1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Christmas Ale - Sly Fox Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Christmas AleChristmas Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

85 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 85
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 3
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sly Fox Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: NeroFiddled on 11-24-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 85 | Reviews: 25 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of djrn2

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

04-11-2014 14:36:19 | More by djrn2
Photo of Knapp85


2.5/5  rDev -33.9%

10-26-2012 13:17:02 | More by Knapp85
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +14.6%

Another great offering from Sly Fox pours a deep red with some copper tints with a real nice fluffy head that leaves some nice lacing on its way down,aroma is of allspice and cinnamon with some light metallic hints.A real fine tasting brew cinnamon is the dominant taste I get with some light allspice notes a nice malty/bready backbone to makes it very appetizing.Gotta growler of it and now enjoying at home.

12-23-2003 22:55:56 | More by oberon
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.7/5  rDev +24.3%

I haven't had a beer that's really turned my head in a while, but this is one of them. The body is a clear auburn topped by a thin, creamy ivory head that holds quite well and leaves some lace throughout the glass. The aroma entices you with a combination of lightly sweet biscuity malt & gentle spices (cinnamon & ginger) that's reminiscent of gingerbread. The body is medium with a very fine & moderate carbonation that leaves it smooth & creamy in the mouth. The flavor is very similar to the aroma, starting with a soft biscuity malt that reveals some sweeter caramel/toffee and light chocolatey notes as it warms and the mild spices start to appear. But the true spice character appears just as you swallow, with a vast array of flavors bursting forth including cinnamon, ginger, all-spice, nutmeg and clove. This is where the beer offers some complexity - certain spices will appear more clearly to you with each further sip. The spices continue to swirl about the mouth in a gently lingering aftertaste that generally dries with some clove character. Hop bitterness is well-heeled to allow the spice to do its job. Amazingly well-done for such a difficult style. The spice is fresh and vibrant, yet delicate. Restrained balance is obvious, and the way that the spice flavors play-off of the malt character is exquisite. An exceptional holiday treat. I may have to find myself some holiday shopping to do in Phoenixville so that I can get another growler before it's all gone! Absolutely worth seeking out.

11-24-2002 14:00:06 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of Slatetank


4/5  rDev +5.8%

05-16-2013 16:47:52 | More by Slatetank
Photo of mendvicdog


3.25/5  rDev -14%

01-06-2014 19:52:08 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of smcolw


3.63/5  rDev -4%

2010 Christmas Ale version

Impressive four finger head.  Settles rockily.  Appears clear.  The color is light brown. Despite holding the head exceptionally well, there's very little lace. 

Smells a little earthy, light yeast bite. 

The spice really shows up in the flavor (I didn't notice it in the smell). There's some earthiness and darker malt flavors. I can't detect any hop, but that's okay given the style. 

The body is as expected. 

Overall a classically, highly spiced winter ale. 

08-14-2011 12:33:06 | More by smcolw
Photo of oriolesfan4


3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

12-30-2013 04:37:47 | More by oriolesfan4
Photo of weeare138


3.98/5  rDev +5.3%

Christmas in July! Woo-hoo!
I don't even know why I ordered this. I know they were still trying to get rid of this nearing February and this seems to be the final attempt to salvage some bucks. At least they didn't just try to call it something else and hope that no one noticed. In any case...
Appears a dark amber with a tan head that fizzles out within a minute. Tiny lacing is left behind.
Smell is of a red ale that has lots of gingerbread, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice.
Taste is that of the smell with a malty sweetness complimenting the spices.
Mouthfeel is decent. Medium bodied and warming.
Drinkability is good. This is obviously much better suited for a winter offering. This makes me think of wearing a sweater in the Northeast cold and warming up by the fire.

07-30-2005 15:17:21 | More by weeare138
Photo of woodychandler


3.85/5  rDev +1.9%

Another Xmas in July Beer, courtesy of Scoats.

This had a huge, foamy tan head above a deep caramel brown color. It had an odd nose of malt, but underlain with a vinegar sharpness. It had a light to medium mouthfeel. It ws very malty in the mouth, but with a spicy bite like cinnamon and nutmeg, and perhaps allspice. As the beer warmed, the spices became more prevalent, both in the mouth and on the finish. This was very reminiscent of a pumpkin ale, with all of the spices going on.

07-11-2005 02:56:05 | More by woodychandler
Photo of InspectorBob

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

05-20-2013 12:31:17 | More by InspectorBob
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

12 ounce can, Best By 03/24/14 printed on the bottom of the can.

Pours darker amber, minor khaki head, leaving a smattering of fine bits of scattered lacing.

Cinnamon dominates the nose as well as the palate. Hints of ginger but mostly cinnamon and more cinnamon. Too much cinnamon. Meh, not my favorite winter warmer, over spiced and under malted.

02-06-2014 03:16:54 | More by Billolick
Photo of ejimhof


4/5  rDev +5.8%

05-09-2014 02:32:13 | More by ejimhof
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

01-04-2014 02:04:27 | More by tdm168
Photo of rolltide8425


4/5  rDev +5.8%

11-29-2012 03:25:50 | More by rolltide8425
Photo of THECPJ


4/5  rDev +5.8%

12-05-2011 15:57:28 | More by THECPJ
Photo of xnicknj


3.2/5  rDev -15.3%

on tap at the fox and hound in KOP - served in pint

Pours a mostly clear chestnut color with bright reddish hues. Fluffy beige head slowly fades away into a coating of film, leaving some patchy lacing on the glass.

Roasted malts with burnt sugar and dark fruit. Hints of raisin and cherry with cinnamon and a mild spiciness. Fits the genre, but thankfully doesn't go overboard on the potpourri of Christmasy spices.

Soft snap of wintery spice up front with cinnamon and brown sugar. Lightly sweet, mixed with apple and cherry with a dash of raisin. Malted backbone with caramel and bread crust. Finishes a little spicy and sweet with little warmth.

Lighter medium body, decent carbonation, a little chewy and crisp on the tongue. Slyfox is definitely hit or miss for me, but this was a pretty solid winter warmer.

12-14-2012 02:41:59 | More by xnicknj
Photo of ccrida


3.86/5  rDev +2.1%

2013 version of the 750 ml corked and caged bottle, poured into my new Steelers shaker pint for xmas. Appearance is caramel brown with a light tan head leaving light sticky lace.

Smell is sweet malt and mulling spices, exactly as advertised.

Taste is pretty good, surprisingly! I find spiced beers tend to be heavy handed, especially with the strong nose, but the integration and balance are pretty good. Somewhat lithe in fact.

Mouthfeel is light and very dry.

Drinkability is pretty good, a solid Xmas beer with just enough spice to bring the cheer without the pain! Still, one 750 is enough for me, for the year.

12-25-2013 19:54:12 | More by ccrida
Photo of tectactoe


3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

06-17-2014 10:54:22 | More by tectactoe
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.95/5  rDev +4.5%

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – The beer is served a reddish brown color with a two finger off white head. The head has a good level of retention, eventually fading to leave a spotty amount of lacing.

Smell- The aroma is sweet and of Christmas cookies. It has smells of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Mixed with these are some lighter notes of vanilla and a moderately strong sugary smell.

Taste – The taste starts out with a somewhat bready and doughy sweet taste. There is a strong brown sugar and caramel presence up front that are mixed with some flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg. These flavors are soon joined by more spice flavors of ginger and clove with the sweetness seeming to increase ever so slightly. In the end a pastry like spiced cookie flavor are left to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is slightly light in creaminess and chewiness with the carbonation level being just a bit above average. Something a bit more chewy may have been appropriate for the taste profile, but overall it wasn't too bad.

Overall- A good easy drinking brew with a nice flavor. It is worth a try if you have the chance to give it a go.

12-13-2012 01:16:01 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of jmdrpi


3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

12-25-2013 19:01:34 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of Boto


4.13/5  rDev +9.3%

This one pours a copper color with just a hint of ruby. There was a fairly decent head, with some lacing. Good aroma of mulled spices. There is a medium to slightly full malt body, with a strong, but not overdone taste of the spices. This was very good!

12-29-2003 21:46:56 | More by Boto
Photo of BeerForMuscle

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

01-03-2014 23:47:27 | More by BeerForMuscle
Photo of mdillon86


4/5  rDev +5.8%

12-02-2012 17:26:23 | More by mdillon86
Photo of blitheringidiot


3.95/5  rDev +4.5%

Fresh from ‘da SlyFox growlah pours a dark ruby coppery glow under a well capped tight tan cap that leaves lattice lace in me pint.

Pumpkin pie scents dominate the nose with some blended cinnamon bun spices. Reminds me of a mince meat pie, but it’s in me pint. Ooo!

First Swigs: Tastes meet up with the aromatic qualities. Some sweet maltiness opens way to pumpkin pie and pie crust flavors. Plenty mixed spices scooch around. Palatable cider notes bananas and Vanilla ice cream.

Plenty of soft carbonation. If this were a perfect Winter offering, the body could be a twinge heavier and a bit more than 5.7% ABV for the fireplace session would send me past the holidays and into 2005.

Last Swigs: A great Winter Warmer interpretation. Another great beer from Sly Fox. Kudos to Brian O’Reilly Special thanks to fellow BA Shapudding for the offer. Reminiscent of Victory Festbier with more apple cinnamon.

Beer is good. Happy Holiday beering.

12-08-2004 04:09:36 | More by blitheringidiot
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Christmas Ale from Sly Fox Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 85 ratings.