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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 mactrail


3.18/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice dark amber color with decent carbonation. Dark roast malt with a touch of butter seems to be the main event. Some slight caramel flavors. Modest bitterness without much hop aroma. Very plain and tending towards dishwater. Faint nose of cold offee and charred paper.

I don't find much reasons to drink Breckenridge beers. You could call this one a Dark Pizza Parlor Lager and it might score better.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2011 03:46:26 | More by mactrail
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 magine


3.73/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a nonic.

Pours a clear dark brown mahogany . Nice fluffy off white head. Head settles to a wispy island and leaves a nice ring of lace along the edges. Pretty good looks.

Brew smells of caramel, piney earthy hops and some cocoa. Pretty good nose.

Brew is initially spiced and has some nice flavors; caramel, piney hops. Good balance in the middle. Cant notice the abv, even though it sits at 7.4%. A little thin and not a big punch in the flavor department for a winter warmer - but tasty none the less. Good brew.

A good offering, goes down easy as well. Pretty good stuff though.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2011 03:24:57 | More by magine
Photo of bigbluebeerguy


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

12oz bottle in a pint glass.

Appearance is a reddish/chestnut color, fairly translucent, with a one-finger light tan head that recedes rapidly to little lacing.

Smell is primarily toasted bread crust, a little raisin, touch of nutmeg.

Taste just doesn't hold up for me. The bread crust and malt are certainly there, but not a lot else, save for a slight bitterness on the finish.

Decent carbonation and medium body, but overall this beer just seems a little thin to me. No complexity at all, not horrible, just nothing to make me want another.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2011 03:15:32 | More by bigbluebeerguy
Photo of Tone


3.33/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy, dark brown color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of earthy malt, hint of sweet malt, hint of hops, and a hint of oatmeal. Fits the style of a Winter Warmer. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, all spice, earthy malt, and a hint of hop. Overall, good appearance, but average at best in other aspects.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2011 20:36:56 | More by Tone
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 Heischman


4.1/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer/Brewery - Christmas Ale/Breckenridge Brewery
City/State- Breckenridge, Colorado
STYLE – Winter Warmer
ABV – 7.4%
IBU – 22
DATE – 13 DEC 2011
SERVING TYPE – 12 OZ bottle
GLASSWARE – Tall footed Pilsner
APPEARANCE – A light red almost pink in color. A nice thick white head sitting at a full inch of small bubbles . great lacing
AROMA- Sweet and fruity with a hint of spice and bread
TASTE – Malty with notes of rasin and and a mild spice to it.
MOUTHFEEL – A little thick but crisp at the same time. Good level of carbanation
CONCLUSION – A nice refreshing Christmas ale, I am little disappointed that 7.4% ABV is not noticeable. Must be careful with this brew

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2011 22:04:08 | More by Heischman
Photo of DannyDan


3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Pours out a reddish brown hue with a thin whitehead that maintains some retention and moderate lacing.
S. Raisins with a bread malt and roast coffee.
T. Starts out with caramel, breadmalt and raisins. It is followed by some more sweet malts and finishes off with hints of coffee and a slight alcohol taste.
M. A rather smooth and easy drinking for a 7.4 ABV beer.
O. A rather good beer to enjoy on Xmas.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2011 03:26:04 | More by DannyDan
Photo of GrizzlyBrew


3.48/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - medium brown with red highlights, brilliantly clear, a white head that fades quickly to the edge of the glass and leaves a small pangea of bubbles cloistered in the middle

S - warmly "spiced" malt character. It's not an herbal spiciness, but instead a yeasty one. lots of bread crust character

T - malt comes across fairly one note, although the spicy/fruity yeast character provide some incentive to continue drinking. The low bitterness makes for a non-eventful end to the sip.

M - mod-high carbonation, but still manages to remain pretty smooth.

O - A non-eventful ale. There is something I can't figure out - I keep thinking it's diacetyl in the aftertaste. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe it's there on purpose. Anyway, a decent beer, but I'm not running out for more.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2011 15:08:58 | More by GrizzlyBrew
Photo of LXIXME

New Mexico

2.5/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from an inch or so above the glass gives you a pretty decent off white to light brown head resting atop a clear caramel red colored ale.

The aroma is a weak nutmeg and or other Christmas type spices mixed in with some caramel malt.

The taste was pretty weak also, more of the nutmeg and other Christmas type spices with a weak hops and some caramel malt.

A medium bodied beer with a light dry malty aftertaste.

I'll pass on a 2nd one of these.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2011 22:03:28 | More by LXIXME
Photo of zimm421


2.93/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Appears a dark brown with amber hints. Has a decent tan head that is pretty thick and leaves nice lacing.

Nose is very malty. Some caramel, spiciness and just overall sweetness. Taste is again sweet, but has more balance than the nose. Some hops, but not much and again the spices and caramel malts. Not overly impressed here, pretty boring.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a slightly above average carbonation. Overall, a decent brew, but nothing to be amazed over.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2011 01:22:09 | More by zimm421
Photo of psuKinger


2.95/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle poured into my Sam Adam's Perfect Pint glass. The artwork on the label is full of Christmas Cheer. Let's hope the liquid hidden behind it is as well.

A: Pours a dark ruby red/light brown shade, with an almost-white head on top, about a fingers worth, that foamed up nicely and formed big "pancake batter" bubbles off to the right side.

S: Lots of malt in the nose. Caramel more than toffee. A touch bready, maybe a hint of grass. Also perhaps the slightest hint of spice (nutmeg?). Will confirm on the taste.

T: Holiday spices shine through almost immediately, much more so than in the nose. Underneath is a strong caramel backbone. Hops aren't readily apparent on the first sip, but over time they accumulate in the back of the tongue on the finish. Not a particularly bright, citrusy hop; more of an earthy, pine bitterness.

This beer runs a little sweet, and the caramel is unbalanced for my liking. It is, however, not as far off-balance as some that rely so heavily on caramel malts... the spices and the way the hops accumulate help to maintain some semblance of balance.

M: Thick, full, and sticky. Lots of tongue coating. Carbonation is present, but I'd like to see a bit more, personally.

D/O: Not a bad offering from Breckenridge, but I'm just admittedly not a huge fan of all that Caramel malts. The hops and spices gave it a little mileage for me, but in the end it just feels like I'm being bludgeoned by syrupy/bready caramel sweetness, and I'm just not digging it.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 20:53:44 | More by psuKinger
Photo of oline73


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

I had this on-tap at Max's. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber with a finger of off white head and leaving some lacing.

Smell: Very mild smell to this one. Bready malt with some fruit notes and spices.

Taste: Bready malt with a mild spice profile. Not very sweet and there is a slight bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly and smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is an alright Christmas beer. I would have either liked more spices or to clean up the taste a bit if they wanted to go the other way.

Serving type: on-tap

12-04-2011 03:24:47 | More by oline73
Photo of RunForYourBeer


3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown/copper with a thin off white head.

S: Some light citrus hops and some grapefruit with a hint of bread malt.

T: Some raisin along with caramel and grapefruit. Finish has some coffee roastiness.

M: A bit oily with ample carbonation.

O: A bit less spiced than expected but still very good.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2011 20:03:46 | More by RunForYourBeer
Photo of puboflyons

New Hampshire

3.2/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From the 2011 batch. Sampled on December 1, 2011. The pour is a handsome dark amber with a silky, tan head that lingers momentarily. I will give it a higher mark for the way it looks. However the aroma is pretty routine with mellow dark malts, a slight hop note, and little in the way of winter spicing. The body is in the medium range so it makes a slight comeback with that. The taste is an above average combination of barley malts and a moderately bitter quality that leaves a tingle at the end.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2011 23:23:33 | More by puboflyons
Photo of Crundy


3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Hazy dark mahogany color, tank head, well carbonated, no lacing to speak of

S: bready, sweet caramel or toffee malt aroma, little bit of citrus hop

T: pretty much follows the nose, though somewhat bland flavors, caramel malt, slight hop flavor, some bready notes

F: Creamy and smooth, nice bite from the carbonation, light medium bodied

O: decent beer, nothing spectacular, it would be a good social beer, surprisingly drinkable for a slightly higher abv. it has a good balance of sweet and bitter. i could easily drink a few of these in a sitting and not feel bad about it.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2011 17:35:34 | More by Crundy
Photo of whiterabbit


2.5/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Dark, almost mahogany in color. Looks good. Poured a very faint foam, some definite lacing. Head quickly disappeared

Very little aroma. Surprised as I expected more.

Flavor to me raisin, coffee, some malt and hop. Light Spice. Definite alcohol aftertaste Very noticeable and somewhat bitter. A bit of a turn off

Not great on the tongue. Too sharp, not enough depth and bitter alcohol.

Did not do it for me. Went in with decent expectations, came away disappointed. Cut against Goose island and Great Lakes in same night, and a very distant third. Much better seasonal Ales out there. I will not be back, and rest in fridge is going to move slow.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2011 02:30:27 | More by whiterabbit
Photo of damndirtyape


3.7/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Shaker pint glass. From this year (just put out) but no date stamp on bottle that I could find.

Appearance: Nice deep ruby red clear color when held up to the light, otherwise coppery on the table. Off-white 1/4" foam upon pouring, leaving a persistent thin foam across teh top the whole way down. Persistent strands and islands of lace noted.

Smell: When first poured and still a bit cold, the barest hint of cinnamon and some piney hops thrown there. As it warms up, the cinnamon becomes more muted as do the piney hops, and the malt comes out a bit more. Still pretty faint though at all temperatures.

Taste: Spicy up front - cinnamon maybe? Hard to tell, as it all blends together pretty fast with the roasted malt and bitter hop finish. Hops are a mix between piney and citrus and tea-like bitterness. The hop balance is better towards piney and citrus as the beer warms up.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, but the hop oils really stick to my teeth with this one. Definitely thicker than water, maybe even a little creamy under the carbonation.

Overall / Drinkability: A decent winter warmer. I suspect it would have been better in a snifter given the weak aromas. I wasn't sure about the spice and hop combination, but by the end of the glass it grew on me and I found it enjoyable. Again, decent. Not outstanding, not amazing, but decent and worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2011 23:24:25 | More by damndirtyape
Photo of Vashtar


4.28/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The appearance is dark. Very dark.

The smell is hoppy and reminds me of a forest.

The taste has a nice Gaussian curve. It's like a fruity Marmite toast.

The mouthfeel is crazy cool! Wish I'd taken more notes on it... guess I'll have to drink some more!

Overall, this is a very, very nice beer. Compare it to St Arnold Christmas

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2011 06:15:22 | More by Vashtar
Photo of mastodonj


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

Color is a dark amber with lots of slightly off-white head and lacing.
The nose is subdued but spices do come up e.g. clove, cinnamon; definitely Christmas comes to mind.
It's got enough hops and ABV to give it a nice bitter bite. On the tongue, it is tart and overall a little malty the longer you wait.

It's a good winter warmer and will go on my short list ...again.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 14:36:06 | More by mastodonj
Photo of goblue3509


2.95/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep brownish red color which is a ruby red color when its held to the light. There is only a slight skim head which gives way to skim around the edges. The head leaves some strings of lace on the glass. The aroma is a little faint, there are hints of caramel malts along with cinnomom and clove as well as some other spiciness. The taste follows close suit to the nose. The taste is a little faint not as full as I had hoped for. There is a caramel malt backbone with a hint of sweetness to it. There is also touches of cinnomon and clove along with a very slight hop bite in the back end. The hope bite is balanced and not over the top. The mouthfeel is well carbonated and a little stingy. Overall it as an okay beer, I wanted a bigger fuller flavor out of it. It a very easy drink. The abv is dangerously well hidden.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 14:11:41 | More by goblue3509
Photo of BeerBuckeye


3.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a rich dark mahogany with decent 1 finger off white/cream head.

S - Caramel malts, a bit of resiny hops, some touch of winter spice, even a hit of dark fruit.

T - Actually quite hoppy up front before fading into some caramel malt, there's a touch of spice in the background, but not much.

M - Very carbonated, alcohol hidden well in this one.

Overall - It wasn't remarkable, but not bad either, just a decent winter warmer here.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2011 18:27:19 | More by BeerBuckeye
Photo of SpdKilz


3.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – Poured into a sniffer with a ruby red color. About a finger of slight off white head is achieved with a moderate pour that dissipates quickly leaving spotty lacing.

Smell – Cinnamon, caramel, malts, clove, more spices.

Taste – Wow, lots of grains. Slight hops, massive caramel malt, less spices than expected.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, decent carbonation.

Overall – Not my favorite winter warmer by a long shot. Tick.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2011 03:19:11 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of RoyalT


3.68/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – This is a kind of cruddy-looking, dull dark brown in color with a surprisingly white head that came up nicely.

Smell – The roasted malts are sharp here at the nose and a bit burnt. There’s a nice sweet balance as well that is a little like raw sugar. I do get a bitter hop aroma as well so overall this one is well-balanced.

Taste – I got some spice at the taste that I missed at the smell. The roasty malts step back from the nose and the sugar is more cola-flavored than anything else. I like the idea of a hop balance in this style but here it only served to dilute the malt base which was overmatched in the first place.

Mouthfeel – This is medium-bodied with very light carbonation in keeping with the style.

Drinkability – I enjoyed this more than it sounds. I was expecting something a bit more substantial and this turned out to be a session beer which OK isn’t all that bad.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 23:23:10 | More by RoyalT
Photo of schoolboy


3.78/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thought that I might have tried this a while back, but maybe not (that's why I write these reviews). It's a pretty good value - not too expensive. There is a lot going on here. It's a bit like a brown ale, with plenty of malt underneath all that spice. The aftertaste is good.

I would recommend this warmer for when you don't want so much spice and crazy xmasness. This one is more like a real beer, and a good one.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2011 23:47:36 | More by schoolboy
Christmas Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
80 out of 100 based on 734 ratings.