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Christmas Ale - Breckenridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Christmas AleChristmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

920 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 920
Reviews: 384
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 14.25%
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: 920 | Reviews: 384 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BierFan
3.81/5  rDev +8.5%
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 +6.3%
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 -18.8%
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 -4.3%
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 +9.7%
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 +3.1%
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 +4.6%
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 -17.9%
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 -26.8%
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 -11.4%
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 -0.3%
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 +12.5%
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
3.64/5  rDev +3.7%
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
3.6/5  rDev +2.6%
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
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
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
2.74/5  rDev -21.9%
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
4.3/5  rDev +22.5%
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
3.66/5  rDev +4.3%
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
3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
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
3.47/5  rDev -1.1%
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
3.15/5  rDev -10.3%
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 -10.8%
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
3.38/5  rDev -3.7%
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
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%
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
3.1/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

Christmas Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
80 out of 100 based on 920 ratings.