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Blitzen Holiday Ale - Maumee Bay Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Blitzen Holiday Ale
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BA SCORE
82
good

48 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 48
Reviews: 29
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 18.26%
Wants: 1
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Maumee Bay Brewing Company visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Blitzen is a robust holiday ale specially brewed with Orange, Cinnamon, and Honey. Once each year we handcraft this tasty ale to celebrate the holiday season. It contains a masterful blend of dark malts, Willamette and Bullion hops and just the right amount of orange, cinnamon, and honey. Lightly filtered and bottled fresh this is the perfect beer for the holiday season.

(Beer added by: Ellbert on 12-24-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 48 | Reviews: 29 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beerman207
1.73/5  rDev -51.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Picked this up in Indiana this weekend while I was traveling for a wedding. It looked pretty good with lots of sediment so I thought - why not? Should have went with FFF instead.

A: Pours a deep orange into the glass - decent head left behind - lots of floatees which isn't a problem for me but wow - it's kind of crazy with how much it has in it.

S: Smells like fruitcake - pretty festive. Almost makes me long for Xmas in May.

T: What the hell is this? Taste is like tangy with a sharpness that just rings out winter warmer? Who made this thing? Seems like someone cooked it up in the backroom of a restaurant of something.

M: Terrible - probably the highest carbonation I've ever been subjected to and just no good reason for it in this beer. Makes the brew taste like seltzer.

D: Poor - no way am I finishing this. My drain will enjoy the rest of this beer. So bad that I would rather drink Colt 45 right now as opposed to this.

Avoid this like the plague.

beerman207, May 17, 2010
Photo of rwilde
2.5/5  rDev -29.8%

rwilde, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of leinie13
2.5/5  rDev -29.8%

leinie13, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of WVbeergeek
2.53/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appears a crimson blood orange juice hue with a large light tan head, lacing is sporadic and uneven. Aroma has ample spices mainly cinnamon with alot of honey and orange peel added to the mix. Something in the flavor brings on a whiskey sour feel and the stomach starts turning, as I adjust to that sourness some pleasant orange peels and a mix of Christmas spice kick into effect. Spicing is unbalanced it lays heavy with spice bitterness causing a cloying experience overall but the nice parts of the brew which are the orange peel and mild caramel malt experience with a touch of whimsical alcohol burn run free. For only 4.99 a bomber it's not that bad but in the end it leaves me with a glorified homebrewer experience. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and cloying with spices on all fronts, pretty sick stuff. Drinkability doesn't get any worse than this if you make it through 22 ounces I applaud you, their Buckeye beer is equally as shitty within it's on style I probably will never stop in Toledo for a beer.

WVbeergeek, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of wagenvolks
2.68/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

2008 bomber into a Corsendonk tulip. Thanks to hopsleeroy for the hook-up!

A crisp, clear copper-amber body fills the glass. The crackling custard head drops quickly to a small patch and ring of tight bubbles. Holy crap, this is a big aroma, even after 9 months! Overly sweet fruitcake instantly comes to mind, followed by sugar-coated, artificial orange gummies, cinnamon spice, cider-ish alcohol, and a hint of chamomile. The smell is literally making my head spin, and not exactly in a good way.

Thankfully, the flavor is more subdued, but it still echoes notes of citrus and holiday spice. I like my Winter Warmer's a bit heavier on the malt and sweetness, and much less on the spices. Finishes slightly sour with a voraciously fizzy carbonation level that expands as it travels down the throat. Fruitcake lingers after each sip. Not a great attempt at a Winter Warmer, although the age may have affected the body a bit. Still, I can't imagine how aggressive with the spice & booze this beer was when fresh. Nor am I sure that I'd want to. Drain-pour after half a glass.

wagenvolks, Sep 02, 2009
Photo of spycow
2.75/5  rDev -22.8%

spycow, Today at 04:54 AM
Photo of TheHoppiest
2.83/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass. Has a ruddy amber color, slight hazy, which has a greenish tinge when viewed from man angle.

Has a spicy apple cinnamon smell, but smells sort of fakey.

Overly sweet, cloying, with much honey and orange peel.

Medium bodied.

Not too drinkable, won't be having another.

TheHoppiest, Dec 25, 2010
Photo of SerialHiker
2.83/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a deeper, reddish copper color…medium transparency…a thin layer of off white head did form , but nothing really to write home about…(3/5)

Smell: Holiday spices and candy sweetness right off the bat, though I wouldn’t call it lively…basic sweet malt undertone…light cinnamon aroma…again, nothing overly special about it, basic holiday ale smell…more sweetness does come out as it warms, which is nice…(3.25/5)

Taste: Rich, sweet malt…cinnamon & sweet dark cherry candy play way background…orange peel shows up later, but to varying degrees with each sip…earthy hops play complimentary role, very malt forward…mild alcohol heat…there really isn’t anything to this flavor and is rather mediocre…some sourness…(2.5/5)

Mouthfeel: Light body but does fluff up much more than expected…orange peel resin on my lips…wet and watery…mild hops bitterness…(3.25/5)

Overall: Well, this is a mediocre beer at best…it’s not bad, but there’s nothing really good about it, except maybe the mouthfeel, that’s surprisingly nice…it’s got the basic winter warmer/Christmas ale flavor, which I do like, but this is a non-descript brew that I’m pretty sure I won’t try again…(2.75/5)

SerialHiker, Dec 29, 2012
Photo of Atyoungberg
3/5  rDev -15.7%

Atyoungberg, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of atomicbeer
3/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up at the Maumee Bay Brewpub downtown Toledo. Poured from a bomber into a mug. Hazy brown-orange color with a thin yellowish off-white head. Very little aroma at first. Pick up a bit of boozy candied orange and malt and very faint cinnamon notes. Very sweet almost cloying malt flavor backed by just a bit of orange and a whisper of cinnamon. With warming pick up more of the malty aroma. Not really getting any of the honey aroma or flavor unless its additive to the sticky malt. Not real sure to make of this one, got its pluses and minuses. 16 oz may have been enough.

atomicbeer, Jan 02, 2013
Photo of tat2dhllblly
3/5  rDev -15.7%

tat2dhllblly, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of emerge077
3.05/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Goofy silkscreened bottle with a reindeer and lots of text.

Murky orange with a collar of lacing. End of the bomber so there was more sediment than usual. Opaque orange with a thin layer of foam across the surface.

Lager derived aroma, some light spice, mostly nutmeg. Sort of odd and swilly from the beginning. Some orange peel comes out at room temperature after sitting with it for a bit.

Big butterscotch diacetyl notes, sweet with some lingering spice: cinnamon and nutmeg. Not much malt present at all, dominant spices and sweetness. Low to medium carbonation, the sweetness keeps the drinkability low unfortunately. The lack of depth is a dealbreaker, and not conducive to drinking much of it.

emerge077, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of GordonQuid
3.05/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured Blitzen's ale into a freshly washed pint glass. Poured a cloudy amber with a one inch white head that quickly reduced to a ring with slight lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malt, orange zest, cinnamon, clove and some other mulling spices.

You can really taste the sweetness of the malt. The orange zest and clove are the most apparent spice. The orange and cinnamon linger in the aftertaste.

I would say this is medium bodied with a slightly below average drinkability.

GordonQuid, Jan 02, 2009
Photo of kegger22
3.18/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Maumee Bay Blitzen was a copper color with a two finger beige head that displayed decent retention.

What came through strongest in the aroma was the cinnamon, maybe a little orange in the background.

The taste was orange (as in orange soda), honey added to the sweetness, but over-carbonation defeated the taste buds attempt to go any further.

The mouth feel was medium bodied and, as mentioned, over carbonated.

The drinkability was OK; it suffered some from the mouth feel.

It would have been nice to have fallen in love with a beer brewed in Toledo, just a few miles away. But such was not to be the case.

kegger22, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of JDV
3.33/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Kryptic. Thanks for this extra!
Clear amber pour. Spicy nose of cinnamon, honey and citrus. Taste is sweet but drinkable and flavors of cinnamon orange and honey are all definitely present. This was nicely spiced and I enjoyed this one.

JDV, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.38/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle courtesy of raznug!

A- Body is a muddy murky brown color. Pours with a small off-white head that immediately fades completely. No lacing is left behind in the glass.

S-Smells like a nice, spicy winter warmer. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and raisins hit the nose first with a big malt and slightly yeasty backbone.

T-Upfront is a big dash of spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon which balance with the fruity raisin flavor. In the background is a big dose of biscuty malt and yeast. Spices come through more for this finish along with a hint of alcohol. Some spiciness lingers.

M- Medium tingly carbonation and a body loaded with biscuty malt and yeast consistency. This is a consistency which I have found in many beers of many different styles that I am not a fan of.

D- This is overall a nice winter warmer as far as flavor and smell are concerned, but the mouthfeel brings it down a notch. Other than that; this beer has a lot going for it. Its something that isn't overpowering, but one has to try hard to ignore. Definitely worth a try but I probably won't be having this again.

PittBeerGirl, Dec 17, 2008
Photo of movingtrain
3.43/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 ounce bomber sampled from a 12 ounce snifter.

Bottle says this is brewed with orange, cinnamon, and cloves. No ABV noted on the bottle.

Pours an amber color with a thing white head and decent carbonation.

There is heavy spice in the nose--cinnamon, orange peel, honey richness, dark fruit, sage, dark candy sugar, and grainy malts.

The flavor is quite rich...very spicy. There is a bit of a funky flavor in this which is not harmonizing well with the seemingly pleasant spices. It's like holiday spice and stinky socks, an odd balance of spice and funk. There are hints of cinnamon, caramel, allspice. The body is sweet and malty, and oddly funky.

Overall, a decent beer from Maumee Bay. They keep trying more and more things, as recently I saw they had an IPA on store shelves in bottles in Maumee. I like that they are expanding their available beers to the public, not just at the brewpub, as they are capable of making some very good beer. Blitzen is a fine Winter warmer, good and local.

movingtrain, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of beveritt
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes:

Presentation: Poured from a brown bomber into a standard pint glass. Silk screened label shows a head on shot of a reindeer.

Appearance: Pours with under 1 finger of light tan head. This dissipates to nothing quickly, leaving no lacing behind. The beer itself is a slightly reddish brown and perfectly clear. However, the last 1/4 of the bottle brings much chunky sediment.

Smell: Sweet malt and honey aromas upfront with slight sourness in the finish. Some hints of cinnamon and bitter orange peel.

Taste: Mild malt with overtones of cinnamon and clove. Fairly middle of the road and unexciting here.

Mouthfeel: Lower than average carbonation. Body is pretty good.

Drinkability: Nothing special on this one. Not disappointed I bought it, but not something I will seek out again.

beveritt, May 29, 2009
Photo of shroompod
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 version

Pours with a small head no lacing , decent red color.

Aroma of citrus , some bourbon like alcohol tones.

More citrus , and the nutmeg comes though on tasting. Alcohol is apparent.

Mouthfeel is medium , not as sweet as I'd expect. Under carbonated.

Overall a pretty easy drinking beer I'd like to try out fresher.

shroompod, Oct 13, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 vintage. Polished persimmon with a generous infusion of cherry juice. Quite a few winter warmers end up this color (which I love). The khaki colored cap was two fingers to start and looked acceptable enough. However, it's fizzing away fairly rapidly, doesn't look wonderful while doing so, and is leaving the glass untouched. Not the world's best start.

Other than the four basic ingredients, Blitzen contains orange peel, cinnamon and honey. Only the second of those is appreciated in the nose. This is a pretty good sniffer and makes me think the flavor will pull its weight as well. Let's see.

Blitzen needs some help pulling the winter warmer sleigh, but gets the job done in the end. Even those who don't love spice-added ales should do fine with this one since the added cinnamon, while noticeable, isn't exactly in-your-face. Easy for me to say, since I like that particular spice in my holiday beer.

The honey-like sweetness isn't overdone either. Besides, it's offset to some extent by a modest bitterness from Willamette and Bullion hops. The orange peel gets lost in the mix. The citric-like tang that's present is more lemon than orange. Warming brings nothing new to the party.

I've seen the ABV quoted as anywhere from 6.0% to 7.1%. Given that, the mouthfeel is at least medium, if not a bit bigger. The added honey is probably the reason why. A few more bubbles would have added more life and more mouthfillingness.

All in all, Maumee Bay's 2008 version of Blitzen is an acceptable winter warmer that needs a few changes in order to enter the big leagues. While I don't regret spending $4.99 for the bomber, I won't be doing so again. Love the silk-screened bottle.

BuckeyeNation, Apr 27, 2009
Photo of Mtooman
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Mtooman, Feb 11, 2013
Photo of BamfBacon
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

BamfBacon, Apr 22, 2013
Photo of brian48195
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

brian48195, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of meetyouoverboard
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

meetyouoverboard, May 14, 2013
Photo of EgadBananas
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark copper in color, light white head of 2+ fingers. Lacing is nice.

Aroma is nice and malty, with a hint of yeast and citrus, honey and a bit of that cinnamon.

Tiny bit of tart on the taste, with some honey sweetness and malts. Some nuttiness, and sweet citrus along with some yeast.

Very upper light in body, creamy, smooth and slick. Carbonation is elevated.

Drinkability is good. A very different take on the style, but it's not bad and very drinkable despite.

EgadBananas, Jan 08, 2011
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Blitzen Holiday Ale from Maumee Bay Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.