Holiday Ale - Two Roads Brewing Company

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Holiday AleHoliday Ale

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103 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 103
Reviews: 19
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 11.29%
Wants: 4
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Two Roads Brewing Company visit their website
Connecticut, United States

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: tigg924 on 01-03-2013

Two Roads Holiday Ale is inspired by the little known Biere de Noel style, on subset of Biere de Garde, both of which originated on small farmhouse breweries in the north of France. Biere de Noel, which translates as “Christmas Beer”, tends to exhibit a more malty profile than a typical Biere de Garde.

In its native France this special type of ale is brewed by just a handful of small breweries and is only available for the few weeks leading up to Christmas.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 103 | Reviews: 19
Reviews by Gambrinus1184:
More User Reviews:
Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at their tasting room. Poured into a tulip

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, high carbonation, amber in color, clear

Smell: toasted malt and cinnamon

Taste: toasted malt, slight berry, and cinnamon and other holiday spices

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy body, sweet with slight earthy bitterness, moderate-high carbonation

Overall: Nice to see Two Roads can do a malty big beer well. This was easily the maltiest of their offerings to date. A nice and complex holiday sipper. I will certainly get this again if it is on tap when I am in town.

Photo of far333
3.19/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Burnished copper colored with a rocky beige head of firm foam that slowly recedes. Low aroma of clovey yeastiness. Subtle toasted malt flavor, some bready notes, semi-sweet, clove and yeastiness. A peppery bite lingers. Mouthfeel is a bit watery. Okay beer overall, could use a bit more depth of flavor.

Photo of KTCamm
4.39/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

4/14...pours a dark and moody copper, light foam on top. Rich flavorful nose, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a little funky. Taste is a lightly sweet malt, some pepper, background gritty bitter. Fruity. Very flavorful. Some cherry. Awesome.

Photo of B-J-B
4/5  rDev +10.2%

This was a very enjoyable brew. I appreciated the subtleties of yeast aromas and different malts with the slight spice from the continental hops. Not a "hit-you-in-the-face" brew, but a delightful one nonetheless.

Photo of dd43
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%

On tap at Local Kitchen and Wine Bar in Norwalk CT, 25-Nov 14. Poured into a tulip, thanks bartender!

Reddish amber in color, haze free, a finger of head that receded quite quickly and left little in the way of lacing as I drank.

Mouthfeel is more crisp than the carbonation level would lead you to believe. Somewhat watery for a Belgian de garde but I didn't find it off putting.

Aroma is definitely that of a spiced Belgian, the typical yeasty bready quality is there. Great cinnamon and clove quality on the palate. Finishes dry with little malt cling.

One of the better brews from Two Roads that I've tried. This is worth picking up from your local package store in the large format to share with a friend.

Photo of cbutova
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- Amber red bodied and free of any haze after being poured from the 22oz to a few pint glasses. A puffy white crown rises to just about one finger with decent retention. Spotty lacing results from a big ring and a pillow.

S- Well-rounded and nothing really jumps out to me but the balance is struck between notes of raisin, Belgian spicy yeast, brown sugars, nutmeg, a hint of cinnamon, caramel and fruits.

T- As in the nose, it really just finds a balance without anything totally blatant dominating the flavor profile; this is a desireable property. Notes of red fruits, apple, cinnamon, clove, yeast bread, caramelized sugars, spicy yeast, nutmeg, toast, grape and a vanilla and caramel sweetness.

MF- Right around medium body overall with a consistency just between frothy and foamy. Carbonation is right above a moderate level and it all finishes silky smooth. Slight bitterness.

Strikes a balance between spices and a Belgian-feeling yeast. Fruits and caramelized sugars are fairly big but overall I think it finds its flavor well and delivers without relying on blatant, in your face flavors. A solid brew all around.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap 11/20/2013 at Doherty’s Ale House, in Warwick, RI served in a tapered mug glass.

A: The beer is a deep coppery red color, with a large foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains Belgian yeast, caramelized malts, some spice and some dark fruit.

T: The taste starts out with mildly sweet flavors of caramel and dark fruit. Then some breadiness comes in from Belgian yeast and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. The hops presence is very mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not to filling, good kick, good Americanized representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

Photo of MNishCT77
3.02/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle from a Sat., 12/20/2014 Better Beer Authority Bottle Share (thanks, Richard H..), unknown vintage (likely 2014), poured into a *** 2014 "Holiday Extravaganza" snifter glass, drank over 15 minutes

Photo of jlindros
3.27/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

well, the Holidays are technically over, and vacation is winding down, so time to crack this one.

Pours a smaller fizzy bubbly 1/2 finger head that fades at fair pace, very little, if any, lacing, with clear cranberry almost maroon color.

Nose brings sweet candy out front, with holiday spices in the background, caramel and a little syrupy sweetness, lots of caramel, toffee, and other sweeteners, mixed with nutmeg cinnamon allspice like spices in the background, a toasted nut perhaps pecan like, an almost bock like biscuity candy toffee aroma as well.

Taste starts sweet and a bit syrupy again, more candy, caramel all over, a sweet sugary fruit syrupy like apple and corn syrup extract thing, with a little booze note and faint phenols. Back to that bock like biscuity toffee candy flavor, but not wheat. Faint spices, holiday spices again but can't label them as they are quite distant, but there is a little candied fruit like a fruitcake. The booze really warms on the back end, which feels like a 9+% beer not 7%, as it somewhat dries on the finish, with light spice notes, plenty more caramel toffee and syrupy flavors lingering too.

Mouth is med to heavier bod, a bit syrupy sweet, decent carb, too much hot booze though.

Overall meh, probably my least fav beer from them yet. Nothing really fun about this beer, too sweet syrupy with way too much booze and the spices are OK but not great for what it is. There are so many better places this beer could have gone.

Photo of smcolw
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Four-finger head that settles very slowly and in a rocky fashion. Chunky, ring lace. Rich, amber color with only the slightest of hazes.

Light caramel aroma, but semi-sweet. Very little hop to nose.

Creamy flavor with light malt (a bit of crystal?) . Surprisingly thin body but the carbonation is very low, almost flat. This beer does not have the sour or earthy tones I expect from a Bière de Garde. I find this one to be far more drinkable than most.

Photo of Duhast500
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a White Birch tulip glass.

The color is a dark copper with some slice gold highlights and three fingers of foamy off-white head with thick lacing left on the glass.

The smell is a strong dark fruit flavor in the nose that is leaving hints of raisin, plumb, fig, and grape aroma. The is a dark biscuit aroma that leans into the back of this beer and hugs the walls as there is more fruit making a presence. There is a light bubblegum aroma here with an overripe strawberry as well.

The taste is fruity with that same dark fruit flavor but there is more here then in the nose. A really great raspberry flavor splashes the tongue and lets a sweeter fruit flavor takes hold for a while as little bits of bread flavor point out their presence. A hello from a nice malt bit and then a shower of strawberry, raspberry, and the darker fruits such as grape, raisin, and fig. There is even a tease of banana that I thought was there briefly but it just lasts long enough to reach for it and then it’s not there anymore.

The feel of this beer is really pleasant. There is a really juicy feel to this beer that helps it smooth out and go down easy and helps really nail that great drink-ability that was better then first expected. It is quite an enjoyable beer.

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.79/5  rDev +4.4%

Pours a mild brown with an off-white head that dissipates and leaves trails on the glass. The smell is sweet from the malt with scents of clove and walnuts. The taste was nice with heavy malt starting off and in the middle giving a very mellow and earthy tone to the beer while the finish had just enough hops for a refreshing crisp end. Liked this one a lot.

Photo of bmeehan
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Two Roads's Holiday Ale is a very typical winter style ale: deep, rich color coupled with a strong-but-not-too-strong taste and an aroma more on the fruit side. Good stuff.

Photo of scotorum
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 10/22/14. Two months old.

Poured from the 22 oz. bottle into a Tree House tulip.

a: Clear dark amber with an inch thich white head which receded to thin patches of surface foam and almost no lacing. 3.5

s: Slight caramel malt. 3.5

t; Ripe fruit and caramel malt in a combination which approaches a medicine taste, Dry to slightly bitter finish. 3.5

m: Medium, good body and carbonation tingle. 3.75

o: Not bad as a holiday time brew, dominated by a combination of fruit and caramel malt notes. But the result isn't far from resembling a lightweight cough syrup, which both I and my daughter found a bit offputting. But we drank it all nonetheless. 3.5

Photo of shigg85
4.19/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at The Harp in Willimantic, CT. Poured into a Founders pint glass. Very earthy brown hue with almost no head or carbonation. No lacing in the glass. Looks and tates a bit like a barleywine with obviously less ethanol. Wonderful spicy cinnamon aftertaste with lots of roasted malt and a pinch of hops. Looking for an IPA alternative that goes well with both meats and dessert? I would definitely recommend this!

Photo of Boto
3.96/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle: This one pours a clear, coppery amber color. There was a small off white head that didn’t leave much lacing. The nose is good. A bit spicy: nutmeg and cinnamon, clove, faint malts. The flavor is quite good. A but bready and malty, with some of the spices in there. A faint earthiness to it. I’ll be looking for this again next year.

Photo of HamdenHector
3.29/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A: clear; reddish amber - SRM approx. 13-14; 1 finger off white head that receded quickly to a very thin cap; virtually no lacing;

S: a little restrained; nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon;

T: follows the nose; watery; molasses is added in at mid-palate; finish is slightly bitter and somewhat harsh;

M: thin; moderate carbonation;

O: for me, there are better options;

Photo of Fush
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Strong but good

Photo of DPB2262
4.58/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Fun & favorable; a nice seasonal beer.

Holiday Ale from Two Roads Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 103 ratings.