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Christmas Ale 2009 - Abita Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Christmas Ale 2009Christmas Ale 2009

Educational use only; do not reuse.

35 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 35
Hads: 46
Avg: 3.55
pDev: 12.96%
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: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bonhoeffer on 11-09-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Christmas Ale (November - December) rounds out our calendar. Generally, this beer is a dark ale, however, the recipe changes each year, offering a unique product crafted with special care. Enjoy your holidays with Abita Christmas Ale.
View: Beers (44) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 35 | Hads: 46
Reviews by hoplover82:
Photo of hoplover82
3.28/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

hmmm... don't know what to think of this beer. At first the appearance and aroma was preety good but the when it entered my mouth, I was very dissapointed. Maybe it's the spring water used in this beer... don't know... I really think that's what it might be. Maybe the mineral content interfears with the mouthfeel and flavor of the beer...

Pours a clear deep amber with an off white very creamy head that has greta retention and lacing.

I smell bright floral hops and caramel malts together. That's about it, but pretty good. I think the yeast used might be too clean for my taste...

And when I took a drink, it's like I taste water and some slight caramel and a soft bitter tang. But really seems watered down... I'm not drinking out of a chilled glass or anything. My regular drinking glasses are always used...

It's creamy at first then, water, water, water... light body, light carbonation.

it goes down easy but I would want to have another of this. Glad I only got one in a make your own sixer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of tigg924
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: minimal head, clear, amber in color, medium carbonation

Smell: toasted malt, nutmeg, and bread

Taste: toasted malt, bread, caramel, and holiday spices including cinnamon.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, high carbonation, slightly sweet with a small bitterness at the end

Drinkability: This tastes like an Abita beer with the malts that are present in most of their beers. The spice here is not overly dominate-rather it mixes with the malts. A step above subtle. I could have three in a sitting.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark amber with a cream-colored head. The aroma is pretty hoppy with some caramel malt. The flavor is hop-driven with earthy and piney hops. You also get some caramel and toffee with some bready malt. The beer starts hoppy and ends malty. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation. This is a good hoppy amber. Maybe the best beer from Abita I have tried.

 351 characters

Photo of degerbah
3.98/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours light brown with three fingers of head. LOts of lacing as the head dies down. Smell is lots of flowery hops and maybe a hint of malt. The taste is much more balanced than I owuld have thought based on the smell. Much more malt to begin with with most of the hops evident in the aftertaste. A very easy drinker. I might try to load up on this before it goes out of season. This is much better than any other abita seasonal I've ever had.

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Photo of ImusBeer
2.25/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured up a darker amber with a small barely a finger high head.

A slight pine aroma with a little maple on the side. The taste was bland with a small amount of bitterness but not in a good way. Somewhat malty as well.

It was very thin and watery on the tongue. I wasn't expecting much and I got exactly what I expected, blah.

Nothing like what I would expect from a Christmas Beer.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The '09 Christmas Ale pours medium amber in color, rather clear, and with an inch of light tan foam. Head settles somewhat quickly, yet keeping a nice film and leaving light lacing.

Spiced hop nose interplays with biscuit and toasted malts. No real sweetness picked up on the nose. Warming allows some malts and woody hops to create an allspice and hazelnut character.

Light caramel malt initiates the flavor, becoming dry and nutty in the middle and finishing with a bit of orange which lingers briefly. Carbonation fits the beer well, allowing for a smooth finish and a quick close as a light bitterness is developed, along with a subtle spiciness, through the back amidst a light cloaking of malts.

Offers a typically light body of an Abita beer, subtly spiced and moderate in ABV. Delicate and unobtrusive, drinkable though not challenging.

 847 characters

Photo of TLove
2.74/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Finally in D.C. Not that the 2008 was that notable.

This beer, like the 2008, fails to conform to the standards of the Christmas Ale set forth by its peers. This beer is not driven by spice, but by hops and is aptly characterized as an American Amber/Red.

Has an almost florescent red color with a subtle, 1/2 finger, thinnish head with a moderate body. Some spices of nutmeg and anise, with a prominent, pecan oiliness on the tongue that is a tad offputting. Similar to other amber ales in its structure and thin balance, but pervasive hop structure. Nice to drink. Crisp and refreshing and a bit sour. Has a nutty feel in the mouth, with a bit of a sour tingle on the finish.

Again, quite odd for a Christmas ale. As my rating suggests, this isn't a particularly well-constructed beer aside from the fact that it lacks distinction.

 837 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.3/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a nice translucent brown with some visible carbonation and a very small amount of white head that disappeared almost instantly.

S - The nose is sweet roasted malts. Some caramel and a hint of spice.

T - Taste is sweet roasted malts. There doesn't seem to be any added spice flavour to this beer like many other Christmas beers tend to have.

M - A medium body with the slightest bit of chew. A good amount of carbonation.

D - A well made ale, but despite being enjoyable, there was nothing in this beer that stood out and would make me go out of my way for the 2010 release.

 591 characters

Photo of nocheinsbitte
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

had this from a 12-oz bottle...

A: pours a darker amber color with a hint of red in it. A nic foam head with decent lacing. A good looking bier.
S: Mild ginger and spice aroma. Mod wheat bread. Clear in aroma, nothing skunky or uninviting about it.
T: Mild spices, follows the aroma well. A little malty. No bitter aftertaste. Not an overpowering taste, but good.
M: Enjoyable
D: This is a easy-to-drink bier. Could have a few without issue.

Overall, this is a good, but not great, Christmas ale. Abita always does a good job with their biers and this is without exception. I recommend this bier. Prosit.

 609 characters

Photo of jeffjeff1
3.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at Cost Plus World Market. It was in the Abita Party Pack.

Appearance- reddish brown color, nice thick head, nice lacing

Smell- sweet roasted malt, hint of spice

Taste- sweet roasted malt

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- It was pretty good. I would try to find more of them.

 302 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.23/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was an interesting beer. It had a dark, reddish appearance, with moderate carbonation. The smell was subtle and hard to detect. This was a very bitter ale, and I enjoyed it as I drank more. Mouth feel is very heavy; the beer felt fattening. Overall, I say this was excellent.


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Photo of rtratzlaff
3.33/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a filtered clear amber body with a decent off white head that leaves a bit of lacing.

Aromas of bready malts, caramel, and a slight herbal hop presence.

Taste is mainly caramel malt with enough hops to add some good bittering character that resembles more of an American amber than a Irish red.

Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation.

Drinkability on the high side since there was nothing really offensive to this beer, but it still held some character.

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Photo of oline73
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of JohneHoodlum
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of superdedooperboy
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this one as one of the extras in a trade with JFFoodie. Many thanks!

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a stemmed pilsner flute.

A nice deep amber-brown with spectacular clarity. A sizable frothy beige head billows forth and settles calmly into a thick, large-bubbled cap. Retention is very nice, and loads of stickage appears and holds on to the walls of the vessel as it empties.

The nose displays a smooth maltiness. Toast, biscuit, caramel, a hint of chocolate and roast with just a faint nuttiness. Aroma hops are limited to just a faint whiff of herbs and grass.

Medium-bodied with very little carbonation. The palate shows hops much more fully than the nose: a little sweet toffeeish malt comes in up front before a base of lightly toasted bread shows up to ground things. The hops show themselves almost immediately in the middle and sides, with a moderately astringent bitterness and showing flavors of grass, earth, and a touch of resin. Finish is quite bitter and dry, but some fruity esters show themselves toward the end. Grass-like hops linger afterward.

Drinkable and pleasant, though not really something to write home about for the holidays. My first sampling of Abita's Christmas Ale, and since the recipe changes from year to year, I look forward to hopefully trying future editions as well.

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Photo of bob3701
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice dark amber color with red hints. Fluffy white head that hung around, it laced OK. Subtle hints of clove and nutmeg. Not at all overwhelming like other holiday spiced brews. A well made beer that went down nice and easy. I wish I had had more of this beer since there seemed to be other tastes yet to explore in it.

 319 characters

Photo of climax
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one poured a transparent brown/red with a nice lingering tan head. Lace was spotty and a film occupied the top til the end.

Nose was well balanced. Citrus, especially orange, hops were met on the tail end by toasty caramel malt. A slight bit of sweetness, spices, and some metallic twang accompanied the main players.

Flavor was equally as balanced. Very nice biscuity toasted flavor with a bit of diacetyl and spice held strong from start to finish. Juicy citrus occupied the hop bill. The taste wasn't overly complex, but well balanced and I enjoyed the malt profile .

It doesn't seem as though the alcohol content is overly stout, and the flavors aren't strong enough to mask a substantial ABV. I'm not sure if winter warmer is the right term for the style, more of a red/amber IMO.

The body was on the shy side of medium, just a little watery but not bad. The carbonation was right on good and crisp. It's definitely drinkable, I could make a night out of a 6pk. Not a bad one from Abita.

 1,003 characters

Photo of Jesstyr
3.18/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Broke this out in a 12oz bottle for the Super Bowl. After trying Abita Amber, I was a little disappointed by this one.

A: Copper, with light carbonation. A little bit of head, but doesn't strike me as particularly creamy.

S: I expect a bit more of a Christmas Ale, but this lacks the rich sugars I think it was trying for. A little bit nutty, but thats about it.

T: This was the biggest disappointment for me. Wasn't particularly full bodied, but had a hint of fruit and malts. Where was the complexity?

M/D: Smooth, but a bit too watery. Goes down nice and easy, but doesn't beg you to come back for more.

I bet one of these years this could be a great beer.

 664 characters

Photo of fatbatcat
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of BeerMark
4.3/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Abita's Christmas Ale 2009 serves up a rich looking brown/red with an off white head. The nose detects some spiciness mixed with malt and hops. The taste is very likable to me. It's got a great malt backbone mixed with some bitter hoppiness. I really like a well balanced beer and this one delivers. Abita's Christmas Ale reminds me a little bit of one of my other favorites: Rogue's Santa's Private Reserve (minus the pacman yeast, of course). I'll be picking up more before the season is over.

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Photo of JHeskew
4.5/5  rDev +26.8%

Photo of jsprain1
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a nice amber with thick head that leaves lots of lacing.
S- Sweet malt, caramel, spice, particularly ginger and all spice.
T- Taste is same as smell with spice playing bigger role. A bit of hops in there to balance things out nicely.
M- Smooth, initially creamy, finishes a bit crisp and dry.
D- It was a decent beer, but nothing tremendous. There are better holiday beers out there.

 394 characters

Photo of Robyn
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of MisterClean
4.03/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to neil for spotting this beer.

A - Pours light mahogany with 2 fingers of off-white head. Dissipates slow and leaves very nice lacing.

S/T - Maple syrup, honey, ginger, all-spice, paired with grapefruitish hops and lightly bittering hops.

M - Full-bodied, slightly hop dominated, and slightly dry.

D - Good overall. Would definitely seek this one out. Advise to let it warm up some as the maple flavors come out and help make this beer.

 448 characters

Photo of spycow
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

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Christmas Ale 2009 from Abita Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.