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Saint Arnold Christmas Ale - Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Saint Arnold Christmas AleSaint Arnold Christmas Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

441 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 441
Reviews: 210
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.55%


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: 441 | Reviews: 210 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of chilidog
chilidog

Ohio

3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thisone came to me out of Texas,so im not up-to-speed on st.arnolds brews. This one poured a clear deep amber with a very short-lived head. I mean it dies to nothing with no lace to be had. Some reviews read it takes a look of ice tea and I agree. The aroma and taste are of toasted malt, husk & grain. It was slightly sweet with a hint of a caramel tone. For a holiday brew I expected a little more bells than thisone rang.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2003 03:31:08 | More by chilidog
Photo of beerluvr
beerluvr

Ontario (Canada)

3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
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!

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2003 21:19:40 | More by beerluvr
Photo of yen157
yen157

New Jersey

3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Orangish-red brew and a tiny 1/4 inch of bright white foam was as big as the head got. Decent smelling beer with the focus on the malt with a big toastiness. Not too much hops in the nose.

Tasted similarly to how it smelled, toasty. The hops were there, but only to balance. The malt was simple and rather one-dimensional. Every now and then I did catch some caramel. The finish was short and husky.

The thing that kep me from enjoying this beer as much as I could have was the carbonation. It was very forced and seltzery. The carbonic acid flavor took away from the taste a bit.

This fact that this was a refreshing Christmas brew made the experience kinda fun. Unlike most other winter seasonals this wasn't a thick, black, hoppy assault. The beer was much more balanced than most, even approaching malty. This wasn't a bad thing, only different and unexpected. I guess they don't need the "winter warmer" types of beer in TX.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2002 06:26:32 | More by yen157
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I always look forward to trying Christmas Ales, especially ones that carry the name St. Arnold, for it is a name that crops up in Belgium, many, many times. Does this hint at a Belgium style Christmas Ale, we shall see.
Comes in one of those short stubby 12 fl.oz brown bottles with a generic style label for the beer range, this one is dark green. Pours with little, or no, discernable carbonation, which results in a very minimal head - so much so I wondered if the integrity of the bottle had been breached. It hadn’t thankfully. The head is white but only forms a halo ring head around the edge of the interface between glass and fluid. Body of the beer is a crystal clear, very inviting deep amber-copper. Shame there is no head really. Nose is malty, but then what else would you expect from a beer that apparently utilizes five different malts! Introduction is of sweetness and malt. Things were going really well until the middle, for it has a very annoying, albeit short, taste that I have come across only in the UK to date. There is a short blast that takes over the middle of the beer, it reminds me of Germolene® Hand Cream and TCP®, and both are Antiseptics that contain Phenols. It could be the result of some strange spice or mix of spices, but it doesn’t work for me because it is too ‘hospitally’, clinical and antiseptic tasting. This does go away though, and the end has a nice caramel malt finish. I also noticed that as the beer warmed to room temperature the strength of the ‘annoying’ middle subsided and the beer became much more pleasant to drink.
I gleamed the following from the website, Christmas Ale is 7.0% ABV (5.6%ABW) with 35 IBU – not bad. It recommends serving the beer at 45ºF, I disagree, it improves beyond that for me right up to 50-55ºF, but that’s just my preference.
Not your usual Xmas Beer, but nevertheless, a nice enough beer that I will have to try again.

Thanks to Beer Angel, a welcome receipt as part of the Beer It Forward !

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2002 13:57:57 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of aracauna
aracauna

Georgia

3.15/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Nice coppery brown with fleeting white head. Nice dry malt nose with prominent but not overpowering spice (sorry, but I'm bad at identifying spices) but it'ssomething in pumpkin pie (nutmeg?). The flavor is more of the same plus some brown sugar and it's fairly dry. After a few sips it the flavor fades and becomes a bit bland and suffers from lack of malt background. It's not bad but there's better winter beers out there.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2002 00:19:30 | More by aracauna
Photo of TXHops
TXHops

Texas

3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Saint Arnold uses a lot of Belgian aromatic malts. That, combined with their distinct yeast strain, I guess is what gives all their brews such a unique, grainy flavor that hovers somewhere between very fresh malt and dry dog kibble. Christmas is no different. Since Bock Wagner favors sweeter, maltier beers, Christmas is a malt lover's winter dream. None of that in-your-face hoppiness of Celebration, but lots of smooth, mellow malty sweetness. Personally, I dislike the intense graininess and I'm gonna ding Chrimtmas them for it in smell, taste and drinkability, but I honestly believe that it's that unique flavor characteristic that keeps legions of loyal Houstonians coming back for more.

The body is a clear deep amber, but like all Saint Arnold beers, the head is pathetic. Although a small, foamy white cloud was there in the beginning, after about 20 seconds, the glass looked like it had tea in it. The aroma is intense--a shocking nose-full of malt--it smells exactly like shoving your face into a bag of vienna malt. Never tried it? Have a Saint Arnold... Husk and all--I've never had a beer that smelled EXACTLY like grain. Some smelled like malt with a hoppy overtone and some smelled like bread, or cookies or biscuits, but none have ever smelled EXACTLY like grain. This beer literally smells like a brewery.

The more-than-average viscosity leaves a sweet, sugary coating on my mouth that the hops attack, but with great restraint. The IBU's are there purely to prevent the beer from becoming cloying--not to impart hoppiness.

Like the rest of the SA brews, Christmas is a showcase for the grain bill. The hops perform their duty, but will win no award for their leading performance. I personally like SA Christmas and I respect Brock’s vision of a Christmas ale without 60+ IBU’s, but I have a hard time with the dog food aspects…

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2002 20:06:34 | More by TXHops
Photo of Morris729
Morris729

Texas

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

Pours a medium copper color with a thin white head. Aroma is sweet malts and grains with a touch of fruit. Nice taste with flavors of toasted grains and spice and a slightly bitter hop finish. A nice winter beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2002 23:59:23 | More by Morris729
Photo of BeerAngel
BeerAngel

Texas

3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazed semi-dark caramel with a very small off-white head. The head disappeared into nothing very quickly. The smell is a lightly sweetened bread and fruity smell with a hint of spices. Taste of toast and roasted malts and spices...perhaps just a hint of cinammon on the tail. Very tasty! This is a fairly light to medium bodied brew and finishes with alcohol and spiced notes. A good offering from Saint Arnold. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2002 16:41:40 | More by BeerAngel
Photo of Pegasus
Pegasus

Texas

4.28/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep and clear copper-red color with a head that fades away in mere seconds, faint carbonation, a little lace. Toasty malt aroma and mild alcohol notes with a slight spiciness. Taste begins with toasted malts, bitter chocolate and coffee notes, followed by sweet berry-like fruit flavors, finishes with mildly bitter, understated hops. At 7.0% ABV, it packs quite a punch. A unwaveringly superb winter beer, not to be missed.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2002 20:50:33 | More by Pegasus
Photo of BKotch
BKotch

Texas

3.05/5  rDev -17.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2001 14:29:53 | More by BKotch
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Saint Arnold Christmas Ale from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 441 ratings.