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Christmas Ale - Breckenridge Brewery

Christmas AleChristmas Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

734 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 734
Reviews: 355
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 14.57%

Brewed by:
Breckenridge Brewery visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  7.40% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-28-2002)
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Ratings: 734 | Reviews: 355 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Microbrewtaster


4.03/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Cigar City Snifter

A- This beer pours a dull brown in color with a white head that is small, maybe a half finger, and dissipates rather quickly. The lacing is also sub par as there is barely any to speak of.

S- There is a real heavy malt, with some spice notes, and a slight toffee, and booze smell.

T- There is some cinnamon, some roasted malts, and a very slight hint of booze, nothing near the 7.4% ABV that it says it is. there is also a caramelized sugar taste that makes for a terrific finish.

M- This is a medium bodied beer that has a good amount of carbonation. it is nice and crisp as the finish goes, not quite the way this style is meant to be but it works for me. U

O- While I did not expect much from this beer I enjoyed it more and more as time went on, while its taste is rather mild it is pleasant and while not considered a sessionable beer It is one i can see myself enjoying a couple of.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2012 01:04:10 | More by Microbrewtaster
Photo of ujsplace


4.03/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

This is a deep brown colored ale with a bright white head that is foamy. The head fades and leaves a nice thin layer on top. Descent lacing.

Smells of roasted caramel, sweet malt, fig, nutmeg and allspice.

Has a really nice buttery malt middle with a hint of hops. Good, interesting flavor.

Creamy and smooth mouthfeel.

I enjoyed this brew. The spices are not too overdone, the brew goes down nice and easy. Thanks for the brew bro...

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2012 01:21:33 | More by ujsplace
Photo of rockdick


4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my first "winter brew" to try and was much different than I anticipated, in a good way though. Poured a dark, reddish-brown color with a head that lasted pretty long. Smelled and tasted of sweet caramel and chocolate malts. Very appealing to the palate.
This stuff is pretty strong too. 2 or 3 sitting around the Christmas tree will make you see reindeer or elves running around your living room. Good stuff, I'll be buying it again.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2002 05:59:21 | More by rockdick
Photo of granger10


4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this at just above room temp. I think it was meant to be tried this way. Warmed up to room temp after a few sips.

Here's the review.

This winter seasonal from Breckenridge pours a deep mohagany color with brown around the sides. A smaller but tight light tan head sits atop. Moderate lacing.

Aroma of chestnuts and figs at first. There's also a strong earthy character in there.

Taste is dominant on caramel. The caramel is nice and warming. Some slight roasted malts underneath. A little bit of butteryness along with some earthiness the further I go. Some spicy hops come towards the finish along with pine and resin notes.

Mouthfeel is medium. Not the thickest winter warmer but not weak either. Carbonation is a little low but not flat. I actually like that the spice is weak. Nice changeup to get spicy flavors from the hops in a winter warmer rather than a pile of ginger and nutmeg and cinnamon just thrown in there.

This is a nice, rather easy to drink high abv beer. Nothing spectacular but I'd definitely get it again.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2006 21:24:34 | More by granger10
Photo of Dubblebock


4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straight across 4's for this year's version of the Breckenridge Christmas Ale. I picked up a bottle on my last trip through Grapevine Market in Austin, as I was putting together a holiday sampler.

The beer poured with a deep brown tone with a slight touch of red highlights. Good fluffy head and a decent, malty nose.

The taste was rich and bready, with a good hop presence. There was an almond presence backed up by a crackery backbone. I was through with the mug before I knew it.

Bold mouthfeel, very drinkable. A strong winter warmer, though, so be careful if downing more than one. A nicely rounded beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2006 03:05:55 | More by Dubblebock
Photo of JamesS


4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice deep copper, nearly brown color, without much head, but with some very good lacing. Great malty Christmas scent (nutmeg, cinnamon, and various spices) withoug going fruity and with a nice hop to almost even it out. Great taste, deep and fizzy with great spice flavors and a well balanced malt/hop combo, leaning towards the malt. It goes down very nicely, overall a really very excellent Christmas beer.

(On tap at Sonka's Irish Pub, Terre Haute, IN)

Serving type: on-tap

11-25-2008 21:34:27 | More by JamesS
Photo of hosehead83


4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a standard pint glass
Dark tea/caramel in color with a short, one-inch head of foam
Aroma-Spruce, spices and faint citrus
Taste-Spicy malt, spruce notes, subtle citrus-rind/hop finish
Overall, a nice ,drinkable holiday beer to have on hand

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2009 15:52:44 | More by hosehead83
Photo of GJ40

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at The Old Monk in Dallas, TX.

Brown but with quite a bit of light coming through and good clarity. A nice biscuity smell with some spices coming through. The flavor is a nice balanced mix of malts, hops and spices. They all come together very nicely. The consistency is moderate and the carbonation was set just right. The glass is left with well defined rings of lacing at the end.

I'm not normally into winter / holiday / spiced beers but I'm working on it this year. I enjoyed this one quite a bit.

Serving type: on-tap

12-17-2009 13:01:49 | More by GJ40
Photo of dstc


4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brown color with a ruby tint to it. Decent tan head falls to a minimal one. Decent lace.

Sweet malt aroma with mild spice.

Sweet spiced malt up front immediately followed by strong hop flavor. Hops seem to be the dominant flavor. Mild bitter finish.

Medium bodied in the mouth with a slight bite.

Decent easy drinking brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2009 21:38:17 | More by dstc
Photo of Bizz88


4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark amber with a fading fast one fingered tan head with a fair amount of lacing the entire glass. Aromas of cinnamon toffee, brown sugar and malts. On the palate a sweet copious amount of spice. Medium bodied with a fair amount of carbonation. Desent enough brew that is worthy of more than one tasting.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2010 22:59:45 | More by Bizz88
Photo of GallowsThief


4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A – Cloudy ruby brown pour with one finger of white head that stayed around a bit and left a nice cover.

S – Hops with a touch of bitterness.

T – Like the nose it starts with lightly bittering hops. Nice malt character. Caramel sweetness. Toasty and piney. Warming alcohol effect at the end.

M - Medium to high carbonation and body. Creamy on the palate.

O – Nice solid brew here. Easy drinker and tasty all around.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2011 00:53:19 | More by GallowsThief
Photo of ckollias


4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a dark reddish-brown hue with a frothy, white, 2-finger head that last for a long time, leaves a 360 trail all the way down the glass, and ends in a solid persistent lace. It is odd to see such a white head on a darker beer.

S: Very spicy zesty aroma fills the nostrils. Hints of fruits and lemons are in the background.

T: Slightly sweet brew with a bitter punch. Good malt background and hoppy balance to finish.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation

O: Very tasty Christmas ale with good flavor and aroma. Would grab this again.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2011 04:20:56 | More by ckollias
Photo of BeerKangaroo


4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into a pint glass:

A: dark amber colored body with a one finger white foamy head that lasts for a half a minute before dieing to a one finger film that sticks around for most of the rest of the beer. While dieing to the one finger film, some nice clingy lacing graces the pint glass. Since the body is slightly transparent, some light carbonation is seen slowly rising.

S: hops, caramel and spices up front. Some chocolate comes out slightly after warming up a bit.

T: pretty much the same as the smell leaning closer to sweet.

M: medium with a smooth almost nice creaminess that comes out.

O: hey, I like this one. I would definitely come back to this. Good for the style, pretty good for me, I might be seeking more of this one out before the season is over.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2012 18:26:23 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of atr2605

New York

4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a deep red amber with an off white head with good retention
S-brown sugar, plums, and spice
T-Caramel, toasted malt, brown sugar, and a bit bready. Hops provide a nice balance but dont lend much to flavor
M-Medium bodied
O-Well balanced and very drinkable. Starts a little sweet but the varied malt profile keeps everything in check. Nice beer

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2012 01:02:03 | More by atr2605
Photo of avylover


3.98/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a very dark brown, with very little head, alot like a barleywine. aroma is highly reminiscent of a brown ale -with a chocolatey nose up front and some malt and a strange lemony zest in the background. This is a very different winter ale. It tastes and feels alot like stone's 8th anniversary brown ale, sans lemon zing.I really enjoy the chocolatey taste up front but the lemony zing in the aftertaste is a bit unwelcome. Quite drinkable for a beer this big and a very smooth, creamy mouthfeel. If you don't like SNCA - then this may be for you...I'll stick to my hops, thank you.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2004 23:34:09 | More by avylover
Photo of ruleof72


3.98/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours a clear medium brown color. The head is kind of thin and goes away quickly. The smell has the typical toasted malt/nut aromas as most brown ales have. The seasonal spices are very hard to discern but they are there, just very faint. Taste was decent and well balanced. Nothing stuck out. Mouthfeel and drinkability were good.

This is a fine beer but there is not much of that "seasonal" flavor to it. It drinks well and I enjoyed it, just not as much as I thought I would.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2007 00:00:49 | More by ruleof72
Photo of jasonjlewis


3.98/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a 2 finger head that keeps retention to the end of the glass.

Smell is of orange peel and cinammon and nutmeg.

Taste is of of some toasted caramel malts with some nice spicig such as orange peel and nutmeg. I think I taste a little cinammon. Slight chocolatey maltiness as well. Hop bitterness is very slight.

Mouthfeel is decent, but is a little dry. Very full. Not a 3.5 really, but if i have to take points off, I'll do it here.

Not a bad beer. A very solid offering from breckenridge that I would session any time. Nothing over the top, a very sessionable beer indeed.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2008 07:26:30 | More by jasonjlewis
Photo of Vixie


3.98/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Duvel glass.

Not much head on this one, at first I thought it was going to be a fully opaque beer, but got a nice surprise when held up to the light. Light revealed a very nice dark ruby red color. Without a doubt one of the most attractive lookig beers I have seen.

Smell was a touch sweet, and for some reason reminded me of the smell of Christmas cookies baking.

The taste to me seemed to be dominated by a smokiness. Malty notes in there, and a hoppy finish. Not as complex as some I've tried, but a pleasant taste.

The mouthfeel was probably the weakest part of this one, it was a bit thin, and nothing lingered overly long.

I don't have much experience with holiday beers, but if this one is an example, I will be anxious to try more. A nice beer to enjoy on a cold winter day.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2008 03:39:53 | More by Vixie
Photo of JeremyAnaya


3.96/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint, awesome deep amber/red color. Small half finger head

Smells like some roasty malts mixed with a sweet semi-citrusy note. Very appealing aroma.

A lot going on here. When it first hits the tongue it reminds me of a porter of some sort but that quickly fades into a sweeter lighter taste and feel. Almost a hint of orange/raspberry? whatever this sweet note is, it isn't overpowering, very nice balance.

Great carbonation, medium bodies, smooth and drinkable

Great beer for sitting on the couch and watching the snow fall with friends and family. I will be going back for the mini keg they have available for this brew. Another success for Breckenridge!

Find it, Drink it, Love it

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2013 02:41:17 | More by JeremyAnaya
Photo of PBRstreetgang


3.95/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep shade of ruby-amber, with excellent clarity and orange highlights. Thin, one-finger off-white head shows passing retention and light spotty lacing. Clover honey and molasses nose, with some background dark crystal malt, english hop aromas and faint ginger/cinnamon notes. Roasted and caramel flavors upfront, followed by a touch of honey and a rich blackstrap taste. Aftertaste is dry and full of fuggle hop flavor with a solid piney hop bitterness. More hoppy than the aroma suggests, but retains a good balance. Sweet, medium to full body deposits plenty of residual sugar, but the fine carbonation and abundant hop charcter keeps the mouthfeel more dry and airy than cloying. Hint of ginger/cinnamon near the end, and finishes with a mild slickness that fades quickly due to assertive hops and drying spices. Reminicent of Anchor's OSA, this drinks easy and makes a terrific holiday treat.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2006 07:58:07 | More by PBRstreetgang
Photo of UA8


3.95/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep ruby chocolate in color with a light brown head.

S- Leads with scents of citrus hops maybe of the orange peel variety. Followed by light spice notes and hint of caramel malt.

T-= Mimics the nose nicely with hints of citrus spice and a roasted caramel malt.

M- Medium bodied with medium high carbonation.

D- A pretty solid beer has some interesting IPA sub tones.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2008 03:02:39 | More by UA8
Photo of hustlesworth


3.95/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- festive label. happy holidays to you and my 300th review. clear, but dark mahongany brown with a reddish tint and tawny highlights. beige foam is thick, stable, and pretty heavy looking. a band like extremely lacy swiss crusts on the my glass.

S- watery sweet nose, with some caramel and toffee and a dash of bittersweet chocolate. vaporous, but not in the alcohol sort of way. dates, raisins, figs, and grapey sweet red wine and champagne. plenty of elemental complexity but very weak and diluted. red wine aroma becomes more pronounced as it nears room temperature with some acidic chocolate.

T- very fruity wine taste is a combo of port, sherry, and cheap champagne. its an enjoyable (though alcoholic) flavor may make the beer seem stronger than it really is. burnt caramel, burnt toffee, prunes, raisins, toasted pecan, and wood resins come to mind while easing into an earthy, pleasantly bitter hop & chocolate finish. after taste is vinous and green and tree bark with still a little fruitiness.

MF- juicy feel, over medium bodied with tight champagne-like (only toned down) light carbonation. some dry astringency left over, smells, tastes, and feels pretty winous. vinous. grapey. but i dig it. maybe this beer's gettin a bad rep. dryness melts into something chocolatey like i just ate some raspberry chocolate dessert, and everything's holidizzle.

D- maybe i'm trippin, but this could be served in a wine glass. extreme wine characteristics, maybe more so than any beer i've had, but it is fitting and i like it. not a monster ABV but this one commands sipping in my opinion. it's unique and interesting and i could go for a couple more.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2008 06:37:52 | More by hustlesworth
Photo of goatgoat


3.95/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown with woody highlights. No head and no lacing. Aroma is medium malts with dark fruits. A hint of alcohol. Taste starts with malt and light spices and just enough bitterness to balance. Just a hint of chocolate malt. Spices very clear in the finish. Medium body.

A nice winter warmer.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2009 22:35:02 | More by goatgoat


3.95/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle to chalice. Number 10BU8809 for what it's worth. The label is classic, nice and festive for the holiday season.

A: 1 finger off-white, creamy & frothy head that didn't last terribly long. Dark brown body was about 50% transparent and had ruby highlights.

S: Average roasted malts of bread, cookie & caramel. Great overall aromatics were semi-complex, but lacked in intensity. Pine and floral hops are profiled with a bit of spruce coming through for the holidays. No yeast aromas worth mentioning.

T: A little warm and mostly dominated by dark fruits, prunes or dates. Spicey. Definite clove and a bit peppery. Light diacetyl rounds it out in a good way. Long duration in the finish is worth noting. Lightly sweet & moderately acidic.

M: Medium to full mouthfeel, slick texture & lively, tongue-biting cabonation.

D: Pretty darn drinkable in my opinion. And exhibits less of (or at least to a lesser degree) the sometimes overbearing characteristics of a Christmas Ale (a plus if you are easily overwhelmed by overly sweet and spicy brews this time of year).

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2009 22:13:28 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
Photo of PBoegel

New York

3.95/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint (err 12oz glass)

Appearance, Chestnut to light amber exceptional clarity with a nice very light tan head.

Aromas of fig, rugula, some herbal hop notes, on top of vanilla bean, chestnuts, faint cocoa and buttermilk biscuit.

Flavor profile is lightly spiced warm cider, pie crust, figs, rugula, sugar cookie dough, warm cider doughnut, biscuits.

A little astringent, but overall good mouthfeel, medium light body, medium light carbonation.

A very drinkable beer which does not abuse spicing or alcohol. An excellent winter beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2010 00:24:10 | More by PBoegel
Christmas Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
80 out of 100 based on 734 ratings.