:32:15 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep clear burgundy color ale with a rather large foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Taste is nice mix between a sweet malt base with some light spices which may included cinnamon. Body is quite full with some creamy notes and with great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I would have personally prefer for the spice mix to be more present but still enjoyable nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2009 03:45:59 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect


3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A fimly malted English base with a lot of odd and interesting spices that, together, remind me of pine.

A structured and sturdy malt bill runs the gammot of medium toast, caramel and toffee, molassas, fruitcake, brown sugars, and kettle caramelization. Breads give a lot of weight and creaminess to the mouthfeel.

Hops give an earthy and resiny balance to the malts, but the real story here are the spice additions. Juiniper berries give a lightly tart complexity and a bit of a fruity note to accompany the esters. Sage gives a large pine impression that hinges on rosemarry. Caraway soft spiciness adds another layer to the beer without bringing attention to itself. A light nuttiness is present but this could easily be accomplished by the malts rather than the chessnut additions.

This is a fantastic Winter Warmer that doesn't shy away from the winter time spices. However the spicy boldness wears on the palate quickly.

Thanks Clvand0!

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2009 21:09:47 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429


2.63/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a somewhat reddish-brown with a nice-sized tan head. The smell is just a complete onslaught of spicing along with some chestnuts in the background. The taste is quite similar with a bunch of spices that never really seem to meld together. I always have big expectations from Stone (as well as Jolly Pumpkin and Nogne O, for that matter), but this one really disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2010 19:19:52 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of ChainGangGuy


4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. single - $2.99 at Bullock's in Marietta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a seemingly heavy, opaque, brown body with a growing, lasting, off-white head.

Smell: A downright potpourri-scented aroma smelling deeply of rich notes of dark caramel-coated bread crusts, cocoa, herbaceous sage, piquant juniper berries, ground chestnut shells, miscellaneous fruit paste, and spice.

Taste: Sweet burnt caramel sauce, cocoa powder, and an earthy nuttiness upfront. A second later the prickly spicy rye deftly melds in with the other long-riding flavors. Full, though not overwhelming tastes of minty rubbed sage and juniper berries (which always sets my mind thinking about gin). Slight bitterness, leaving the other flavors to round out the sweet malts. At times you get flashes of dried cherry fruitiness, and other times some fleeting sourness. Drying, spicy, deeply earthy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Oddly dense, questionably high, yet creamy carbonation, as if my bottle contained one of those nitrous widgets.

Drinkability: Wow! I'll admit to being a bit hesitant after reading the list of bonus ingredients. It's true, I may have even murmured "Jesus Christ" right in the middle of the liquor store on a Friday afternoon. But boy was this flavorful and simply brimming with character and tasty complexities. Also, I appreciate it being sold in twelve ounce bottles, as that seems to be just the perfect amount. I don't know about the rest of you jokers, but I'll never ever think of saying "no" to a three-way again.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2009 23:32:21 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a short off-white head that fades shortly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is very spicy and minty along with caramelized malts, some fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is likewise spicy up front with a strong juniper flavor complemented by caramel, rye and some fruit. The malt character is heart and there's a mild presence that tries to provide some balance. There's very little trace of the 9.00% ABV. The after-taste is spicy and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, sticky finish.

D: It's flavorful but not flavors that I liked, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, decent representation of style, I suppose it had to happen eventually but I'm surprised to find that Stone has finally made a beer that I don't particularly care for. Given their track record and the fact that this was a 3-way collaboration, I'll give them a pass on this one.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2009 02:42:06 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of emerge077


4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Into a Duvel glass at 45º, the color is dark mahoghany, slightly red at the edge. A compact layer of tan foam appears, dotted with irregular bubbles. A swirl rekindles the head and creates about a finger's width of creamy foam. Retention is good.

Leafy west coast hops in the nose, with mildly sweet toasted malt. Rich malty flavor, spices come out in the middle and linger well into the aftertaste. They are hard for me to pick out individually, but the overall taste is pleasant. Some bitterness that works well with the moderate spice. It's creamy feel really adds alot to the whole package. Complex enough to sip for awhile, trying to figure out all the herbal nuances.

Thanks to TheBlackMallard for hooking me up with this one...

Huh, noticed this is listed 3 times on BA:

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2009 23:27:06 | More by emerge077
Photo of jlindros


3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Guess this has been in the back of my fridge since winter. I found it while moving things around, and it has little specks of mold on the outside, hope it's still good.

A: Pours a rich 2 finger head that rises up with a creamy thick look, and fades slowly, leaving a slight lacing on the sides. The beer is very dark raisin brown color with very little light getting through.

N: The nose is mostly what I expected. Some darker malts are there, not heavy, some sweet malt aromas with hints of booze. Some fruits, dried fruits, raisin, touch of apricot. Spices galore, nutmeg, cinnamon, nutty aromas like the Xmas nuts, I think there's some juniper too, perhaps some other berries of the bittering kind.

T: A dry taste to start. Some rich malts, darker malts, that I would have expected to be sweet and syrupy, but are instead dry and lackluster almost. I wonder if that is a product of the age or meant to be. It has a slight creamy note, like an oatmeal feel. More dried fruits, raisin, etc. Also more nuts, not as much but a little nutty quality. And again tons of spices. Nutmeg and cinnamon like Xmas spices. I def get juniper now, very dominant, semi Sahti like. I personally am not a big fan, but it seems to work a little in this one, as there are some many strange flavors melded together. As it warms and I get used to the aniset like spices, I start to get some dark roasty porter malts, and hints of chocolate malt.

M: Medium body, not as syrupy as I expected, and very dry, with good carbonation.

F: Finishes still very dry, with almost a feel that it was sticky sweet but it wasn't. Lots of juniper lingering again, adds that bitterness that is not my style. Then more Xmas spices again, with more nutty flavors, and a little creamy feel on the finish, almost as if there were lactose in it too, and slightly buttery too.

I bet this would make a nice sit by the fire winter beer to sip on, and share! A 1pt 9oz bottle by myself is a little tough.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2010 02:46:14 | More by jlindros
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deceptively carbonated as a vigorous pour at first doesn't produce much of a head but then it blossoms into something that overflows the sides of my 25cl tulip glass. I end up with a four finger thick, lightly browned, amber-tan colored head. The beer is a dark, amber tinged, concentrated red color that shows a brilliantly clear, deep ruby hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of toasted malt up front but then quickly picks up a spiciness reminiscent of sweet ginger, a touch of clove, a definite juniper note and a corresponding pine-needle scent. This has an interesting berry note to it (which I suppose is the juniper) and the finish is dominated by a solid, toasted malt character.

Spicy juniper notes dominate the flavor of this beer upon my first sip. The white sage quickly kicks in though with a solid herbal, and turpene rich character in the middle. The caraway isn't really noticeable overtly like the other two spices, but likely influences my perception of a rye spiciness in the finish. The beer finishes with an herbal, green bitterness that is not from hops alone. The spices also contribute to a sort of menthol like note as well as a touch of anise flavors. The malt provides some caramelized sweetness as well as a toasted malt backbone that reminds me of lightly toasted whole grain bread; as the beer warms a touch of roast character is noticeable at times towards the finish. The malt sweetness accentuates a fruity berry character . A thick, chewy body and a viscous heft are just barely offset by the prickly carbonation; this is definitely a sipping brew.

Not bad, but way too spice dominated, the Juniper seems to be the worst offender as the caraway is quite subtle and the white sage might actually be at a good level but it is hard to tell under all the juniper flavors.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2009 03:50:26 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of RblWthACoz


3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours so thick it doesn't look normal. Color is a darker brown with a ruby hue. Nose is spiced. Flavor is pretty spiced. Lots of it. Smooth sweet tone. But the spices dominate. Feel is thick on an almost syrup like way. Soft but fuller carbonation. At first I didn't like this beer that much. Now I think it's okay. For a collaboration of three bug breweries, I would expect something with more of a wow factor.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2008 04:36:51 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of Halcyondays


3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle purchased at Hollingshead's, $2.99,

A: Pours a ruby/maroon/brown with a thick head with some thick holes. Solid head retention, pretty standard lace.

S: Mix of pine needles, berry (I'm assuming juniper), cola and molasses. Flowery. Sage is clearly evident, smells a lot like the wild sage soap I bought at the health food store.

T: Mix of malt and nuts with a lot of flowery and herbal character from the sage and juniper being quite distinct. Fermeneted pie berries and more spice carry the brew to its clear caraway note in the finish, with a phenolic medicinal character.

M: A very thick beer, but I think it works in this style having a bigger body. Robust, powerful, smooth. Very creamy. Dry, spicy finish. Long aftertaste.

D: A good Winter beer from the 3 breweries. I'm sure to buy another bottle if I see it.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2008 00:49:44 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of barleywinefiend


4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown with good carbonation and a tan head. Looked very good. Nose is spices and lots of it. Sage, juniper, rye and light chocolate. Taste is a warm tingle from booe, sage, juniper, perhaps some cinnamon and other spices. Mouthfeel is warming and tingly. Tasty all the way around.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2010 02:20:16 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown with 2 inches of off whit head and moderate carbonation evident. Little bit of rentention and lacing.

s - Smells of chocolate, roasted malts, juniper, spices, pine, alcohol, and a hint of coca cola.

t - Tastes of pine and juniper berries, as well as roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and nuts.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, smooth and very easy to drink.

d - I thought this was a pretty good winter warmer. I think the juniper berries have a very distinct smell and taste. It's very interesting but enjoyable. If you don't like that smell/taste, you might want to skip this one, otherwise definitely worth checking out. I would try again.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2010 22:07:10 | More by mdfb79
Photo of kojevergas


3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into an EKU 28 snifter in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm as consumption progressed. Not paired with food or anything. Expectations are high; I trust Nogne quite a bit and Stone tends to be hit and miss. I'm hoping she's a good one; it's been a long day. Winter Warmers are one of me top five favourite styles.

A: Pours a one finger head of good cream, pretty good thickness, and good retention. Colour is a nontransparent solid black.

Sm: Chestnuts, heavy berry esters (I don't know that I'd necessarily detect it as juniper), and spices. Toasted malts, chocolate, and caramelized malts. Chocolate and berry are dominant. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Chocolate, heavy berry, lovely spices, chestnut, caramel, cream, and underlying toasted malt. Balanced quite well, with impressive subtlety. It doesn't fully commit to its flavours, leaving it feeling a bit muted. Quite enjoyable and pleasant. I like it. It's complex. Rich and delightful.

Mf: Silky smooth, wet, and creamy. Quite lovely, especially for the ABV. The most impressive aspect of this beer. Not too thick or too thin. Exquisite. Almost perfect. I'm extremely impressed.

Dr: Very drinkable - especially for the high ABV, which is well hidden. I'd have it again, preferably either aged in the bottle or on draught. I don't know that it'd get much better, but I do like it. I just wish it was more forward and confident with its flavours.


Serving type: bottle

02-07-2012 07:44:05 | More by kojevergas
Photo of akorsak


3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to qchic for this 12 oz bottle at the Baltimore BA Gathering in June.

A: The winter warmer is a dark crimson red that could pass for brown. A bright orange-red radiance at the bottom of the glass stands out. A finger of off-white head dissapated with no trace.

S: Caramel and winter spices are strong, as is a sweet toffee presence. Cinnamon, pine needles, sap and molasses also feature prominently.

T: The ale has a sharp roasted presence, driven by the blackstrap molasses sharpness. Caraway, ginger, juniper and cinnamon are spicy elements over the molasses. A hoppy pine presence has decayed a bit, mellowing out from what must have been pretty strong. The blackstrap and roasted malts linger in the finish but the spices are still there.

M: The spices, caraway and ginger in particular, are a nice pairing with the blackstrap. The sharp semi-sweet flavor partially hides the alcohol.

D: At 9%, the ale is a little too strong to drink regularly and the spice profile wears out the palate over time.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2009 01:50:13 | More by akorsak
Photo of Billolick

New York

4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, $3.50 @ New Beer in NYC. Allowed to warm quite a bit, and enjoyed in a Belgian tulip. Pours deep dark brown, mahogany. Dark Khaki head, frothy and retentive, a swirl elicits plentiful sheeting, morphing to fine, scattered lace. Earthy,mild sage, dark cocoa nose. Thick, milkshake of a beer. Smooth and easy drinking. Winter spice, robust chocolate, toffee all picked up. Alcohol no where to be found. Went great with a bowl of spicy chili on a chilly day. Delightful winter sipper.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2008 21:14:41 | More by Billolick
Photo of lacqueredmouse


4.58/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Monument Wines and Spirits in Concord, CA. Carried back to Australia and cracked open with laituegonflable.

Pours thicker than just about any beer I've ever seen. Seriously, it looks more akin to treacle than beer. Initially, it looks as though it has no head whatsoever, then the long struggling bubbles finally push their way through the gelatinous mass to form a light collar of yellow brown film. Colour is a thoroughly wonderful dark mahogany red - overall, a top-notch looking beer. I'm in love.

Fair bit of resiny, citrus and west coast hops on the nose. More than anything reminds me of Arrogant Bastard. As it warms, there are some spicier notes revealed, perhaps the caraway seed and the rye coming to the fore. Delicious and tantalising, an excellent nose indeed.

The palate continues this monumental trend. A thick and chewy body has a languid time imparting sweet malts, spicy citrus/juniper bitter characters and a resiny sweet back palate that seems to clear my sinuses. It stretches on and on, morphing through sweetness, medicinal bitterness, creamy fullness and pleasant herbal notes. Every sip is a new adventure - it's as though this beer continuous to mature with every sip you take. A thoroughly mystifying, enchanting and bewitching beer.

Truly excellent. This is the way to do a beer that pushes the envelope. Give us something we don't expect, but wrap it in comfort, warmth and familiarity. Exceptionally cunning and amazingly enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2009 08:57:10 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of Zorro


4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear deep brown colored ale with a distinct reddish cast to it. Next to nothing for a head though just a light brown colored ring.

Light citrus and brown sugar in the first sniff. Smells like triple sec in tea with a little pipe tobacco and a splash of gin. Something like if you mulled an English Pale Ale.

Starts out sweet and woody with a caramel and toffee aftertaste, hints of Stone Arrogant Bastard. Dance of sweet and bitter here as if this beer can't decide. Herbal English style hops on the tongue seem to do most of the bittering. Alcohol is completely hidden, tastes something like a mellowed out Arrogant Bastard.

Mouthfeel is good.

OK beer, was expecting a more pronounced flavor, but this is good.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2009 01:11:30 | More by Zorro
Photo of Wasatch


4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to tai4ji2x for this one.

Pours a nice clean/clear/thick golden brown color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy tan head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some caramel/toffee, nice spicyness, slight yeast. The taste is malty, sweet, spicy (cinimmon, nutmeg). Medium body. Drinkable, a nice brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2009 22:40:35 | More by Wasatch
Photo of corby112


3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes:

Pours a very dark ruby/chestnut brown color with mahogany edges and a thin tan head that quickly fades leaving no lacing.

Very bland aroma with hints of peppery spice, hazelnut and caramel malt.

Medium bodied with a heavy spice flavor profile as well as hints of dark fruit, medicinal syrup and a slightly dry, sweet finish. Lots of peppery zest as well as hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove along with sweet candy sugar, cherry, berries, raisn and toasty malt. Decently balanced with a well masked ABV and slight hop profile.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2010 03:40:54 | More by corby112
Photo of DoubleJ


4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

So this is what the visit of Nøgne Ø and Jolly Pumpkin was all about at Stone nearly two months ago. I have a bottle which I've declared my official beer of Xmas 2008. On to the beer:

Creamy one inch thick head on top this dark amber water. It's so dark, light only penetrates the edges. The nose is all about the spices used in this beer. The juniper berries stick out the most in this one. An edge of burnt sugar. The taste is unique as well. Full flavored, viscous, yet feels so airy and puffy in the mouth. It's different, that's for sure, but I really like it. I can't really pinpoint any flavors, but I notice the rye used in this beer.

There's nothing like ending a night on a tasty brew. Xmas makes it even more special. Three cheers to Stone, Jolly Pumpkin, and Nøgne Ø for brewing this.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2008 05:41:37 | More by DoubleJ
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Special Holiday Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 312 ratings.