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Frosted Frog Christmas Ale - Hoppin' Frog Brewery

Not Rated.
Frosted Frog Christmas AleFrosted Frog Christmas Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

337 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 337
Reviews: 138
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 17.52%
Wants: 21
Gots: 26 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Hoppin' Frog Brewery visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  8.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: paco1029384756 on 11-16-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 337 | Reviews: 138 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Spider889
2.8/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Ruby in the light, a dark amber otherwise, this beer was ultimately the color of maple syrup.

Smelled of nutmeg and ginger, but for the most part, it smelled of CINNAMON. Pure, raw, dry cinnamon.

The taste was much of the same. The cinnamon overpowered pretty much everything else. It was dry and almost powdery tasting. I like Christmas Ales, but this was was a let down because the spicing was waaayy too strong.

Drinkability was almost as low as it gets. We split our bomber amongst FOUR people and still it was nearly a chore to finish.

Overall an interesting brew, but it tasted like they were trying too hard. I don't foresee myself buying this anytime soon, that is, unless I can't find any GLBC or Thirsty Dog this holiday season....

Spider889, Aug 25, 2010
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this change of pace. Not too sweet, the natural sweetness of cinammon is well blended by ginger's pungency, and some spice from nutmeg. Ginger is usually off-putting to me, with few exceptions. This was one. Too much for one to finish the bomber. The mouthfeel is easy, and it is not thick. The beer smelled winter warmer.May have enjoyed it more at a supper.

Sammy, Aug 01, 2010
Photo of fear025
4.68/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma:Lots of Ginger, Cinnamon, Clove, vanilla, orange. French toast with Syrup.

Appearance:Amber, no head, slightly thick and syrupy texture, like southern sweet tea. Not opaque.

Taste:Cinnamon, and mulling spices in the foretaste. Slightly sour tang midtaste. Nutty aftertaste, maybe chestnuts.

Mouthfeel:Very little carbonation. Nice creamyness, nice alcoholic warmth. Tingle from ginger.

Drinkability:This is a fantastic Christmas ale, I taste it and am transported to the hottub in a gingerbread house.

fear025, Jun 25, 2010
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.58/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured 12/2009

It pours clear but dark mahogany and the head is almost non-existent. Now the first whifff...man, they weren't kidding about the spices. Strong cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in the nose. A bit of fruity malt in there too.

The spice dominates the flavor as well. Cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg throughout. It's like drinking a gingerbread cookie, bready, spicy and a tinge of alcohol. A sweet fruity malt backbone but, again, the spices dominate. Not overpowering though, the ale remains pleasant to drink. Sweet spice in the finish.

Unusual and tasty spiced ale. It's a "Wow!" beer for sure.

ViveLaChouffe, May 27, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Glowing candy apple red infused with a generous amount of juicy orange. This is a pretty typical hue for a winter warmer... and a gorgeous one. Too bad the khaki colored crown barely reached two fingers. It looks decent, though, and is capable enough in the glass decoration department.

If you like spiced beer, then you'll enjoy the nose immensely. Cinnamon and nutmeg are front and center, while ginger stays in the shadows. It smells like the base beer will be enjoyable too. There's only one way to find out...

Frosted Frog is definitely heavy on spices. More so than two of Ohio's other Christmas brews (Great Lakes Christmas Ale and Thirsty Dog 12 Dogs of Christmas). Even though it may prove to be too much over the course of the bomber, it sure is tasty stuff in the first several ounces.

The base beer tastes caramel and Munich malty, with a toasted bread-like, nutty, earthy quality. The sweetness is right on the money and only 12 IBUs means that hop flavor and bitterness are at a low ebb. Alcohol keeps things firm and gently warming, with a slight medicinal edge.

Cinnamon and nutmeg are still rompin' and stompin' all over the damn place. This is good beer, but it might be best to drink it with hearty food. Sharing the bottle isn't a bad idea either. I'm now at mid-bomber and the cumulative nature of the spice load is beginning to wear my palate out like a rented mule.

The mouthfeel is medium-full and is stainless steel smooth. The buzzsaw of spices and the high ABV keep it from being pampering, though it easily earns the above score in the end. Well-buried bubbles help.

Hoppin' Frog Frosted Frog Christmas Ale is a solid X-mas brew that is at least as good as this brewery's other seasonal, Frog's Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale. It isn't as good as Great Lakes Brewing Company's classic, but it's definitely worth a single bomber purchase every holiday season.

BuckeyeNation, Apr 11, 2010
Photo of bbeane
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured into my DFH snifter... starts with a very light head on top of a copper colored beer. Appears to have very little activity

S- Doesn't really smell like beer... just a heavy smell of cinnamon and nutmeg

T- Well, much like the smell, the spices actually overpower the beer characteristics... has a slight sweet malt taste with lots of nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger

M- Medium bodied with light/medium carbonation

D- This is a very interesting brew with a very unique but good taste. Don't think I could drink a lot of it, but can easily enjoy a 22oz bottle. I'll look forward to next years release


bbeane, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of billab914
3.2/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Russian River tulip glass. Poured a dark copper, slightly ruby color with a very thin lacing for a head scattered across the top of the beer. No lacing on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma is very strong with cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg. The smell reminds me of the cinnamon and sugar toast my mom made us growing up. It's sweet with plenty of spices for sure.

The taste is is pretty much cinnamon and sugar in beer form. There is a small amount of bitterness in the finish and a little bready malts but the spices and the sweetness overpower everything else. Tastes kind of like a liquid cinnamon bun.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability isn't very good, the spices get to me after just drinking a small amount. I wish I had about 8oz of it instead of 22. Could be a nice desert beer with the right pairing though.

billab914, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of beer2day
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours cinnamon brown with a very thin, actively fizzy head. No retention and very faint lacing. A good color for a Christmas warmer.

Very spicy nose. Cinnamon, obviously, with plums, raisins, and faint fermented fig. Very complex, but all about spice and fruit and little about beer.

Crazy spicy taste. Lots of cinnamon through and through. Nice dry fruit in the finish, along with a touch of pine hops. Syrupy and slightly resiny in the finish. Cinnamon burn well after the beer clears your throat.

Hits a little thin, but finished strong and syrupy.

If you like cinnamon, this is definitely worth a try. Otherwise ...

beer2day, Mar 05, 2010
Photo of scottyshades
4.4/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a semi-transparent brown/ruby color that produces an off-white head that retains only for a few seconds. Nice looking brew.

S: Wow...not expecting this. Very spiced up; cinnamon, clove, cardamom (gives a cola like flavor), and a ton of nutmeg. Hops lay underneath along with a chocolately malt backbone. Not very balanced, but to me, this is what I expect a winter warmer should be. To tell you the truth, this is more of a spiced beer or a pumpkin ale.

T: Same as the nose, really spiced up and delicious. Definitely a seasonal taste. The difference that I noticed is that I can taste the ginger now-perhaps its the temperature. The only way to describe this is oatmeal raisin cookies with a little kick of alcohol.

MF/D: Medium body, lingering cinnamon/nutmeg finish

I can completely understand why people may not like this brew at all, but I LOVE this during the cold days and holidays. A little overwhelming to attack a bomber by yourself, but still very drinkable. I am not sure why, but I tend to think of winter warmers as this beer.

Very delicious, but perhaps misclassified

scottyshades, Feb 12, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
4.33/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Travita for sharing this bottle. The beer pours medium brown with an off-white head. The aroma is strong gingerbread cookies. The aroma is very spicy, it smells like Christmas. The flavor is more gingerbread with some great cookie flavored malt. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation. Not sure how they did it, but they made a beer taste exactly like you are eating gingerbread cookies. Very happy I got to try this one.

Mora2000, Feb 02, 2010
Photo of blackie
4.33/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: snifter serving, pours a thick sand colored head receding to a thin layer, the beer a deep maple amber in color

s: intensely spiced - big nutmeg and cinnamon compete for dominance while ginger lingers behind on a structure of toasted malts bringing loads of brown sugar, one of the more heavily spiced beers out there but the malts do their part to keep things in check

m: lighter carbonation with a heavier, sugary body

t: powerfully spiced, but not without the malt backbone to hold things together - cinnamon rises above nutmeg and ginger as brown sugars invoke all manners of holiday dessert, sweet potato pie, cookies, minimally hopped with a light drying as spices linger and sugars coat the lips, pushes the limits of both spice and sweetness to the point of being pretty seriously out of balance - and deliciously so at that

d: one to take your time with as the sugar and spice wear after a bit, but the bomber goes down pretty well, this type of beer isn't for everybody - but it sits quite easy with me

bomber from Chuck's in Chagrin Falls

blackie, Jan 28, 2010
Photo of BeerImmediately
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz to stout glass.

Deep ruby tea color, with short off-white head that fades quickly to a thin ring.

Smell is quite sweet and spicy. I'll liken it to a cherry pie with a healthy dusting of cinnamon on top. As it warms, some nutmeg and alcohol come through.

Flavor kicks in with nutmeg, allspice, cocoa powder, and dark cherries. As it warms, the aftertaste and mouthfeel, unfortunately, is reminiscent of cough syrup - slightly cloying and bitter.

Drinkability suffers a bit from the mouthfeel, but for a 8+% spiced winter warmer, it's about average. I'd recommend sharing this with someone - 22oz is a bit much on its own.

BeerImmediately, Jan 16, 2010
Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.53/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Emerges clear and amber cinnamon colored with a light nutmeg colored head. Foam is decent in size but lacks any real sustenance. A bit thin and cola-like.

Aroma is beautifully festive. LArgely cinnamon with nutmeg, ginger, and allspice. I know some people dont like this type of beer, but if you dig the festive, spicy beers, this one is for you. The nose is a bit strong but I dont mind.

Solid pumpkin pie spice type flavor as well. Again, it is on the border of overdoing it but I dont think they did. This one certainly isnt subtle but it isnt too overpowering either. Malty body with sweet cinnamon and nutmeg. A little thin and perhaps a bit overcarbonated, so this one was a letdown in the mouthfeel department.

I know this isnt everyones cup of tea, but it is a very spicy (festive spice, that is) beer that is balanced yet strongly flavored. Spiced beers are hard to get right and this one is pretty close. I couldnt taste the abv at all and if you dont mind in-your-face pumpkin pie flavors, this one is for you, as it was for me.

SaCkErZ9, Jan 05, 2010
Photo of scruffwhor
3.15/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a slightly murky ruby and copper color with a small and super quick head and faintly syrupy looking consistancy. The aroma is "Holy Christmas!" Cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamon, ginger, and mace blast the nostrils every sip. Maybe some caramel malts hidden away in the aroma down there. The aroma is good, but a touch too much on the spices. The taste is full frontal assault of spices that last through all of the fron, most of the middle, and mellows out on the finish. Some sweet biscuit malts peak through the X-mas spice haze on the finish. As the beer warms, the alcohol really adds some fire to the cinnamon and ginger especially in the back of the throat. This beer is good for Christmas only. I could only drink one bottle, once a year and thats it thank you.

scruffwhor, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of TurdFurgison
2.17/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle review, drank 2 days after Christmas. This is gonna be a bad review, my apologies up front to the good people of Hoppin Frog. But man was this beer a serious pile of spicy nastiness. It smelled like Old Spice deodorant and gingerbread cookies, shit-tons of cinnamon and, I guess, nutmeg. Ugh, it tastes just like it smells. This strays too far from the boundaries of good beer, it's really a spiced carbonated cookie-flavored pop. In no way will I ever get this again, this was an unnecessary addition to the Hopping Frog line-up.

But hey, if you like spiced beers this might be for you.

TurdFurgison, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of marvin213
1.48/5  rDev -60.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Black/brown with basically no head, lacing is visible. For such a dark-colored beer, the liquid is completely transparent. Aside from a wee bit of lacing, this brew looks totally unimpressive.

The nose is straight nutmeg--like overpowering, obnoxious piles of nutmeg. There might also be some ginger, perhaps some cinnamon, and maybe even a tad bit of spruce pine. My descriptors sound better than it smells, as the nutmeg really predominates. I knew a guy in high school that ate nutmeg to get high (apparently it contains some sort of psychoactive), and this beverage reminds me of him.

If I were to liquify a Yankee Candle and drink it, this is what I think it would taste like. It's so flavorful it's disgusting. Other than biting a flavored candle, I don't know what else to compare it to...maybe eating evergreen needles. The Christmas input is definitely there, but obnoxiously so. This liquid is so thick and messy that I will probably pour it. I jokingly offer that it might clog my Dispose-all.

I take another sip just to judge mouthfeel: thankfully, this beer is cold enough that it probably inhibits some flavor. It feels like old candy. It's sweet and [evergreen] piney, with a dose of Christmas bread-spice. It's the egg nog of beers. Do you want to drink a bunch of egg nog?

marvin213, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.45/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had to plug the opening with my thumb and shake it up a bit to develop a nice two finger sized head. Pours with a deep ruby mahogany brown hue with khaki tan head forming with slow gurgling bubbles. Fine speckled lacing layers itself pretty evenly between sips, pretty attractive winter warmer meant for my Piraat chalice. Aromatics deep pie spice including cinnamon ginger and nutmeg with a slight citrus orange peel finish. Caramel sweetness is detected easily with minimal well hidden booze in trace amounts across my nares. The flavor is more pie spicing with caramel mild chocolate brown sugar glazed custard creamy tones. A touch of citrus amongst the nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon this is actually pretty damn enjoyable, I have to admit the first few sips I felt were cloying until my palate adjusted and I let it warm up a bit. Mouthfeel has a very balanced carbonation level rides smooth carrying spices and a creamy textured body without difficulty fuller bodied slow steady finish of alcohol burn that is really hidden compared to most of the winter ales available these days. Drinkability overall this one is a bit festive and after working 12 hours on Christmas day there's no better way to celebrate the beginning of a long weekend then by sipping on a fine spiced winter warmer out of Akron, OH. Amen, Halleleujgah, Wassail, WTF!

WVbeergeek, Dec 26, 2009
Photo of Bierguy5
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, 8.6% abv. Pours a nice ruby color. Thin white head disappears immediately. A couple spots of lace.

A nice ginger and cinnamon aroma. Some caramel malt. Very nice spices here.

Caramel malt up front. Fair amount of sweetness. Long lingering gingerbread flavor. Some cinnamon sugar flavor with a bit of floral hop bitterness at the end. Very nice.

Medium body, good carbonation. Alcohol is pretty well hidden. This has a very nice Christmas cookie feel to it.

Bierguy5, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of mtnbikerpa
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from bomber bottle into 2 small snifters one for me and one for my wife. Poured nice and dark with a ruby tone. About an inch of fading head. Smells like mincemeat pie in my glass. Tastes like ginger bread, nutmeg, clove and cinnamon. Many spices that linger on the tongue. Alcohol is well hidden.
Most certainly a winter sipper. Almost a perfect match to go with oatmeal raisin cookies.

mtnbikerpa, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of prototypic
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Frosted Frog pours a dark amber color. It's a little hazy, but plenty of light bleeds through and reveals nice scarlet highlights. An off-white head caps it off and stands nearly two fingers tall. It's relatively quick to recede and leaves very light, spotty lace behind.

The nose is not deep or complex, but is good. It's full of holiday spices throughout. There's definitely no shortage of cinnamon. Ginger and nutmeg and present to a lesser extent, but cinnamon is very prominent throughout. Caramel malt adds a sweet scent to it. There's some light yeast and hops on the tail. Alcohol is buried. I'm not getting any at all. Overall, it smells good. I like it.

The flavor is, for all intents and purposes, a carbon copy of the nose. Holiday spices are the focal point and resonate throughout each sip. Cinnamon is front and center, but nutmeg and ginger are noted. It's almost a little too cinnamon heavy. Not quite, but close. Caramel malts anchor it down nicely and give it just enough of a sweet flavor to complement the spices well. A little yeast is noted. Alcohol is blended extremely well. I'm amazed that this is an 8.6% beer. I would've guessed closer to 6%. It does not seem as strong as it is in any way. It finishes a little sweet and spicy.

Frosted Frog has a medium body that is nice and smooth. Carbonation is dialed down to just the right level. It's not quite thick enough to be creamy, but that's not a big knock on it. It has a nice feel. Drinkability is very high. This is tasty stuff that's deceptively strong. I could probably take down a couple of bombers and be very happy to do so. Gotta be a little careful with this frog.

Frosted Frog is an impressive Winter Warmer. I like it a lot. More than I thought I would. I do think there's slightly too much cinnamon. But, there's not too much else to gripe about. Great Lakes Christmas Ale has been my favorite of the season for a while. Frosted Frog doesn't change that, but it's certainly a contender. I'll be sure to pick up at least a couple of bombers annually. Definitely check it out if you have the opportunity. Merry Christmas!

prototypic, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.58/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - a warm caramel amber glow as this is poured into a wine glass. A light manila head is thin but with good cling.

Aroma - the aroma of cinnamon cookies, fruitcake, ginger, very Christmassy.

Taste - graham cracker, gingery malts, level sweetness but not too much. Cinnamon and spice with a light bitterness on the swallow for a touch of balance, a nicely put together beer. Finishes with a hint of abv.

Mouthfeel - crisp, medium body maybe a touch weighty.

Drinkability - a great beer while we're making final preps for Christmas '09. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good pint!

brewdlyhooked13, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of jdflyer06
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into my St. Bernardus Goblet.

A: A deep brown with some ruby characteristics when held to the light. Clear body and no head.

S: Spicy, with plenty of cinnamon, ginger and other assorted spices. Some bready notes and some bannana esters. Fruity and very festive.

M: Light to medium body, mild carbonation and the alcohol is very well hidden. The spiciness tickles the palate as it goes down.

T: Like ginger bread, exactly like ginger bread. Malty and rich. I'll take this over egg nogg any day. Some mild, dark fruit flavors come out at the end with a nice peppery finish.

O: This is what a Christmas Ale should be. Completely different. It doesn't taste like a year round brew with some minor changes. This one is very unique, and very good.

jdflyer06, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dec 23, 2009
A Christmas gift from Fred, during my visit to the Hoppin' Frog Brewery. Merry Christmas!

A: Thin, iced tea appearance with very little head that disappears almost immediately.

S: CINNAMON I SAID! Fred brews exclusively with Penzey's spices. Fresh cinnamon and nutmeg comprise the initial scent, and honestly, it's hard to smell much else. That being said, it is a very pleasant aroma appropriate for the holiday season.

T: The cinnamon and nutmeg are dominant, which overpowers any ginger flavors intended (as stated on the label). Lingering spice hangs out for a while between sips. I wish this bigger was thicker.

M: Too thin, low carbonation

D: I recommend sharing this with a few folks. As I mentioned, I feel that this beer is too thin and the low carbonation adversely affects the drinkability.

Huhzubendah, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of beerman207
4.43/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a cloudy reddish brown with a small head and some lacing

S- Wow - the spices in this come in the nose very quickly and are very apparent - nutmeg, gingerbread, vanilla

T- Like the nose - very delici8ous - ginger, cinnamin, vanilla, some slight citrus

M- medium bodied- creamy - could be a bit thicker.

D- I'm going to call this the best Xmas ale I've had this season - fantastic beer.

beerman207, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of BB1313
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had high hopes for this one. The problem is it's a spice overload. It pours a darker brown w/ lackluster head. The smell is cin, nutmeg and ginger. Outstanding aromas! It smells like Christmas, they totally nailed it! The taste is pretty sweet and the spice overload makes this one hard to drink.. and I love cin, ginger, etc. It's like chewing on a raw cinnamon stick!!! They had the right vision, just need to tone it down. Nice sipper.

This beer needs to be aged and it would be more enjoyable. It's a great beer to share during the holidays though.

BB1313, Dec 14, 2009
Frosted Frog Christmas Ale from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 337 ratings.