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Christmas Ale - Breckenridge Brewery

Christmas AleChristmas Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

734 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 734
Reviews: 355
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 14.57%


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)
View: Beers (41) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 734 | Reviews: 355 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Brad007
Brad007

Vermont

3.15/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bring on the winter warmers. Oddly enough, I haven't reviewed too many examples in quite a while.

Burgundy with a frothy white head that fades along the sides of the glass. Nothing interesting to note here.

Sweet with some caramel notes. Very little if any spice. I'm not sure what it's supposed to be?
Solid otherwise.

Lingering sweetness and caramel make up the mouthfeel.

A simple, unpretentious example of the style. At least it's not overloaded with spice.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2012 02:30:48 | More by Brad007
Photo of bum732
bum732

Maryland

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

S: Very fruitcake like, nutmeg, brown sugar, dark fruits

L: Very dark crimson red, white head that dissipates.

T: Big dark fruits up front with some holiday spices. Low bitterness with slightly sweet caramel malt. Slight fruitcake like spiciness with some dark fruits near the finish. A burnt toffee like finish.

M: Medium thin body, medium carbonation.

Not bad for a light X-mas ale. The spicing is pretty high in this beer, but nice to have every once in a while.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2012 02:30:27 | More by bum732
Photo of ksimons
ksimons

New York

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

A-a clear chestnut with a thin layer of cream head that sticks to the glass

S-malt, caramel, raisins, but not getting much spicy aromas

T-a little on the weak side, malt, caramel, and a very small amount of hop bitterness

M-mouthfeel is actually pretty decent, medium body, light carbonation

Overall it is hard to believe this is a Christmas ale, the spice profile is basically non existent. Nice maltiness though.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2012 00:12:15 | More by ksimons
Photo of XenonX
XenonX

Ohio

1.55/5  rDev -55.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Appearance is very nice, caramel in color. Looks to be a nice heavy ale. Very citrus hoppy smell. Taste, Lemon pledge mixed with hairspray...almost synthetic . Mouthfeel is full however and actually a little pleasant! Overall however, I really tried to get through the entire bottle. Alas, I had to cast the last third to the polluted depths of the lake that caught on fire to be with its kind. I am not a fan.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2012 03:30:51 | More by XenonX
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear rich tawny color with a half finger creamy off white head atop,nice broken lace left behind as it settles slowly.Dark fruit leafy somewhat spicy hops in the nose,a little cakiness in the background as well.Decent flavors but they lack depth,a decent leafy hoppiness goes pretty well with mild caramel and dark fruit sweetness,drying in the finish.The problem is the flavors all end abruptly,it's close to being really damn good,it's still a pretty decent winter warmer as is.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2012 21:07:05 | More by oberon
Photo of CFHMagnet
CFHMagnet

Ohio

3.48/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A normal pour netted me about a finger of creamy head whose color was somewhere in between light yellow and light tan. This quickly dissipated but left a little froth and lacing over the copper body.

Smells of sweet malt, christmas spices including cinnamon and nutmeg and a faint whiff of alcohol at the end.

Sweet malt says a quick 'hi' to your tongue before being inundated with a peppery holiday spice mix. There is a faint banana flavor that mixes with the spice near the end, until a bit of alcohol takes that over. Dry, spicy finish.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2012 18:56:28 | More by CFHMagnet
Photo of Kendo
Kendo

New York

3.28/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Body is clear chestnut-brown with a small whitish head that's gone fast.

S: LIke a brown ale - sweet malt (toffee) and a touch of nuttiness.

T: Caramel malt, toffee, brown bread and spices - maybe some cinnamon, otherwise the spices fall in the "nondescript" or the "I can't quite make them out" categories. Slight metallic aftertaste does battle with the sweetness and spices for supremacy. Not loving the overall effect.

M: Light-to-medium in heft.

O: OK, far from great.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2012 22:18:07 | More by Kendo
Photo of ujsplace
ujsplace

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

This is a deep brown colored ale with a bright white head that is foamy. The head fades and leaves a nice thin layer on top. Descent lacing.

Smells of roasted caramel, sweet malt, fig, nutmeg and allspice.

Has a really nice buttery malt middle with a hint of hops. Good, interesting flavor.

Creamy and smooth mouthfeel.

I enjoyed this brew. The spices are not too overdone, the brew goes down nice and easy. Thanks for the brew bro...

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2012 01:21:33 | More by ujsplace
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.18/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Acquired via trade from MilwaukeeCrusher, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains fruit, spices, caramelized malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of caramel, spices, figs and dark fruit. Then a hearty malt character comes in along with background flavors of chocolate and smokiness. The hops presence is decent for the style and brings a little balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, decent representation of style, there is some complexity to it but overall it’s just a mediocre beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2012 23:58:53 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of mountdew1
mountdew1

New Hampshire

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

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a dark orange amber with a 1 finger bubbly white head. Head didn't last long at all. Aroma was of sour fruit, with a bit of alcohol if you got up close. A very small touch of sweetness. Taste was sweet to finish, but started off with very mild and well balanced. A hint of spice, but also traces of a chocolate. Interesting, but very mellow flavors. A bit under stated. Intensified the longer it sat. Felt good in the mouth, coated well with the right amount of carbonation. Not a bad winter warmer, just a bit more subtle than I normally expect.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2012 00:15:42 | More by mountdew1
Photo of CuriousMonk
CuriousMonk

Virginia

3.28/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a dark burnt orange/reddish hue body with a medium sized foamy beige head that has decent lasting power. Aroma of wet bread, some burnt caramel, and yeast. The flavor is basically malts with some notes of gingerbread, caramel, toast, and some light fruit rinds. I was disappointed as I expected more spices and maybe creaminess as well The body has a medium mothfeel and lighter carboantion but a sort of slimy feel as it coats your mouth. Wanted more out of this one after a long search for this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2012 20:39:48 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of Zachtheporter
Zachtheporter

Wisconsin

3.73/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 12 oz bottle.

A- Pours a Dark ruby with a thick white frothy head that lingers.

S- Smell reminded me right of the bat of an old ale. Fruity notes coalesce with hints of hops and barley. Smells somewhat like strawberries.

T- Tastes is malty and sweet. Very sweet, with a hint of hops near the end. You can taste the earthy barley notes. Hints of rhubarb and strawberries along with citrisy orange notes that hit you at the end. Strong carmaley malty overtones at the beginning.

M- Thick but clean. smooth on the tongue and mouth.

Overall a very good winter warmer very reminiscent of an Old Ale. Would definitely buy again.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2012 08:43:58 | More by Zachtheporter
Photo of hopfacebrew
hopfacebrew

Colorado

3.23/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Poured from bottle to Schooner glass.

A - Translucent Dark Red/Amber color. Half finger white head with very little retention of lacing.

S - Holiday spices are slightly present but I was not able to detect anything else.

T - Tastes starts with a pleasant blend of caramel malts mixed with spices that seem to be cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Continues through a sweet malty flavot with a hint of fruit.

M - Medium mouthfeel. Very little warmth and and after taste of spice. Seems to finish soapy.

D - Its drinkable but it will hit you with the higher alcohol.

Overall it was an average beer IMO. Nothing too outstanding to report though I am glad I tried it.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 01-15-2011 20:18:47

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2012 17:35:51 | More by hopfacebrew
Photo of Microbrewtaster
Microbrewtaster

Indiana

4.03/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Cigar City Snifter

A- This beer pours a dull brown in color with a white head that is small, maybe a half finger, and dissipates rather quickly. The lacing is also sub par as there is barely any to speak of.

S- There is a real heavy malt, with some spice notes, and a slight toffee, and booze smell.

T- There is some cinnamon, some roasted malts, and a very slight hint of booze, nothing near the 7.4% ABV that it says it is. there is also a caramelized sugar taste that makes for a terrific finish.

M- This is a medium bodied beer that has a good amount of carbonation. it is nice and crisp as the finish goes, not quite the way this style is meant to be but it works for me. U

O- While I did not expect much from this beer I enjoyed it more and more as time went on, while its taste is rather mild it is pleasant and while not considered a sessionable beer It is one i can see myself enjoying a couple of.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2012 01:04:10 | More by Microbrewtaster
Photo of yesyouam
yesyouam

New York

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

Breckenridge Christmas Ale is a very clear and sparkling ruby ale with a sand colored head that fades to a bubbly film and leaves very nice lacing on the glass. It has sort of a sweet malty aroma of caramel and chocolate. The hops seem a little spicy and there may be orange peel in there. It's pretty light bodied and smooth. The finish is quick, clean and dry. It doesn't taste sweet like it smells. It's almost a little salty. DMS is detected, along with a note of cherry or plum. It's reasonably bitter. The bitterness lingers for a while after the finish, along with a peppery rumble and maybe phenol. It tastes ok, but it's not very focused. It goes down pretty smooth, but it's a little strange tasting. Maybe I shouldn't be drinking Christmas ale in January.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2012 18:56:48 | More by yesyouam
Photo of McNealc31
McNealc31

Ohio

3.7/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rather than focusing on spices, Breckenridge Christmas Ale instead reminds you of of warm, sweet carbs.

Loads of sweet caramel and toffee followed by freshly baked dark bread fill the nose. The lacing left behind is like a dusting of snow on a mahogany cabin. The citrusy hops do eventually kick in with a bigger jolt than expected. More chocolate and a little bit of smoke as it warms.

I like this take on the style. There is a hint of cinnamon, but this is decidedly a malt-forward winter warmer. A quite tasty one

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2012 03:57:15 | More by McNealc31
Photo of Immortale25
Immortale25

North Carolina

3.48/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Dogfish Head tapered pint. No freshness date.

A- Pours a reddish brown color with a 1/2 inch white head that has very lengthy retention. Some fluffy lacing and spread out bubbles as it slowly settles to an 1/8 inch of head.

S- Has a clean, malty nose with some toffee, brown sugar and a faint bit of nutmeg.

T- Flash of booze upfront that hesitantly mellows out and leads to roasted nutmeg and a touch of cinnamon. Can't get over the sharp astringency that's present after every sip. Even with a 7.4% ABV, this beer shouldn't taste that strong. After multiple sips, a mild sweetness comes through but isn't enough for the flavor profile to recover.

M- Ultimately, the mouthfeel is the biggest bummer of this beer. Just way too bright and prickly. I attest that to the medium-high carbonation, as winter warmers are usually more subdued in that department. It wouldn't be that big of a deal if the rest of the beer's characteristics weren't so flawed.

O- It's always disappointing when someone recommends a beer and you spend money on it but end up disliking it. C'est la vie.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2012 01:56:09 | More by Immortale25
Photo of JuicesFlowing
JuicesFlowing

Kansas

4.6/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a balloon glass.

Breckenridge Christmas Ale pours a deep murky mahogany color with a cream colored head. A patch of bubbles and thin film are what remain after the head recedes. A nice sheet of light sticky lacing clings to the glass. The aroma is Christmas in a glass to me- a combination of pine, cedar, and orange peel immediately awaken my nose. Also, faint roasted malts linger in the background. The taste profile also starts out with an earthy, woody cinnamon-cedar note. Bright orange peel follows, mixed with some malt sweetness. The finish is piny hops, completing a well-rounded excursion into my favored Christmas Ale year after year. There is a notable tartness in the aftertaste. On a side note, I dig the artwork on the bottle, it has a weird Dickensonian feel about it to me.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2011 11:15:09 | More by JuicesFlowing
Photo of StLThrash
StLThrash

Missouri

3.95/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Very clear, deep mahogany / brown with a hint of red. Poured with a nice beige 1 1/2 finger head and left slight lacing. Very nice-looking and tempting brew.

S - The chocolate and caramel malts shine through, with hints of toasted bread and spices, which you would expect in a winter warmer. The spice is not overwhelming though.

T & M - Similar to the smell, a lot of up front caramel and chocolate hints, and finishes with the spice. A little thin mouthfeel, balanced well with carbonation. For over 7%, very drinkable.

Overall - A nice tasting winter seasonal. Not too overly spiced, and balanced well with the malt character. Give it a try.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 15:30:26 | More by StLThrash
Photo of BigPlay1824
BigPlay1824

New York

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

Enjoyed in a pint glass

A: Pours a deep amber color that is perfectly clear with a finger of foamy light tan head that is very fine in character, leaves a decent amount of lacing
S: smells nicely nutty and has a bit of a deep sweet note like molasses
T: has a taste that doesnt quite match up with the smell, more coffee malts, nice but deep
M: medium carbonation leaves the mouth with a sikly feeling
O: a pretty decent brew but definitly not one of my favorites, really has a taste that makes sense for the season but not so much on the smell, appearance is good

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2011 03:20:05 | More by BigPlay1824
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

There's enough thick, cottony head to probably prevent a quarter from sinking to the bottom if it were dropped in. Now that's what you like to see in a beer! The body too is a nice sight: a deep tone but one that is clear and ripe with highlighting. Suitably, Christmas Ale is the colour of chestnuts... that were roasted on an open fire.

The aroma is underlined by a toasted and nutty-sweet maltiness and, just perhaps, the odd fruity ester. There's also a subtle and surprising citrus character that whistles notes of Moroccan tangerines. It is a wonderful compliment to the slight chocolaty character of the brown malt. Just a sliver of the 7.4% alcohol shows.

A winter warmer should be as malty as a filet mignon steak should be juicy. Breckenridge's offering contains enough toasty, nutty-sweet grain to be considered a tenderloin cut, but I'm not sure that I'd call it a true filet mignon. It's too thin and dry a cut; still good, but simply lacking the benefit of bacon-wrapped goodness.

For a malt-forward and relatively high alcohol beer, something keeps Christmas Ale considerably approachable and refreshing. Each sip concludes with a zestful, bright splash of orange-y citrus and an earthy, almost savory note of spicy, leafy hops. There's also little not to like about the beer's smooth caramel sweetness.

Breckenridge's Christmas Ale brought me plenty of good Christmas cheer. It is an ideal holiday ale as it has plenty of delicious malt and hop flavour yet is balanced and moderate enough so as to appeal to more mild drinkers as well. In other words, it's an excellent option for family or work get togethers; a real crowd (and beer geek) pleaser.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2011 18:24:51 | More by biegaman
Photo of Treyliff
Treyliff

West Virginia

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

A- Dark amber color with red accents, very small head but good lacing.

S- A bit of toasted bread, spices, with a little chocolaty kick. All very subtle though, nothing profound.

T- Bready and malty notes, also a spicy aspect that almost resembles pine needles. Fitting for a Christmas Ale I suppose. Also a bit of chocolate malt.

M- OK, but seems a little thin for me. Carbination was pretty good.

Overall a pretty good Winter Warmer, but that's about it. Nothing outstanding, but worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2011 02:36:06 | More by Treyliff
Photo of MTNboy
MTNboy

Germany

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

Appearance: It is amber colored with a red hue. It had a lot of great lacing but the head was mediocre.

Smell: Roasted malt but kind of plain.

Taste: It has a roasted porter charcoal like flavor, caramel and I would say most of the flavor comes from the malt. There are some hop tones but most of the bitterness comes from roasted hops. There are some spice flavors that finish sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth

Overall: Not bad it is an average holiday beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2011 10:10:44 | More by MTNboy
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

3.18/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice dark amber color with decent carbonation. Dark roast malt with a touch of butter seems to be the main event. Some slight caramel flavors. Modest bitterness without much hop aroma. Very plain and tending towards dishwater. Faint nose of cold offee and charred paper.

I don't find much reasons to drink Breckenridge beers. You could call this one a Dark Pizza Parlor Lager and it might score better.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2011 03:46:26 | More by mactrail
Photo of ckollias
ckollias

Maryland

4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a dark reddish-brown hue with a frothy, white, 2-finger head that last for a long time, leaves a 360 trail all the way down the glass, and ends in a solid persistent lace. It is odd to see such a white head on a darker beer.

S: Very spicy zesty aroma fills the nostrils. Hints of fruits and lemons are in the background.

T: Slightly sweet brew with a bitter punch. Good malt background and hoppy balance to finish.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation

O: Very tasty Christmas ale with good flavor and aroma. Would grab this again.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2011 04:20:56 | More by ckollias
Christmas Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
80 out of 100 based on 734 ratings.