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Barrel Aged Frosted Frog Christmas Ale - Hoppin' Frog Brewery

Not Rated.
Barrel Aged Frosted Frog Christmas AleBarrel Aged Frosted Frog Christmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

33 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 33
Hads: 141
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 7.26%
Wants: 21
Gots: 44 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Hoppin' Frog Brewery visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  8.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jampics2 on 12-04-2010

Spiced Ale aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 33 | Hads: 141
Photo of Hopdaemon39
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass- pours a clear, dark mahogany color with a reddish tint. Pours with very little head (mocha colored while in existence), leaves no lacing and no retention.

Smell is very round, sweet and spicy. Smells like a gingerbread house with some booze and vanilla frosting. Ginger comes through more than the other spices.

Taste is interesting- almost doesn't taste like newer to me but the bourbon notes and slight booziness remind me that this is a malt beverage. Lots of bready malt, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, bourbon-esque booze notes. Finished sweet.

Mouthfeel is typical for the style. Medium fuller body, moderate carbonation, smooth feel. This is a nice one, better than the regular variety. However, too much spice for my taste. (785 characters)

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

Pours dark ruby brown with a nice 1/2" thick beige head. Smells of nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla, oak and touch of raisin, it reminds me of french toast and a hint of booze. The flavors are nicely balanced and the barrel isn't over bearing. Cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla, raisin, slight cherry note and some booze. Palate is medium and it finishes spicy but well rounded with a nice vanilla notes from the barrel aging. (429 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
3.12/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle (2011)

Thanks to the Pittsburgh gang for sending this to the Cali gang!

(Aged for 1 year)

Murky, cloudy brown with a small light brown head, leaving only small dots of stick down the glass.

The aroma is, without a doubt, the most appealing aspect of the beer. It's just a bit toned down compared to the base beer, which I think is a good thing since I remember not being a big fan of that one. Good amounts cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and fruit cake combine mightily. I don't get a lot of barrel character, but I think the time in the wood has toned down some of the sharper elements in the base beer.

The flavor though suffers similarly to my memories of the base beer: too much cinnamon and all spice, dominating most of everything else. I only get a mild wood character, but the numbing/powerful notes of cinnamon are prevalent.

Medium bodied with low carbonation.

Better than the base beer, but, that's not saying much. (938 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
3.51/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1462nd Review on BA
Bottle to Great Lakes Snifter
22oz

2011 Vintage

CA Gang Bang BIF

App- Just a flat old pond water looking color with maybe a whisp of head and 0 cling in the head. Not sure where color comes from but its a white/brown mix. Just off.

Smell- I wished it was Christmas in August. Such a holiday beer. Cinnamon, nutmeg, peppermint for days. Smelled like liquid potpourri to me. Best part of the beer.

Taste- Drops WAY off. Its just an off spiced malt bomb. Not sure why flavors dont integrate better but seems to all pull apart. Spice note is very prevalent making it hard drinker. Malts almost overpower.

Mouth- A thicker medium body with a low medium carbonation. Residual Christmas spice.

Drink- It's not the best beer, but because of the nose I rounded up vs. down. Probably wouldnt have this one again. (829 characters)

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

Pours sort of a murky amber color with a small off-white head. Nose is quite fruity with lots of plums and raisins. It’s also very spicy. Great nutmeg, all spice, and cinnamon. Plenty of caramel, brown sugar, and some vanilla. The flavor is rich and sweet. Huge caramel and brown sugar flavors, tons of dark fruit notes, and a wonderful spice character. The cinnamon and all spice really come through nicely. (410 characters)

Photo of deuce9259
4.19/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Amber/copper color, not much head. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle.

S: Good smell, a lot of spices in the nose along with the whiskey.

T: Haven't had the regular Hoppin Frog Christmas Ale, but I enjoyed this bottle a good bit. Lots of spices and I thought it blended well with the whiskey.

M: Medium body. You can get different flavors out of it as it warms up.

O: I enjoyed this beer. Haven't had anything sub-par from Hoppin Frog. Others don't seem to enjoy the spices as much, but I though it was pretty standard for your Christmas Ale. (543 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
3.23/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks, ChrisPro! 22oz bottle into Darkness tulip.

A - Pours a amber color, tan-colored head, thin collar, wisps.

S - This beer is a cinnamon-bomb! Woah...some nutmeg, other spices, candy cane, and oak in there as well. If you like sweet cinnamon beers, this might be your thing.

T - Dare I say, even more cinnamon? Oh yes...candy cane, oak, no real detection of alcohol because it's hidden by the spices. Pretty messy, if you ask me. Finish is sweet & spicy...I only like that combo on my orange chicken.

M - Medium, good carbonation, spicy finish.

O - I'm going to give this one a big pass. If you like a high level of sweetness and cinnamon, then maybe this might be epic for you. For me, I had my taste and that's all I want...the end. (744 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to ChrisPro for sharing this one - thanks for indulging Nate's love of winter warmers. Served in a Hair of the Dog tulip.

A - Quick-dissolving white foam settles to a thin ring and wisps on top, but no lacework. Mostly transparent ruby body.

S - Nutmeg, cinnamon, light oak and bourbon, and some red licorice. I'm wondering if these were second-use barrels from BA B.O.R.I.S., as most Hoppin' Frog barrel-aged offerings are far from subtle.

T - Taste is more sugary and malt-forward, with notes of Twizzlers, candy canes, vanilla, and less overt Christmas spice in comparison to the finish. There's a faint spruce note in the finish that I can't tell if I'm imagining.

M - Zesty carbonation, medium body, tannic and dry texture, and some light warming that is part alcohol and part cinnamon.

D - For a spiced Christmas beer this was actually pretty decent. It's not my favorite style of beer, but it was far better than I expected and might appeal to loves of Christmas spice. One of my favorite Winter Warmers, I suppose. (1,034 characters)

Photo of prototypic
3.2/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Barrel Aged Frosted Frog is a dark copper color. It’s mostly clear, and has nice crimson highlights when held to light. A modest tan head caps it off. It stands roughly a finger tall, but recedes quickly. It holds at the surface for a bit. Lacing was a little sticky, but light.

The nose is alright. It features a strong cinnamon scent up front. No big shock there. There are some nice sweet, caramel and toffee notes that linger throughout. Bourbon is definitely there, but doesn’t seem all that strong. Doesn’t smell like it spent a great deal of time in barrels. Probably a good call. Other spicy notes of ginger and nutmeg are noted. Alcohol is there, but doesn’t come through too strong.

The flavor is less impressive. Average at best. Caramel malts kick it off. The flavor is quite sweet. It’s also quite spicy. Cinnamon comes through loud and clear. It’s a bit overbearing. Ginger and nutmeg flavors are also present, but in lesser amounts. Bourbon is a little stronger in the mix than anticipated. Barrel aging also left a rather prominent vanilla flavor. The strong vanilla and cinnamon flavors seem to be a little at odds. It’s not overtly bad, but it’s not quite good either. Alcohol is there, but isn’t warm or hot.

The body is medium. Carbonation seems light and relatively soft. It has a pretty good feel. It’s a sipper though. The flavor just grows a bit tiresome, especially in the second half of the bomber.

Barrel Aged Frosted Frog is not Hoppin’ Frog’s best moment. It’s okay at best. The flavor simply isn’t very impressive. The vanilla and spicy notes are a little at odds with each other. Frankly, barrel aging did not have any appreciable positive effects on Frosted Frog. I prefer the regular, non-ba Frosted Frog. This one might be worth one try, but that’s about it. (1,830 characters)

Photo of mcallister
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy chestnut with a minimum off white head that fades quickly leaving little lace, but a nice layer of foam.

Wonderful aromas. Still huge amounts of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and more like the non barrel aged version. But this has a wonderful layer of bourbon, vanilla, and wood. Just huge spicy nose, loads of effervescent complex aromas.

Delicious medley of basically what the nose suggests. Huge spice, with a great aging quality of the bourbon and wood. Thick chewy malt, toffee and caramel, baked bread, fruit bread, slightly sweet on the finish. Good carbonation and a creamy moutheel. Anxious to see how one ages down. (627 characters)

Photo of akk101
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall a good combination of barrel age and Christmas ale. Barrel age flavor is up front followed by the spices of the Christmas ale. I would've liked to see those two flavors blend together more. Little to differentiate between their regular Christmas ale label wise. Sometimes it's easy to mix up the regular and barrel age versions of Hoppin Frog on the retail shelf. Nice twist to the typical spiced Christmas ales. (420 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

brown with only slight bits of light coming through to change it from a back note. a huge tan head then rose up from the depths and settled across the top of the glass. really just a thick look to it.

the aroma was boozy, with lots of peat and smoked malts that really filled the air. hints of molasses, chocolate, rich caramel and dark fruits all make their presence known. with the thickness of a milkshake the first sips slide over the palate doing their best to coat it (474 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of jale. Amyliz4 very much appreciated it. Served in a mini snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a fairly-dark brown color with a nice off-white head with a bit of lacing on the way down. The nose carries a good dosing of bourbon plus plenty of cinnamon and spice. Much better integrated than the non-barrel aged version. Flavor falls along the same lines -- bourbon out front with a bit of underlying spice. Medium body with a smoothness to it. Good spice and booze. Tasty. (490 characters)

Photo of Soonami
1.69/5  rDev -54.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to either Dan or Tim for sharing this bottle.

I could go on about the spices of this beer and how it wasn't well balanced but honestly, all I want to say in this review is that this beer smelled and tasted like your old great aunt Mildred's Christmas Potpourri, you know the one with the pine cones, cinnamon sticks, clove studded oranges and dried flowers covered in a shiny red glaze and sparkly glitter. The brewers of this beer must have dry-hopped with this stuff, how else could they have nailed it so perfectly? (527 characters)

Photo of jale
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Renee and Bill for this.

A: Pours a light brown with only a dime of tan head.

S: Allspice, cinnamon and light clove aroma.

T: Allspice upfront followed by clove and a hint of cinnamon. Some oakiness in the middle. Slight pepper and small amount of hop bitterness at the finish.

M; Medium body with decent carbonation.

O: Would like to have tasted more malt upfront to balance the spices. (406 characters)

Photo of TheHoppiest
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass. Pour a mahogany-rub color, with minimal head quickly disappears until this has the look of flat soda.

Has a very spiced smell, similar to HF's regular Christmas Ale. Plenty of cinnamon, clove, allspice, and apple flavors.

Tastes peppery, and not as sweet as HF's regular Christmas Ale. Definitely hoppier and more bitter than the other. Plenty of spice in this, cinnamon, clove, and a "spiced" apple, like a wassail or spiced cider. Plenty of winter warmer in this one. Ends with definite pepper-bitterness.

Medium to full bodied, like a typical winter warmer.

Fairly drinkable, though I find the spiciness to pretty intense and almost overpowering. Unless you're looking for intense spice, I'd choose another Christmas ale. (774 characters)

Photo of Spider889
3.31/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This was a Christmas gift from my wife. Shared with MbpBugeye and Ryan011235.

The beer was mostly clear; a deep gilded ruby color. There was a very small cap of cinnamon cream colored head. There was no lace. Mild visible carbonation.

My first impression upon smelling this beer was that I had walked up to a Cinnabon stand at the mall. Lots of spicing - not much different than in the non-BA version. Nutmeg and cinnamon play the dominant role. There was also a mild minty aroma that some of us detected and I even picked up on a little chocolate. I got very little evidence of the barrel aging/whiskey in the aroma apart from meager traces of vanilla.

The flavor was much less pleasing than the aroma was. Certainly, the barrel did manage to smooth out the harsh spiciness of the base beer (though it is still much stronger than in many warmers), but once again, the whiskey barrel aging seemed to have little other effect. I really believe that these were not fresh barrels.

There was still a ton of dryness from the spices. The beer was slightly hot but not really boozy. Sweet vanilla and cinnamon, and lots of dry oak.

Drinkability is low - this was an expensive brewery only release combined with insane amounts of holiday spicing; the beer just wasn't that amazing. I would rather have this over the non-BA version any day of the week, but there are much better winter warmers out there at a fraction of the price.

My final notes were that the smell was fantastic, but I would have preferred a MUCH larger barrel presence. It was worth a try if you have the disposable income, but I won't be seeking this out again unless I hear that the brewery makes some big changes. (1,684 characters)

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.24/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big thanks to Spider889 for sharing this bottle.

The color of this one is somewhere in between cinnamon and cola brown. Nary a head is formed as spotty lacing is left behind. The smell is undoubtedly big on cinnamon with nutmeg vying for attention. Combining the cinnamon and the barrels creates a cinnamon roll with vanilla-sugar icing type smell. Whiskey booze is perceivable, but kinda buried. The barreling is very, very light. Strong cinnamon, light vanilla. This is a pretty straight forward beer. I bet the barrels were already used for beer, perhaps second use after BA BORIS. (586 characters)

Photo of Ryan011235
3.64/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter on 1/7/11

Shared by Spider889

Coppery, amber-brown color; pretty clear. Minimal head retention; just a filmy layer & a small ring around the inside of the glass. A few drippy splotches of lace.

Smells like Christmas retail season; a mish-mash of candle shop aromas & holiday potpourri. Crisp whiskey overtones & hints of vanilla. Lots of cinnamon & spice. Nutmeg & ginger. Hints of toastiness with a faint yeast notion in the back, when swirled.

While the whiskey is strong in the nose, it doesn't taste so strong. More like dull, warmed, watery whiskey with a mild charred character. Moderate spice notes aren't too biting. Toasted cinnamon bread. Hints of earthy hops. Slight mustiness as it warms.

Medium body with reasonably low carbonation. Said carbonation become appreciably lower throughout. Nips of whiskey & spice on the finish.

Not bad by any means but the taste doesn't live up to the aroma. (931 characters)

Photo of ffejherb
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Cmurren25 for sharing a bomber on 12/26/10.

A - Poured a dark toffee brown liquid with a creamy tan head that diminished to a thin ring and flimsy patch, leaving benind a bit of spotty lacing.

S - Toffee, peppermint and cinnamon with a gingerbread cookie dough malt character. Aroma is intensely spicy and sweet.

T - Initial flavor is quite spicy with a definite cinnamon and peppermint character. Toffee and caramel notes add more sweetness to the mix. Reminds me of spicy gingersnaps or holiday cookies. Finishes with a tinge of earthy hop bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with a smooth, creamy texture and minimal carbonation. Finishes spicy on the palate with some mild hop bitterness and residual sweetness.

D - I didn't mind this one as much as everyone at the table. While I likely couldn't finish an entire bomber of this on my own, perhaps I was in the Christmas spirit on this particular day. Definitely an intense Winter Warmer for sure, but not bad. (974 characters)

Photo of paco1029384756
4.49/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to tapoutjoe.

Pours a dark burgundy color with a small off white head and an even ring of lacing.

Scent of sweet ginger, spicy nutmeg, sugar, caramel, earth, cinnamon, and mild whiskey. This is on par with or better than the base beer. I have never had a beer that has reminded me so much of Christmas, and the mild barrel characteristic adds to the depth. It smells like a craft store; it's unreal how perfectly this matches the holiday.

Taste of ginger and nutmeg initially, more dry spices and faint bourbon come in towards the finish. As with BORIS, the base beer is excellent and the short aging in a barrel makes it even better. The finish is dry with strong hints of wood and a touch of caramel. This beer tastes like Christmas cheer and nostalgia, and the touch of Bourbon is great.

Mouthfeel is medium heavy bodied with a fairly strong carbonation. (875 characters)

Photo of nrbw23
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a murky reddish color with a very thin off white head. Head has pretty much no lacing and leaves no lacing.

S- Quite a bit of spices here. Cinnamon ginger, and nutmeg are front and center. Just a tiny bit of wood and bourbon.

T- Pretty spicey beer here. Follows the nose well. A bit of a malt base in bready and caramel, but no hops at all. Again just a tiny bit of bourbon and wood. Not much different at all over the regular version.

M- Medium in body and carbonation.

D- Again not much different than the regular version. I'm not really sure I'd grab this one again. (585 characters)

Photo of jampics2
4.55/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber into a stemmed Christmas glass. Purchased at Hoppin' Frog earlier today!

The beer is a dark color, somewhere between brown and mahogany with some ruby highlights and a touch of gold on the bottom. I initially thought the beer was opaque, as it was sitting on the table in-front of me, but I quickly learned it is not when I held it to the light and a bright scarlet and plum colored liquid was observed. A nice one-finger white head crowned the beautiful body, but quickly slipped away. Little lacing is left behind. There's some active carbonation noted towards the top. Overall, this is much better looking than the average Winter Warmer.

The first smell scared me. The initial combination of bourbon and cinnamon reminded me of one of two things: red hots or Goldschläger. Upon closer examination, more intricate notes start to emerge. Some ginger and nutmeg start to play more of a role, with the former almost dominating as the beer warms. There is some sweet brown sugar qualities from the malt that leave a gingerbread impression. The typical oak, vanilla and bourbon smells of the barrel are lost to some extent, but the expression from the spice is remarkable albeit slightly one-dimensional.

Frosted Frog is one of the most original and multifaceted tasting holiday beers I've ever had. The dominant cinnamon in the nose somehow takes a backseat to the nutmeg in the taste, which allows the barrel to shine through. Once the initial rush of spices and bourbon dissipates, some sweet malt peaks then the nutmeg serves as the rails on the sleigh, landing this into a snowdrift of oak, vanilla and coconut. Some booze is noted as well, but it's buried in an avalanche of flavor. The beer has to earn a 5 for taste because it's the definition of exceptional.

There's a medium bodied beer with some notable viscosity here, but the carbonation both allows the beer to feel creamy and lightly accentuates the flavors with a mild zing. The duality of the carbonation is something rarely seen, and it allows this beer to feel lighter than it should. Lingering notes of oak, vanilla and toasted coconut make this aftertaste a winner. As for drinkability, I'm making an assumption; this beer is meant to be shared with friends. Finishing a whole bottle by oneself wouldn't be impossible but the spices may go to your head and cause rosiness of the cheeks and a jovial disposition. (2,396 characters)

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Barrel Aged Frosted Frog Christmas Ale from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 33 ratings.