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Christmas Ale 2012 - Abita Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Christmas Ale 2012Christmas Ale 2012

Educational use only; do not reuse.

30 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 30
Hads: 136
Avg: 3.35
pDev: 18.21%
Wants: 1
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Abita Brewing Co. visit their website
Louisiana, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: EgadBananas on 11-18-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (44) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 30 | Hads: 136
Photo of garymuchow
2/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Alright, it's already the first day of spring and I'm still holding onto a Christmas ale. Time to get this one into the books - and into my belly. Best by 3/2/13
Kind of a nasty hop aroma, like wet old hops. Very unpleasant.
Very attractive beer. Full rich dense head. Very clear brown body with deep red highlights.
I'm afraid the taste has some of the same nastiness as the aroma. It's not a complete disaster as I can grab some of the malts, but it's mostly the unpleasantness of the old mold hops.
Rather thin body with some fullness from the carbonation.
This is only a little past best by date, so I can't imagine it was much better two or three weeks ago.
Life's too short to finish this one.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.31/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Bah, as much as I may be against it, there's a flood of Christmas beers flowing toward me now. Oh well... This stuff pours a clear ruby-brown topped by a finger of glowing dusty wan tan foam. The nose comprises leek, random vegetation, sharp grapefruit zest, clove, brown sugar, and some old toffee. Things coalesce very poorly in my 'strils. The taste mirrors the cacophony of the smell, with the focus on the vegetation, the old toffee, and the clove. It's grimace-inducing, indeed. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly brackish feel. Overall, an unpleasant beer on all sides. 'Nuff said.

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Photo of deebo
2.6/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle with a BB date of 3/2/13 into a chalice provides a finger of slightly off white head. Clear and light brown/ruby red in color. Aromas of lightly toasted barley malt, floral/citrus hops with a hint of cinnamon. The aroma is much more pleasing than the taste. This is a confused beer. I'm getting lots of different flavors here but not one is dominant and I can't put my finger on it. This beer finishes bitter. Weak in body and high in carbonation. Poor beer.

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Photo of dacrza1
2.68/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Date Rated: April 13, 2013...
Glassware: Corsendonk snifter...
Occasion: Les Mis and a Creole brewery--straining thematic proximity...
Appearance: dark ruby velvet body with clinging off-white head--could be imposing with solid tracing as thee glass drains...
Aroma: pricks of spruce and citrus make this festive indeed; otherwise noteworthy for a brown ale...
Palate: full-bodied but oily, swiftly slickening the throat; flattened as soda--skunked?...
Taste: softened, mellow hops with enough malt to balance its flavor; not robust enough to garner interest in this genre ...
Overall: Okay, admittedly late for the Christmas beer seasonals, but they must be consumed sooner than later...this one is curious--alcohol strength is undetectable, but thee thinness of the beer ill-suits the style--this particular bottle may have been aged (a month after its best-by date) and thus could be adversely affected....

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Photo of atomicbeer
2.93/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear brown-orangey-copper with a large tan head that has a orange tint. Aroma is pretty funky: figgy fruitcake leads the way but there's some also needles, wet sock, petroleum, tree bark, and leather. Wow, did I just write that? Initally the aroma is off-putting but I keep returning to sniff. Fortunately the taste does not follow. A bit fruity, a bit woody, some pine; don't really get anything Christmas-y. The mouth is fairly creamy, goes down smooth. Some burnt flavors like carmelized sugar linger. This might be good if not for the old rubber boot with pine mud in the fruitcake nose.

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Photo of kshizzle101
2.96/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - A medium brown/red ale which leaves a 2 inch head. Thick lacing down the sides

S - smells strongly of roasted malts and pine

T - pine hops are very prevalent. Very bitter for this type of ale. maybe some nutmeg

M - light to medium body. a little hint of booze at the end.

Overall - A rather mediocre effort

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.05/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint.
5.5% ABV, Best Before 03/02/13 printed on neck, (2012 vintage).

A - A ruby hue washes over the rusty amber beer which pours with perfect clarity. Some vigor creates a tall light cream head which towers in height for quite some time before fading to a sturdy pile of foam leaving thick, chunky lace on the pint.

S - Earthiness abounds with dust and crumbly dirt from brown malts create an interesting profile for a Christmas ale but there's also quite a bit added from earthy, faintly herbal and somewhat pine-y hops. It seems somewhat closed off at first and a swirl only encourages off-putting aromas of burnt rubber and new shoe (which normally is pleasing). Toasted bread and finishes.

T - A seemingly mild addition of roasted malt comes forward in a big way, pushing forwards with bitter baker's chocolate, gritty burnt toast, and the same dirt and dust earth qualities the aroma possesses. Mild herbal spice opens up more followed by more pine attributes which completely differentiate themselves from the American hops one might think of when "pine" is mentioned.

M - Abita's Christmas Ale has a medium-light body leaning more towards the latter as it finishes extremely dry with an unchecked almost astringent bitterness and odd pine flavor.

O - I can't say I'm going to finish this beer. It's not quite for me but I also don't think it's worthy of calling it a drain-pour outright. This Christmas ale's heavy earthiness, gritty bitterness, and pine seem unbalanced; a bad combination for my palate.

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Photo of babayaga
3.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Purchased from Brix in Omaha, poured into stem porter glass.

Appearance is reddish brown. Clear. 2 finger frothy head with a mixture of bubble sizes. Healthy head that stays around.

Aroma is big toffee, nutty, caramel. Grassy? hop comes out with some air.

Medium body, soft carbonation, light creamy mouthfeel. Slightly slick.

Decently balanced between sweet and bitter, relatively short finish. Very pleasant.

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Photo of BenjaminBlondbeard
3.15/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Abita Christmas pours a deep mahogany brown. There is a smokey brown head, less than an inch, and it sticks around for a while. Intermittent bubbles rise through the clean ale. Lacing around the glass sticks at the beginning, but drops off with the carbonation.

The nose smells caramel, toffee, as well as very subtle citrus and coffee.

The mouth tastes roasted malts that come on first with subtle coffee and chocolate flavors. The hops rise to imparts citrus to balance. There is lively hop spice throughout this medium bodied ale. There is a clean finish, and surprisingly the bitters reign over somewhat smokey roasted malt flavors.

This drinks like a brown pale ale. A well hopped, roasted beer that is good for the beginning of winter. In the end it is not one of my favorites, but still enjoyable.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I picked up a bottle of Abita's Christmas Ale 2012 a couple days ago for $1.69 at The Lager Mill. I haven't tried too many beers from Abita and since I was picking up different kinds of Christmas beers I thought I would give this one a chance, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, but I'm sure it's fairly fresh. Poured from a shorter brown 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- The label is pretty plain and simple with a slight Christmas theme to it. It poured a fairly clear brown/dark amber color that took on a nice ruby hue when held to the light with two and a half fingers worth of fluffy tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and left some nice spotty lacing. This is a good looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a high amount of sweetness and a good amount of malts that impart a sweet, dark bread, caramel, light roasted malt, and a slight toffee aroma. After that comes a nice nutty aroma that is quickly followed by some hops which are piney and floral and help balance out all the malts. This beer has a nice aroma, the hops do a good job at balancing out all the malts but it's a little too sweet.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma, it starts off with lots of malts that have a medium amount of sweetness and impart some toasted malts, cereal, caramel, and a brown bread flavor. After that comes a weird nutty flavor that reminds me of an over roasted almond. Next comes the hops which are a little floral and grassy, but mainly piney, they seem to clash with malts. On the finish there's a lighter amount bitterness with a malty and weird aftertaste. This was a pretty average tasting beer, it had a weird flavor that I couldn't put my finger on and the hops seemed to clash with the malts.

M- Fairly smooth, slightly creamy, medium bodied, and it had a good amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was nice and seemed to work well with this beer.

Overall I wasn't really impressed with this beer and I thought it was an average example of the style. It was going in the right direction but when it got to the taste a really weird flavor started to show up and the malts and hops seemed to clash. This beer doesn't have the best drinkability, it went down fairly smooth, but the flavors just couldn't hold my attention, so one would be all I would want. What I liked the most about this beer was the appearance, it looked pretty nice and the head and lacing were pretty impressive. What I liked the least about this beer was that weird off flavor I got in the middle, it seemed out of place and it wasn't pleasant. I wouldn't buy this beer again, I didn't really enjoy it and I wouldn't say it's a worthy holiday beer, not recommended. All in all I was let down with this beer, it just isn't what I call a good Christmas time ale, it was pretty rough around the edges and needs some work, at least it will be different next year. This was kind of a let down from Abita, better luck next guys, so far this is my least favorite Abita beer.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.27/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a translucent light to medium brown colour with tinges of reddish notes. A tan coloured finger and a half of head and leaves a lot of spongy lacing. The Aroma is nice, pleasant, with notes of brown sugar, caramel and nutty malts. Last couple of years have been a little hoppier, but this is more like a winter warmer. Tastes of herbal hops, caramel and some fruit-like sweetness. The after taste and the finish is a bit soft. Light bodied, somewhat crisp, refreshing, but leaves something to be desired as a Christmas beer.

It's pretty decent, but I've definitely liked previous years better.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.27/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a tulip glass

A: Opaque, dark amber. A half finger head (eggshell white) that dums down to big bubbles. Light lacing.

S: Hops and cinnamon lead the way with faint renderings of vanilla.

T: Smokey; light hops dominate with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. A subtle touch of caramel malts.

M: Light to medium with creamy carbonation. Kinda watery.

O: Less hoppy than the 2011. Not very impressive.

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Photo of chinchill
3.31/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle served in a Unibroue snifter. Best before 9 March 2013 printed on neck, (2012 vintage).

Aroma: Earthy, herbal and piney hops dominate. A winter APA? Nutty with an unfortunate hint of burnt rubber.

A: A medium-dark brown beer which pours with a tall, creamy off-white head. Good retention and spotty lacing on the glass.

T - Dark roasted malt comes forward to join the earthy, herbal and grassy ("weed', that is), very grassy, hops. There's a good bit of roasted nuts and some chocolate too, but no evidence of spicing (not that that's a bad thing).

Feel: medium-light body seems too thin. Excellent medium carbonation. Nicely dry finish.

O: Abita's 2012 Christmas Ale is an interesting winter brew with a very earthy hop treatment. The lack of "holiday spices" and the very grassy aroma and flavor make this more appropriate for winter in general than for Xmas.

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Photo of tigg924
3.4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: dark reddish-brown in color, 1/4 inch head, clear, medium carbonation

Smell: toasted malt, dark berries, and clove

Taste: toasted malt, light berries, sweet chocolate, clove and light roasted malt towards the end

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, medium carbonation, sweet with a slightly bitter finish

Overall: Holiday ale in every sense of the word. Solid but a six pack is enough. After that I will not seek this out. I seem to remember enjoying previous Christmas Ales more. This will not stop me though from looking forward to next year's release.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.43/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A-Clear deep amber brown, one finger head that doesn't last long at all.

S-Rather malty, some buts, tad cinnamon.

T-Malt, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, poor balance, all over the place, flavors are off putting.

M-Light, not much carbonation, slightly watery.

O-Every time I pick up an Abita, I find myself wondering, why did I buy this. Same thought here.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.46/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a balloon glass.

The beer is a deep ruby mahogany. A vanilla cream colored head leaves a thick film in it's wake while loads of soapy lacing coat the glass initially.

The beer smells distinctly Abita-ish. There's a rather strong black pepper aroma, with hints of what I call "burnt hops."

The taste profile is a little more encouraging. Some warm, toasty malts lead into the black pepper body. At the tail end, some faint spices, mainly cinnamon. A slightly woody, cedar finish.

Mouthfeel is medium, dry.

Overall, I can't get over the black pepper thing. Not sure of I'm missing something or not.

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Photo of beergoot
3.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark reddish copper body with a smooth, thick head. Spicy aroma; rye and ginger, peppermint. Roasted grains infused with a burnt sugar taste; slightly bread-like; hazelnuts. Soft and smooth feel; very light; dry finish.

An interesting holiday ale that seems a bit lacking in cohesion. It's certainly drinkable yet seems kind of weak with flavor impact and certainly in the mouthfeel. Good overall yet hasn't quite lived up to its potential.

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Photo of TrappistJohnMD
3.53/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy amber color with frothy head that linges pretty well in tulip. Smell is toasted malt and caramel. Taste is sweet and toasted malts, caramel, and a hint of spice. Slight bitterness in finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with average carbonation. Overall this was fair.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber tinted brown, little to no head. Scent is mild and has notes of bread, nuts , caramel, brown sugar, raisins and dates, light herbal quality. Taste follows suit - medium in flavor intensity with none of the notes sticking out much more than the other. Medium bodied, some oily heft, light carbonation. Decent beer, but doesn't invoke the holiday much.

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Photo of deletedmemory
3.7/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark, surprisingly so into the pint glass. Quite the pine aroma with a hint of bitterness from the hops. Not sure what the spice if any is here but there's something 'Christmasy' going on here. Could be the balsam candles the wife has lit but it fits the mood and the occasion perfectly with my daughter watching the Grinch cartoon for the first time. Mouthfeel is alright nothing special a bit dry on the finish which I am liking.
Of coure this isn't something I would drink all of the time, but for the season at $7.99 for a sixer it aint bad.

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Photo of riversider76
3.7/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a amber brown with a fluffy tan head. Excellent retention and laceing. Aroma is of piney hops and carmel malts. Body is crisp,light and carbonated. Taste has a nice hop presence throughout. Carmel malts, and brown sugar are there too. Decent balance. Nice.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.75/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a deep mahogany brown with an off-white, 2 finger head. Good retention. Nice lacing with good stick.

Smell - Aroma consists of predominantly earthy character, moderate pine, slight herb and peppery spice, faint caramel.

Taste - Earthy, woody character upfront. Subtle walnut undertones. Peppery. Hops are floral with touches of pine. Finishes quick

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with ample carbonation, which bites at the tongue. Goes down smooth, with a slightly watery finish.

Overall - One of the better beers I've had from Abita. Nice, interesting flavor. Doesn't quite hit the level I'd prefer, but it still delivers.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.8/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a "stubby" 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Dark copper/amber in color, with a nice cap of off-white foam.
Aroma-Subtle hop and spruce notes
Taste-interesting notes of cinnamon clove, nutmeg. Underlying fruitiness of cranberry or orange, tangy, berry-like. a bit light-bodied but pretty flavorfull overall. Certainly worth a try.

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Photo of bambam2517
3.82/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass, drank at 45F.

A - Dark ruby to burnished bronze in color, nice amount of head that dissipted quickly into a nice lasting lace ring.

S - Oak and pepper, light piney hop aroma as well. Backed up by some roasted malt, impressive complexity for a beer in this price range.

T - Juniper berry esters in the forefront, a little toasted nuttiness as it develops. Christmas ale is a good description here.

M - Wish it were a bit more warming, but it feels good on the palate and doesn't linger too long. Just a tinge of bitter finish.

O - Well done, I'll be sure to have some on hand for Christmas guests. Wouldn't make a good everyday drinker, but as a seasonal its spot on. Cheers!

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.83/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Single finger thick head with nice lacing on a hazy amber body. Fruity and earthy hops, caramel and toasted malts for aroma. Flavors follow well with more toasted malts and nice hop presence with earthy and citrus hops with hint of metal. Medium body and moderate to high carbonation. Crisp, highly drinkable and a decent hop presence for the style. Better than most browns out there and one of the better Abita beers I have ever had.

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Christmas Ale 2012 from Abita Brewing Co.
78 out of 100 based on 30 ratings.