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Christmas Ale 2007 - Abita Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Christmas Ale 2007Christmas Ale 2007

Educational use only; do not reuse.

48 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 48
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.29
pDev: 15.81%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Abita Brewing Co. visit their website
Louisiana, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  ABV ?

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: acrawf6 on 10-31-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 48 | Reviews: 42 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of msubulldog25
3.18/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tried this seasonal during a visit to the small deli inside Habanos in Slidell, La. A 12 oz. bottle poured to a funny little handled mason jar (oddly enough, one touting Bermuda's own 'Dark & Stormy', which ranks among my favorite non-beer drinks...). It was chilled, as seems customary most everywhere in the South.

A: Chestnut brown with a notable ruddiness. Complexion is nearly clear; few rising bubbles. Capped with a rich 1+ finger of tan/light yellow froth, good retention and blotchy sticking lace.

S: Modest dark malt in the nose, a faint chocolate and caramel. Soft, wheaty grain and just enough earthy bittering hops. Hints of sugary molasses and a trace of holiday spice.

T: Has a raw flavor of dark (almost burnt tasting) grain with a drying grassy/medicinal hop bittering. Some nut toastiness and a little cereal grain creep in. Starts bitter and malts never quite redeem it.

M: Carbonation in the mouth is low, but body seems about 'medium' initially. Once the shock of bittering wears off, the mouthfeel is revealed to be thinner/slicker and hardly sticks around in the finish. Winds up being pretty mellow, hence forgettable.

D: Wasn't sure about the style they were aiming for; at first I was judging this as a winter warmer (would have scored worse were that the case). As such, it's a fairly blasé example of a likable style known for bold hop flavor, balanced with malt and easy drinkability. Not a failure for me, but the balance seems off and it's really not all that tasty. I wouldn't turn one away, nor would I seek it out; I suppose that's the epitome of an 'average' score...

Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.56/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Acquired via trade from deepsouth, 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 bright reddish brown color, with a short foamy off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of dark fruit, pale hops with touches of nuts and caramel, but none of which seem very well-blended.

T: The taste starts out malty & bready and then there’s a quick burst of hops bitterness that comes in. As the hops bitterness fades, some sweet flavors of caramel, dark fruit (raisins & berries) and nuts. Although the flavors tend to balance out, there's just something that seems off here. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

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

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, slightly filling, decent kick, this beer just didn’t hit it off with me and to be honest, I’m having a hard figuring out why. However, I can say with certainty that I would pass on drinking it again.

Photo of medic25
3.63/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass; coppery red color with a short-live tan head. Not a very strong aroma; mostly malt. Taste is well balanced. The malt predominates, but there is a little hoppy bitterness. Goes down fairly easily, if not especially memorable. I'd expected something more along the lines of a winter warmer when I picked up the bottle; it's not an especially Christmasy beer.

Photo of tapman
3.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a brown-red, though significantly more red. Perhaps one of the most red beers I've seen outside of framboise or kriek/cherry, strawberry lambics. Head a light tan and poured to two and a half fingers. Promising.

The nose is nothing to boast about. A good amount of crystal malt with perhaps a touch of chocolate malts. I don't believe that there is anything darker than those, however. Hops smell like English hops, bready and not very pungent.

Malt complexity is hidden by an overwhelming taste of crystal malt. Not even any caramel notes, either, just a malt on the very light side of the spectrum, perhaps some red wheat, filtered, left over from their (yuch!) Purple Haze brew. Either way, this doesn't taste like a Christmas, much less a winter brew. Also, bitter hop resin in the aftertaste, which would have been better suited for the main taste, loosing a chance to balance with the malts since the malt character is gone by now. Follow up: After it warmed for a while, I got a slightly larger hint of bready malt and more alcohol flavor. Hops get a little stronger too, but so does the not-great resiny aftertaste.

Average. Bubbly with a medium-light body. A little sticky in the finish.

Eh, I guess its all right. Not horrible, but a little astringent and sticky in the aftertaste, which makes for a beer that does not finish clean and therefore lacks drinkability. If the main flavors were a bit brighter and, dare I say, more present, the aftertaste may not have suffered, but it is what it is and you're better off with a turbo dog or the amber from this brewery.

Photo of Risser09
2.9/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz twist of bottle poured into a pilsner at cellar temp - 2007 bottling

Appearance: This beer is a transparent brown and orange colored brew with a better than 2 inch head. The head is ivory in color. Laceing is spongey and coats the glass. Great retention.

Smell: Hops, malt, spices like cinnamon, brown sugar, earth, milk chocolate. Decent.

Taste: Malt build for this one. Brown sugar is the most distinguishable flavor. The beer is very pedestrian though. Not very complex.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and medium bodied. Moderately bitter hop bite. Alcohol lingers.

Drinkability: This is a decent beer. Not worth trying or revisiting. Not complex, and not very much spice to indicate that it's a Christmas Ale! Okay.

Photo of deepsouth
3.63/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

i'm enjoying this beer this evening out of a new sam adams glass whilst listening to ludovic navarre's from detroit to st. germain on vinyl. ludovic navarre is the only dj on the blue note records label.

i poured this beer directly into the bottom of my glass and it poured a nice amber color with a nice tan head that remained only a short period but left lush lacing. this is a good looking beer.

the smell is just average. a bit of spice in the nose. not sure the abv of this one, but there isn't any alcohol in the smell to me. caramely and malty as well. it's fairly light overall though. others mentioned an earthy smell. i can agree with that.

the taste of this beer is consistent with what i smelled above. fairly well balanced.

the mouthfeel of this beer was a bit light. high on the carbonation end.

this is a very drinkable beer. i'd hope for a bit more in a christmas seasonal, but i could still session these with ease.

happy new year all.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.65/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown with basically no head. Nose is mildly leafy and earthy, though not very firm. Flavor is leafy and earthy. Smooth and even. Seems to be a touch of vanilla on the back side. Feel is a bit crisp with the carbonation and the liquid is decently smooth. An easy drinker. Can’t really say it has a mass of character or is overly interesting. But it’s nice to drink.

Photo of Vancer
3.58/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Another big out to my man in the “deepsouth” for this brew ina nice trade ~ many thanks!

Poured nicely, with a deep oaken brown with plenty of tan head and lace. Rather nutty aroma with spice and caramel adding to the mix. Quaff was a bit subdued for a Xmas ale, spicy but not enough “ummph” to get it into the right range for an Xmas ale (why is this listed under amber ales??) Maybe because it drinks great as such, and was enjoyable – but she needs more kick for a beer brewed one time year.

Photo of usmittymc
3.68/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pub glass. No freshness dating on the bottle (due to the limited release, I imagine).

A- Slightly hazy, deep mahogany color. Poured a nice two off-white two-finger head that disipates rapidly (as with most Abita offerings). Surprisingly, the lacing lingers well into the beer. This has not been typical in my experience with Abita (and there have been many).

S- Earthy. Juniper or evergreen(?) Smells like a Christmas tree mixed with other earthy aromas.

T- Spicy. Smooth maltiness on the front (nice biscuity flavor). The spiciness hits in the middle with a nice bitterness (not hoppy, something else). The spicy bitterness rests on the palette after the swallow.

M- Smooth with nice crisp carbonation. Not too slick, not too thick. Just about right.

D- Could derink a couple of these. Would go well with holiday meals (too bad I didn't get it until after Christmas). I am glad I found it and will actively seek it prior to next Christmas. Nice Holiday brew- kudos to Abita for putting CHRISTmas on the label.

Photo of Gavage
3.56/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear amber in color with some orange highlights, sporting a fluffy two finger head that lingered a bit. No lacing shows up on the glass.

Smell: light spiciness is all the nose could pull out of the glass.

Taste: caramel, plums, red apple, and some soft spice are most noticeable on top of the bready malt layer. Bitterness is strong enough to make this interesting.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied brew. Lightly crisp to start but finishes smooth. Very short bready aftertaste.

Drinkability: not a bad beer from the Abita folks as this was enjoyed over the xmas during some get-togethers with friends.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, served in a pint glass.

A - clear, amber color with a small tan head that fell to a ring, leaving a little bit of lacing on the glass.

S - slightly bitter smelling, grassy, earthy aromas.

T - subtle spice taste, hops and malts are pretty well balanced with good, sharp bitterness on the finish.

M - lighter bodied (but not too thin) with good carbonation.

D - goes down very easy and smooth. Carbonation/Burp Factor and decent taste makes having a few of these very easy.

Final Note: This beer is not a over-spiced Christmas Ale by any means. It goes well with most holiday appetizers, meals, and sweet treats/desserts. I will buy this beer again next Christmas.

Photo of crookedhalo
2.68/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a translucent coppery/amber color with a short-lived beige head. A hint of piney hops and some biscuity malt, but that's about it. No spice or anything Christmasy about the aroma. In the taste, however, one can pick up hints of cinnamon stick with traces of other spicings I can't quite put my finger on (nutmeg, anise?). Rather bland, thin, and unadventurous. There's some hops that make their presence known in this beer, but that's about the only think nice I could say about it. I'd avoid it unless you're in an area where this is an affordable brew.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.6/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Recieved in trade from barefootbrewer thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a clear deep copper color with a thin white head that leaves some lace on the side of the glass. Smell comes through with floral citrusy hops and a bit if biscuit malt. Taste is a good mix of hops and malt. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, not much body here. Overall not a bad beer, very tasty, but could stand a bit more body.

Photo of theopholis
3.51/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- Pours a fairly clear, dark red/amber. Decent off-white head, with some lacing.

Aroma- Lots of malt sweetness in the nose. Wonderful mild hop aroma. Very well balanced.

Taste- Tastes of dark, sweet malts. Nice hop bitterness with hints of chocolate and some woodiness.

Mouthfeel- Kind of light for an American red amber. Over carbonated to. .Detracts from the taste.

Drinkability- The individual components were nice, but did not work well together. Not horrible, not great.

Photo of BWH3
2.2/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Christmas Ale 2007 Abita
Draft Pint

Appearance: Mild clear brown with a big beige head and great retention. This is as goof as this beer will get. I was thrilled by the appearance. (4.5)

Smell: A burnt off putting bitterness without much complexity or other scents to balance it. No sweetness or special holiday spices or unique richness. Smells like a brown ale gone bad. (2.0)

Taste: Same as smell with a dominating ashy flavor and unforgiving bitterness. (2.0)

Mouthfeel: Thin watery fairly still mild brown ale. (2.5)

Drinkability: A disappointing seasonal ale. I would not recommend it or repeat it. (2.0)

Photo of OWSLEY069
2.26/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a clean copper, with orange hints, and an off white head. In the aroma, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a sticky sweet maltiness. In the taste, just a hint of cinnamon in a quite watery and bland taste. A smooth, watery mouthfeel and a semi-dry aftertaste, with a hint of cinnamon. Very watery, other than a hint of cinnamon, not much other too get excited about.

Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is probably the first of many Xmas brews I will be having over the next 3-6 weeks.This poured into a standard pint glass a clear rich bronze with a tight very well retained nearly two finger slight off white head very good clarity just rich looking.Aromas of caramel and toasty malt with a hint of gummy fruitiness a healthy dose of leafy hop rounds out the nose well.More standard on the palate toasty with a hefty caramel base a a nice drying finish with a lingering citric hop presence.A well made amber ale not entirely old school with its nice hoppy finish and it cuts through the cold well.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.35/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a dark red-brown, with a small, slightly tan head, which leaves a little lacing in my Chimay chalice.

S: Light smell of dark malt, and some spices, maybe cinnamon.

T: Tastes of dark malt, spicy, with a little bit of chocolate. Caramel and a slight floral hop presence are there also.

M: Much lighter than I expected, almost fizzy, doesn't hold the flavour like I thought it would. The character of the beer fades fast.

D: An OK beer, I'll probably try it again next year, with a new recipe, but this year, it was just average.

Photo of biggmike
3.35/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear orange/amber color that had decent size creamy off-white head that lasted for a while. Aroma is malty, citrusy, and also of hops. The flavor was hoppier than expected. Malty up front with hop bitterness in the end. Decent mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Okay beer.

Photo of jwc215
4.1/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours bright ruby amber with a one-finger foamy off-white head that descends to a thin lasting cover. Some traces of lacing stick to the glass.

The smell is of citric fruitiness and caramel.

The taste is malt-accented - caramelish - wihth a firm citric hoppy balance. Light touch of cinnamonish spiciness gives it a holiday spiciness. Sweet with a bitterish finish with a slightly warming note.

Medium in body and carbonation, this is smooth and very easy to drink.

A tasty, well-balanced brew. Not quite as hefty/hearty as some other Christmas Ales, it is fitting for a southern Christmas brew. An amber/red ale with a nice hoppy touch.

Photo of SixpointJMH
4.1/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice brown colour with hints of amber to it. Head is big and frothy, quick to dissolve and leaves virtually no residue on the glass.

The aroma has a piney hop burst to it, along with some caramel and hints of spice. Simple and nice!

The flavour hits you quickly with the piney hop flavour and there's even a bit of juiciness before moving into a more rugged malt flavour that is cut through nicely with some sweetness from the malt. There is a touch of spice at the finish as well to make for a flavourful, well-rounded beer. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, well carbonated and with a touch of slickness to it.

This is a nice brew overall. I could easily enjoy this one year round, and found it to be much more enjoyable to their "standard" Red Ale that they sometimes brew. Grab a six pack and give it a try.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.13/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An impressive small-type beer with a lot of hop character and very likable. Begins with a sharp, spicy, citrus hop nose with underlying soft maltiness. Quite Pale Ale-sh. The look is a mainly copper color with some golden hues mixed in. Very well headed with an off-white foamstand and solid retention. Flavors are a bit less hoppy than the nose suggests; but balances against the medium malt sweetness nicely. Textures are quite light, creamy, and very easy to drink. Clean, crisp, and refreshing throughout with a mild minty finish. Seems like a Dortmunder Gold with the hop intensity of Doggie Style Pale Ale. Very nice beer!

Photo of acrawf6
3.68/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a rich and clear dark mahogany amber with a dense tan head that drops to a thin layer of thick bubbles.

Smell. I think this is the first time I've had an abita christmas ale where i smell some hops! Lol, it actually smells a bit similar to their red ale in the spring. Bitterness is mild with a bit of caramel that is a touch sweet.

Taste. With the hops, i initially get some spices- nutmeg and bitter cinnoman...but that quickly goes away. The hops are present, but nicely placed as just another flavor. There is a sense of maltiness, but i would consider this beer slightly hoppier than malty. Warms quickly in the mouth and gives a creaminess that is pleasant. Malts begin to come out within a few seconds that gives it a little bit of sweetness and a bit of a powdery bitter chocolate, and then gets more of a dry roasty malt flavor. Aftertaste gets quite dry, almost tobacco-like.

Mouthfeel. Carbonation is there, but i would say this beer is on the fuller side with its creaminess. Plus, i am not guessing this is all that high in the alcohol content, but certainly carries its own.

Overall, certainly my favorite year so far. I am glad i get some more of the hop balance this year. A bit surprising Abita made it so hoppy...looks like they got a little flavor for the west coast. You may not love it, but you certainly should give it a try.

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Christmas Ale 2007 from Abita Brewing Co.
77 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.