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Christmas Ale - Breckenridge Brewery

Christmas AleChristmas Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

733 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 733
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: 733 | Reviews: 355 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of nbaradel443
nbaradel443

Maryland

4.83/5  rDev +38%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Seasonal beers are definitely not my thing but if anything out beats the crown vally imperial pumpkin in the seasonal category it's this Christmas ale by Breckenridge it's absolutely amazing the taste is great very flavorful it has a nice color and it is a beer that you could drink at anytime I've even seen it come in mini kegs and that's bad ass around Christmas you would be insane to not pick this up if you see it

Serving type: on-tap

02-28-2014 03:13:25 | More by nbaradel443
Photo of Bierwolf
Bierwolf

Missouri

3.1/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours dark with one finger of light tan foam, not cloudy but not clear. A little carbonation.

Smell: Sweet, apple, floral, malt.

Taste: Light fruity taste with a little bit of malt in the background. Very little hop bitterness.

Mouth Feel: Smooth and medium bodied. Easy to drink.

Over All: An easy drinking beer but I was a bit disappointed as it was not what I expected for a winter warmer. The beer just did not give me a satisfying finish for the style. Not a bad beer but not what I expected.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2014 00:30:15 | More by Bierwolf
Photo of thecheapies
thecheapies

Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep red-amber with a lovely pad of creamy foam. Lacing is thick and sheeting. Very appealing to look at.

Caramel/toffee, cereal English maltiness, a little wintry spice, and earthy tones. Simple, but uncompromised.

Hoppy notes of orange and earthiness mesh well with a sweeter caramel grain with cereal, toffee, and toast. Bitter, but unaggressive. Nice overseas flavor, not dissimilar to an ESB.

Drinks soft and wooly. Has a tiny bite of carb. Alcohol is somewhat noticeable.

Good, but not great. It's a standard, but pales in comparison to other Christmas solids.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2013 15:56:56 | More by thecheapies
Photo of tronester
tronester

Oklahoma

3.56/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish brown with a massive tan head. Aromas of vanilla, citrus and brown sugar. Taste begins with some vanilla, then some orange, then a big caramel malt finish. A tiny bit of bitterness in the aftertaste. Mouth feel is full. Overall an easy drinking winter warmer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2013 22:05:24 | More by tronester
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner

Kentucky

3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This poured a deep, auburn hue with a thick cap of dense foam. Quite striking in appearance.

The scent is a little lost on me but I do find some nice malt character. There is some barley, caramel, roasted grain and then a hop cone finish.

The flavor resembles more a pale ale on my palate as I get a lot of the barley malt coupled with a flowery hop. I get no spice, as I'd expect from a warmer but it seems to follow all the tasty qualities of a Pale Ale.

The feel is very full, smooth and hearty without being too airy with carbonation.

This is a quality Pale Ale, whether the description claims otherwise.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2013 14:16:31 | More by KYGunner
Photo of JeremyAnaya
JeremyAnaya

Illinois

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 Lucas1000
Lucas1000

Illinois

3.71/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance:
Nice ruby color. Pretty clear. Head is ok, with a decent retention.

Smell:
Smells a bit like spices and nuts. Nothing too overpowering.

Taste:
Nice hearty taste. Like the spice and hops aftertaste.

Mouthfeel:
Pretty smooth on the intake, nice medium body.

Overall:
I wouldn't seek this out to drink on my own again, but a good beer to share with friends during holiday festivities.

Definitely a christmas gift for a buddy you're hoping to introduce to craft beer culture.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2013 03:43:27 | More by Lucas1000
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

3.68/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 1/20/2014. Pours fairly crystal clear orange copper color with a 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of raisin, plum, caramel, toast, toffee, brown bread, chocolate, light roast, pine, floral, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and moderate hop notes; with good strength. Taste of raisin, plum, caramel, toast, toffee, chocolate, brown bread, light roast, floral, pine, grass, and herbal earthiness. Light amount earthy pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark fruit, caramel, toast, toffee, chocolate, brown bread, light roast, floral, and light pine on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and robustness of malt and hop flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice winter warmer style. Good balance and robustness of malt and earthy/spicy hop flavors; and smooth to sip on. A nicely enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2013 04:06:02 | More by superspak
Photo of Tilley4
Tilley4

Tennessee

3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this one last night after all the festivities were over... I enjoyed it...deep ruby appearance with a thick creamy head... loads of toasted malts and some fruits... I like that it isn't drowned in cinnamon and spices.... they are there but very subtle... very drinkable brew in my opinion... warm and inviting without being overbearing...

Not world class but very good... I could and probably will have this again closer to Christmas...

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2013 20:24:50 | More by Tilley4
Photo of ryan1788a5
ryan1788a5

Massachusetts

3.64/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Deep red color with orange hues. White head settles shortly. Thin, broken ring of lacing.

S: Caramel and toast. Fruitcake in a big way. Sweet and bready, berries, cherry, and raisin. Pinch of cocoa. Earthy hops lay in wafts of pine and dry herbs.

T: Grain, toast, pinch of cocoa. Fruit cake. Fruit juice tastes of berry and cherry. Warming herbal hop spice. Marmalade. Drying finish of grain, fruit, and spicy hops.

M: Medium body. Creamy. Aggressive hop oils. Touch of husky grain astringency too. Mild warming alcohol. Strong scrubbing carbonation.

O: This beer falls just a little shy of being really great. I really appreciate a holiday beer that doesn't load in the spices. Breckenridge Christmas does a great job of capturing the essence of the season without resorting to the token buckets full of nutmeg and cinnamon. I just would have liked a little more depth and complexity of malt flavors. As it is, this is still a great seasonal offering with above average drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2013 16:12:06 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of HattedClassic
HattedClassic

Virginia

3.51/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer is a darkish brown that is clear with slightly tannishand creamy head that dissipates quickly. Smell is strongly that of malt. Strong gingerbread notes and bready smells. No citrus or hop notes. Taste is also malty with a hop finish. In addition to the bready malt, the taste also has a gingerbread note to it. The hop finish is a bit butter with a grapefruit note. Mouthfeel is smooth with hints of carbonation. Medium bodied but with a little texture to it. Overall, a decent beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2013 02:37:07 | More by HattedClassic
Photo of Brenden
Brenden

Ohio

3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This malty, not-too-heavy-not-too-light winter brew is a sort of dark orange-red leaning darker, almost into brown. Building from a light, steady carbonation, a somewhat creamy tan head reaches somewhere just over half a finger. A foam ultimately remains, and it leaves some good stick to the glass.
This beer is spiced, a little bit sweet but leaning more the allspice direction, and at a good level that isn't overkill but isn't too subtle. They come out more in the nose than the flavor, which is unfortunate because it's such a key element in a beer like this. A light note of dark fruits play through underneath a decent complexity of smells and tastes. There's definitely a burnt toffee and sugar cookie thing going, with something of a raw dough element. There's certainly a hops presence, but it's a moderate sort of bitterness to break up the sweetness and the spice and add a little more depth. There's a little citrus to it, maybe, and a touch of pine. The backbone is solidly malty, not much roast but some toast to it, certainly. It's also got lots of caramel and toffee, and there's plenty to it as it's the base for everything to build on. It's not especially rich, but it's not a huge beer. It does lean on the higher side with regards to ABV, though the alcoholic warmth isn't harsh, and it serves its purpose as a warmer for the cold months.
There's a pretty creamy smoothness working well with just a little crispness in what's a nice, solid medium body. Hops coming out into the finish lend a little dryness to a sweeter end.

Serving type: on-tap

11-06-2013 18:27:08 | More by Brenden
Photo of bensbeers
bensbeers

Maryland

3.7/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color of this brew is great - a deep ruby red with a thin, light tan head. Smell was a bit boozy; lots of caramelly malts, somewhat toasty; fruity notes come through with the taste. Taste is not quite as boozy as the smell; mostly malts, some fruity hops, holiday spices - nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon and a hint of cocoa. Feel is pretty crisp; was expecting a heavy, creamy ale, but it drinks almost like a lager; enjoyable, refreshing, and definitely a warmer.

Overall a pretty good cold weather beer. Would recommend if you are in a festive mood, but don't hurt yourself trying to find it. I wish the spices were more prominent, but enjoyable nonetheless. Cheers

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 19:20:36 | More by bensbeers
Photo of fitzy84
fitzy84

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a six pack for Christmas, finally opened some tonight. The drink poured with a large head and some patchy lacing on the sides. The drink has a dark brown amber appearance. Aromas of malt and some hints of vanilla. A very slight roasty smell; I could sense some of the caramel and chocolate the beer advertises that it has, but it seemed faint, at least to me. The flavor is sweet with a toffee-ish taste with malt and nutmeg flavors detected. Medium body with a good balance. Overall, a pretty good seasonal drink.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 01:29:19 | More by fitzy84
Photo of atr2605
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 chilidog
chilidog

Ohio

4.33/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this Christmas day in a mini-keg, thanks you breckenridge for that option. We have a mini-keg tap system and for the first time, we had a Christmas ale on tap at home. Let's see the in-laws do that!
The beer was good. Sweet malts, holiday spice with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Brown sugars sweetened things as toasted malts carried the load.
Hop carried a mild notice at the finish.
Mouth is coated with buttered toasty malts.
Overall a good Christmas brew, it did the job for the family and me, tis the season.

Serving type: can

12-26-2012 01:12:34 | More by chilidog
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A few inches of foam top the clear russet-colored liquid, leaving some shards of lace behind

Smell: Caramel, figgy pudding and some leafy hops

Taste: Caramel and figgy pudding flavors hit the tip of the tongue, followed by leafy hops that spread across the rest of the tastebuds; hints of cinnamon and nutmeg also appear, mostly in the finish, where the hops continue to add an earthy, bitter aspect

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A decent enough Winter Warmer; not crazy about the way the hops and malts blend together but that is a relatively minor quibble

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2012 16:47:22 | More by brentk56
Photo of axeman9182
axeman9182

New Jersey

3.1/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, poured into my Brooklyn Brewery tulip.

Breckenridge's Christmas Ale pours mahogany brown, with a little bit of amber highlights making themselves known as I hold the beer up to light. About a finger and a half of cream colored foam tops the beer, and while head retention is somewhat average, there's plenty of lacing left around the glass. The nose is disappointingly muted. Some caramel and a general spice aroma are appreciable, but neither exactly leaps out of the glass. The flavor profile is similarly dull. There's some caramel sweetness up front, and after seeing the beer's description on Breckenridge's mention chocolate I was able to pick up on a little bit (though maybe just because I was looking for it). There's a moderate bitterness present mid palate, and the finish is light holiday spices. I'm not quite sure if it's ginger or nutmeg, maybe a blend of the two. The body could stand to be a little bit more substantial, but the carbonation has a nice little kick to it. I just wasn't that impressed with Breckenridge's Christmas ale, it's a very ho-hum winter offering.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2012 02:00:28 | More by axeman9182
Photo of ColdWaffles
ColdWaffles

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint. Was super excited to see this reach me as I really enjoyed their Vanilla Porter a while back. Also, if I may say, give this bottle, the vanilla porter and a glance at their other labels... I LOVE their bottle aesthetic. Someone in design deserves a nice Christmas bonus.

Appearance: Very dark amber color. Borderline black in my current lighting. Not much of a head. Head was cream colored and pleasant.

Smell: Not too strong, but this traveled quite a bit. Sweet, kind of fruity, kind of malty. Almost... figgy?

Taste: Very sweet and inviting, almost too sweet. Almost exactly how I like a Winter Warmer. Maintains that almost figgy taste I thought it would have given the smell. I sense some apple or pear-like flavor too? Its got a nice mix of Christmas-y spices, can't quite pin all of them down. A nice malty brew.

Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation, not too heavy, a little sticky. The only complaint here is that I'd like more of wherever the head came from!

I thought this was pretty much how I like the style. Really liked this beer. Hope more Breckenridge beers make it out to Philly area.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2012 03:40:12 | More by ColdWaffles
Photo of BeerKangaroo
BeerKangaroo

Alaska

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 wvsabbath
wvsabbath

West Virginia

3.35/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark copper/tan brown. Minor 1/8 inch head, minor lacing.

Smell - Fruity hops, some added sugars, malts, a little mix of chocolate, cinnamon and toffee.

Taste - Sweet caramel and toffee notes upfront with some added spices and some hops. Some apple and cinnamon come out along with some bready/buttery malts. Some alcohol warm in the finish. A little bit of dark fruits and cherry is mixed in as well.

Mouthfeel - Malts caot tounge, along with some hops and spices. Palate gets more malts and fruits, along with some spices and added sugars. The aftertaste is malty, fruity and warm.

Overall - Average, not terrible but many better beers of this style out there. Needs some more flavor, too weak fruit wise. Malts are good and bold but not balanced very well. Nothing i need to ever try again.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2012 02:41:32 | More by wvsabbath
Photo of stewart124
stewart124

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange to mahogany with a nice lacing.

Breast/toasty note in the nose with some caramel.

Breast and chewy but it is a medium mouthfeel. Some decent spicy bitterness but this a malt forward beer. Lots of caramel and a nice figgy character. A very solid winter warmer.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2012 02:11:59 | More by stewart124
Photo of BEERMILER12
BEERMILER12

Maine

3.68/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark amber/mahogany color with a fingers worth of tan head that leaves a wall of lacing that follows the beer all the way to the end of the glass

S: Has some solid caramel and chocolate malt notes with a very light spice note as well

T: Follows the nose. Some good maltiness that brings the caramel and chocolate notes, with a hint of nutmeg and cinnamon as well as breadiness towards the back end

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Chewy and smooth

O: A solid Christmas ale with very nice malt flavors and not too much spice. Definitely preferable to over-spiced winter beers, thats for sure. This one will definitely warm you up on a cold winter night

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2012 05:29:08 | More by BEERMILER12
Photo of horshack7
horshack7

Massachusetts

3.05/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: It pours a dark chestnut with some amber hues and a head about a finger thick that is smooth in texture.

Aroma: Clove, allspice, caramel malts that have lots of breadiness to them. Faint cinnamon, a little bit of apple.

Taste: Caramel malts in the front, clove, cinnamon that's quite faint, light citrus hops with a light crispness. Allspice in the tail end and a bready finish.

Notes: A decent and drinkable Winter Warmer. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2012 04:26:52 | More by horshack7
Photo of Brad007
Brad007

Vermont

3.15/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bring on the winter warmers. Oddly enough, I haven't reviewed too many examples in quite a while.

Burgundy with a frothy white head that fades along the sides of the glass. Nothing interesting to note here.

Sweet with some caramel notes. Very little if any spice. I'm not sure what it's supposed to be?
Solid otherwise.

Lingering sweetness and caramel make up the mouthfeel.

A simple, unpretentious example of the style. At least it's not overloaded with spice.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2012 02:30:48 | More by Brad007
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Christmas Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
80 out of 100 based on 733 ratings.