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Frosted Frog Christmas Ale | Hoppin' Frog Brewery

142 Reviews
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Frosted Frog Christmas AleFrosted Frog Christmas Ale

Brewed by:
Hoppin' Frog Brewery
Ohio, United States | website

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by paco1029384756 on 11-16-2009

User Reviews
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Reviews: 142 | Ratings: 401
Photo of sommersb
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 12-20-2012
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 22 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Snifter
Purchased: Single from Greenwood Spirits, Bowling Green KY

A: Clear and dark burgundy color. The thin tan head fades quickly and almost no lace is seen on the glass.

S: Rich and sweet malt aromas combine with dark fruits like dates, cherries and figs, followed by a hefty dose of spice notes such as cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Very complex but doesn't seem muddled. Almost smells like a sweet specialty soda.

T: The taste matches much as noted in the aromas, with a big spice presence of nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon, along with some orange zest. The malty sweetness has a syrup quality to it with no hop bitterness there to counter. Not really hot, but there is a note of alcohol warmth.

M: Moderately carbonated and medium bodied. The finish is sweet and spicy showing more flavors of cinnamon, clove and caramel malts. Reminds me of a spiced cider or mulled wine.

O: A very rich sipping beer for Christmas; I think they've captured the holiday spirit well in this potent seasonal brew.

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Photo of McNealc31
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Nearly no head on this. Pours on the brown side of amber. Warm pumpkin pie spices in the aroma. Tastes of clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and orange peel. Enough malt that the spices don't get too wild. Body might be a little light. As it warms, the cinnamon become the most prevalent spice, but there are enough of the others to balance. Hefty booze at 8.6% ABV

Another amazing Winter Warmer from Ohio here. Wonderful!

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Photo of CFHMagnet
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A healthy pour released just under a finger of head. Body is a ruby-copper color. Head dissipates quickly, and no lacing is noticed.

Cinnamon just about smacks you in the nose from this baby. Ginger, malt and brown sugar flesh out the full nose.

This is what drunken ginger bread men must taste like. Ginger bread and cinnamon start off the show. Malt, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar all make appearances.

Mouthfeel is heavy-medium bodied. Carbonation is laid back. Doesn't coat the mouth, slightly dry on the finish.

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Photo of GallowsThief
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of a bottle into my tulip.

A – Pours out a deep ruby brown with just a half finger of off white head that quickly receded.

S – Big hit of cinnamon and nutmeg, very spicy. Lightly sweet smell. Very nice.

T – Just like the smell you immediately get the cinnamon and nutmeg flavors. Very tasty and spicy brew. Has a very light gingerbread flavor with hints of vanilla and brown sugar. It tastes sweet initially but it quickly dissipates so it is not cloying.

M – Medium bodied with average carbonation. The spices hang around the palate for awhile.

O – I like this beer. I can see some not liking it as its spicy but the flavors are ones I totally dig. Found this years Christmas Eve beer. Enjoy.

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Photo of xabyss
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Chimay chalice.

A: Pours a semi-opaque dark brown without a lot of head. Scant bits of carbonation in the body.

S: Loads of spices. I can see why this is a somewhat divisive beer. To me, it smells phenomenal: heavy cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla, and a hint of Christmas tree pine. Hands down the spiciest beer aroma-wise I've encountered. As a previous reviewer said, I'm sure many people will think a beer shouldn't smell like this. Decidedly un-beerlike, methinks.

T: Eh, not so much. Way too sweet for me, and I like sweet beer. Dominant cinnamon and ginger up front, leading into some sweet malts and dark fruits and ending with more cinnamon. Certainly not a watery beer. Lots of flavor here, but the spices are a bit overwhelming for me.

M: Smooth and on the lighter end of medium-bodied with very little carbonation.

O: I probably won't buy it again, especially considering the price, but I'm glad I tried it. Not bad.

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Photo of Bills453
3.23/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into my Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance - amber color with an off white head.

Smell - WOW! This is the sweetest, spicy beer I have ever smelled. Smells good, but not sure a beer should smell like this.

Taste - spices, spices, spices. You can really taste the overwhelming cinnamon. This is a little too sweet for me.

Mouthfeel - nice.

Overall - honestly this beer is just a little too spiced for me.

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Photo of mountdew1
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a nice dark amber with a thin dirty white head. Head disappeared quickly, but left a small ring that clung nicely. Aroma was exactly as described. Cinammon with some ginger smell, slightly on the sweet side. Very much a winter smell. Flavor was spicy, but yet still pleasant. A bit of sweetness, and the aforementioned spices were nicely balanced. The cinnamon was up front, with a bit of ginger to finish the sip. Coated nicely in the mouth, went down as it should. Overall an outstanding beer. A little tweak in the flavor would help, but minor issues.

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Photo of RickS95
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown pour into a snifter. No head, no matter how I poured it. Looks good and spicy, but the lack of a head just kills beer for me.

Traditional holiday spices--cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger--just like the bottle says. Malty backbone, no hint of hops.

The taste follows the lead of the smell. Almost hard to tell it's a beer it's so full of those spices. Heavy cinnamon and nutmeg. Again, no hint of hops.

It's sweet and very spicy. Full-bodied. Ever so creamy before the spice takes over.

A good idea that went overboard on the spices.

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Photo of Durge
4.17/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A Coca Cola colored brew with a decent light tan colored head and decent lacing. The aroma is clearly a Christmas scent with gingerbread peppermint and evergreen malt. Real likeable. The flavor delivers more of the same with lots of medicinal malt like Moxie with more evergreen and cinnamon spice holiday festivity going on. This is medium-plus bodied with very full but tiny carbonation to provide a stout but luscious feel. Not something I would generally drink in mass quantities but a great holiday brew to really deliver the Christmas spirit. Very nice!

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Photo of ncketchum
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber served in a Duvel tulip

A - pours a nice clear brown, light brown head which dissipates completely, minimal carbonation

S - aroma is strong cinnamon, apple cider, and ginger. Knowing that this is a spicy winter warmer, this is a welcome blast to the senses

T - big time cinnamon, a bit of sweetness, dark fruits, and then malt in the end.

M - smooth, a bit of alcohol in the end, not much carbonation

O - for a winter warmer, this is a very good beer. In the right setting, I love this kind of beer. Definitely not an every day beer, but for a cold winter night, this is an excellent companion.

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Photo of JCaweinstein
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 12/30/11

Light brown in color with a two finger off white head. The head is very dense and creamy. Good carbonation and slightly hazy. There is some nice lacing left down the glass.
Cinnamon and ginger spice are easily detectable. The cinnamon is the most dominating of the aroma profile.
On the taste the cinnamon and ginger are hitting pretty hard up front. The nutmeg leaves a presence on the top of the tongue toward the finish. The taste of the spices are followed by a sweetness that in other beers might be cloying but with the spices it's a nice fit.
Medium bodied, crispy with big spice flavor up front followed by a light nutmeg spice. Finishes with a big malty sweetness.
I don't think I've ever had a beer where the spices are so pronounced. I can very easily taste all three spices listed on the bottle which include cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg and that hasn't happened before. For me the spices are enough so I don't need the extra malty sweetness, yet it is fitting being a holiday beer. I would by this again.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a New Belgium snifter and served at cellar temperature. Beautiful dark reddish brown color. Clear, but with very little light getting through. Very low carbonation. Nice aroma of gingerbread, cinnamon, cookies, and a hint of raspberry.

Very sweet flavor with a tiny bit of tartness. This is definitely a spiced beer. There is a rich malty, bready background with holiday spices dancing all around. Lots of ginger, cinnamon, and allspice. There is just a touch of hops to keep things from getting cloying, but overall this beer is like having mulled wine and a big slice of pie. Very firm mouthfeel that complements the flavors nicely.

The sweetness of this beer might turn some people off. I definitely couldn't drink it all the time. This is a rare holiday indulgence that I will seek out again next year.

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Photo of CaptCleveland
2.73/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz bomber, 12 oz pour into pint glass.

Ruby-red, clear elixir, thin tan head, moderate lacing.

Heavy spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla.

A mess of the above spices with a thin malt presence--like drinking a glass of holiday potpourri.

First mediocre beer from HF. Had the BA version, which was well balanced, with the barrel-aging cutting down the spices. Can't recommend this version, though.

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Photo of johnnnniee
2.64/5  rDev -29%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Received in trade from phisigben, thanks for the opportunity!
Pours a crystal clear deep reddish brown color with a huge fluffy tan head that slowly recedes. Smells of cinnamon and nutmeg mostly. Quite heavy spicy aroma obliterates any beer smells from my perception. Taste has a bit of a caramel sweet malt flavor upfront before the gingerbread house flavor takes over and ruins this beer. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet spice laden mouthfeel. I won't mince words here, this beer is horrible. Its over spiced and I couldn't finish my glass.

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Photo of oberon
3.31/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass a nice deep garnet color with well defined half finger off white head atop,good richness and definition to the color.Aromas of cinnamon and clove mainly,I could tell right away this was gonna be a more heavily spiced winter warmer.Heavy cinnamon,clove,and nutmeg on the palate,not crazy sweet just spiced to the hilt,some faint toastiness underneath the spice does come thru after awhile as well some alcohol sweetness.Much like their pumpkin ale the winter warmer is too spiced up,I do like this better than the pumpkin beer but it's still not great by any means.

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Photo of rodney4130
2.11/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I can't imagine a worse winter warmer. Surely the worst that I've ever had. The cinnamon completely over powers the taste of every other ingredient. Ginger? Nutmeg? Where?

Pours pretty syrupy. Low carbonation, about a 1/4" head. Looks similar to a brown, maybe 2-3 shades darker that Great Lakes Christmas Ale. Upon smelling, all you get is cinnamon. You know those Brach's cinnamon disc candies? It tastes like that. I wanted to dump it, but for the price paid, I choked it down.

After having DORIS, which was one of my favorite beers ever, I was excited to try the rest of their line-up and selected this one. Simply awful.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
3.52/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a crystal red wine glass- pours a dark amber color with next to no head and zero retention. The smell is probably the best part of this brew- very clearly defined cinnamon and nutmeg that, as a previous reviewer stated, hints at a pumpkin ale. The taste is good but not exceptional- the cinnamon and nutmeg come through but are overtaken by the malt flavored and finally by the alcohol. Very little carbonation that appears on the back of the tongue- barely enough to keep it refreshing by my account. Tastes to me almost like a lager because of the malt profile and the lack of carbonation. A good one to try but not a beer I would buy again. From Ohio great lakes' Christmas ale is a safer bet.

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Photo of claspada
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rather nice, a deep, dark mahogany color with some light ruby tones showing up around the sides and the bottom of the glass. A nice inch of creamy off white head popped up over the top and settled down to a thin crown with minimal lacing along the side of the glass.

Aromas initially remind me of mulled apple cider. Initially I get a lot of apple cider, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. The brown sugar and caramel malty smell linger in soon after as it warms toward room temperature.

The flavors mimic the nose but to a lesser extent which is good and bad. Brown sugar and dark caramel maltiness are immediately greeted by the heavy Christmas cider mulling spices once again. Spices become a little overwhelming a s it warms further but some nicer darker fruity malts joins the party as it warms as well to semi help balance the spicing (plums and dark red grapes).

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to low carbonation. Flavors are quite sweet and spicy and semi- cloying in the finish.

Overall this was a nice take on a winter warmer style beer but the spices could have been toned down slightly. Aroma- wise they were quite inviting, but dominated the palate and the flavor profile a little too much for me in the end. There are better examples for lesser $ points so I would recommend looking elsewhere.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
4.14/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured at cellar temp in mini ale glass (multiple times)

A: dark copper; nice lacing; little head; great carbonation
S: very strong piney aroma, boozy
T: very spicy: nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, ginger

This is like a pumpkin ale without the pumpkin; well-spiced Christmas ale

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Photo of Brent
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clocking in this beer's 100th review. Well characterized as a winter warmer, this is a highly spiced beer evoking Christmas pie and cookies. Big malt body, teetering on a bit syrupy. Nutmeg is prominent, almost overwhelming, with a hint of cinnimon lurking in the spice shadow. Nutmeg is heavy-handed, dominating everything, including a the caramel and sorghum in the background. An interesting beer, but quickly tiresome.

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Photo of hailyeast
2.17/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A-Poured into a shaker pint. gorgeous deep candy burgandy. Little to no head. Vibrant looking. Definatly my favorite
part of the beer.
S- fruity, spicy, piney, medicinal
T- about 2 to 3 times too much spice for me. Very alocholic tasting, maybe due to the low ibus. Also finishes like licking an evergreen. A pish posh of trying to fit all of the "holiday flavors" in one beer imo.
M- thin and syrupy
O- save your 7 bucks and try 3 or 4 other xmas beers for the same price..anchor, hibernation, 12 dogs(thirstydog)<--my pick of the year so far for xmas beers.

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Photo of oline73
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber with a red hue. There is a finger of off white head that goes away completely.

Smell: Very sweet malt with some dark fruit and holiday spices. Just a bit too sweet.

Taste: Not quite as sweet, which is a good thing. Malt with some fruity notes, perhaps cherry. Holiday spices, cinnamon and ginger with a slight bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, slightly syrupy with aggressive carbonation and an extremely dry finish.

Overall: This is a good winter beer. Warms you up as you drink it. I would have another.

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Photo of cpetrone84
2.77/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a murky chestnut red with a crusty looking tan head and large bubbles. Huge spices in the nose, tons of cinnamon and nutmeg, pumpkin pie like. Some sugary malt, maybe a touch of berry sweetness and a metallic twang in the back. Flavor is much of the same, overly spiced and messy malts with an off twang underneath and notes of alcohol in the finish. Full bodied, syrupy, high carbonation.

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Photo of teromous
4.11/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: The appearance is dark to medium brown with hints of red shining through the glass. It's like a very dark rosewood color. There is very little head, and it's an eggshell white color. The color lends itself to most of the rating, and the lack of head detracts from it.

S: It literally smells like I walked into a bakery or a Christmas shop. At first I'm really surprised, because it smells like apple turnovers. It really does, you have to smell it to believe it. I get a cinnamon scent as well as other spices, but I can't readily pick them out. I smell what might be ginger. This has a very fruity character to it. This is fantastic. This is what I want every Christmas Ale to smell like.

T: I don't get that apple flavor, which is probably a good thing. I get more of a banana flavor out of the actual body of the beer...take it or leave it. There's the cinnamon, right there in my face. The beer is actually quite subdued in regards to flavor. I expected it to be a bit bolder, when categorized as a warmer (in regards to malt flavor). This is by no means, a bad thing, it's just not what I expected.

M: It has a very decent mouthfeel. It's medium bodied and wet. It coats well, but I feel it is a tad undercarbonated. Overall it does feel average though, so I'm rating it as such.

O: Overall this is a very neat beer to have on hand during the holidays. I've had quite a few different "holiday beers" that don't deliver the experience that people are looking for. For this alone, the beer deserves accolades. This IS the beer that you give somebody who is looking for a holiday beer, and it's one of those "best kept secrets".

Last year I had this beer and it tasted different. There was more cinnamon and it didn't smell like apples. I prefer the smell of this years beer, and the taste of last years beer.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Breweries have gotten very good at capturing the flavor of holiday seasons in froathy form. Even before the first sip, waves of apple pie aromas fill the nose with mouth watering consistency.

Opening with a deep amber pour and redish highlights, the beer forms and carries a dense and creamy egg shell white head that retains remarkably and laces even better.

Cinnamon, allspice, and clove spice all dominate the nose, allowing only a background of deeply caramelized malts to provide support for the decoration of spice. All this come together with the rounded aromas of apple pie. Actually the beer doesn't smell exactly like apple pie, but rather the smell of candles that smell like apple pie. With no hop influence, this beer is all about the rich carmel and spicy balance.

Flavors start with the deep caramel sweetness of toffee and peanut brittle, without the peanuts. Spicy flavors of the same cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove that the nose promises are also delivered to taste. The plethora of spice achieves balance in taste, but the absence of hop bitterness leaves the beer decidedly sweet in finish. With a very low ester profile, the beer surprisingly is void of true apple flavor, but carries the taste of the glaze that accompany the apples in pie form.

Full bodied, the rich malt sweetness approaches cloy at times, but backs off just in time. Creamy carbonation reinforces the viscocity of the beer until very late in finish. The alcohol warmth of 8+ percent hardly makes a mark underneath the heavy malt sweetness and has difficulty assisting in dryness and drinkability. And, with the lack of hop bitterness the beer has an extended malty finish with desert spices- making this beer much more of a sipper than an easy drinking ale.

Frosted Frog nails the flavor of Christmas, but because of its shere sweetness, one-dimensionality, and low complexity I'm happy to share this 22oz bottle with a quatro of friends to save for palate fatigue.

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Frosted Frog Christmas Ale from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 142 ratings.