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Christmas Ale 2010 - Abita Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Christmas Ale 2010Christmas Ale 2010

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

46 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 46
Hads: 69
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 10.69%
Wants: 2
Gots: 3 | 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:
Beer added by: tone77 on 11-06-2010

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.
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Reviews: 46 | Hads: 69
Photo of CuriousMonk
2.5/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From winter brew tasting notes (2010): Clear chestnut pour with almost reddish highlights and wispy tan head. Sweet malty aroma with some toastiness. Flavor has hints of cherries, molassis, toffee, and lots of caramel. Nutmeg in the flavor, No real other 'holiday' spices, but that might be because of the age. Interesting that they change the recipe every year. Did not like 2010 at all. (388 characters)

Photo of crossovert
2.51/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottlw with a shiny silver label. It has nothign noting what vintage it is, I am assuming 2010.

It pours a clear reddish brown with a foamy off-white head. The head doesn't stick for a huge amount of time and recedes with some decent lacing.

The smell is pretty hoppy for a Christmas beer. It ahs some nice citrus. There is also a papery smell and dark bread.

The flavor is kind of dull, it is a watery brown ale. Nothing exciting about it. Metallic flavor. (466 characters)

Photo of Blanco
2.56/5  rDev -26%
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. (734 characters)

Photo of PDXHops
2.71/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Mahogany body with a sizeable frothy off-white head and a fair amount of lacing.

Nutty and toasty aromas with a bit of cocoa and light herbal notes Not too strong, but pleasant enough. Flavor is a bit lacking, chiefly due to a metallic/tangy hop flavor that's reminiscent of tea that's been steeped too long. Some char lends a bit of harshness; not particularly smooth-drinking. A single was plenty of this brew. (456 characters)

Photo of BurpingtonDC
2.73/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I've had many other Abita brews and I like the Turbo Dog pretty well, but this is the first time I've tried the Xmas ale. Poured into a pint glass.

A -The appearance is a deep amber/carmel color. A single fingered creamy tan head that leaves persistent creamy laceing.

S- Smell is not aggressive, but represents with a light grassy hop scent, sweet malt

T - A distinct taste of toast, chocolate malt, and a bitter, high-alpha (?) hop

M - A fuzzy, highly carbonated ale with a lighter body than might appear by its looks.

D - Abita's 2010 Christmas Ale is drinkable, somewhat light for the style, and nothing special. The super bitter taste was a bit off-putting, and I like a hoppy brew! (693 characters)

Photo of waterintobeer
2.76/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The beer pours a amber colored brown with a one finger head. When held up to the light the beer appears a dark red. It smells of malt and a little musky-ness. There is a decent amount of lacing around the glass. The flavor is mainly of malt, a spicy hop character would prove invaluable in this beer. Much too malt sweet with not enough counter balance. Some thing is a bit off, possibly because I am reviewing this Christmas beer in February. The date says it is good until April, although I would not want to have one that far out. There is a decent amount of carbonation but not enough festive flavors to call this a Christmas ale. Since this is classified as a brown ale, I would say that it is alright for that style, definitely not the best. (747 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
2.86/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Abita Christmas pours a hazy brown, decent sized head and no lace. Bready malt, lightly toasty. Flavor follows the nose, bready, nutty a touch of spice. Mouthfeel is a bit thin. Average drinkability, possibly the best beer this miserable brewery produces. (255 characters)

Photo of mgironta
2.88/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew poured with a one finger off white head that dissipated quickly, leaving no lacing to speak of on the glass. The body is a cloudy chestnut-brown color. On the nose, I got a lot of nuttiness and maltiness going on. It also had another scent, almost an unpleasant sweetness. Hmm, this is odd. On the taste, it’s not what I expected at all. It has some caramel malt and nuttiness, but it’s very watery. Medium carbonation also comes through on the brew. This brew was definitely underflavored, at least for me. The finish had nothing on it. I’m usually a big fan of Abita brews, but this is just not a pleasant brew for me. It’s also not what I would expect out of a Christmas beer. Definitely would not have this one again. (739 characters)

Photo of rogerharris
2.91/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Attractive packaging, pours nicely enough. Head on the small, but that's not a big deal to me.

First impressions- very little aroma and a pronounced bitterness. Very little else to remember. Lacks complexity and is rather two-dimensional.

Not what I would expect from a "Christmas" beer, as it lacks the body and spicy notes that I would have expected.

I could drink another, sure. But I won't be rushing out to buy another six pack of these.

I haven't tried their other brews, but this one has left me a little disappointed. Beats the regular commercial brews, though. (573 characters)

Photo of claybeer
2.97/5  rDev -14.2%
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. (435 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.03/5  rDev -12.4%
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. (1,595 characters)

Photo of deadliest
3.03/5  rDev -12.4%
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. (358 characters)

Photo of tronester
3.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear reddish brown, with a creamy tan head. Smells of freshly split tree nuts, and a bit of darkly toasted bread. Taste is plums up front, with a bunch of dark caramel following. After that its a dry earthy hop finish. A bit watery IMO. Mouthfeel is good, low carbonation. Drinkability is good. A bit hoppier than your average brown ale, though the body on this is very dry, surprisingly so for a Brown ale. (416 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.39/5  rDev -2%
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"... (523 characters)

Photo of mattpoin
3.39/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark mahogany in color, with a light-khaki head that leaves a thin lacing.

S - Not a terribly noticeable aroma. Slight smell of hops, as well as a strange pungency. It's too early for this bear to have gone bad, so not sure what's up with that.

T - A little spicy--hops first, balanced with a little malt. There's a faint hint of "Christmas" spices in the aftertaste, such as nutmeg.

M - The beer has a very dry mouthfeel, and lots of carbonation.

D - Not a difficult beer to drink, but I don't think I'd have more than one or two.

Comments: The Christmas Ale 2010 has a good taste, but it doesn't taste like what I would expect from a Christmas beer. The warm spice flavors are almost nonexistent, and if Abita sold it any other time of year with a different label, I'm not sure Xmas would be something I'd think of. Not a bad beer, just not what I'm looking for in a Christmas-themed beverage.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. (952 characters)

Photo of Morey
3.4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours reddish brown in color when held up to the light....and I must say, It looks a little watery. One finger off-white head following a medium aggressive pour. Head has settled to a thin lace (consisting of plenty of big bubbles) rather quickly.

Smells of mild hops and sweet malts as well as something else that I just can't seem to pin point (and I'm not sure that I like it).

Taste is hoppy up front and then is get kind of thin and watered down towards the middle.

Thin mouthfeel with low carbonation.

I could drink several, but I'm not sure I'd want to.

Morey's Bottom Line: Not that I expect a lot from Abita or anything...but this is slightly disappointing. Too thin and water for a winter release of any kind. Easy drinking for someone who isn't into craft beer. (787 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.41/5  rDev -1.4%
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. (274 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.41/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice opaque dark-chocolate brown with a fine-bubbled light tan head that leaves some good lacing. Aroma is not strong, but does invite a taste with malty, woody, and subtle cinnamon and cloves notes. Flavor has a malty core with spice (cinnamon and cloves) hints and a woody, slightly bitter hops undertone. Texture has average body but a fair amount of tingle, leaving a fizzy, woody finish. (400 characters)

Photo of ocelot2500
3.45/5  rDev -0.3%
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. (430 characters)

Photo of mralphabet
3.45/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Pours a nice, ruby-brown color, pretty clear. About a fingers worth of head that dissipates pretty quickly, but has very nice lacing.

S: Little nutty, some sweet malt and strong note of hops.

T: Sweet malt and nuts up front, maybe a little nutmeg and spice little Christmas like. All of this is balanced out with a hoppy finish. Aftertaste is a little on the bitter side.

M: Lighter than I was expecting, not very thick feeling, like most Christmas beers I've had. Not bad but not expected.

D: Very drinkable, not like most Christmas beers I've had but still a very likable beer from Abita. ABV is good and so is the taste. Worth a look. (681 characters)

Photo of Stigs
3.51/5  rDev +1.4%
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. (715 characters)

Photo of tchenery
3.52/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

No head on this beer. It has a nice dark russet/reddish color though.

Smells nutty, almost like the Pecan Harvest did, but with more roasted and toasted malt flavors.

It has an odd flat-cola like taste, kind of a subdued bitter cocoa or chocolate or coffee. It's tasty though.

Nice lightweight Christmas Ale that is completely drinkable. (342 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.53/5  rDev +2%
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. (780 characters)

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

Picked this one up the other day as part of a mixed six pack, and was very pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Poured a deep amber red with a small white head. Aromas of sweet malt and earthy hops. On the palate, more of the same, medium bodied and quite drinkable. A pleasant surprise. (297 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a nice brown color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, roasted malt scent along with a mild caramel malt sweetness. There is a subtle nuttiness as well. The taste is decent. It has a thin roasted and caramel malt flavor. It goes down with ease and finishes bone dry. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an above average beer, but just an average brown. (477 characters)

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Christmas Ale 2010 from Abita Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.