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Saint Arnold Christmas Ale - Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saint Arnold Christmas AleSaint Arnold Christmas Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

465 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 465
Reviews: 210
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.59%
Wants: 12
Gots: 36 | 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: 465 | Reviews: 210 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Derek
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Copper with a very light tan head. Thin ring of retention, some lacing.

S: Tropical fruit, rind, nice spicing, slight mineral.

T: Nice biscuity malt, slight caramel, orange rind, papaya, a little spice, modest bitterness, alcohol is fairly well-hidden.

M: Moderate body is very smooth & nicely attenuated for its strength.

D: Quite drinkable for its strength.

Derek, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of LordofTime25
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

LordofTime25, Jan 12, 2009
Photo of gford217
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of htomsirveaux.

Pours a clear dark amber with a very short-lived bubbly off-white head that dissipates almost immediately to nary a ring and leaves no lacing.

The aroma is very mild and consists of sweet caramel malts and a good bit of spices - mainly cinnamon and nutmeg but with lots of others as well.

The taste is an amped up version of the aroma with the the initial malty sweetness dominating until the finish which was extremely spicy and left a peppery zing on the tongue.

The mouthfeel is slick with more carbonation than the appearance would suggest.

This is a fairly spicy winter warmer and a nice cold-weather sipper.

gford217, Jan 12, 2009
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this brew from whoneeds8, Thanks Maston!

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - hazy orange/amber color with a off-white head that thinned to a layer leaving spotty lacing.

S - sweet malt and spiced aroma.

T - starts out sweet with a touch of spice and then the bitterness hits on the dry finish.

F - light/medium bodied with a thin feel.

D - goes down pretty easy for 7% abv.

JoeyBeerBelly, Jan 11, 2009
Photo of mothman
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass. No freshness date. Bottem of cap read: Hop to it!

Pours a thin head that doesn't last very long. Color is a hazy orange copper.

The aroma is of spices. A nut mag flavor is present. There also seems to be some cherry aromas floating around, as well as slight earthy hops.
The first thing I tasted in this beer was the hops. It tasted kind of like SN Celebration. The hops were very earthy, followed by holiday spices. There was also a vanilla flavor present.

Mouthfeel starts out bitter, like an ipa, but the gets really smooth. However, it leaves a dry aftertaste like an ipa.

Overall, this is a really easy to drink and at 7% I could easily session this beer. It is complex and has a lot of taste to it. I really like this winter beer.

mothman, Jan 10, 2009
Photo of BrewerB
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jackie for the hookup on this beer!

A - Medium copper in color, great clarity. Formed a large slightly off-white head that trickled down to a half finger and held up well. Left some lacing on the sides of the glass.

S - Variety of spices including pepper, cinnamon, orange peel. Honey-like sweetness. Fruity.

T - Light orange peel combines with a crackery malt character, moderate level of spice, and background hints of sweetness. Finishing medium-dry with a lingering hint of cinnamon and malt. I'm enjoying the very "beer-like" character of this Winter Warmer. Good balance between the spices and traditional beer flavors.

M - Medium bodied, moderate to moderate-high level of carbonation. Smooth.

D - Certainly a drinkable beer. The spices aren't dominant and a fairly dry finish helps increase the consumption factor. I only received one of these via trade and I'm wishing I had at least one or two more to tide me until spring.

BrewerB, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of cbros
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving type- 12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. Recieved this in trade from whoneeds8.

A- Pours a murky red/brown color with small white lace. No activity present after pour.

S- Hints of toasted malt and caramel?

T- The smell transends the taste as well with malt coming through. Also some hints of fruit but I have a bit of a cold so I can't decipher exactly what it is.

As far as winter warmers go I must say that I have had better. It might be the fact that this has been sitting in my cellar/closet for a few months but to me the taste expressions seem to be muted. Pulled this out because it has been cold this past few days so I felt this was as good a beer selection as any. I have a few more Saint Arnolds from whoneeds8 so I am hoping to get a better understanding of their flavoring after trying the other brews.

cbros, Jan 04, 2009
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, and reddish-amber in color, creamy, white head.

Sweet, malty aroma, notes of vanilla and some spice...light fruity esters.

Sweet malt on the tongue and down the throat. Light bodied, mellow finish. Creamy mouthfeel, with small spicy notes that keep the interest up. But not up enough.

Good beer, tasty, drinkable...but nothing special.For a Christmas Ale, it should have some darker malts, and some outstanding flavors. This is no better than average.

feloniousmonk, Jan 02, 2009
Photo of corey0212
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from RickSawyer!

Pours a murky reddish/brown, very small tan head fades almost instantly, leaves a few stray spots of lacing on the glass. Big malty aromas wafting out the glass, sweet caramel, some gingery spice, and a slight boozy undercurrent. Taste follows the nose, with a touch of cinnamon in the mix...nice. On the heavy end of medium-bodied, some lingering spice and bitterness. A nice Winter Warmer.

corey0212, Jan 01, 2009
Photo of johnnyirishman
3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Apperance- A nice Reddish copper color with a sand colored head that dissapated to decent lacing.

Smell- A malty aroma is abundant in this one. Not suprising with most winter warmers.

Taste,Mouthfeel- Toffee toasted malts in the front, with a slight nutty finish. Good carbonation and body

Drinkability- Good drinkability, I could definately sit and have a few of these back to back.

johnnyirishman, Dec 31, 2008
Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

so I don't normally go out of my way to find christmas ales. Some are great but I've been dissapointed as well. This one I enjoyed as it hand a nice vanilla / caramel note which I found tasty in a 12oz serving. 115 reviews as of this writing so I'll leave the expansive review format for today. worth a try.

barleywinebrewer, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, reddish-orange body with a thin, short-lived, off-white head.

Smell: A keenly malty nose with notes of toasted bread crusts and nutty caramel candy. Light touches of spicy hops.

Taste: Bready, nutty maltiness with a coating of sweet caramel syrup. Slight fruitiness. Earthy, spicy hop character with a restrained measure of bitterness. Finishes warm and fairly dry, considering the sweet start this beer got.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Slight stickiness to the overall mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Well-balanced and remarkably easy to drink considering the ABV percentage. A fine, end-of-the-year brew from St. Arnold.

ChainGangGuy, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

bluemoonswoon, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of stumac
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It reads "Mashtronauts" under the cap. That is a local homebrew group that has good ties with Saint Arnold Brewery. I've been to a few of their meetings. Good guys...good beers....

pours up a reddish amber color with a quickly fading tan head. great lacing. the nose is malts, candied raisins, a wee bit boozy (not much though). the taste is dark fruits, raisins, malts, subtle spices, candy sugar, a crisp hop balance in the finish, kinda like a Sherry beer or something like that. light to medium bodied, low smoothe carbo, a nice sessionable Winter Warmer.

stumac, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of RodBurg
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had from a cask at the Ginger Man in Austin. Poured a nice golden/amber with a beautiful creamy head and massive amounts of lacing.

Light, but pleasant aromas of malt with faint notes of spice and piney hops.

Has a nice toasted malt flavor that blends very well with a slight oak note. Very creamy in the mouth. Yum.

Good stuff. Glad I was granted the opportunity to try this on cask during a recent visit to the Lone Star State.

RodBurg, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of whoneeds8
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

whoneeds8, Dec 23, 2008
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
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.


MuenchenerKindl, Dec 22, 2008
Photo of Floydster
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle received as an extra from MiguelMandigo, thanks Michael, poured into a pint glass, consumed 12/2/08, reviewed from notes, color was a dark brownish orange, 3/4 inch bubbly off white head that did not last long, weak retention and lacing, smell had spciy hops, bread, sweetness, caramel, toffee, and roasted malts, flavor had some mild dryness at first, chewy caramel in the middle, light spice and bready malt in the finish, got sweeter as it warmed, spice comes out more by the end, mouthfeel was slightly spicy and sweet, also dry at first, medium bodied, good level of carbonation, does not linger long, could drink a few bottles of this, tasted good on a cold night, not heavy on the stomach and ABV is hidden, worth trying

Floydster, Dec 18, 2008
Photo of Wetpaperbag
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Nice ruby amber in color. The head looks like that of either a barleywine or a hoppier beer, like one that is thicker.

S- I'm enjoying the sweetness of the malts and hops that are there. I'm getting some honey as well. Is that cherry I'm smelling as well? I hope so, that would put a big spin on a winter warmer.

T- I think there is some cherry in there for sure. Great malt, but not overly heavy, just a slight caramel taste. Honey for sure, and a bit of citrus to boot. For me this is the direction I want my Winter Warmers to go. I, personally, could go for a little more spice, but this is great!

M- Feel in the mouth is good, the palate does get a slight fonging, but not much.

D- Great beer, very well rounded. I could do with a bit more spice though.

Wetpaperbag, Dec 17, 2008
Photo of diamondc
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Finally got one of Saint Arnold's seasonals down here in South Texas. I poured this into my New Belgium goblet right out of the fridge aggressively. The pour was a clear amber color and about one and a half finger of foam. Not that much lacing though.

The first smell that came across was of cinnamon buns, fruit cake and toffee candies. Very inviting sweet aroma and of course, reminds me of all things Christmas!

There's a caramel, nutty, butterscotch flavor going on. I'm not sure if St Arnold actually uses spices while brewing this beer, but pumpkin pie comes to mind. The hops add a smidgen of citrus to the aftertaste, but the focus is on the malt here.

There's a really heavy mouthfeel to the beer, which kind of limits the drinkability too. The butterscotch flavor really comes out when it hits close to room temperature, and is a tad cloying. Definitely a sipper.

diamondc, Dec 16, 2008
Photo of philipquarles
3.35/5  rDev -9%
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.

philipquarles, Dec 14, 2008
Photo of hiikeeba
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours up a crystal amber with a head that dissipates quickly leaving a a few stray white bubbles around the sides of the glass.

S - Frankly it smells like an amber: some sweet grainy malt, a hint of hops. I am not an amber fan.

T - It's an amber. It has a biscuity malt flavor with some hops in the finish. Slightly sweet. Not bad. Although I am wondering why they call it a Christmas beer. I can't taste any spices.

M - Feels a little thin with a little carbonation bite.

D - Since there is nothing at all offensive about it, it is a very drinkable beer.

hiikeeba, Dec 13, 2008
Photo of BeanBone
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Perfectly clear rust-red body you could read a newspaper through. With a regular pour, the head can be disappointing, but with just a little more aggression you can easily get a finger's width worth. The head rapidly recedes into a simple ring around the edge of the glass, and leaves minimal lacing.

Aroma: Spice and sweet dark fruit over a rich, boozey malt backbone. Reminds me of a Scottish Ale in some ways (though with much more banana).

Taste: It's much the same in the mouth: a solid, sweet malt character with lots of spices to match. Anything besides spiciness from the hops is subdued here, in keeping with the style. The alcohol is certainly noticeable, but complements the other flavors, rather than clashing with them. It's snowing tonight in Texas as I write this, and the booze is certainly welcome.

Mouthfeel: Chewey and medium-bodied with alcohol warmth throughout. As you'd from a Winter Warmer (especially with the somewhat lackluster head here), carbonation is on the moderate side.

Drinkability: With the 7% ABV, the buzz will catch you well before you get sick of the taste. On a cold Texas night like tonight, Christmas Ale makes a welcome friend throughout the evening.

Verdict: Whenever I check the beer aisle, I always check to see if it's time for the next Saint Arnold seasonal to come out. Christmas Ale is just another great reason to be on the lookout. Nicely balanced malt and spice, with a good splash of booze, it's a proper winter warmer. Well worth picking up, especially at the bargain prices you see here in the Houston area.

BeanBone, Dec 12, 2008
Photo of Wasatch
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to armock for this one.

Pours a nice clean/clear golden brown color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy off white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some spice. The taste is malty, slightly sweet, with some spice. Medium body, you can feel the warmth from this brew. Drinkable, a very nice winter warmer.

Wasatch, Dec 11, 2008
Photo of Mosstrooper
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into Guinness branded tulip pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a brown, amberish color with a medium sized off-white head with a bit of lace left behind.

Smell: Sweet, and slightly nutty. Notes of fruitiness, but I can't put my finger on the exact fruit.

Taste: Very sweet and fruity (again, can't place the fruit, though), Finishes with a good hop bitterness and sweet aftertaste. Well-rounded.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with balanced carbonation.

Drinkability: Overall an interesting and tasty beer. Not quite as "warming" as some other winter warmers, but that doesn't take much away. Would be great for Thanksgiving or Christmas (duh).

Mosstrooper, Dec 04, 2008
Saint Arnold Christmas Ale from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 465 ratings.