Saint Arnold Christmas Ale - Saint Arnold Brewing Company

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Saint Arnold Christmas AleSaint Arnold Christmas Ale

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547 Ratings
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Ratings: 547
Reviews: 218
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.82%
Wants: 19
Gots: 88 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Saint Arnold Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 11-12-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 547 | Reviews: 218
Reviews by Atricapilla:
Photo of Atricapilla
3.89/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Christmas in July! This Christmas Ale seems to take a slightly different tack than many. It has a reddish brown hue with little head that eventually disappears. The aroma is heavily accentuated with spruce and spice (primarily nutmeg and allspice) and these flavours dominate the palate too. The beer also has some slight hops to the finish. A good beer, but I think it makes a better drink during the winter.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Tiernan
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very nice, malty beer with notes of caramel and a bit of strawberry. Feels great in my mouth! Lots of caramel aftertaste.
Nice for a winter warmer, but I'm not getting why they call it a Christmas Ale. I generally tend to think of Christmas Ales as spiced beers, but there is not a trace of spice or "holiday flavor" in this beer. Don't get me wrong, it's delicious!

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So, I'm visiting family in Houston and I see this in the local Kroger. I don't know when this comes out, but winter beers haven't appeared in Maine yet. Maybe when the humidity drops below 100% it's considered winter in Houston. Anyway, I'm glad this beer was available. It was a reddish/brown color with a medium off-white head. It had a malty aroma and a nice, kicky spice flavor. I had a few of these with some beef fajitas, and they went well together.

Photo of Beaver13
3.15/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours clear red amber with a small creamy white head that goes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet figgy malts with a little spice.

The flavor is sweet biscuity malts with some dark fruit and light spice. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with prickly carbonation.

Overall, an OK kind of bland Christmas beer.

Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours burnt orange with a minimal white head. The smell is malty sweetness, with a little bit of unidentifiable spices. The flavor is more malt, possibly biscuit malt, with a strong aftertaste of spices such as cloves. There is more in there, I just can't tell exactly what it is. Nothing about this beer really stands out, but it is a very easy drinking, lighter winter warmer with no trace of the 7 percent alcohol. Nice beer.

Photo of Dizzy
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange or reddish brown with an off white head. Initally 1.5" head the quickly recedes to a ring and a thin film on top. Aroma is malty sweetness and fruits. The malty sweetness is the dominant flavor, hop bitterness and alcohol balance it out. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Because of the sweetness and high alcohol, this wouldn't make a good session beer, one is enough. This is probably my favorite of Saint Arnold's beers.

Photo of whoneeds8
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours amber-gold with an off white thick head that lingers for a while. Lacing is ok. Smell of roast malts, but not much else. Taste is about as bland. There's just not a good warming effect from this winter warmer. The mouthfeel is also a little too carbonated. It's a decent beer, very drinkable. But just not all that.

Photo of pwoods
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks jasonjlewis for this extra.

12oz. stubby brown bottle poured into a pint. There's a dating notch like Founders(but on the side) without any indication of what it means. Dumb.

A: Pours a hazy ruby-amber. Aggressive pour gets 2 fingers of white head. Doesn't hold too long but ends in a thick skim on the surface and yields a decent amount of lacing.

S: The first thing I noticed, even though it's subtle, is a fresh baked brownie smell. Doughy malt character with some festive spices, though the smells are held back some which is very welcomed.

T/M: More doughy malts with a sweeter side than the nose suggests. More of the underlying brownie in the taste, adding lots of character and supporting a medium heavy body and creaminess. Dark fruit pie filling taste in the middle just as some spices come in for the end. A Mild alcohol phenolic zip comes in but not harsh at all.

D: Probably my favor winter warmer... still something I'd only want a few times around the holidays.

Photo of LXIXME
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium sized off white to light tan head settles into a nice lacing above a clear caramel copper colored beer.

Roasted caramel malts blended with Christmas style spices in the aroma.

Dark caramel roasted malt dominate the taste with some light spices and lighter hops rounding out the palette.

A light caramel remains in a light dryish aftertaste on this medium bodied beer.

A decent tasting Christmas beer, you can taste the spices but they don't overwhelm the beer taste.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thin ruby color with a good amount of carbonation but little head (maybe a /4 inch.) Surprisingly pretty, but the st arnold lineup has been surprising me lately.

The smell is of malts and weak hops. Not a strong feature of the beer but mild and nice none the less.

Taste is super, its a very easy beer to drink a lot of because its so smooth. The initial taste is of sweet malts followed by some spicy, bitter hops. Very nice and pleasing to the pallet.

I would stock up on this beer and try to keep some on hand year round. Its a good price for a strong very above average beer.

Photo of LordofTime25
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From ottovon!

Pours to hazy amber organge color with a off white head that leaves some lacing on the glass.

Smells of sweet malts and spices. Maybe a cinnamon and nutmeg.

Tastes spicy and sweet with hoppy bitterness to finish.

Has a almost light body with very little carbonation.

A pretty good christmas beer.

Photo of IntriqKen
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden amber with a white half finger head that melts quickly to a nice white ring.
Aromas are primarily sweet amber malt
Flavors of sweet amber malt with some spices....a light hop on the tale end.
Aftertaste is a little weird, however.
It might not be the best night for me to review this brew, but I like it.

Photo of Sammy
3.86/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed at my cellar temperature, low Sixties, and not recommended mid-Fifties. Bonus in trade from a generous Texas trader. Like a Belgium, with a good mix of malts. Alcohol aroma. Pours medium body and significant white head. Yeasty taste, very drinkable indeed. Above average mouthfeel.

Photo of beerluvr
3.46/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a quickly fading tan head, over clear golden liquid tinged with red. The nose..Hoo-Ha, did someone say phenols?? It's like Band-Aids were steeped in this bad boy! Taste is malty and phenolic followed by some sweetness and a pleasant, if subdued hopping. Finishes with a dash of dryness otherwise it's maltiness all the way, baby.

Thanks to Beer Angel for the opportunity!

Photo of russpowell
4.27/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another one from my in-person trade with twiggamortis420, cheers Greg!!

Pours caramel with 1 finger of tan colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Apricots & a touch of breadyness, plus a touch tobacco once warmed up.

T: Breadyness, apricot & plums, & a of bit caramel apple up front. Dryness & caramel & a bit orange slice show as this warms, along with some biscuitty malt, plus a bit of herbal hops. Finishes dry, frutty & with honey, toffee & caramel

MF: Chewy, low carbonation & fairly rich

Drinks pretty easy for the style/ABV, a nice winter warmer that is going down well on a cold March evening, yummy

Photo of Kegatron
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Thanks go to Armock for this in a BIF last year.

Pours a clear amber with 1 1/2 fingers of creamy off-white head. 1/2 finger or so of retention hangs tough, leaving a great looking cascade back that unfortunately doesn't stick around much except for some slight spotty lacing. The aroma is sweet smelling with notes of bread, citrus, and caramel. Floral hops with a light spicy element also weave there way in and out of the bouquet.

The taste is similar, with a sweet mix of caramel, doughy malts, and citrus that imparts a tangy feel. Sweetness is balanced out by a moderate spicy hop profile that lingers for a bit. The mouthfeel is lighter-medium bodied that feels a little thicker a first that then thins out rather quickly. I'm wishing that this body went a little deeper. Alcohol is fairly well hid though.

Not bad. The doughy sweetness and spicy nature of the hops used really made this stand out as a decent Christmas beer. Despite the lack of depth to the body, this still stayed fairly quaffable.

Photo of slackerlack
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Deep amber/copper color

S - Spicy, fruity, cinnamon smells.

T - Tastes like it smells, spicy, fruity, cinnamon, and caramel.

D - Goes down nice and leaves you refreshed. You can taste the alcohol, but it mixes well with all of the other flavors.

Photo of BKotch
3.06/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice dark-amber color and clarity. Not much of a head. Am I the only one that has a problem with St. Arnold's house yeast strain? I detect it in almost all of their beers --it imparts a kinda funky nose and taste to this otherwise fruity-malty brew, which could also use some hops to balance the flavors better.

Photo of dungaree
3.11/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle. Almost no head, fizzles away too quickly even after holding the bottle several inches above the glass. The smell is promising but unfortunately the taste doesn't quite deliver. I expect a little more out of a seasonal ale such as this. It definitely has a little bit of spice one should find in the style but not enough. Too much of the pervasive caramel, slickness off the tongue that one gets from St. Arnold's beers. I've got a couple left in the fridge but they're not calling my name!

Photo of imasloth
3.79/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Lighter color than normal for a winter warmer- a light amber, I guess. Good initial head when poured into snifter, quickly dissipating

S- Sweet malty scent with light grain and alcohol.

T- Good, surprisingly complex flavor given the aroma. I get some spicy hops and malt, followed by a sweet spice ... like cinnamon, but sweet.

M- Light-bodied beer, but very nice mouthfeel. The 7% alcohol leaves the mouth a little dry.

O- I really dig this beer. When it was poured and I smelled it I had some doubts, but the flavor and mouthfeel are both strong. Best winter warmer I've had this season so far ... though my home brew isn't done yet... :)

I recommend you pick up some up now and decide if this is something you want through New Year's. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a standard for the next few weeks.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Again, thanks go out to xpinptasticx for sending this beer my way as an extra.

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Smells like something you might find in an old person's bathroom. Decently piny but more spicy than anything, nutmeg, cinnamon. Good but a bit washed out a bit too artificial but not by much.

Taste and feel is creamier than anticipated which is a bit strange considering how decently hopped this beer is. Honey, toffee, nutty, clove, nutmeg that rounds out a pretty unexpected blanket of complexity for this beer. The malt aspect of this beer is pretty bitter and almost matches the hop bitterness, really enjoy what is going on here in terms of spice, sweetness and bitterness. Everything thing is here and all represented equally they all blend together nicely but can be picked apart just as well if you want to. My glass is disappearing pretty quickly, alcohol is well hidden and makes for an easy drinking brew.

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.36/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass the liquid is dark copper with ok carbonation. The head is small off white and leaves little lace.

The smell is faint at best, mild yeast and a tad of sweat carmely malt.

The taste follows, this is a sweet carmely brew, mild hops.

The mouthfeel is ok just thinner then medium body and carbonation is average.

The drinkability is ok a nice brew but nothing special.


Photo of alleykatking
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. Big thanks goes out to ballewblake...Blake your SS 09' BIF package was amazing to say the least.

A- Pours a clear reddish amber color. One finger white head that comes and goes rather quickly. Streaking lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Sweeter smelling than what I was expected. Caramel malts brought together with brown sugar accents. Some sort of fruity scents in there too..almost like a strawberry scent. Spices bring up the back end of the aroma.

T- Caramel malts in the front of this comes into play right off the bat. Nice bready malts in this beer in the middle gives this a little bit of a malty overload. Some light spicing and hops in the middle to ending of this does a light balancing but still more malty in flavors.

M- Medium light mouthfeel. Carbonation was good for the style of the beer. Clean tastes throughout the beer. Light biscuty flavor with light spicing left on the tongue. Aftertaste has bready malts and light hops on it.

D- This was a very drinkable winter warmer. The ABV was not so high as to distract it from the beer. Even though the flavors were a bit muted at times this beer was still very enjoyable. Would recommend this to most people who don't want to drink hop or malt bombs but still want flavor in their beers.

Photo of brandoneast
3.43/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I know . . it's weird that I am reviewing a Christmas Ale in April, but anyways, it poured a great amber color with little lacing and a decent head with tight bubbles. The smell is bready and light. The taste however lacks character but I find to be very accessable and creamy. This is a Christmas Ale that would be greatly enhanced with more spice or citrus, but is an excellent beer to have at the house when guests are over and anyone could cozy up to.

Photo of philipquarles
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear copper with a small white head that dissipates quickly. Little lacing. Smells of sweet, almost syrupy malt. Reminiscent of a barley wine. The taste is similar, but the malt is less dominant and hop bitterness comes through. Slight date and banana esters. A bit of alcohol burn at the end. Mouthfeel is nothing special. A bit on the syrupy side. Decent overall.

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Saint Arnold Christmas Ale from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 547 ratings.