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Christmas Ale 2009 - Abita Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Christmas Ale 2009Christmas Ale 2009

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

44 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 44
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 13.48%
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:
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.

(Beer added by: Bonhoeffer on 11-09-2009)
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Ratings: 44 | Reviews: 35 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wknight167
wknight167

California

3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Apearance - Pours a clear reddish brown with a 1 finger head that doesn't stick around for long, but leaves some decent lacing nonetheless.

Nose- Caramel dark fruit and toasted malts dominate. There is a faint spiciness and a hint of citrus present ass well, both probably from the hops.

Palate- Starts off caramelly sweet with cherries and raisins, moves to chocolatey toffee notes in the middle finishes with citrus, spices and a touch of bitter.

Mouthfeel- Slightly thin body and light on the carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2010 23:55:48 | More by wknight167
Photo of KrisPaulk77
KrisPaulk77

Mississippi

3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Christmas Ale was poured into a chalice. The color was a crisp and clear deep amber with a good inches' worth of creamy tan foam. The head faded down pretty fast to a small cap, and a nice amount of lacing was present throughout.

The aroma was upfront with a toasted, nutty aroma, and biscuit tones. Some caramel was noticed. Overall, it was very malty smelling and pleasing. There was slight spiciness noted in the aroma, and some grassiness from the hops.

The taste was forward with toasted malt, smooth and nutty. Some caramels were present, as was biscuit tones. The finish had touches of spice, grass, and a whisper of citrus. The aftertaste had a pleasant earthiness to it, with a grainy biscuit flavor.

The beer had a medium body with a decent amount of carbonation. Some offerings from Abita have a thin body, but this wasn't the case with their Christmas Ale. The drinkability of this beer is pretty good. I wouldn't mind having a few in a session, but I don't think you could drink this all night.

This is my first sampling of Abita's Christmas Ale. It wasn't mind blowing, but it wasn't bad either. A good solid beer from one of my favorite breweries. I'll be sure to pick up this offering next Christmas to try the new recipe.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2010 11:03:14 | More by KrisPaulk77
Photo of HalfFull
HalfFull

California

3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2010 02:58:46 | More by HalfFull
Photo of whynot44
whynot44

Missouri

3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2010 04:23:24 | More by whynot44
Photo of drunkboxer1
drunkboxer1

Texas

4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours red/amber. 2 inch white head. Smells of piney hops and lightly of roasted malt. Tastes sweet, bitter. American hops dominate the palate. Fairly high amounts of carbonation I think for the style. Starts of fairly crisp with the hops and carbonation and ends rather thick and sweet -although not cloying. I really like amber Christmas ales, and this one isn't an exception.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2010 01:07:18 | More by drunkboxer1
Photo of BeefyMee
BeefyMee

Connecticut

3.1/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2009 22:06:04 | More by BeefyMee
Photo of indiapaleale
indiapaleale

Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -15.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2009 17:15:02 | More by indiapaleale
Photo of superdedooperboy
superdedooperboy

Georgia

3.85/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2009 03:20:59 | More by superdedooperboy
Photo of katan
katan

Colorado

4.03/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2009 04:01:52 | More by katan
Photo of tigg924
tigg924

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2009 15:43:39 | More by tigg924
Photo of bob3701
bob3701

New Jersey

3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2009 16:20:05 | More by bob3701
Photo of wesl56
wesl56

Florida

4.03/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- pours a deep red/brown, small head with faint lacing

s- hard to tell whats going on here, kinda citrusy and yeasty, also smells a little like fruit, banana maybe?

t- again, lots going on here, i swear it tastes like there is lemon juice in here... interesting to drink, nothing bland or boring about this

m- for the color, its suprisingly light and refreshing, leaves little to no aftertaste

d- refreshing, easy to drink

abita's beers are always kinda off-the-wall to me, never predictable... this tastes like there are lots of ingredients and flavors mixed together... you almost taste something different with each sip... i wouldnt really associate this with other "christmas" beers, but it is an intriguing beer and for the low price, i'll try it again

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2009 01:56:56 | More by wesl56
Photo of BeerMark
BeerMark

Alabama

4.33/5  rDev +21.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2009 23:35:43 | More by BeerMark
Photo of degerbah
degerbah

Ohio

4/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2009 00:12:44 | More by degerbah
Photo of hosehead83
hosehead83

Ohio

3.15/5  rDev -11.5%
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

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2009 22:16:11 | More by hosehead83
Photo of nocheinsbitte
nocheinsbitte

North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2009 20:59:16 | More by nocheinsbitte
Photo of popery
popery

California

3.3/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2009 07:28:29 | More by popery
Photo of TLove
TLove

District of Columbia

2.68/5  rDev -24.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2009 05:05:22 | More by TLove
Photo of Bonhoeffer
Bonhoeffer

Alabama

4.35/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This may be the best beer I've ever had from Abita. Gorgeous red hue, nice creamy head that persists for a while. Good citrus and pine aroma, probably a little dry hopping in action. Excellent rich maltiness supporting some fantastic hop flavor. This reminds me a bit of Rogue American Amber, which is my favorite example of the style.

We have a home run, here. Can't believe I'm the first to review the '09.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2009 21:57:55 | More by Bonhoeffer
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Christmas Ale 2009 from Abita Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.