Christmas Ale 2011 - Abita Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Christmas Ale 2011Christmas Ale 2011

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
74
okay

161 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 161
Reviews: 53
rAvg: 3.18
pDev: 22.96%
Wants: 1
Gots: 10 | 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: EgadBananas on 11-06-2011

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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 161 | Reviews: 53
Reviews by thekevlarkid:
Photo of thekevlarkid
3.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Out of a bottle this beer was a perfectly clear, garnet color with a two finger khaki-colored head. It displayed good retention as a collar and left lacing in sliding bands and spots. The aroma was complex filled with toasted grains, caramel malt, a hint of nuts and light hops. The flavors were odd for a "Christmas Ale," in my opinion. I tasted lots of roasted and toasted malt hints of caramel and coffee beans and wood. Semi-sweet at first, it eased towards a rooty, earthy finish of bitterness. The mouthfeel was creamy, the body medium and the carbonation medium/light. Not bad per se, but it reminded me of Autumn and not Christmas.

More User Reviews:
Photo of tigg924
3.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, high carbonation, red-brown in color, clear

Smell: toasted malt and cinnamon

Taste: wood, toasted malt, and citrus hops at the end

Mouthfeel: bitter with slight sweetness, moderate carbonation, medium bodied

Overall: This one is ok to just above ok. I have liked other Abita Christmas Ales better. This is kinda like a hoppy American brown. I could have a six of this, but it is not overly memorable.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.72/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep crimson amber ruby brown color in the body with a light beige head forming thick and dwindling down. Aroma is a bit skunky with earth and pine pretty christmas ale-ish though. Flavor has mild pine a bit of citrus and harsh flavors going on with a middle of the road caramel malt backbone it's the new Christmas tree beer. Definitely not one dimensional a bit earthy and spicy with Christmas flavors I'm actually enjoying this beer. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a session ale diving down for a Christmas beer from outside of NOLA. Actually a pretty solid offering what's up with this beer being so good and matching my palate during the holiday season, damn good.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.68/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2012 bottle? No date but I bought it and am drinking it on 31 Oct 2012.
Two fingers of head. Dark brown body, barely transparent.
Smells like toffee, nutmeg and pine.
Stronger bitterness, mildly malty without any serious sweetness.
Soft and fizzy texture. Medium body.
Pretty good Christmas Ale. A good "Christmas" smell but without the weird spice flavors.

Photo of Doppelbockulus
3.68/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice clear dark amber color, decent head that settles.

Nose is toasty and hoppy. Smells like plain rice cakes.

Taste is hoppy, but not extreme, with some milt toastyness from the malt. Very similar to a Newcastle Brown ale with a little more hop character.

Very refreshing mouthfeel, light with medium fizz.

Photo of rebel1771
2.68/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a reddish brown with a very small white head that dissipates quickly.

S: Mild aroma of hops and a kind of sour funk.

T: The taste has a sharp bitterness up front along with that weird funk from from the smell. Fades to a very slight toasted malt flavor.

O: I can't say I enjoyed this offering very much. The flavors just did not play well together.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.99/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a nice, mostly transparent medium brown, with a light colored finger of head. Aroma is pleasant, with a pretty nice floral hoppy note, nutty, chocolate malts with some slight roasty notes. Roasted malts taste, with light chocolate and nuttiness, caramel and a nice spicy, floral, light citrus hop finish. Medium body, but the lighter side. Average, not bad.

As usual, Abita's Christmas remains one of the few seasonal's that I enjoy thoroughly.

Photo of smakawhat
3.5/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Christmas over.. but not for ME! Let's so how this plays out. Poured into a nonic pint glass.

A simple foamy three finger off white head produced, sits on a dark ruby and clear body. Head is a bit "potted" but seems to hold up well.

Nose is interesting. Sugar sweet mild nutmeg like spice, and a light brown sugar. Malt seems a little buried, but I am liking this sweetness angle.

Taste is an interesting mix. Not as sweet forward, but brings a very burnt grain. A little watery with not such a pleasant finish. Very burnt and wet finish and very fleeting.

Overall not that great, as the beer warms it starts loosing appeal to me and gets quite one dimensional. Feels like a very watered down brown ale, and missing the sweet notes that are on the nose which never seem to return.

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Abita Christmas Ale (2011) has a medium-to-thick, cream-colored head and a fairly dark, yet clear, amber appearance, with some streaming bubbles and a decent amount of thick lacing left behind. The aroma is of pepper and maybe crackers. Taste is of pepper, cracker, cloves, iced tea, and some residual hop bitterness. Moutfeel is medium and soft, and Abita Christmas Ale (2011) finishes mostly dry and easy drinking. Overall, this is very good.

RJT

Photo of Brent
3.06/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm a bit lost on what makes this a Christmas ale, other than the time of release. Overall, a decent, but unimpressive, brown ale. Adequate malt body with some nice nut flavor. No spicing or other additive flavors common to a seasonal designation. Pleasant, but hardly festive.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.95/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Maybe Im just crazy, but I actually enjoy the Abita Christmas Ale every year. I find it to be better than the ratings deem it to be. I always buy at least two sixers of it each year.

12 oz bottle pours a mostly clear, dark crimson-brown color with a decent, light tan head. Very nice lace.

Nose is piney and citric with a moderate toffee malt background. This one seems hoppier than in years past [yea, yea...insert 'this year is hoppier than last' joke here].

Bitter hops, roasty malt and burnt sugar coat the palate with a highly carbonated, bubbly mouthfeel. I usually dont like something this toasty, but for some reason I find myself attracted to this one. Nutty yeast makes an appearance and there is actually a fair amount going on here. Summation: I like it, I can see why others dont and I will continue to buy it each and every year...Its always similar, but a shade or two different from year to year. Carry on Abita...carry on.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.56/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Just so you know my bottle looks different from the one pictured. It is red and white with some tree's on it

Picked up this single at my local place for $2.75

A - A very dark shade of brown but clear. Head is a nice full inch and is slightly opaque.

S - I do smell that weird vegetable smell others have described besides the splash of honey and caramel . Smells of almonds as well.

T- Thankfully the taste is more balanced and the vegetable taste isn't picked up, maybe slightly but I get a nice bit of hop presence, which is ok but I do like more malt forward. And a finish similar to "Turbo dog" with a bit of nutty goodness.

M - Light to medium but the hop bitterness is kind of cloying.

Overall I don't know what they could do to make it SMELL better but it was a pretty decent brew just a bit hoppy. It's so weird how it tastes good but smells like steamed brussel sprouts so if you get it I recommend holding your nose while you drink.

Photo of shand
3.64/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

You know what? This is actually a pretty interesting beer. It's honestly something like a mildly spiced pale ale, with a bit of roastiness on the finish. It's a decent looker, a nice red-copper color with a fairly big head that quickly drops. Smell is very weak. The taste is pretty good though, big floral hops with a bit of caramel malts and a slight spiced background. The mouthfeel is very high carbonated and fairly light-bodied, and the drinkability is quite good. Overall, a solid brew.

Photo of zdk9
2.88/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours a deep cloudy brown with a finger of white head and dots and squiggles of lacing.

S- One of the first and last things I notice on the smell is corn- not impressive. It's a sweet malty pounded-out over-cooked fresh corn smell. There's a bit of nuttiness as well, and maybe some wisps of smoke.

T- The taste is a little better-more nuttiness- with a very hull like taste like peanut or hazlenut hulls. The corn still crops up, especially towards the end of the taste. Some amounts of earthy hops, more so in the aftertaste than anything else.

M- Pretty bitter overall which is weird given the corn flavors but actually some hops do appear on the sides of my mouth that kind of overwhelm the mouthfeel.

O- I'm underwhelmed by this beer. While the taste is ok, it's not good, and the smell is just not what I'm looking for in beer,brown or otherwise.

Photo of Romoworld
2.24/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Not very fond of this beer at all it turned out to b an IPA and I DO NOT like IPA's

Photo of rarbring
2.47/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The beer is deep brown in the amber area, an off-white head that laves very good lacing. Some curtains.

Smelling citric, grape tonic and lemon detergent, old rancid hay.

Starting sweet, toffee, brown bread, old vegetables, grape fruit peel.

Low carbonation, soft but flat, a rather dry finish.

I wonder if this bottle wasn't a bit off. Or I did not like the low carbonation and the hops.

Photo of TheSarge
3.81/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks perfect with a two finger thick light tan head, which retains quite well. The body is cleanly filtered and is dark copper in color.

The aroma gives off mint, caramel, orange rind, and maybe nutmeg.

The taste has a metallic and bready toffee kind of taste to it. This would be a good desert beer.

Feels medium in body with good carbonation; leaves the palate a bit on the dry side.

Photo of AEArider
4.02/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 'close to brown' color, with pretty good lacing. Smell was pretty complex. . . distinctly hoppy, but with a totally different facet of spice that seemed to justify the "christmas ale" label. Taste starts off pretty malty, and finished with a piney hop profile accompanied by the previously mentioned spice. Had a couple of these at Thanksgiving dinner. . . went down great. Didn't have any of the prior year brews, but will definitely check it out in 2012.

Photo of JuicesFlowing
2.86/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a standard pint glass. The beer is a ruby-tinted toffee color. The head is off-white colored and frothy. Good head retention, in fact it stays in tact all the way down (with a good pour). Decent sticky lacing. The beer smells peppery. I cannot pinpoint the exact taste of this beer. It is weird to say the least. It tastes like black pepper and is malty, but another reviewer mentioned an onion taste, and I can't say that I disagree. Weird. The mouthfeel is medium to light bodied.

Overall, I kind of thought I liked this beer at first, but as I'm finishing off my six pack, I have decided it tastes too much like onions and black pepper. I have edited my review to reflect my opinion. I'd say buy one bottle just to experience a different take on a Christmas Ale, but more than one is pushing it.

Photo of jmbranum
3.5/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber/light brown clear liquid with an off-white head.

Aroma is hoppy with some earthy notes. Something is strange in the background but I can't place what it is.

Flavor is... well disappointing. I expect spices and something special for a Christmas ale, but this was fairly pedestrian. Seemed like more of a garden variety pale ale that is a little darker than average.

Some lingering coppery notes.

Not a bad beer I suppose but not quite what I expected.

Photo of woodychandler
4.27/5  rDev +34.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Today is my Christmas in July! I am emptying out my backlog of bottles and this just surfaced in the inventory. Cheers!

From the bottle: "Each year at the Abita Brewery we craft a special dark ale for the holiday season. Each year the recipe changes so that Abita Christmas Ale is always the perfect gift."

My pour achieved a finger of fizzing tawny head that quickly fizzed its way out of existence. Color was a deep reddish-amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled minty, wintergreen with a hint of chocolate. I was put in mind of a Girl Scouts Thin Mint or a Peppermint Patty. Nice. Mouthfeel was medium and it really tasted like a liquid G. S. Thin Mint! Man, I was digging that. Finish was semi-dry and again, the Thin Mint comparison held up. Happy Christmas in July!

Photo of obrike
2.92/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Light brown pour...not much head, no lacing...fairly bland looking.

A mix of sweet caramel, dark roasted malt, and a bit of earthy hops...however, something also smells a bit skunky...not sure if it's supposed to smell like this.

Yeah, well...there's the sour funk, on the aftertaste. The initial malt flavor is ok, but the sourness takes over. I've experienced this before with Abita but I guess I did not learn my lesson.

Certainly not a drain pour but will more than likely not buy this one again...i'd try it again if it were offered just to make sure.

Photo of sweemzander
1.77/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

(A)- Pours a burnt caramel brown color that produced a nice cap of tan froth. Decent retention.

(S)- A heavy earthy yeasty bit up front. A strong musk-like almost fruity clay; almost like licorice.

(T)- Similar to the smell. A dusty earthy musk-like metallic clay component. A very sharp spice/yeast on the finish.

(M)- A good carbonation level, but a very sharp/grainy/dry feel I do not quite care for. Finishes with lots of metallic-like bits.

(D)- Sorry, but this one is very disappointing, not to mention, a bit disjointed and near off-putting.

Photo of bieltzc
2.26/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Beer is a dark amber color. The top is thin with some carbonation busting through the foam at the top/.

The smell of the beer is of dark wood and slight spice. The smell reflects the taste of the beer

Mouthful is thin with a deep taste of bitter hops. The bitterness covers much of the spice which is able to be smelled.

In my opinion the taste is not the greatest. It taste bitter and of alcohol with not much flavor besides these two. The alcoholic taste lingers and does not escape very easily

overall an average tasting beer

Photo of ckollias
2.63/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a dark amber hue with a big tan head that slowly dissipates in to a solid persistent lace leaving a great trail down the whole glass.

S: Strong malty sweet aroma with hints of spices.

T: Smooth tart brew with an bland general malt flavor. There is a little bit of spice here but not much else.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Man – I thought this beer was going to be awesome just by the smell but the flavor was a big disappointment. Just your average brew and nothing I would grab again.

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Christmas Ale 2011 from Abita Brewing Co.
74 out of 100 based on 161 ratings.