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Harvey's Christmas Ale - Harvey & Son Ltd.

Not Rated.
Harvey's Christmas AleHarvey's Christmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

160 Reviews
THE BROS
99
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 160
Hads: 185
Avg: 3.78
pDev: 17.2%
Wants: 13
Gots: 5 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Harvey & Son Ltd.
United Kingdom (England) | website

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer | 8.10% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-18-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (19) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Harvey's Christmas Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 160 | Hads: 185
Photo of UncleJimbo
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 9.3 oz bottle. Harvey's Christmas Ale 2000. 8.6% abv.

Appearance: Cloudy, light, coppery caramel color with thin tan foam.

Smell: A slight whiff of lactic acid (perhaps a slightly off bottle) was the only negative about this beer. Otherwise, a sweet, malty and yeasty aroma with a hint of fruit.

Taste: Rich caramel and toffee malt flavors with a touch of oak and spice, with a bit of hop bitterness in the finish. The hops carried over to the aftertaste as well.

Mouthfeel: Rich and smooth. Low carbonation.

Drinkability: Very good. Other than the slight hint of lactic acid, this was a very tasty brew.

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Photo of Bunnyhop
3.39/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A medium dark red/brown, slightly hazy beer with a tightly clinging, off-white head. It has a very malty smell, with a slight toffee scent, along with a presence of darjeeling tea. I know this sounds stange but, it also had a slight teriyaki smell. The first thing I taste is tea, then a sweet maltiness, a slight hint f spice (not quite sure what spice), followed by a pepperiness, finishing with a slight cedar/pine flavor in the back of my mouth. There is a nice lingering flavor, almost a nuttiness. There is a very full hearty, almost meaty, feel in your mouth. Unfortunately, the beer did seem somewhat flat. Something about this beer reminded me of mediera, and it definitely got more complex as I drank it and it slowly warmed up.

(source: PremierGourmet; Buffalo, NY)

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Photo of goz
3.25/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear ruby, with a minimal head and non-existant lace. Very small amount of carbonation present. Strong, vinous aroma - fruits like raisin, plum, caramel malts, and alcohol all tickle the nostrils. Flavor is quite sweet, sugary, caramel, and underlying alcohol, along with a mild bitterness in the back that was very subtle. Mouthfeel was buttery and thick. Alcohol is warming towards the end of the small bottle.

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Photo of marc77
4.16/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Murky, mud brown, topped by a thin off white head. Plum - like fruity esters, chocolate, & mellow biscuit combined with smooth dark caramel sweetness in aroma. Light impression of spicy figs. Mild diacetyl. Slight earthy Fuggles hop nose rounds the aroma out. Lightly burnt raisiny sweetness upfront. Prunes and carob laced sweetness dominate the flavor profile, w/ notes of black pepper and biscuit providing a dry contrast. Mildly vinous sherryish notes emerge late. Lightly bittered, but hopped sufficiently to offset malt sweetness for excellent drinkability. Moderate in body and relatively low in carbonation. Semi - stagnant, full and smooth in mouthfeel. Finishes with molasses sweetness briefly lingering. A flavorful, but not overly busy strong ale. Tasty and somewhat of a tease in the 275 ml bottle. A bomber would've been appreciated.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky brown color, very little head. Distinctive heady aroma of plums, raisins, the usual stamp of a decent barleywine. At 8.1%, very warming and substantial. Thick texture, and, as we sip, the heat increases--not just warming, but HOT! I'm reminded a bit of Young's Old Nick, but just a bit.

12-25-03
A year and two days later, I try this beer again, forgetting I've had it, and reviewed, already! D'oh! Well, let me share with you my most recent notes just to see how what's changed...
Appearance: pours a dark brown, with a rich, tan head, dotted with multiple bubbles throughout.
Aroma: dark, deep, even cavernous, I'd have to say...hints of coffee, molasses, tobacco, leather, cola, and bits of anise and dark rum...slivers of the Imperial Stout persona are apparent here...
Taste: dark, but rather smooth (perhaps to this tongue, others may differ!), but still ridden with undercurrents of complexity, well-blended, and terrrifically tasty, roasty, and nutty.
The heat shows through from the alcoholic content, but it's ably and excellently matched by the bigness of the flavors.
Looking back at last year's comments, I got most of it right in my BA infancy, but didn't go far enough, and clearly it shows that I was too much into comparing beers that have been my crutch when I stuck to the same stuff for years on end!
And, the numbers are spot on for this tasting, so I leave them be.

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Photo of nathi
4.59/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this the night before, I thnk it was a 2000. An exceptional christmas ale. Very little carbonation but a rough pour will get you a nice lasting head. The aroma is wonderfull, full of rich cherry and barry fruityness with a strong caramel malt background. Just wonderfull. Flavor has a sweet and extrmemly complex maltyness, with more fruit, well balanced by the alcohol and just enough hop bitterness. Stong raisen and plum notes, almost like a nice thick bock, bit woith the complex esters of an ale. An excellent well balanced beer. Probably my favorite Christmas ale and probably ranks in the top 5 of best aromas in a beer for me.

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Photo of ZAP
4.07/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Quite a complex brew....nose is vinous...smells like a wine almost...dark fruits/raisens on the nose...the mouthfeel lacks carbonation....really flat tasting, but it seems to fit this style well....a real sweet, dark fruit style taste....very enjoyable to drink....a real treat on the buds....thanks to BigHugey for this part of my many bottle Birthday and Christmas present.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"2000 AD" edition. (Not to be confused with the 2000 BC edition.)

Burgandy/brown in color. Just a couple bubbly islands on the surface comprise the head. Nice biscuit like malt aroma blended with perfumey tones. Mouthfeel is very low on carbonation. Similar to a barleywine. Body hovers somewhere in between medium and full. Just a titch syrupy, but not in a bad way. The malt profile of this beer is pretty impressive. The 2 years of aging seems to have taken off any bitter or alcoholic edges that may have been there. Maltiness is similar to a good malty BW. Biscuit and bread tones mix with a dominating caramel malt presence that let's you know what this show is all about. There's barely a detectable sour lactic note on the finish. Seems a little out of place, but it's so minor it doesn't detract from the taste. Very nice little brew here.

Thanks go out to Chaz for pointing this one out.

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Photo of rastaman
2.9/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A lot better than the Elizabethan ale, quite a raisiny syrup flavour, which i think is associated with most Harveys brews, but this doesn't go too over the top and it least it has a bit of spice to it, which adds a bit to the dimention of the beer overall, but still a little to sweet in my eyes.

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Photo of Jason
4.47/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Short brown 9.3 oz bottle, no freshness date found though common sense tell me that it has been brewed for Christmas of 2000.

Appearance: Clear brown amber with a thin yet frothy tiny bubbled light tan lace.

Smell: Fruity tartness with a sugary caramel aroma. Touch of pungent sweet hop oil in the nose. Smells of baked apple crisp.

Taste: Creamy smooth with minimal carbonation, almost velvety smooth from the oats. Full bodied with a big chewy malty mouth feel. Sweet with a quick flash of hop twang, hops struggle to keep up with the sweetness though they leave a trail of earthy oil straight into the after taste. Alcohol is slow to start, then warms more and more towards the end of the glass. Highly crystallized sugars in the crystal malt form a brown sugar like flavour with a mild burnt taste towards the finish. Residual sugars are plenty.

Notes: Close to a stock ale or strong ale from centuries past this brew is indeed a well fortified brew of body, strength and complexity. The most impressive winter seasonal I have had from the UK that is available state side.

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Harvey's Christmas Ale from Harvey & Son Ltd.
85 out of 100 based on 160 ratings.