Christmas Ale - Breckenridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Christmas AleChristmas Ale

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888 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 888
Reviews: 374
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 15
Gots: 83 | FT: 0
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: 888 | Reviews: 374 | Display Reviews Only:
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
2.58/5  rDev -26.3%
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
3.1/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

Photo of webbcreative
3.7/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured nice dark brown with a bit of mahogany of the sides, nice 2 finger head. Not too much smell to it, some hops in there. Much more flavor than smell. Decent brew mainly taste roasted malt, a little sweet, and the had has a pleasant bitter hop finish, but definitley not too bitter or i wouldn't like it. I would get this again for sure, BUT there are too many other great winter brews that outshine this....but no doubt worthy.

Photo of beer2day
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours caramel with a thin, quickly dissapating head. sweet molasses in the nose. Good thickness in the mouth as the beer hits your tongue, but not much flavor in the finish. Vaguely sweet and a little chewy, virtually no bitterness. Probably would not get this one again.

Photo of RickS95
3.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good looking beer. Light tan, slow forming head. Very dark, burnt amber in color.

Malt forward nose, some caramel or toffee. Smell of hops, but spices were subdued.

Pretty smooth mouthfeel, but nothing spectacular. Slightly sweet before a light spiciness takes over. Great lacing.

There are spices in the finish, but the alcohol is all I really noticed. Not sure of the alcohol level, but with the way this drink warmed me, it's got to be pretty high (I've since learned it's 7.4%). As it warmed, the spices come out.

No bitter hop finish, but you can taste and feel the alcohol long after you've swallowed.

Photo of mdcrouser
2.73/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Admitedly, this came from the sampler pack from World Market - a gift from my sister-in-law this Christmas.

Dark brown, but with glints of red and orange peeking through, hanging in the beer like ornaments on the tree.

The nose is somewhat faint, with light spices, a bit of grapefruit, and some alcohol. The taste brings that bitter grapefruit to the fore, pushing it out to the edges of your tongue - it's just hoppy enough to let you know that it's there, but is otherwise underwhelming. The caramelly malts are also light - maybe roasted over an open fire? decent carbonation, coolly prickly on the tongue.

While this isn't a bad beer, it's nothing exceptional, and I can't see myself seeking this out to enjoy more than just this one.

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

Deep opaque brown with mahogany highlights, thinnish white head, light lacing. Smells of roasty malt, some underlying citrusy hops.

Roasty dark malt, bittersweet chocolate and caramel malt. Just a hint of dark fruit and a light peppery bitterness. Rich but drinkable, very smooth for a beer approaching 8% ABV. Full mouth and a sweet and roasty finish. Lovely stuff.

Photo of CHSLBrew
3.68/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A-Clear, brown beer. Nice tan head slowly reduced to sparse bubbles.

S-Spicey and bitter. The spiciness is prominent with little malt character.

T-Spices with a hint of raisin over dark, toasy/roasty malts. Hints of toffee emerge on occasion. Bitterness is present just enough.

M-Very nice. Smooth carbonation with a medium body.

D-Very easy to drink. I could easily polish off a few of these without a problem. That said, it's drinkability does not make this a bland, boring beer. It has deep flavors on top of flavors, making it enjoyable to drink, as well as smooth.

Photo of orangemoustache
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark transparent reddish amber with a light tan cap that retains adequately and leaves lots of Swiss-cheese lacing. The nose is malty with hints of caramel and a bit of cinnamon and other spice,maybe a hint of brown sugar as well. This tastes like a big fat cinnamon roll. Just the right touch of sweetness and spice,with a smooth alcohol finish. The mouthfeel is a little thin,but the carbonation is a little creamy and gives it a fuller finish than the start. A nice WW, just right for a cold Christmas Eve morning like this.

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

Poured into a pint.

A: Dark brown in color. Light carbonation, pours into a very light head which dissipates quickly leaving only a smattering of bubbles on the surface. Pretty good off-white lacing clings to the sides of the glass as you drink.

S: Roasted malt, light hops, hints of chocolate and cinnamon.

T: Sweet malty flavor with undertones of raisin, hops, hint of spice.

M: Starts with the sweet malty raisin, finishes with hops. The sweetness and light hoppiness linger. Has a syrupy feel, dry finish, a little cloying.

D: Good flavor, no strong alcohol taste, refreshing.

Overall good semi-complex flavor, and a good nose. A little different for this particular style, but a pretty decent overall quaff.

Photo of hopdog
3.13/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle acquired in trade with OhioDad (thanks!).

Pourd a medium and clear copper color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of caramel, light spices, toasted malts and some citrus. Tastes of caramel, sweet malts, and some toffee. I found the tastes to be on the weaker side compared to the aromas.

Notes from: 12/23/05

Photo of Bagman007
3.13/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Dark walnut brown coloring with not much head.

S- Smells pretty hoppy with a hint of yeast. Very light malt smell along with some spices.

T- Fairly hoppy beer with a yeast aftertaste. Can taste some of the spices as well.

M- Bitter, but not too bad. Definitely has a kick to it in the aftertaste.

D- Don't think most people would want to have more than a couple of these in a sitting.

Photo of UDbeernut
3.35/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

on tap poured into pint glass

a: dark amber color with minimal head, decent carbonation, not much head retention but does maintain lacing

s: roasted malts with hints of chocolate and coffee

t: same as the aroma, minimal spice. Decent

m&d: good mouthfeel, finishes slightly dry. Very drinkable for its ABV.

Solid beer, not as good as GLBC Xmas Ale though.


Photo of wescj
3.23/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Color is very dark, almost black in a poorly lit room. If you hold it to some light, you can see some deep red amber around the edges. Head is off white, about half an inch, with ok retention and modest lace.

Mostly roasted malts in the aroma, particularly sweet notes of caramel and toffee. Not quite as spicy as you would expect for a christmas ale.

Taste is predominantly roasted malts, as is the aroma. The mild sweetness of the beer paired with the subtle bitterness on the backend gives the ale a medicinal quality- not necessarily in a bad way, but not that exciting either. More spices in the taste than in the aroma, but still nothing special.

Mouthfeel is a bit over-carbonated, which compromises the taste a bit.

Quite drinkable, and ok overall.

Photo of Jasel
3.03/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I believe I chose the wrong glass as I used a goblet and it poured with no head at all.

Smell was very enticing and aromatic with a malty/chocolate aroma.

Taste had a harsh alcoholic kick followed by minimal malty/chocolate taste.

This seemed more like a funky malty wine than a beer.

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

Pours chestnut brown with deep amber highlights at the edges and a one finger off-white head.

Chocolaty malt and molasses dominate the nose. Earthy hops and a bit of spice are there as well, a long with a hint of nuttiness.

Taste is a bit sweeter than expected, caramel malts and molasses. The earthy hops are there too with a nice woody finish.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, nice and smooth.

Wow, I didn't realize that this was 7.4% until I just now looked. This is extremely drinkable for a winter warmer. The subtle spiciness is nice as well, some beers of this style go overboard in that department.

Photo of cadenwhitaker
3.45/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I feel all over the map with this one. First I smelled it and immediatly I thought "ech, a hoppy dark beer that probably tastes like smoked dryer sheets" then I drank it, the hops came on but were cut in half with a nice caramel malty flavor. So the drink started with hops, but ended with caramel. Interesting.

So the taste was quite good and the smell came back to a nice finish. I would drink this again, which I am surprised to say considering my first impressions.

After reading the other reviews the smell is actually a good thing. Learning is fun!

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

Pours a light brown with a small head that lasts a little while. The head eventually settles to a thick cap. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass surface. The smell is sweet malt with a touch of spice like cinnamon and nutmeg. The flavor is just average. Sweet malt with a little spice and alcohol on finish. Mild overall. The body is a bit thin but does have a nice semi-creamy texture. Carbonation is kept in check. A nice beer but will not impress many Beer Advocates. The high ABV limits drinkability.

Photo of JDK
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a very dark amber with very little head and what was there quickly disappeared t a lace.
Very light smell of orange and some spice but very faint.
Mouthfeel could use some more carbonation, left my palette rather dry and had no lingering taste.
Really could taste the choc malts but that was about it.
Overall not bad but I've had better.

Photo of glid02
3.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this on-tap at Taco Mac in Decatur.

Pours a slightly hazy brown color with a half-finger off-white head. The head dissipates into a patchy layer of bubbles on top and a thin ring around the glass.

Smells of light spices and sweet malt with a bit of an off aroma that I can only describe as metallic.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet malt followed by mild amounts of nutmeg and brown sugar - then the off-smell turns into an off-taste. This seems to be the problem with a lot of Breckenridge beers.

Mouthfeel is good. It's a bit on the thin side but the carbonation is good.

Drinkability is alright. It's really pretty good until that off-flavor hits.

Overall I'm disappointed once again by this brewery. They sucked me in with the 471 Small Batch and it's been downhill from there. This isn't a terrible beer by any stretch, but there are plenty of other better ones of the style out there.

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

Poured a dark clear copper color with a very light off white head. Left minimal cover with almost no lacing. It did smell like a christmas ale with a presence of cinammon and nutmeg. The flavors were not as pronounced while drinking and the carbonation was a little underwhelming. This is the first beer I've had from the Breckenridge Brewery and I was expecting a little more.

Photo of bashiba
3.13/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a cola like brown with a light tan head. Some very light lacing at the beginning.

The smell was sweet with molasses and brown sugar with just a touch of alcohol.

The flavor was mildly sweet malt with a bit of molasses and cedar with a bit of alcohol creeping in through it in the finish along with a touch of earthy hops.

The mouthfeel is a bit oily with a bit of a dry finish.

A fairly average winter warmer.

Christmas Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
80 out of 100 based on 888 ratings.