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Christmas Ale - Breckenridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Christmas AleChristmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

922 Ratings

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Ratings: 922
Reviews: 385
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 16
Gots: 104 | 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: 922 | Reviews: 385
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.08/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent dark mahogany with a fine-bubbled beige head. Aroma is spicy - mainly cinnamon - and somewhat malty. Mouth-filling flavor is spicy, mostly cinnamon and cloves, with a fruity undertone and a hint of spicy hard candy. Texture is rough, lively and tingly.

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

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass. Deep ruby with a light tan creamy head that leaves cascades of lacing. Rich sweet fruit notes with grapefruit and piney hops. Raisin and citrus hops all the way through. Medium bodied with light carbonation. Finish with a touch of bitter pine.

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

Poured into a Perfect Pint glass.

A: Dark chestnut brown. A dense a soapy cream head has nice retention and leaves good lace.

S: Toffee and licorice out front, plus a hint of coriander and anise. Alcohol adds a light tingle.

T: Pretty sweet initially. A bittersweet toffee dominates right away. Bitterness is mild and peppery, with a light cinnamon note. An alcohol warmth rounds things out. Ever so slightly vinous. Gets a touch acidic toward the end.

M: The dry and syrupy body has about the right amount of carbonation.

D: Overall, this is a nice winter offering. Good complexity and nice warmth make this a fitting winter brew.

Photo of thedrewski86
3.23/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this into a pint glass, left 1/2" of off-white head that reduced to a film leaving good lacing. Smells malty, maybe a little peach(?). Color is a dark amber. Taste is smooth with a bitter finish, some spices suitable for a Christmas ale. Body is thin to medium. Mild carbonation. I wouldn't drink a six-pack of this in one go, but it's certainly not bad.

Photo of aaronh
2.68/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Deep reddish-amber topped by a loose off-white head. Aroma has a slight hint of cherry and honey - not much else. Flavor is also dominated by honey notes followed by a mixture of burnt sugar and alcohol. Not really all that complex. Mouthfeel is smooth but a bit watery. Carbonation is great. Drinkability is OK, but it's really a rather boring beer.

Photo of whoneeds8
3.68/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass amber with a thck frothy head. Great lacing all the way down. The scent has a hop presence. The taste has the hops up front that are found in the nose, but it really doesn't have much of a sweet aftertaste like a winter warmer should. This is more like an AIPA than a WW. That being said, it masks the high alcohol well, which really doesn't match the style either.

Photo of GJ40
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.

Photo of atsprings
3.82/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a DFH Signature glass pours a crisp dark copper with a thin diminishing off-white head. Aroma is caramel malts, mild spice and slight hops. The taste is a nice blend of burnt caramel, cinnamon, nutmeg and slight pine hops providing a nice backbone. The beer is medium bodied with its 7.4% well hidden. This is a very enjoyable Winter Warmer, one I would love to have again.

Photo of natelocc787
2.55/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Clear golden body with an off white foamy cap. Subtle spice in the aroma with a mild hop character and graininess. The taste reminds me of Saint Arnold christmas ale, light body, every bit if booze evident, a corn syrup flavor and some vanilla, caramel spice to build up the finish which offers a piney profile. Mouthfeel is medium heavy, borderline syrupy and under carbonated. Decent but not too impressed.

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

Poured into a 16 oz mug.

The following is from my review @ http://thelightonbeer.blogspot.com -

Breckenridge's Christmas Ale is definitely a winter beer. It has a nice body, I'd say about medium-heavy, with about a medium tone in taste, almost leaning toward a darker quality, but a very nice balance which makes the beer unquestionably drinkable. The ale has a very appealing bitterness, or not too much to go overboard, and not too little to be dissatisfying. The alcoholic taste is very low-level, but definitely there if you try my sure-shot method of finding its character: hold the swig in your mouth and let it lay directly under your tongue, but take it easy on the amount or you'll be sorry you tried.

The smell of the brew offers a sweet maltiness with a hint of the alcohol coming out. The color of the head is off-white and the lacing is thin and dissipates. The beer itself is a solid amber, kinda close to Yuengling Traditional Lager. At 7.4% ABV, it's definitely a beer worth trying at least once. If I ever find myself in Colorado and am near the Breckenridge Brewpub, I'll be heading in for a few brews and some BBQ ribs. Merry Christmas, and here's to Breckenridge Brewery: Cheers, and drink well!

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

Thick head that takes awhile to fade away. Has a very nice amber body to it. Very suitable for a Christmas Ale.

Kind of citrusy, cinnamon nutmeg flavor going on. Pretty good overall smell here, certainly nothing offensive to be had. It especially has a good smell for a Christmas ale, full of holiday scents.

Taste- A hoppy, spicy flavor. Some nutmeg or cinnamon scents abound. I might detect something citrusy here as well.

Mouthfeel- Nothing to complain about here. It has solid texture, a good complexity, and smooth taste.

Drinkability- Pretty decent drinkability. At 7.4 % abv, some people might tucker out after a few. To me that tends to be a good thing. Certainly good flavor for something that high abv.

3.93/5  rDev +12.3%
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).

Photo of adamette
3.04/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Live review. Poured from the 12 oz. brown bottle that my wife bought me as a gift last weekend. Poured into my Great Lakes Christmas Ale goblet/glass.

A Dark caramel but very translucent body under a brief but light brown one cm head that dissipated down to a milimeter within about 45 seconds. 2.5

S Sweetness of moderate roast malt with some possible holiday spices (allspice, cinnamon?). Inviting, interesting smell. 3.5

T Medium roast malt with strong barley grain taste and not as much sweetness as the smell suggested. Possibly some spices as well (again, allspice, cinnamon) but the barley malt tastes predominate. A little bit one dimensional for me. 3.0

M Some of the spices and the ABV increase the feel but it is not inspiring. 2.5

D A little bit boring for me to consider this particularly drinkable. 3.0

Photo of BB1313
2.34/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2

I was not too impressed with this one although the bottle design is very festive. It pours a ruby brown color. The smell is very faint and not much going on in that department. The taste is unimpressive in the sense if I was blindfolded I might think I'm drinking a Bud. Uh-oh! At 7.4 the alcohol is well hidden. Overall I would pass on this one. There are too many limited Xmas beers to try over this one.

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

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Christmas Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
80 out of 100 based on 922 ratings.