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Christmas Ale - Breckenridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Christmas AleChristmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

908 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 908
Reviews: 378
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 14%
Wants: 16
Gots: 98 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Breckenridge Brewery visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  7.40% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-28-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 908 | Reviews: 378 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sbw138
3.55/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this from The Foodery in Philadelphia. Poured into a pint glass from a bottle. Poured a nice amber/dark brown color. Very appealing color. Didn't leave much of a head.

Initial smell had a large dose of malts, with some slight scent of hops, and other spicy characters.

Nice malty taste. A little bit of hops were a nice compliment to the malt. Tasted nice and thick, and a little creamy. Overall, a pretty good mouthfeel.

Great beer for the holiday season. Would drink again.

Photo of meegs
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of bottle into a Snifter. The beer was a bit too cold when I poured it. The head was minimal, but had a nice auburn color to it. I thoroughly enjoyed the aroma of the beer. The hops (Chinook, Mt. Hood) come through nicely with some spiciness. The beer has a nice mouthfeel with good body and a nice creaminess. The hops in this beer are very nice. There is a real nice floral character to the hops and they provide nice support to the malt without being overly bitter. There are some alchohol notes in the beer, but they are set off nicely by the roundness of the malt. The beer is slightly sweet, but not so much so that you wouldn't want another. I think I could drink 2 or 3 of these before having my fill.

I enjoyed this beer very much. I will look for it in the future.

Photo of moosiz
3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass this brew looks nice. Glowing, crystal clear scarlett/amber. 1/2" head fades very quickly to a sticky off white ring. Moderate to low carbonation. Nice solid lacing.

Straight up malt in the nose with a little barley and corn backing it up. Im picking up a slight spiciness maybe corriander.

Any taste in this one resides in the very back of the palate. Its corny and malty, not really in a bad way but nothing is pushing its way to the forefront. The alcohol is not really hidden well and seems to mask any subleties.

Nothing really off putting in the mouthfeel dept., but nothing great either. Drink, swallow, and repeat.

As far as the style goes its probably not the best representation, but as far as drinkability goes it is what it is, and that is average.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.55/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Breckenridge Christmas ale, poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle. Brown in color with a decent off-white head and some lace.

Aroma of light malts and some spices lurking.

Caramel malt in the flavor profile. Good amount of holiday spice, clove, anise, and cinnamon. Leafy hop adds a little bitterness. Long spicy finish.

Low level of carbonation on a medium-full bodied brew.

Drinks pretty easily, one I'm sure I'll have again. A solid offering but a pretty standard one at that.

Photo of paco1029384756
3.4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby color with a small white head.

Scent of sugars, caramel and some fruit. Nothing spectacular, but certainly not unpleasant.

Taste of cinnamon, caramel, some fruit, earth and other light spices. A rather underwhelming flavor, I doubt I will drink this again.

Mouthfeel is medium light bodied with light carbonation, and a bit watery.

Photo of jsh420
3.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours cloudy amber orange with a 2 finger head that left some spotted lacing

smells of spiced carmel malts

taste reminds me of a stronger more flavorful SA Winter lager - this is the kind of beer you expect to get when drinking a winter warmer

mouthfeel is light/medium with good carbonation

drinkability - i forgot what i paid for a single but i wish i had a bought the six pack

Photo of bort11
3.82/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap at KC Flying Saucer. Tight white head that is slow to recede. Nice lacing ladder steps down the pint glass. Color is a dark hazy orange.

Smell is a warm aromatic orange peel. Solid caramel malts keeps it balanced. Taste is a bold smack of orange peel and coriander. Nicely herbal bite to keep the heavy malts in check.

Mouthfeel is a solid medium body, with some zest oils creating a dense body. Very nice warmer

Photo of Mavajo
3.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color with a thin white head that fades quite quickly. The appearance at first is quite "Christmasy" - leaves nice, stringy lacing...but that only lasts ever so briefly, as it completely dissipates and leaves nothing behind.

Nose and taste are both sweet and malty. No real bitterness, but perhaps a slight tartness. Thin to medium mouthfeel, fairly smooth, mild carbonation.

Quite drinkable.

Photo of satowns
3.38/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a deep orange. creamy tan head.

musty in the nose followed by sweet malt. hops are non-existant.

flavors of whole wheat bread, slight must and some hops in the finish. bitterness and hop flavor is a bit harsh for style.

warming, decent body and mildy creamy.

Photo of bamadog
2.42/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review is from notes taken on 11/17/2009. Pour is from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a fairly deep coppery color with faint hints of ruby; starts with a one finger white head that fades quickly to a thin and uneven skim that has some thicker spots here and there; body is clear; oily residue and spotty lacing is left on the sides.

Smell: Pretty weak overall... Hints of warm cinammon, but I really can't pull much out of this one.

Taste: Kind of bland, actually. Metallic/bitter presence throughout; slight hints of warm cinammon; overall, kind of a letdown.

Mouthfeel: Body is fine, not too watery; manages to leave the palate feeling a little slick; moderate carbonation keeps it fairly lively.

Drinkability: Meh. You can drink it, but I certainly won't be seeking this one out. It seems another reviewer nailed it when writing: "played it safe" as there's really nothing that jumps out of this one. It seems that if you're only going to release something like this on a limited run each year, make it more worthwhile. Just my $.02.

Photo of Frosty80
4.32/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: pours light brown. sits deep copper with garnet highlights

Smell: light, crisp, fruity and malty. light melanoidins

Taste: malty sweet with light melanoidins/bready flavor. hint of alcohol middle to end. finish is clean, crisp, slightly sweet and bready with just a hint of bitterness.

Mouthfeel: light to light-medium. low carbonation

Notes: delicious, light, crisp, sweet beer. i was surprised to see it defined as a winter warmer. fits the traditional bock mold in my opinion

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

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

Pours with minimal head even with a pretty vigorous pour, color is a tawny caramel brown with amber highlights when held toward the light. Head is a light cream hue and forms speckled lacing scattered around my chalice. Aromatics are muted a bit but there is some faint citrus qualities with caramel malts and a touch of spices. Flavor is very light on the spice additions and hop bitterness a touch of that citrus and pine in the finish. Caramel malt drives the flavor with a nice winter warmer, nothing over the top this beer plays it pretty safe. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied carbonation is easygoing nothing big to report here. Move along to some more interesting christmas ales this one was priced right and not bad this may be my value beer this season.

Photo of BierFan
3.81/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a cervoise.

Appearance: One finger of light tan head. Decent retention. Clear reddish/brown body. Wonderful lacing.

Smell: A little bit of spice and hops. Dark malts. Not alot going on in the aroma. But that's not a bad thing.

Taste: Really balanced between spice and sweetness. Nice hop bitterness in the finish. Easily approachable seasonal for beer beginners.

Photo of endincolorado
3.73/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours a little thin. Clear, deep copper-amber with a decent, cream-white head that settles slowly. Decent lacing. Noticeable carbonation (bubbles in the body).

Smell- Fairly pleasant, although odd aroma. Initially a fairly crisp hoppiness with some faint background notes of cinnamon and a bit of roasted malt.

Taste- Flavors of roasted malt, breadiness some faint honey and spice. Flavors are pretty subtle (which is actually refreshing when compared to some of these heavily spiced christmas ales on the market). Clean finish.

Mouthfeel- Unfortunately, this is a little underwhelming. Not horrible, but a little more body would've helped the flavor and overall drinkability.

Drinkability- Although there's not a lot of spice or wintery flavor, the subtlety of this beers flavor, (and well masked alcohol) make for a pretty decent drinker, especially compared to some of the more overspiced winter warmers out there. [reminds me of the fact that Breckenridge's Avalanche was another good session beer]

Photo of northaustin
2.85/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured into a schnifter. pours a deep dark red with a half finger of pretty uneven white head which disappears very quickly and leaves no lacing.

smell is very subtle and at best subdued. very little malt presence, no hops or fruit, no alchohol.

taste is a bit stronger and has a nice malt bill that reminds me of a light scottish ale. still very slight though.

mouthfeel: not really anything to comment on. i would like a syrupy feeling as provided by other winter warmers but i wont complain.

drinkability: its good and has a nicely masked abv but there is nothing really special or amazing about this beer.

Photo of Vonerichs
3.36/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Why am I drinking a Christmas Ale in August? Because someone brought over a sampler pack and this was the only one left over, so what the hell.

The body is a chocolate brown, partially clear, and the head is thin and gone before I knew it.

The smell is faint and I can pick up a little chocolate and a burnt malt.

The taste is primarily roasted malt, a little too roasted, and caramel. There's a hint of chocolate and a nuttiness about it.

This is heavily carbonated and it cuts the heavy malt body pretty well. The finish is slightly dry.

The alcohol shows up a ton on this and the malt is too burnt for my liking. I guess it doesn't help I'm drinking a "winter warmer" in the middle of summer. I'd imagine this one is better in colder weather.

Photo of Wasatch
3.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to mikereaser for this brew.

Pours a nice brown color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, spicy, with some caramel. The taste is malty, spicy, slightly bitter. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a pretty tasty WW, recommend.

Photo of Sammy
3.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up at Warehouse Beverage, Cleveland. Pours dark colour, virtually no head. Aroma is a touch of roast, and that's it. Taste is spot-on coca-cola,with spices added such as ginger and allspice. OK, but not so drinkable tonight after so many good spicey meals.Above average carbonation, and mouthfeel.

Photo of elniko
3.67/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into Chimay goblet.

A: Deep, deep brown coloring with carbonation almost stagnant. Thin lacing and very little head.

S: What I would expect from winter warmer, nice spicy tones coming across, quite nice and enjoyable.

T & M: The hoppiness was a bit of a surprise but pleasant. Balance quite nice. Mouthfeel just slightly on the thin side but not overwhelmingly so.

D: Drinkable, I wanted to clear this out of the fridge as it won't be cold in North Texas until October probably and I was not disappointed.

Photo of grayburn
2.88/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The beer pours a dark brown with a tiny head of little bubbles.
The smell is very sweet, with a bit of hoppiness and maybe some cinnamon in there somewhere.
The taste is not well blended, there are some hops, some sweet malt, and some spices, they struggle for the spotlight, just not very well melded together.
The mouthfeel is light and oily, there isn't much bitterness and it is a bit cloying.
The drinkability is low not because of the abv but because this beer just doesn't come together, the flavors act like they are arguing.

Photo of sevopie
2.57/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark brown with very little light shining through. Tan-light brown head that laces sporadically.

Smell - Slightly corny smell, as well as some strange sour notes and a couple indistinguishable spices.

Taste - A sweet corn flavor greets you with touches of spices (I think possibly cinnamon) and not a whole lot else. Warmer this is not.

Mouthfeel - Moderately thick/oily with a solid amount of carbonation.

Drinkability - Its not very harsh so easily sippable, but its not really a winter warmer in my book. After a few sips, the flavor starts to grate on your taste buds. I'll pass next year, and I'm starting to get this general impression of most of Breck's brews.

Photo of treehugger02010
3.11/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I bought the Breckenridge Brewery variety case from Bryn Mawr Beverage in Bryn Mawr, PA and poured it into a pint glass.
Appearance: The body is a translucent brown color. The head is three fingers tall, medium sized bubbles, light tan, great retention and abundance, sticky lacing.
Smell: The aromas are mint ginger, stale bread and sparge.
Taste: The flavors are watery, caramel and medicine.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is smooth.
Drinkability: This is a decently drinkable beer.
Don't drink and review.

Photo of asabreed
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark amber, not much carbonation visible, minor off-white lacing with a few clumps and raindrops.

Smell: Sweeter malt flavors with a bit of a metallic nose. Doesn't seem to heavy on the spices, though they seem to be present, with maybe a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg in the mix.

Taste: More intense than I thought it would be, with malt-bomb type intensity without as much flavor as I'd hoped though. Some vanilla and brown sugar with some fruit, mild cinnamon, and a bit of citrus and subdued bitterness at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Fairly full-bodied with a good burst of carbonation, though it seems to be mildly sticky and cloying with some residual sugars going on.

Drinkability: A rich and fairly heavy seasonal, and certainly one that's not recommended for a session. But it's a fairly flavorful malt bomb, one certainly right for Christmas, and though I enjoyed it, I'm glad I only got one bottle and didn't buy more than this.

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.

Christmas Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
80 out of 100 based on 908 ratings.