Christmas Ale 2010 - Abita Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Christmas Ale 2010Christmas Ale 2010

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BA SCORE
79
okay

69 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 69
Reviews: 46
rAvg: 3.43
pDev: 17.2%
Wants: 2
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Abita Brewing Co. visit their website
Louisiana, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  5.50% 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: tone77 on 11-06-2010)
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Ratings: 69 | Reviews: 46 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Fnord:
Photo of Fnord
3.7/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance - Clear light brown with a lumpy and creamy off-white head.

Smell - Caramel, walnut, pine, alcohol, and maple.

Taste - Fairly subtle and malty. Surprisingly dry for a winter warmer, and with little to no spice to boot. Quite a bit of roasted malts, especially in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body with medium carbonation.

Notes - The roastiness is a pleasant surprise - I like a dry and roasty ale once in a while. I would call this more of a brown ale than a winter warmer, but it's interesting, so I don't mind. In my opinion, this is one of the better Abita beers so I'm looking forward to seeing what they brew up next year.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Billolick
3.35/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, twist off cap, label is all christmas colors, unlike the one show above...just sayin...pours pretty typical looking for for a brown, slightly hazed under next to no head. The highlight here might be the nose, which is fairly robust with notes of dark and nicely roasty malts.

Tastewise things get fairly thin, with just a hint and a half of more dark maltyness, with a metallic note tossed in to boot.

Not much of a finish...not much of a effort here for what supposed to be a festive "Christmas beer"...

Photo of chinchill
3.7/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle served in a pint glass.

Pours a near-clear red-brown color with a large head of light beige foam. Head dies down to a lasting thin coat and leaves a little lacing.

A - Medium and light malt with earthy hops, toffee and hints of dark fruit with some light 'winter' spicing.

T: Vanilla, toffee, light spicy hops and figs, over a solid malt base. Somewhat earthy and nutty. "Christmas" flavor notes are under control here, excepting perhaps the vanilla, but thankfully there is no overblown nutmeg or cinnamon.

MF: Light/medium body; good medium carbonation

O - An above-average, easy drinking offering from Abita. Good economical winter seasonal.

Photo of dsauter
3.5/5  rDev +2%

Photo of nickthegun12
3.93/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a good brown color....not much head...and decent lacing...

smells a hoppy..smells really hoppy...citrus hoppy...

taste...a little bit of a tea flavor...slightly fruity...a little bitter...winter brewing spices...nutmeg and cinnamon....and well defined hops

watery feel in the mouth....not too carbonated...

pretty good drinkability....

Photo of Stigs
3.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz short squat bottle, served in a small Tulip

A - pours with about 2 fingers of tight, yet creamy light tan foam. as it falls, leaves a sticky layer of film around the glass. the beer is clear, deep ruby and brown in color.

S - wiffs of chocolate, toasted nuts, lightly citrus and earthy hops, and rich, honeyed biscuits.

T - dominating sweet, biscuity malts. flashes of lightly bitter, citrus and muddy hops. sweetness creeps up, with cocoa and vanilla, nutmeg, and honey.

M - thin, quite thin. moderate to lightish carbonation fizzles. somewhat dry in the finish.

D - not bad, just lacking ome body an a bit more melding of flavors. doesnt exactly fit into the Brown Ale category either, more of an Amber.

Photo of Damian74Shensky
3.25/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of jheezee
3.5/5  rDev +2%

Photo of russpowell
3.8/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review based on notes, drank this early February

Pours brown with a pinky of cream colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Fruittyness, woody hops & toffee

T: Toffee, brown sugar & figgyness up front. Some nutty notes as this warms, along with caramel & piney hops. Finishes dry with brown sugar & toffee

MF: Light/medium bodied, medium carbonation & nice balance

Drinks easy, a cut above Abita's usual offerings

Photo of jmerloni
4.03/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Brown with a little reddish tint. Translucent. Head is moderate and leaves a little bit of nice lacing.

S - Bready, chocolate notes, some malt.

T - Bready chocolate notes. Not much malt here. Some spices. Maybe cinnamon or nutmeg. Pleasant and pretty subtle and light.

M - Nice and light but not cheaply so. Really pleasant to sip. Very dry. Carbonation is perfect here.

D - Very good drinkability on this one. I could throw these back during an after-Christmas dinner poker game or something like that. Really pleasant tasting, inoffensive, light, and nice. For whatever is lacking in this beer to a beer critic, Abita made it to be the way it is, and I think it's an overall success.

Photo of tone77
3.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark caramel color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some hops present. Taste is good, hops up front, a bit nutty, some malts. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this makes for a good quality brew.

Photo of ocelot2500
3.45/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper color with a tan head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Smells of toasted malts and some floral hops.

Tastes of the toasted malt with some hops on the backend. Malts are mostly toasted bread with a small amount of caramel sweetness. Hops add some bitterness on the end with floral and herbal notes. Some spiciness emerges as it warms. Fairly dry overall.

Mouthfeel is medium with a thick amount of carbonation.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.85/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark copper in color, nice finger of head that leaves nice little lacing.

Aroma is nice, with a hint of sweet malts, with a subtle, floral hop aroma.

Taste is good, with a starting slightly malt sweet, moving to nice subtle woodsy hops, and finishing with a hint of nuttiness.

Feel is crisp, smooth, and upper light in body.

Overall, solid on the drink.

Photo of Frosty80
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: pours light golden-brown. sits clear reddish-brown with a good off-white head

Smell: upon sniffing after first straight poor it had one hell of a spicy hop kick to it. aftera minute though it became a little more tame. nice caramel malt to support

Taste: moderately high spicy/peppery hop character. medium bitterness. caramel malt sweetness is scarce. seems to be highly attenuated giving it a very dry presence, especially in the finish which is spicy

Mouthfeel: medium body with medium carbonation

Notes: nothing spectacular, but i do love the spiciness/pepperiness of this hoppy light brown ale

Photo of claybeer
2.93/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I haven't seen this color before...a nice sandy brown color with a touch of auburn. the head was a little thin, starting about one finger but disappeared quickly. It was a nice frothy tan color. The nose is a spicy, peppery, floral and a touch of malt. It was a bit gritty and tart but a warm herbal flavor. Some fig and dried fruit follows. The mouth feel is only ok. It lacks something but overall a nice easy drinking winter warmer.

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.33/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Abita Christmas Ale (2010 edition) has a thick, frothy, off-white head and a very clear amber appearance, with moderate carbonation; spaced lacing is present down the glass. The aroma is of roasted malts and dark coffee. Taste is of dark roasted barley, dark roast coffee, and a hop under-spice; all of these come together in a delicious triad. Mouth-feel is medium, and Abita Christmas Ale (2010) has a nice, settled finish. Overall, I quite enjoyed this pleasant, mild ale.

RJT

Photo of Chugs13
2/5  rDev -41.7%

Photo of Blanco
2.5/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

pours a dark mahogany color with a white head that disappears rather quickly. decent lacing however.

the smell upfront is of hops and malty caramel. without tasting it seems rather black ipa-ish.

that association is quickly corrected upon tasting it. It's got bitterness, but almost none of the hoppy/piney/citric flavors of hops. aside from the bitterness the flavor is almost watery and not in a BMC sort of way, just in a very clean sort of way. it's very light with a slight aftertaste.

A little disappointed in this. the smell and taste seems to contradict each other as well as the mouthfeel. I typically expect a bigger body from "Christmas" beers so that through me for a loop and the clean water aspect is also strange.

Photo of mountdew1
3.8/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a orange brown, with a thick 2-3 finger frothy off white head. Head clung to the sides well, only lasted a few minutes before thinning out considerably. Aroma was minimal, was mostly sweet brown bread. Flavor was malty and earthy, with a tad of burnt brown sugar. Felt ok in the mouth, coated nicely, and was well carbonated. Almost slightly chewy. A very pleasant to drink beer, just a bit strange to be a christmas selection.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.53/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle pours a clearish, red-brown color with a large cap of light beige foam. Nice retention and lacing.

Dark plum fruit with some cinnamon and sugar dusting. Tropical hop aromas meld well with the soft caramel malt.

Pretty sure there is a little bit of spicing going on here, but it is very mild. Biscuity malt with a fruitcake-dough yeast presence. Fairly sweet, but some toast and hop bitterness clean things up pretty well. I guess brown ale is as good of classification as any, but it is not your typical brown ale. The Abita christmas beers always have the same mild vibe to them even though they claim to use a different recipe every year. Easy drinking six-pack that can vanish pretty quickly. I got this on sale for 3.99 and am very happy with it for that price.

Photo of Pegasus
4/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear, deep amber brown with a dense, persistent cream-colored cloud top head. Abundant Belgian lace adorns the glass walls. Numerous streams of fat bubbles drif lazily to the surface.

Aroma: Lots of toasted malts, caramel, a little cocoa as well, modest herbal hops, and slight spices.

Taste: Opens with nut and toffee notes. A pronounced undercurrent of cold coffee is present throughout the taste. Caramel is present as well, with hints of dark fruit and brown sugar. Toward the close of the taste, pine tar hops appear and linger well past the close. The finish is a bit dry.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, and pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: A very nice example of the style, with a little Christmas spicing as well.

Packaged in a short twelve-ounce brown glass bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a standard Pilsener glass.

Photo of AWS2111
3/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.83/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a moderate brown color with a thin light tan head and a tad bit of lacing. The nose is some light toast and roast plus some caramel and mild spice. The taste brings some semi-sweet malt and hints of spice plus a dash of caramel. The feel is a bit thin yet slightly creamy. Drinks fairly well ands is better that I expected from a brewery I don't generally care for all that much.

Photo of woodychandler
2.95/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

tone77 wants me to keep him in CANs as he helps to keep my bottle numbers in alignment, so ours is a symbiotic relationship as traders. I am all about Abita anyway, so it is not a challenge or a chore to drink one of their beers. TheChauffeur1 and I actually stopped in at their beer bar headed north and west leaving Nawlins and I had the totally memorable Oysters Abitafeller for lunch. I would like to dedicate this review to all of my Bulldog homies (Jeremy, Adem, Jackie and The Beer Buddha, who I kept missing on my last visit).

From the bottle: "A Christmas gift should be special. Selected especially for you. A great deal of money need not be spent., but a considerable amount of thought should be expended. So, with you in mind, each year at the Abita Brewery we craft a very special Christmas Ale. Every year the recipe changes. Abita Christmas Ale is a perfect gift. It's always the right color and fits nicely in your hand. ... we hope it's just what you wanted."

My aggro pour left me facing a rocky finger-and-a-half of mocha-tan head with medium retention. Color was a deep brownish-red with ruby highlights and NE-quality clarity. Nose had the cocoa-biscuitiness of the style. Yum! if you have ever had a chocolate biscotti, you will understand. Mouthfeel was medium and the chocolate malt just jumped out on the the tongue, but with a noticeable hop bitterness underlying the overall sweetness. Finish was more bitter than sweet and seemed to put it out of balance on the whole. I have had better beers from Abita and I would steer you to one of those and away from this one.

Photo of deadliest
3.03/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark red-brown with light khaki head.
S: Sweet bread, cocoa powder, roasted malt. Just light over all to me, though.
T: Sweet malt, light hops... more sweet malt.
M: Thin, light on the palate, nice carbonation, a little watery.
D: Not bad, just too one dimensional, and I don't like that dimension enough to want this again I think. Still not bad though.

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Christmas Ale 2010 from Abita Brewing Co.
79 out of 100 based on 69 ratings.