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Christmas Ale - Breckenridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Christmas AleChristmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

387 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 387
Hads: 953
Avg: 3.49
pDev: 22.35%
Wants: 20
Gots: 120 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Breckenridge Brewery visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  7.10% ABV

Availability: Winter

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

The chill of a Colorado high-country winter calls for a beer with extra flavor and strength. Here it is. At over 7% alcohol, with a sturdy texture and rich flavors of caramel and chocolate, our holiday seasonal is the fermented equivalent of a good fire.
View: Beers (60) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 387 | Hads: 953
Photo of microbrewlover
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%

This brew pours a brown color with red highlights when held up to the light. There is a small off white head which does not last long with moderate lacing.

The smell is mostly sweet malts along with some nuts and floral hops.

The taste follows the nose with a rich sweet malt body, followed by a nutty taste then a cherry taste. There is a nice hop finish, slightly spicy hops. Just a hint of alcohol leaks through. The mouthfeel is thick and bready.

Overall this is a decent winter warmer; it is worth a try.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

Has a kind of wintery feeling to it, good for those family gatherings you really hate. But - it isn't so high in alcohol that you'll be stumbling around, tripping over a string of christmas lights, embarrassing your wife and validating the dislike the inlaws have always had for you. Plus the label is nice and festive! It's a must-have for late november and all of december.

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Photo of y0tommyb
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

I got a 6 pack of this for 7.99 what a steal!!

A: Brown but still slightly see through nice lacing and a thin head
S: Malt, slight spices, brown sugar
T: Smooth malts, spices, brown sugar, high% alcohol but still is easy to drink
M: Smooth not too heavy not too light with a good amount of carbonation
O: Very solid Christmas Ale especially for the price, definitely give this a try if you appreciate Breckenridge's other offerings such as Vanilla Porter.

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Photo of grammodesguapote
3.02/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

From bottle, no date. Pours a dark, though very clear, copper with a white head. Aroma is very mild, some raisin-like aromas, rich malt. Taste is all malt, not picking up much in the way of Christmas spices, mostly a rich roasted caramel malt backbone balanced well with mild bitterness. Mouthfeel is rich and slightly sticky. I wish it was colder outside, maybe I would have enjoyed this more in New Hampshire, but in Texas, I am less impressed.

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Photo of nicholas2121
4.36/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Christmas Ale brewed by Breckenridge Brewery with an ABV of 7.40% This brew pours out a nice brown color with a nice light brown head. The smell is rich with flavor and grains. You also pick up on some spices in the smell. Christmas Ale is a really inviting brew. The taste is bold with flavor you pick up on the grains and malts in this brew. This brew has a nice balance to it, there is nothing over powering in this brew. The aftertaste is nice with a burnt caramel taste. You don't notice the high ABV in this brew. The mouthfeel is rich and filling. Christmas Ale is smooth but bold tasting brew. This was better than what I was expecting. I would buy this brew again. Over all I'm giving this brew a 4.25 out of 5.

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Photo of Caveworm
4.25/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Christmas Ale - Breckenridge Brewery. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, this brew's got a one 1/2 finger thick light tan mildly porous head, secular yet solid lacing, and rather dark clear amber body. A "nice&toasty" appearance,if you will.

The aroma here is pretty strong with "winter spice". I can't personally place my fingers on what exactly they are, but they compliment the higher abv of this brew.

The taste is pretty identical for the most part. I can also detect a singed caramel attribute, too.

Mouthfeel is slightly thicker and has got a bold alcohol note. Got a snow shovel?hahahaha

Overall a 4.25 for Christmas Ale - Breckenridge Brewery. I copped a case of this this the day my local grocer that's got a decent craft selection got it shipped in, so I'm glad I got a fairly decently fresh six pack. I will probably buy this brew again.

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Photo of dcscientist
4/5  rDev +14.6%

This is a good winter seasonal. Had it on tap at the brewpub with some barbecue and was pretty darn happy. It's a little higher alcohol than some winter beers, but not so much that it knocks you out after one or two. Not as intensely flavored as some others of this style, and a bit subtle, but if that's what you like then give this a try.

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Photo of metter98
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is relatively clear yellow, brown, and amber in color and has a faint amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that faded away, leaving only a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of nutty malts and holiday spices are present in the nose—allspice seems to stand out in particular.
T: The taste seems to follow the smell, except that there are additional hints of caramel and a slight amount of of bitterness. Hints of sweetness and toffee become noticeable once the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer isn't that difficult to drink and has subtle hints of Christmas spices. I wish that the spices could have been stronger, but this might not be a bad choice for people that want subtle hints of spices and not something that is overpowering.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of nbaradel443
4.8/5  rDev +37.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Seasonal beers are definitely not my thing but if anything out beats the crown vally imperial pumpkin in the seasonal category it's this Christmas ale by Breckenridge it's absolutely amazing the taste is great very flavorful it has a nice color and it is a beer that you could drink at anytime I've even seen it come in mini kegs and that's bad ass around Christmas you would be insane to not pick this up if you see it

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Photo of Bierwolf
3.11/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours dark with one finger of light tan foam, not cloudy but not clear. A little carbonation.

Smell: Sweet, apple, floral, malt.

Taste: Light fruity taste with a little bit of malt in the background. Very little hop bitterness.

Mouth Feel: Smooth and medium bodied. Easy to drink.

Over All: An easy drinking beer but I was a bit disappointed as it was not what I expected for a winter warmer. The beer just did not give me a satisfying finish for the style. Not a bad beer but not what I expected.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.62/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep red-amber with a lovely pad of creamy foam. Lacing is thick and sheeting. Very appealing to look at.

Caramel/toffee, cereal English maltiness, a little wintry spice, and earthy tones. Simple, but uncompromised.

Hoppy notes of orange and earthiness mesh well with a sweeter caramel grain with cereal, toffee, and toast. Bitter, but unaggressive. Nice overseas flavor, not dissimilar to an ESB.

Drinks soft and wooly. Has a tiny bite of carb. Alcohol is somewhat noticeable.

Good, but not great. It's a standard, but pales in comparison to other Christmas solids.

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Photo of tronester
3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish brown with a massive tan head. Aromas of vanilla, citrus and brown sugar. Taste begins with some vanilla, then some orange, then a big caramel malt finish. A tiny bit of bitterness in the aftertaste. Mouth feel is full. Overall an easy drinking winter warmer.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This poured a deep, auburn hue with a thick cap of dense foam. Quite striking in appearance.

The scent is a little lost on me but I do find some nice malt character. There is some barley, caramel, roasted grain and then a hop cone finish.

The flavor resembles more a pale ale on my palate as I get a lot of the barley malt coupled with a flowery hop. I get no spice, as I'd expect from a warmer but it seems to follow all the tasty qualities of a Pale Ale.

The feel is very full, smooth and hearty without being too airy with carbonation.

This is a quality Pale Ale, whether the description claims otherwise.

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Photo of JeremyAnaya
3.99/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint, awesome deep amber/red color. Small half finger head

Smells like some roasty malts mixed with a sweet semi-citrusy note. Very appealing aroma.

A lot going on here. When it first hits the tongue it reminds me of a porter of some sort but that quickly fades into a sweeter lighter taste and feel. Almost a hint of orange/raspberry? whatever this sweet note is, it isn't overpowering, very nice balance.

Great carbonation, medium bodies, smooth and drinkable

Great beer for sitting on the couch and watching the snow fall with friends and family. I will be going back for the mini keg they have available for this brew. Another success for Breckenridge!

Find it, Drink it, Love it

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Photo of Lucas1000
3.71/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice ruby color. Pretty clear. Head is ok, with a decent retention.

Smells a bit like spices and nuts. Nothing too overpowering.

Nice hearty taste. Like the spice and hops aftertaste.

Pretty smooth on the intake, nice medium body.

I wouldn't seek this out to drink on my own again, but a good beer to share with friends during holiday festivities.

Definitely a christmas gift for a buddy you're hoping to introduce to craft beer culture.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 1/20/2014. Pours fairly crystal clear orange copper color with a 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of raisin, plum, caramel, toast, toffee, brown bread, chocolate, light roast, pine, floral, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and moderate hop notes; with good strength. Taste of raisin, plum, caramel, toast, toffee, chocolate, brown bread, light roast, floral, pine, grass, and herbal earthiness. Light amount earthy pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark fruit, caramel, toast, toffee, chocolate, brown bread, light roast, floral, and light pine on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and robustness of malt and hop flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice winter warmer style. Good balance and robustness of malt and earthy/spicy hop flavors; and smooth to sip on. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this one last night after all the festivities were over... I enjoyed it...deep ruby appearance with a thick creamy head... loads of toasted malts and some fruits... I like that it isn't drowned in cinnamon and spices.... they are there but very subtle... very drinkable brew in my opinion... warm and inviting without being overbearing...

Not world class but very good... I could and probably will have this again closer to Christmas...

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.65/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Deep red color with orange hues. White head settles shortly. Thin, broken ring of lacing.

S: Caramel and toast. Fruitcake in a big way. Sweet and bready, berries, cherry, and raisin. Pinch of cocoa. Earthy hops lay in wafts of pine and dry herbs.

T: Grain, toast, pinch of cocoa. Fruit cake. Fruit juice tastes of berry and cherry. Warming herbal hop spice. Marmalade. Drying finish of grain, fruit, and spicy hops.

M: Medium body. Creamy. Aggressive hop oils. Touch of husky grain astringency too. Mild warming alcohol. Strong scrubbing carbonation.

O: This beer falls just a little shy of being really great. I really appreciate a holiday beer that doesn't load in the spices. Breckenridge Christmas does a great job of capturing the essence of the season without resorting to the token buckets full of nutmeg and cinnamon. I just would have liked a little more depth and complexity of malt flavors. As it is, this is still a great seasonal offering with above average drinkability.

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.52/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer is a darkish brown that is clear with slightly tannishand creamy head that dissipates quickly. Smell is strongly that of malt. Strong gingerbread notes and bready smells. No citrus or hop notes. Taste is also malty with a hop finish. In addition to the bready malt, the taste also has a gingerbread note to it. The hop finish is a bit butter with a grapefruit note. Mouthfeel is smooth with hints of carbonation. Medium bodied but with a little texture to it. Overall, a decent beer.

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Photo of Brenden
3.66/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This malty, not-too-heavy-not-too-light winter brew is a sort of dark orange-red leaning darker, almost into brown. Building from a light, steady carbonation, a somewhat creamy tan head reaches somewhere just over half a finger. A foam ultimately remains, and it leaves some good stick to the glass.
This beer is spiced, a little bit sweet but leaning more the allspice direction, and at a good level that isn't overkill but isn't too subtle. They come out more in the nose than the flavor, which is unfortunate because it's such a key element in a beer like this. A light note of dark fruits play through underneath a decent complexity of smells and tastes. There's definitely a burnt toffee and sugar cookie thing going, with something of a raw dough element. There's certainly a hops presence, but it's a moderate sort of bitterness to break up the sweetness and the spice and add a little more depth. There's a little citrus to it, maybe, and a touch of pine. The backbone is solidly malty, not much roast but some toast to it, certainly. It's also got lots of caramel and toffee, and there's plenty to it as it's the base for everything to build on. It's not especially rich, but it's not a huge beer. It does lean on the higher side with regards to ABV, though the alcoholic warmth isn't harsh, and it serves its purpose as a warmer for the cold months.
There's a pretty creamy smoothness working well with just a little crispness in what's a nice, solid medium body. Hops coming out into the finish lend a little dryness to a sweeter end.

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Photo of bensbeers
3.71/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color of this brew is great - a deep ruby red with a thin, light tan head. Smell was a bit boozy; lots of caramelly malts, somewhat toasty; fruity notes come through with the taste. Taste is not quite as boozy as the smell; mostly malts, some fruity hops, holiday spices - nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon and a hint of cocoa. Feel is pretty crisp; was expecting a heavy, creamy ale, but it drinks almost like a lager; enjoyable, refreshing, and definitely a warmer.

Overall a pretty good cold weather beer. Would recommend if you are in a festive mood, but don't hurt yourself trying to find it. I wish the spices were more prominent, but enjoyable nonetheless. Cheers

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Photo of fitzy84
3.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a six pack for Christmas, finally opened some tonight. The drink poured with a large head and some patchy lacing on the sides. The drink has a dark brown amber appearance. Aromas of malt and some hints of vanilla. A very slight roasty smell; I could sense some of the caramel and chocolate the beer advertises that it has, but it seemed faint, at least to me. The flavor is sweet with a toffee-ish taste with malt and nutmeg flavors detected. Medium body with a good balance. Overall, a pretty good seasonal drink.

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Photo of atr2605
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a deep red amber with an off white head with good retention
S-brown sugar, plums, and spice
T-Caramel, toasted malt, brown sugar, and a bit bready. Hops provide a nice balance but dont lend much to flavor
M-Medium bodied
O-Well balanced and very drinkable. Starts a little sweet but the varied malt profile keeps everything in check. Nice beer

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Photo of chilidog
4.3/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this Christmas day in a mini-keg, thanks you breckenridge for that option. We have a mini-keg tap system and for the first time, we had a Christmas ale on tap at home. Let's see the in-laws do that!
The beer was good. Sweet malts, holiday spice with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Brown sugars sweetened things as toasted malts carried the load.
Hop carried a mild notice at the finish.
Mouth is coated with buttered toasty malts.
Overall a good Christmas brew, it did the job for the family and me, tis the season.

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Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A few inches of foam top the clear russet-colored liquid, leaving some shards of lace behind

Smell: Caramel, figgy pudding and some leafy hops

Taste: Caramel and figgy pudding flavors hit the tip of the tongue, followed by leafy hops that spread across the rest of the tastebuds; hints of cinnamon and nutmeg also appear, mostly in the finish, where the hops continue to add an earthy, bitter aspect

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A decent enough Winter Warmer; not crazy about the way the hops and malts blend together but that is a relatively minor quibble

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Christmas Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
80 out of 100 based on 387 ratings.