Saint Arnold Christmas Ale - Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saint Arnold Christmas AleSaint Arnold Christmas Ale

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526 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 526
Reviews: 213
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.82%
Wants: 15
Gots: 67 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Saint Arnold Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 11-12-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 526 | Reviews: 213 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Joe1019
1.5/5  rDev -59.3%

Photo of phishbone23
1.5/5  rDev -59.3%

Photo of WritersBlock
2/5  rDev -45.8%

Photo of deadliest
2/5  rDev -45.8%

Photo of Tron
2/5  rDev -45.8%

Photo of garyford
2/5  rDev -45.8%

Photo of jeffs713
2/5  rDev -45.8%

Photo of goochpunch
2.38/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a clear copper with moderate carbonation. Thick offwhite head that settles down to a thin layer and leaves nice raised lacing. Aroma is a lot of sweet with some toasted notes and piney hops. Some fruitiness I can't put my finger on. Kind of a strong almost chemically tinge in the nose. Tastes like when a kid pours too much sugar in the Kool-Aid. Lots of toasted malt with cocoa hints. Hops don't show up as much as in the smell, but I get a little pine and even less citrus. Really sickly sweet without enough character to justify it. Mouthfeel is syrupy and slick, which adds to the gag factor of the flavor profile. This is hard to finish for me.

Quite different from what I remember, having it on tap, but it grosses me out just the same.

Photo of shivtim
2.4/5  rDev -35%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to my friend from Houston for bringing me this beer.

Poured into a pint glass. Nice rich brown/copper color. Slightly translucent with orange hints. Thick khaki head.

Nose is yeasty and doughy, with malt. Very slight spice, maybe anise. Overall quite bready.

Taste is old malt, kind of a stale ricey quality. I don't pick up much in the "christmas" department. Slightly metallic even. Not good.

Dry and thin mouthfeel. Acidic tasting.

Can't say I like this beer...

Photo of valkyre65
2.5/5  rDev -32.2%

Photo of beerbrains
2.5/5  rDev -32.2%

Photo of NailtheAle
2.5/5  rDev -32.2%

Photo of Lance87
2.5/5  rDev -32.2%

Photo of Frozenmoses
2.5/5  rDev -32.2%

Photo of Theitos
2.65/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured in to a pint glass

A: Pours a deep amber color. There is no head and no lacing.

S: I smell a little spice and a hint of cherry.

T: It tasted like they made a beer and then thought oh if we put spice in it we can call it a christmas beer. I also tasted some cherry in it. I just felt like it wasn't blended as well as it could have been.

M: Smooth with a dry finish. The taste lingers

O: The beer is ok, but I would pass over this for other holiday ales.

Photo of Fenris244
2.7/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Freshness date on the bottle is 10/08/10

Poured into a pint glass

Pours a light amber with one finger head that dissipates very quickly leaving a weak ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass

Aroma is faint but there are traces of spices and a sweetness not much else unfortunately

Almost sweet with a taste of cooked grains and a little bit of hops to finish it out

Not much to it, it's almost watery but is at least smooth and crisp

It's a serviceable beer, I could drink 10 of these with how smooth it is, that's not to say that I would though. It's not a bad beer but it is pretty bland. 

I definitely would not have this at my Christmas dinner

Photo of Westyn
2.75/5  rDev -25.5%

Photo of BayouBengal1537
2.75/5  rDev -25.5%

Photo of Can_has_beer
2.75/5  rDev -25.5%

Photo of mlhenson
2.75/5  rDev -25.5%

Photo of hobbes2112
2.8/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle

Pours deep red/copper with a very small Ivory head. Smell is not nearly as spicy or alcoholic as I expect in a Christmas beer, mostly just grainy/malty. Taste starts sweet and malty, but then turns quite astringent. Strong warming malt finish with a slight bitterness.

Like many of the other reviews, I enjoyed it a lot more when it had warmed up a bit.

Not bad, but really didn't give me what I wanted in a Christmas beer.

Photo of trxxpaxxs
2.83/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a thin reddish orange. There is almost no head to this beer whatsoever. Absolutely no lacing as it drinks.

S: Smells of malt, spice (nutmeg), and a bit of booze. I'm also picking up just the slightest hint of cherry.

T: Not good. It taste like a lager that has had some spices dumped into it.

M: Light bodied beer. Finishes a bit hot.

O: Not a fan of this beer at all. It's like a spicy lager. No thanks. I've had other beers from Saint Arnold that have been outstanding, but this beer falls short for me.

Photo of jwff
2.85/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a rigid, reddish-orange that leans more towards red. Very mild head presence that fizzes away and becomes a white, soapy outline on the glass. Not much carbonation to be seen, if any. The first scent that immediately stands out is raspberries followed by chocolate, and a swirling mix of sweet malt and sugar. There is a very faint alcohol tinge, but not enough to detract from the score.

Ok, this beer is incredibly sweet, almost puckeringly so. There is an intense raspberry tartness that sits on the tongue while other sugars creep up to "fuel the fire." A light chocolate flavor in the finish is there to tug the reigns and tame this beast. The mouthfeel is interesting, because it feels like I'm taking a bite of a really rich dessert chocolate. Something so rich that it's good in small doses, but 12 ounces is a little too much for me.

Photo of kojevergas
2.99/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard Saint Arnold label art (mainly green in colour) and a red branded twist-off pressure cap acquired at me local HEB grocery as part of a mixed 6er and served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average given the brewery. 2013 vintage. No ABV is listed on the bottle, but Saint Arnold's website confirms it as 7.0%. ABW is 5.6%. Reviewed as an old ale because Saint Arnold's website identifies this beer explicitly as an old ale, and it's won medals in the old ale category.

Served cold - straight from me fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a half finger wide head of off-white colour, which recedes so fast - inside of 15 seconds - that there's no time to note its thickness or creaminess. Hopefully needless to say, I'm unimpressed with the head. 7% ABV is a bit high, but I've seen many an old ale that holds up for at least 2 minutes.

Body colour is a semitransparent rich copper/auburn. It's on the lighter side for the style. It's glowing, but I'm reticent to call it vibrant per se. Translucent. No yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it's not unique or special, and falls within style conventions. There are no egregious flaws. I'm looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Caramel/caramalts. Hints of toffee. Plenty of Christmasy spices - nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon. Brown sugar. Cidery notes/apple fruit. Green grapeskin. Hints of spruce wood and nectar. Hop character is floral and fruity, but none of the notes therein are particularly evocative or distinct and are hard to identify as a result. Almonds. Slightly bready. The spices seem to play well with the dominant caramel sweetness. It evokes a Christmas ale character, primarily because of the spicing.

No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

A pleasant aroma of average strength. I'm looking forward to trying it. It's quite approachable, but I wouldn't say it's real welcoming or inviting.

T: The body is comprised of toffee and caramel/caramalts, with some pale malt and amber malt in there too. A spruce note emerges at the end of the first act and stays through the latter two acts, lending the flavour profile a guiding cohesion. Complementary spices are present but insubstantial: cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg. I get a fairly medicinal note I can't quite place, but it accompanies the caramel-induced sweetness. The brown sugar from the aroma never makes an appearance in the flavour profile. The hop profile mostly matches the aroma: there are plenty of fruity and floral hop notes, but also some unexpected herbal notes.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through. Yeast attenuation ought to be higher given the style. It could use a higher ABV and less of a hop presence.

Generally cohesive, but the build isn't a gestalt one. There's some mild complexity here, but nothing too impressive. Subtlety is wanting as well. It has a loose balance to it. Below average depth and duration of flavour. Average intensity of flavour.

I'd like to see some darker malts used in the grain bill. It strays a bit too far from the style for my tastes.

Mf: Sticky, smooth, wet. Medium bodied. Somewhat nectary. Slightly syrupy. Thick to style. Decent presence on the palate. I wouldn't quite call it chewy.

Not astringent, hot, gushed, boozy, harsh, rough, oily, or creamy.

Dr: Drinks pretty decently for the somewhat high ABV. I love that it doesn't feel like a poor man's barleywine like many (subpar) Old Ales, but it does go too far in the Amber direction - it's overly hopped for the style, there's not enough complexity/subtlety, and it's just all around unremarkable. You could do worse than to end up with a 6er of this in your fridge, but having tried this as a single I wouldn't buy it again or recommend it to friends. It could do with the warmth and added flavour of a higher malt, higher ABV build.

Devotees of traditional old ales will likely be disappointed, but the price point here makes this worth trying. Saint Arnold has put forward an inoffensive brew with Christmasy spices and above average alcohol. At the end of the day, this beer will get you drunk. Without effort, I was able to to kill the bottle inside of 15 minutes.

On the high side of average. Not worth aging. Serve cold.

High C

Photo of kwkdmk
3/5  rDev -18.7%

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Saint Arnold Christmas Ale from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 526 ratings.