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Holidale | Breckenridge Brewery

very good
10 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Breckenridge Brewery
Colorado, United States | website

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Ale aged in whiskey barrels. Contacted the brewery on Facebook and they confirmed that it is their Christmas Ale aged in Stranahan's Whiskey barrels.

Bottles individually numbered. Only 480 bottles made.

Added by JMBSH on 12-31-2012

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Reviews: 10 | Ratings: 43
Photo of PhillyB
3.99/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I got this beer several months after its run came out and was on sale for three bucks per bomber. I would happily have paid maybe five or six.

Look: Not spectacular. Dark amber in color, and a plentiful tan head that disappears quickly.

Smell: Bready with hints of sweetness.

Taste: Exceptional. Homemade bread with hints of bourbon/whiskey.

Feel: Smooth, almost slick. Not quite as full bodied as a stout, but more so than the average ale.

Overall: Exactly as it says on the bottle. A well made ale with whiskey characteristics.

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Photo of superspak
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, 2015 vintage bottling. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy deep reddish copper color with a 1-2 finger dense and fluffy off white head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, brown bread, toasted oak, whiskey, coconut, raisin, plum, apple, light chocolate, and yeast/oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, whiskey barrel, and light-moderate fruity yeast ester notes; with great strength. Taste of big caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, brown bread, toasted oak, whiskey, coconut, raisin, plum, apple, light chocolate, and yeast/oak earthiness. Light herbal bitterness and whisky/oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, toasted brown bread, whiskey, coconut, raisin, plum, apple, light chocolate, and yeast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, whiskey barrel, and light-moderate fruity yeast ester flavors; with a great malt/oak spiciness balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/silky, and slightly sticky mouthfeel that is awesome. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome English strong ale style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, whiskey barrel, and light-moderate fruity yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and easy to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of 57md
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours the color of chestnuts roasting on an open fire with a thin layer of head. The whiskey notes are upfront in both the nose and the flavor profile. The whiskey flavor gives the entire offering a slight sweetness on the finish.

The maltiness is a bit light to carry the whiskey. Also, I'd think that a sweeter whiskey barrel (read, bourbon) might make for a "warmer" offering.

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Photo of AdamAlway
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful redish brown, rootbeer like, with little to no head. The whiskey overwhelms the smell. The taste is what you'd expect after that strong whiskey smell, but it is balanced nicely with malt. Very light on the palate. If you enjoy whiskey, this beer is for you. I believe they could have done a lot more to add complexity.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Breckenridge 25th Anniversary snifter.

Look: A rather bright, mahogany colored body with a quickly receding khaki colored head. Nothing remains, no lacing.

Aroma: Strong whiskey notes. Oaky, woody. Sweet malt layered under all of the wood.

Taste: Behind the obvious whiskey barrel taste lies a sweet, almost coconut taste. The beer warms and gets a little spicier with cinnamon notes also.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, dry yet smooth.

Overall: I didn't like this at first but it grew on me as it warmed.

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Photo of barczar
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Fairly whiskey laden aroma, subtle dark malt notes of chocolate and roast. Not the typical spice bomb.

Flavor is whiskey dominant, as well, with a boozy cherry finish. Great for the liquor lover.

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Photo of Best_Enjoyed_In_Texas
3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Overall, this is a alright beer. My issue is the lack of whiskey-booziness that I expected when I purchased. I rated it fairly in L, S, T, & F however, I docked it has in 'Overall' for this lack of whiskey flavor.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.37/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

wow, one of the best breck beers ive ever had, incredibly good. done for seven week i think this year in templeton rye barrels. amazing it can take on so much of the whiskey flavors in such a short period of time. very impressive. the spice from the christmas ale is mellowed heavily by the wood, and the sweet and spicy whiskey takes it place. molasses and clove and even hops are all present in the taste, as is the vanilla and oak from the bourbon, a totally different beer than the regular christmas, almost more like a barrel aged barleywine in this manifestation, its just delicious. knowing that these guys can do beer this good is both refreshing and frustrating. for every avalanche amber ale, there is one of these, and we have to remember that when we think about breck. apparently they have bottled this before, i would love to see them do it again, its truly extraordinary holiday beer, i adore the barrel aged complexity of one of my favorite base christmas beers. memorable and brilliant

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Photo of denver10
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep maroonish with a dirty cream head. Aroma starts off with the whiskey, it transitions into the sweet, semi spicy beer offering a nice breadiness, some nuttiness, maybe a touch of some spice, and a nice vanilla finish. All malt, no hops. A medium bodied, somwhat creamy mouthfeel. Overall, I was really impressed with this beer. I went in not expecting much based on my usual experiences with Breck Brewery but came away very pleased. Now I might have to give their regular Christmas Ale a shot.

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Photo of JMBSH
2.96/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - A hard pour in a glass gave me a lot of head that shrank to a nice even coating that was a bit more then just a thin layer. Burnt orange reddish color. Very little noticible carbonation rising from the bottlom of the glass. Almost no lacing left in the glass but the top of the liquid keeps a nice coating on top of it.

S - Bready notes but not much of that even.

T - Spicy notes. It took a few sips to detect any of the whiskey notes. Very faint. Not as strong as the Well Built ESB. It at times gives more of the oak then the whiskey. The hop bitterness is also subtle, becoming more noticible as I drink. But the matls are what runs this beer.

M - Very smooth and drinkable, just as their Christmas Ale is.

O - Don't know how long it sat in the whiskey barrels but it doesn't seem to have that much. Tastes almost just like regular Christmas Ale but every so often a bit of the whiskey aging tries to pop up. Nice experiment but needs more next time. Maybe pass the whiskey and just go for a longer oak barrel.

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Holidale from Breckenridge Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 10 ratings.