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Santa's Secret - Carolina Brewery

Not Rated.
Santa's Secret
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very good

29 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 29
Reviews: 11
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 10%
Wants: 0
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Carolina Brewery visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-23-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 29 | Reviews: 11
Photo of ncstateplaya
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of WoodBrew
3.12/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of abernethyj
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of ewright
3.46/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I picked up a growler at their Pittsboro location this past weekend. They released this beer on 11/13, so it couldn't have been very old!

A: A fairly standard ruddy amber color, but absolutely no head. Not sure what happened, but there was practically no carbonation.

S: Large amounts of spices were evident. The bartender said they use cinnamon, allspice, coriander and orange peel. I definitely noticed the cinnamon and orange.

T: The taste was pretty decent, given the lack of carbonation. The spices showed up without overpowering the maltiness.

M: Low due to virtually no carbonation. I was really disappointed, as I thought it had a chance to be a superb Christmas ale.

D: Again, the carbonation problem dropped this score a bit. My wife and I still drained the growler over the course of the day, so it wasn't a total waste.

This is the first time I've had problems with a fresh, flat growler. Hopefully it will be the last!

Photo of dave317
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of gpblackgt
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of EasyReader
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of mklinger
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of discdueler
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Arrives at bar with a clear amber color and a modest head that dots the pint glass

Smell: Spicy aroma of orange peel, coriander, cinnamon and allspice

Taste: Opens with a fruity/biscuity element with is followed by a burst of holiday spices that are dominated by the orange peel; after the swallow, there is a bit of spice confusion with just too much orange peel in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Plenty of flavor but I can't say that I really liked it very much

Photo of oberon
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have been to Chapel Hill to the brewpub a few times,here in Greensboro Roger over at Bestway has some growlers of their stuff,I havent had a good winter warmer yet this year so I picked this up today.Poured a lighter amber shade with a billowing two finger white head atop that stuck like glue to my standard pint glass.The clear growler let in some light and the slight skunk showed thru in the nose,it didnt overpower the aroma but it did stand out,some cinnamon did show thru but obviously it is probably better fresh.Flavors dont have the skunk intruding on it,nutmeg,cinnamon, candied orange,and toasty malt flavors mainly,a toasted sweetsh cereal flavor lingers nicely.I would like to try this straight from the tap,the skunkiness does hinder wich is a pretty good beer for the style.

Photo of Keith27614
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of woodchip
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of UltimateLivewire
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of willardt09
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of AmitC
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of atsprings
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Cherry Bomb Grill served in a standard pint glass a crisp orange with a decent off white head that leaves slight lacing on the glass and leaves decent lacing on the glass. Aroma is caramel malts in front of mild spice. The taste is a nice amount of crisp spices such as cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg and mild vanilla in front of sweet caramel malts. The beer is quite light and smooth with decent carbonation. This is a very enjoyable Winter Warmer, not the best I've had, but one I would certainly have again.

Photo of Jordanbryan10
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: Medium amber beer with a one finger khaki head receding to a slight layer on top.

smell and taste: Apparently spiced with coriander, orange, allspice, and cinnamon. Almost immediately, this beer reminds me of Great Lakes Christmas Ale. The spices are tastefully blended, with nothing really overpowering. Plenty of sweet malt character to support the spice, tending towards the pale and caramel side of things. Possibly a touch of vanilla.

mouthfeel: Low carbonation with a smooth body bordering on full.

drinkability: A pleasant winter sipper

on-tap at the brewpub last night

Photo of Amedlin18
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of BigGingDrinker
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of andy1701
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of fscottkey
4.01/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: [4.50] Nice copper color. Beer is very transparent with no bubbles forming on the glass. There is a small amount of head that provides a full white cap for the beer. The can lists the ABV at 5.9% and the best by date 3/24/15.

S: [4.00] Caramel, bread and bananas. I am getting hints of all 3. And I am getting nutmeg of cinnamon. The nose is a little like a batch of warm Xmas cookies.

T: [4.00] Tastes a little like a Snickerdoodle in a glass. The malt backbone is great and really brings forward the sweetness. The spices are playful and nice. I am getting very little hop bittering. The flavor is similar to the nose. Sweet Christmas cookies. Nutmeg, brown sugar, caramel and toffee.

M: [3.75] The body is really smooth with a low carbonation level. The finish is sweet and there is no dryness.

O: [4.00] I got this as a birthday present. It is a one off beer. I couldn't drink more than one in a sitting but it is really nice. Carolina went out on a limb to make something that is very unique. It is sweet and delicious. The can says "Christmas in a glass" - I kind of agree. I love snickerdoodle cookies and this spice blend reminds me of that very much. The smells of spices became more prominent as the beer warmed up. I would love to get more of these next year to share!

Photo of brewdude1982
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was on tap at wine 101 in Wake Forest.

This beer pours a burnt orange color. Reasonable clarity. Smells like possibly ginger and then the usual Christmas spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, et al. Tastes strongly of ginger and then the usual Xmas spices. Pleasant taste and I would recommend to others. It has a decent mouth feel. Decent carbonation.

Photo of SylviaFaye
4.21/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Going by appearances alone, this beer looks like an amber lager with a quickly dissipating one-finger head.

The smell is markedly fruity with hints of peaches, apples, and bananas. Nutmeg and cinnamon linger at the base.

The taste follows the nose with warm banana esters and rich spices. The overall effect is a cross between banana bread and spice cake.

While not thin in any respect, the mouthfeel could be improved upon. The drink fails to maintain its illusion of rich, holiday desserts by lacking substance that one can sink one's teeth into. One expects a chewy consistency, and the drink does not deliver this.

However, considering that this is the only fault that I found with the brew, I am quite confident in recommending it.

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Santa's Secret from Carolina Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 29 ratings.