Barley's Christmas Ale - Smokehouse Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 11 | Reviews: 7 | Display Reviews Only:
3.98/5 rDev +2.1%
Christmas Ale is a nice looking copper or amber color. It’s very clear. Backlighting gives it more of a scarlet look. A soft, white head caps it off. It’s modest. Doesn’t even quite rise to a finger. Retention was on the shorter side. Lacing was definitely light and spotty. Not much going on in that department.
It smells quite good. It kicks off with a really nice mix of holiday spice notes. Ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg are all noted. It smells a little sweet and malty. Honey also seems to be in the mix. It’s subtle, but is a nice touch. Hops are more notable than I expected. They’re a secondary characteristic, but add a nice grassy scent. Alcohol is very light and is barely noticeable. Smells good.
The flavor is even a notch better, but not quite enough to warrant a score bump. The malt base is a little sweet and toasty. Holiday spices are very flavorful. Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and even a little pepper combine to create a really nice spicy profile. Honey is also a really nice addition. It’s secondary to the spices, but complements them very well. Hops are also secondary, but are livelier than I ever expected. They’re grassy and just a slight bitter kick to the flavor. Alcohol is rather light in the mix. Barely noticeable. Finishes a little sweet with a rush of holiday spices. Very, very good.
Christmas Ale has a body that’s on the lighter side of medium. Carbonation is very light and restrained. It feels very soft and smooth. Very tasty and easy drinking. I’m sharing the growler, but I’d be damn tempted to tackle one solo.
Barley’s Christmas Ale is really good beer. I enjoy it every year. If you’re in town and have yet to try it, head over and grab a growler. You’ll be really glad you did.
11-25-2012 02:55:02 | More by prototypic
3.58/5 rDev -8.2%
On tap in a pint glass at the Smokehouse on 11/18/10
Clear, tawny color; almost scorched amber. Poured an 1/8th inch head that diminished to a skim near instantaneously.
Aromas of toasted grains, spices & earthy hops. Hints of nutmeg, honey & caramel. Dash of cinnamon. Smells pretty nice.
Tastes strikingly close to how it smells. It's also surprising how dry it is. Hop bitterness hits upfront, peppered with cinnamon & spices. The only sweetness comes through via a dollop of honey. Caramel is minimal. Grainy, toasted malts occupy the middle & finish.
Medium body; slick with too much of a coating feel for my liking. Carbonation is moderate & suitable for the beer. Dry finish with hints of grains & spices.
Pretty tasty & easily drinkable. I just don't care for the coating feel. Probably worth a shot.
11-19-2010 02:39:20 | More by Ryan011235
3.38/5 rDev -13.3%
I drank this on tap into a tasting glass.
The beer pours an orangy copper color with a light white head, light carbonation.
The aroma is light nutmeg, cinamin, pine and alcohol.
The taste is light and delicate which is good because with the aromas this beer could be really overwhelming. The taste you get are a lots of tart pine and alcohol dominating with nutmeg mixed in there.
The beer is too watery and not very drinkable.
Overall a decent spiced winter beer.
12-27-2009 01:20:28 | More by jrallen34
4/5 rDev +2.6%
Hazy copper color, with a white creamy head. Pretty good head retention. A few spots of lace.
Bitter orange peel, nutmeg, shortbread cookies, and other spices come to mind in the nose. Very nice.
Solid malt backbone. Again, nutmeg and orange peel, perhaps some ginger? Decent amount of sweetness. Some earthy and floral hop bitterness.
Medium body, soft carbonation. Very enjoyable.
12-18-2007 17:55:23 | More by Bierguy5
4.38/5 rDev +12.3%
Pours a copper color with a rusty oragnish hue. A decent white head forms, showing solid retention and leaves behind plenty of sticky lacing.
Smells of cinnamon and a nutty maltiness. The flavor features the same, along with ginger, nutmeg, lemon and orange peel, a praline characteristic, some pepper, and a gentle hoppiness.
The mouth is medium bodied and complex, with good carbonation, bright and tart on the front palate, drying out with a touch of bitter hops on the finish, yet maintains a smooth buttery-ness throughout. Very drinkable, not overly spiced like some christmas brews. Feliz navidad, this is way solid.
11-28-2006 05:06:42 | More by Osiris9588
4.6/5 rDev +17.9%
Translucent amber no head to announce.
With a small whiff of cinnamon, brown sugar and orange zest I felt as though I was right in the season of giving. A small hint of pepper followed.
That zing of pepper starts the taste. Ginger, cinnnamon, sweet caramel and the orange zest follow and complete the pepper in a great pairing. A prominent alcohol burn completes the drink warming the soul.
Mouthfeel is smooth as silk leaving a velvet oily coating.
Winter is my favorite season for beer and this brew adds to the reason. One of my most anticipated seasonals from Barley's, drinking this (and a few more) never leaves me dissappointed. Barley's does a fantastic job at representing the style.
12-24-2004 05:13:13 | More by Ahhdball
4/5 rDev +2.6%
Sampled from a growler from Ale House No. 2.
Appearance: Cloudy and deep carmel in color with amber edges. A nice tan head develops and retains well throughout the session.
Smell: hints of honey, sweet malt, cloves, and cinnamon roll out of the glass. Very inviting.
Taste: spices dominate the palate first. Ginger, cloves, and a peppery presence fill the taste buds with the first hints of winter and the reminder that there are only 28 shopping days left until Christmas. Hints of hop bitterness finish up the sip. Suprisingly there is no sweetness to speak of. This isn't a bad thing but it was kind of anticipated based on the smell.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and prickly due to the mild carbonation levels. The spicy taste and the carbonation leave a cabarnet feel to the palate.
Drinkability: Nice and enjoyable. Spices are present but not over the top. Too many spices for me would inhibit my ability to drink this. They are at an enjoyable level and would be enjoyable for most. Recommended for this time of the year.
Merry Christmas to me!
11-27-2004 15:48:03 | More by mattcrill
Barley's Christmas Ale from Smokehouse Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 11 ratings.