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Upslope Christmas Ale - Upslope Brewing Company - Lee Hill

Not Rated.
Upslope Christmas AleUpslope Christmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

21 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 21
Hads: 74
Avg: 3.7
pDev: 10.27%
Wants: 6
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Upslope Brewing Company - Lee Hill visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ArrogantB on 11-17-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Upslope Christmas Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 21 | Hads: 74
Photo of Bitterbill
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by February 21st.

It pours a clear copper with a 1" head of foam...does have some nice lacing.

The smell is very spicy and fruity. Some nutmeg and cinnamon, some dark fruit which is plum like.

The taste is sweet, spicy, fruity, in that order. The spicy character reminds me of a Belgian Ale of some sort...now picking up cloves and a yeasty/wheaty flavour. The warmer it gets, the more complex it seems to get.

Medium body and carbo.

A very festive enjoyable brew in a 16 ounce can, I probably wouldn't want to drink 'em back to back. ;^)

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Photo of TX-Badger
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear reddish brown with off-white head. Spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and some cloves; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Somewhat sweet on the finish.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.89/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: 4.0 - Lovely ruby color with a small head.
S: 3.75 - Very light aroma, but what there is has notes of ripe apple, raisins, with a faint spiciness.
T: 4.0 - Good dubble sort of flavor with sweet malt, a touch of caramel, ripe dark fruit yeast character, and, as in the nose, a very faint spiciness--if the can didn't tell me it was spiced, I'd mistake it for yeasty phenols.
M: 4.0 - Very belgian mouthfeel, not heavy despite the strength.
O: 3.75 - Decent Belgian-style beer, but not something that will make me come back to buy it again.

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Photo of tempest
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Nice take on a Belgian ale, but you really need to wait for it to warm up before the flavors opens. When it does, there's a smooth caramel candy malt character that reminds me of St Bernardus. The finish is earthy, dry, and bitter with just a hint of fruit and citrus peel. Give it a shot.

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Photo of ssarah
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Clear, dark red color, with small head that disppears within a few minutes of pour.

Smell: strong malt aroma. Sweetness dominates this beer's smell. Hints of clove and nutmeg.

Taste: Nice blend of sweetness and bitterness. It has bitter cider flavors with a malty edge. Clove and nutmeg flavors linger after a sip is taken. Strong alcohol content is noticable but well blended with the rich fruit and spice flavors. The overall flavor grows on you over time.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation. It's bitterness stays around for a few seconds after each sip.

Overall: Strong, sweet, with bitter fruit and spice flavors, this beer is a good Christmas ale. I probably couldn't drink this all night but it is a nice choice for a strong and unique winter beer.

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Photo of Jason
3.84/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16oz can with no freshness date.

Modest carbonation only yields a thing lacing though it does stay around for a while. Aromas of candied fruit, hermit cookies, taffy, pie spice, alcohol, & faint caramel. Semi-chewy maltiness, toasted bread, balanced pie spice, banana pith, moderate level of hopping, warming alcohol, faint bubblegum, light brown sugar, semi-dry finish.

A Belgian-ish Winter Warmer here, great choice with the Abbey Ale yeast and just enough spicing. Seek this one out.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.59/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours copper with a red blush, a thin head that fell quickly and left only minimal lacing. The nose was bubble gum and light flaked grain. Faint bit of cinnamon and clove. Had some vibrant cherry up front and some dark fruit lightly beneath that. A nice honey for malt sweetness turns to a sweetened bread with candied fruit peel. There wasn't much belgian yeast character on the nose. The taste was light enough and the malt was silky and had a carefree taste of light sweet grain. Almost like a honeycake. It was slightly hot and the alcohol imparted a small bitter. The cherry stole the show with a light tartness. As the beer warms you begin to taste a delicate touch of almond. What this beer was missing was carbonation. The mouthfeel was ample but flat. It had a syrupy quality because of that. Again the yeast character was weak and that contributed to the flat mouthfeel too. There were some faint spices in the drink and even a little ginger and pepper to pick it up for a rather nice finish. It finished with an alcohol dryness, and sweet with a light bread and the vibrant cherry. In the aftertaste the dark fruit came forward a bit to give back a little of the depth this was missing up front.

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Photo of puboflyons
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the can. Sampled on December 6, 2013.

The color is ruby red to brown with a thin head that fades away after a moment.

The aroma is of breaded malts, light spice, dark fruit, white pepper, and a touch of molasses.

The body is medium.

The taste evolves as it warms. But whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, the alcohol bite slowly creeps in as it warms. Otherwise I get the same bready malts, light spice, molasses, dark fruit as ion the aroma.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Upslope Christmas Ale has a thin, cream-colored head, slight lacing, and a clear, fairly bubbly, reddish-brown appearance. The aroma is strange- smokey, oddly spicy, sweet, bread crust, and other unidentifiable aromas. Taste is of white pepper, bread crust, sweetness, unusual spices, and even citrus. Bitterness is noticeable but not harsh. The mouthfeel is medium to heavy, and the drinkability is pretty good, and one would not guess this is an over 8% abv beer. Upslope Christmas Ale finishes dry and fairly easy drinking. This is interesting, and I recommend checking it out.


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Photo of BeerWizard
4.09/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Another $15 four pack of tall cans from Upslope - rrrr! But I had to try it. Comes in a candy-cane swirl 16oz can. Looks festive enough. Pours a dark copper color with some short head, more than I expected for an 8%+ beer, which reduces to an immobile wafer of fine bubbles.

This has been sitting in a pint for a while, and is giving off a bubblegum-banana and vanilla aroma, almost like a cream soda. I know this is spiced but the spice has to be really out front for me to discern what it is, but my wife thinks it's cinnamon and clove. Upslope doesn't tell us exactly what they are.

Flavor is yeasty and sweet, with the spices coming in at the end. Not as sweet as you might expect for an abbey ale, though, and well balanced by the alcohol bitterness. Alcohol is definitely present, but not as hot as you might think for how high this is. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, and carbonation is light to medium.

Overall, good, not totally blown away, but definitely some surprises here. I'd buy it again, too...if only it were cheaper. This Christmas ale has little hope of making it to Christmas, though.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

a different take on a christmas brew, which i found in a can at bike cafe. pours rich malty amber to light nutbrown in color, glowing, with a finger of tan head thats dead and gone in a minute or two. smells like belgian yeast and candy sugar, a lot like a dubbel really, although with a lighter american red malt profile and some spice including cinnamon and honey sweetness. the flavor is identical to the nose. in fact, everything i can smell, i can taste, and nothing i can taste i cant smell, although the taste is much more bold than the nose, a very lively brew. to me this is what i which more xmas beers were like, not too spiced, not too sweet, and creative and balanced. this one has it all really, although the feel let me down a little. more carbonation and more body would have made this a wonderful specimen. instead a slightly flat, quite thin feel made me yearn for more. still, this is a probe in the right direction, and the yeast makes it. there may still be some cans around if you missed it, so get in the mix before its too late if you want a holiday beer with a twist.

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Photo of denver10
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a bright ambe with a reddish hue and an off white head. Aroma is sweet maltiness paired with a nice dose of spices. Flavor followed suit; a nice marriage between some sweet caramel and breadiness and a nice dose of spices. Surprised to read its a Belgian style as I didn't notice the yeast. A fuller, semi-active mouthfeel. Overall, an enjoyable beer. Maybe not one I need in heavy doses but a single pour of this certainly did the trick.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.21/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

16 oz can. Pours clear rub red with a smallish fizzy off white head that quickly goes to a thin collar.

The aroma is toasty, bready malts with some muted gingerbread spices.

The flavor is toasty malts with light gingerbread spices and a dry spicy bitter finish. The mouthfeel is pretty full bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, a decent Christmas beer - a bit muted though.

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Photo of alexipa
3.96/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Great deep red color. As it should be right? It's a Christmas ale! Nice frothy head.

S: Lots of subtle spices, with a malty caramel undertone. Nutmeg, cinnamon, clove.

T: Really, really good stuff. Sweet and malty straight up front, then the spices come in and round it out- keeping it from becoming cloying. I feel like they may have used the same base beer as their Pumpkin which is definitely a good thing. Tons of clove, some cinnamon, nutmeg, and almost no hop taste.

M: Low carbonation, milky full body. The alcohol is pretty present as well.

O: Excellent, excellent beer. Upslope is on a roll with their seasonals, I don't think I'll be missing another release from these guys.

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Photo of mactrail
2.51/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a handsome coppery red amber in the tall glass. Lots of foam and a cascade of bubbles, it's quite a nice sight and plenty spritzy in the mouth.

First taste is a shock. It's really sugary, and just seems to get sweeter as you attempt to drink it. I hesitate to try to catalogue all the flavors of this stuff-- Hawaiian Punch, bubble gum, apricot nectar, dried mango, fig jam, and some kind of day-glo gummi candy. Aroma of raisin toast and cinnamon. Some dirty bitterness vainly attempts to balance the candy.

To me this just gets cloying real fast. I thought that after the first sip this would evolve into some beery interest, but it just makes me think of those cheap light fruitcakes from Big Lots. Down the drain with this one.

From the 16 oz can purchased in Denver at Mayfair Liquor.

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Photo of DelMontiac
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pints can provided by my bro-in-law from Denver, CO.

An aggressive pour yields a two finger off white head and fizzles down to a halo in just under two minutes. Color is red copper. Lace it very scant.

Nice aromas of peppermint, plum, raisons, and caramel malt.

Flavors of doughy cinnamon biscuits, caramel, nutmeg, clove and peppermint dance on the tongue leaving some wisps of licorice and vanilla.

Medium-full feel and not a lot of carbonation. Would benefit from more bubbles.

Luckily, my bro-in-law didn't really dig this and left the remaining cans for me. I'm fond of winter warmers anyway and this one is a keeper. At 8.2%, this one will warm you up. BONUS - It's in a 1 pint tall can!

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Photo of Domingo
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Glad to see Upslope canning more beers. They brew a lot more beers than most people realize.
Pours a chestnut brown color. Not much foam going on. A little, but not a ton.
The nose is spicy - a bit reminiscent of the Harpoon or Anchor Christmas ales...but slightly more mellow. Big cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and maybe a little bit of peppermint.
The flavor profile matches the nose, but it's (luckily) not as bold. Plus, as this warms, the more traditional Belgian flavors like burnt sugar and a little cocoa come out. In fact, as this one heads closer to room temperature, the spices become a little more muted and the beer is pretty tasty.
Not too fiery, but still packing some punch. I wish it had a little more carbonation, but I still liked it.
Not bad. With some tweaks this could probably be downright amazing. As it stands, it's still good.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.2/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A new brew from Upslope for the Santa season...albeit a month too early. Seems like this is a trend nowadays.

Anywho, pours a reddish brown/chestnut. Small head up front, fades to nothing. No lacing.

Aroma of booze, gum, some spices and faint caramel.

Taste: it's not bad, but seems messy. The spices are weak, the caramel burnt, and the booze off and on. The thinness doesn't help. Not that this is a bad beer. It is good. Perhaps more of a good step in the right direction for next year's batch effort. It just seems the spices are vague enough to think that they don't belong here.

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Photo of beergoot
3.37/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep copper-colored body with nearly no head other than some lively, carbonated, thin foam across top half of the beer. Light scent of spice and sweet malt grain; spruce; nice combination of hop bitterness and alcohol warmth. Rich malt flavors infused with spruce and pine resins; other spice notes such as ginger and cinnamon. Solid medium-body; clean and sweet; slightly syrupy.

Better than the sum of its parts. Initial impressions aren't too promising, yet the taste comes through to make this an interesting (although not "must-have") holiday brew.

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Photo of StoneTSR
4.4/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE: For starters, credit is due for a great looking can – red and Christmas-like with the standard, simple and classy Upslope logo. As for the beer itself, it pours a dark reddish-brown, but is obviously filtered and fairly transparent. A full finger-and-a-half head slowly settles into a nice, thick cap.

SMELL: The smell is almost dry, like a cinnamon and nutmeg mixture with a little too much nutmeg in it. A little caramel hits the nose as well along with a touch of brown sugar.

TASTE: This tastes like Christmas. Cinnamon, sugar, spice – clove and nutmeg are all out in front of this beer. Seriously spicy, the Upslope Christmas tastes like a holiday beer candy. As a previous reviewer mentioned, there is a little gummy flavor to it, but that isn’t a bad thing at all here. The Christmas stays on the sweet side, but it does not go too far at all. Mmm…that cinnamon is really coming through as the beer warms. Delicious.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium bodied, the Christmas is a very easy-going beer. Slightly on the sweet side, it stays dry enough to retain excellent balance throughout every sip. The carbonation is light, but the finish is clean and just sweet enough to keep your palate begging for the next one.

OVERALL: Supremely drinkable. This is just a real easy beer to put down. It looks good, smells good, tastes good and feels good. I’m sure if it could it would sound good too. I did not pay $3.75 for this can, but if I did, it would have been worth it. If you see it, pick it up.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I know this has abbey yeast so maybe I should have entered the beer as something belgian, oh well. I picked up a single can of this because of some chatter here on BA about it being good, thank goodness I didn't spend the $15 for a four pack. Red color, foamy head that collapses quick. Aroma is kind of gummy with a hint of spice. Flavor is more gum, not bad but nothign that made me say wow. The belgian yeast was apparent. Overall, totally not worth the $3.75 I paid for the can.

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Upslope Christmas Ale from Upslope Brewing Company - Lee Hill
84 out of 100 based on 21 ratings.