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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 (43) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 35 | Hads: 46
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.

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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.

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Photo of drpimento
2.7/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sort of interesting, but in the way that you find something which is made by people who create good things and this one looks good - but then you try it, and you come up short. Poured with a nice fine tan head and no lace color isa clear amber. Aroma is mild with a little malt, pine, and spice. Flavor is like aroma with more emphasis on malt and spice. Body is ok and carbonation is sharp. Hardly any finish at all. A better session beer than common beer.

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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 popery
3.28/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

An okay Red/Amber that does little to distinguish itself. There are no real faults, except that it's kind of boring for a Christmas Ale. It a nice enough looking beer, pretty much middle of the road for the style. The aroma is fairly malty with some citric hops. It's a relatively well-balanced beer, I guess. I'm not sure how much that matters to me. The citric hop flavors and nutty, toasty malt don't quite blend together well for me, neither flavor is particularly interesting. It's an easy beer to drink but doesn't leave me wanting more.

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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 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.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.17/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a twelve ounce botle into a standard pint glass
Clear copper in color with a rather small one inch head of foam
Aroma-cinnamon and some spice
Taste-Faint cinnamon with some spice notes-Rather thin-bodied with a bit of a metallic aftertaste
An okay offering, but not the best Christmas ale out there by any means

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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.

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Photo of katan
4.04/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours a very clear, filtered, deep brown color with amber hues. Head formation is mocha, well retained at 1mm. Doesn't look very bubbly.

S - Caramel and crystal malty notes balanced by a light noble hopping. A spice is present, which may be topped to the hopping.

T - Starts off with a potent bitter note, aggressive. Mid-stream develops some cascade hopping, bringing in more bitterness. Some nutty notes. Finishes with a floral hop flourish and some spicing. Aftertaste is rather earthy, with some wet hop notes.

M - Stinging palette, well carbonated. Leaves a light oily texture. Only lightly clinging.

D - Very easy drinking - abv is manageable. A bit filling from the carbonation. Certainly has the winter warmer sensation to it.

By far my favorite Abita beer to date. Feels like it belongs in my winter beer rotation.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
3.89/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle. Freshness date, but no actual date stamped.
It pours a dark sunset amber color with a thin off-white head along with some wispy trails of lacing.
Smells of dry malt dominate. A spicy mix of peppers, citrus peel and rye bread come to mind.
A fairly thin bodied malty taste blend of barley, Wheaties and dried fruit, blends well with an edgy citrusy and metallic hop bitterness. A faint alcoholic fuminess lingers.
Although the body is a bit thin for the style, we must take into account the climate this brew hails from. Wet and edgy seem to fit well with hot and humid weather.
It may taste a bit better because the Saints won the Super Bowl!
Who dat?

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Photo of indiapaleale
3/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour - pours a reddish brown with some auburn highlights. Moderate fluffy foam on top.

Aroma - graham crackers! Who would have thought. There is also some vanilla and toffee and some sweet biscuity scents.

Taste - some of that graham comes out in the flavor along with a slight bit of citrus. Not a lot of malt backbone leaves this tasting a bit thin and watery. Its got some toasty flavors and a bit of sweetness but not enough "ooomph" in my opinion. Be malty or be hoppy. Choose one.

Overall - lacking in complexity and body. Its got some sweetness and some tanginess but it just doesn't do it for me. Something is missing for sure.

Would I buy more of it? - since they change the recipe from year to year I'll grab a bottle next year to see what changes.

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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.

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Photo of whynot44
3.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice clear red/amber color with a decent, but quick disipating light tan head but does manage a bit of sticky lacing.

The aroma is light caramel malt with hints of grass and citrus.

The taste is grassy hops up front with a biscuity malt backgroundand some hints of nuts and spice, especially toward the finish. The aftertaste is pine resin and grapefruit hops.

Light/medium bodied, fairly smooth and drinkable. Altogether a decent winter ale.

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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.

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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 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.

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Photo of taigor
3.71/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap poured into huge chalice glass.

A - Poured almost clear amber/brown color with decent head that slowly dissipates leaving slight lacing around the glass.

S - Very faint but what I picked up were malts and some nutty aroma.

T - Sweet malty start that is quickly overtaken by almonds and fruits with a slightly hoppy finish.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation that is just right.

D - Very drinkable beer. Would definitely like to have more in the future.

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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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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 Vengeance526
3.4/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly reddish copper color with a very minimal head that quickly fizzles away.

Bready aroma upfront with some caramel and a hint of hops at the end.

Taste is slightly malty upfront with caramel and biscuity notes, but then shows some more hoppy characteristics towards the end with light citrus notes and a grassy finish.

Medium body with light to medium carbonation. There is nothing about this that says Christmas and as usual I'm not quite sure what they were aiming for with this one. It really isn't bad and can be quite refreshing and easy to drink but at the same time it has no depth or complexity. I would prefer this to many of Abita's regular offerings, but their Christmas beers always seem to be very safe and never exciting in the least. I've tried it and don't regret drinking it but overall I can't say this is one I'll be missing when it is gone.

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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.

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Photo of BeefyMee
3.15/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Crystal clear, reddish orange. Good head disappears quickly. A little bit of lacing.

S: Buttery toffee cookie with a faint hop aroma.

T: Not much to speak of. Kind of sweet, the buttery cookie quality is diminished. A little astringent in the finish.

M: Unimpressive and too fizzy at first but shapes up with a substantial chewiness.

D: Nothing to hinder your drinking here, but I'm getting bored rather quickly.

A halfway decent attempt by Abita. I'd like to see them swing for the fences once.

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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.

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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.

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