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Saint Arnold Sailing Santa - Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saint Arnold Sailing SantaSaint Arnold Sailing Santa

Educational use only; do not reuse.

51 Reviews
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Reviews: 51
Hads: 226
Avg: 3.6
pDev: 14.44%
Wants: 7
Gots: 35 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Saint Arnold Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: SWMeyer4141 on 11-20-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 51 | Hads: 226
Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.5/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Saint Arnold Sailing Santa has a rather thin, cream-colored head and a pretty clear, bubbly, copper appearance, with some lacing left behind. The aroma is subtle, but one can pick up some fruitiness and brown bread crust. Taste is of brown bread, brown sugar, fruity and piney hops, and it has a pleasant, bitter undertaste. The mouthfeel is medium, and Saint Arnold Sailing Santa finishes crisp, refreshing, pleasant, mentholated, and quite drinkable. Overall, this is a most excellent offering, and I recommend it!


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Photo of Isrealite
4.43/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 version. St. Arnold's Elissa I.P.A. and Christmas Ale are both solid brews respectively, however they are certainly not the brewer's best work in my opinion. Blending them together in a winter holiday setting perfectly balanced what I liked about both beers, and the spices definitely brought everything together. Great hop aroma, which compelled me to take the first sip out of the bomber...and it was so good I never got a chance to see what the beer even looked like the first time I had this one! Bought it again shortly after, and poured it into a glass. Looks pretty. Nice orange copper color, with a decent head, and excellent lacing. In retrospect, I liked it better straight out of the bomber. The crisp hop taste of Elissa, the smooth character of Christmas Ale, blended together with gingerbread-like spices made for the best remedy against snobby in laws this holiday season. I hope Santa sails my way, and puts this beer in my stocking.

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Photo of Vipsanius
4.4/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

BA app considers my rating an "outlier" and won't let me submit it without a review. Honestly, I'm not sure why it's not better reviewed. I thought this was a pretty exceptional beer.

I kept it in my fridge for a while loathing drinking another mediocre IPA (supposedly). I was pleasantly surprised to find this really wasn't an IPA at all. The malty overtones with the holiday spices and just enough to hops to balance it out made this a beer I'd want to grab again and one I'll look forward to next year.

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Photo of acevenom
4.4/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a large brandy snifter. Pours hazy copper with a white head that doesn't last. There's quite a bit of visible carbonation in the beer. There are some aromas of hops with a good backbone of toffee and bread. The hops have some citrus and pine notes, but these are more subdued. The flavor is of toffee and bread with some citrus and pine notes in the back. There's some spiciness as well. The flavors come together well, but this doesn't quite fit the IPA bill. This is still a winter warmer. There's a spiced candy aftertaste that clears out pretty quickly. The body is medium to full with adequate carbonation. The finish is very smooth and is pretty clean. This is an excellent beer.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.21/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this combination a number of times at the brewery (normally referred to as "Christ in a Boat"), but I don't think that I have tried it at the new brewery, so this may be an experience. Let's give it a shot:

Appearance: Pours a very nice looking clear amber color with a 1/4' head of off white bubbles that was maintained by lots of bubbles rising, so the head didn't start falling for quite some time. The head is still at least half what it was at the initial pour over 15 minutes after the pour and there is some solid lacing left on the glass after drinking. Overall, this is a very well presented beer visually.

Aroma: I initially got the dark sweet malts from the Christmas and what seems like Special B, but then the second whiff let you know that the American hops are in there and won't be held back. The sweetness and the hops are playing well off of each other in this beer. I am glad that I tried this beer fresh. As the beer warms, the aroma is getting more hoppy as well as some light to medium crystal malt is coming out more.

Taste: The flavor is also well blended, with malt starting you out with some sweetness, but the hops set in quickly to lead you all the way to the finish. All in all the finish is very slightly balanced toward the hops, and this is probably mostly because of the attenuation. As the beer warms, the hops are getting more noticeable, but they never dominate this beer. The beer itself is medium bodied with plenty of carbonation.

Opinion: Well, I think that they nailed the concept of this blend, and it is as good as any of the mixes that I have had fresh at the brewery. I would venture to guess that this blend slightly favors the Christmas Ale, but only by about 10%. Either way, this is a good beer, and I would recommend giving it a shot if you can find one.

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Photo of imasloth
4.12/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

6.8% ABV blend of St. Arnold's Elissa IPA and Christmas Ale.

A- Pours a darker copper as compared to the straight Christmas Ale. Sizable off-white head disappears, leaving a thin coating of carbonation bubbles at the top of the snifter.

S- The piney hop smell is predominant but some of the sweetness of the Christmas Ale comes through. Really a better-balanced, more complex aroma.

T- Delicious. The same piney hops, plus the malt, sweetness and cinnamon-y flavor found in the Christmas Ale. It is truly fantastic.

M - This is the one place where it falls of the Christmas Ale. Maybe it's the bitterness of the hops, but the slight alcohol dryness has disappeared and the after-mouthfeel is fairly neutral. Does have a bit more body though.

O- I'd rate it slightly better than the Christmas Ale because of the complexity added by the hops. Central Market was limiting us to a bottle per person, but I'd like to have more ...

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Photo of allengarvin
4.08/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an 18-oz straight glass, this beer is a thick pour, resulting in a copper colored beer with a slow-to-develop head. The nose is surprisingly light, with some sweet crystal malt mixed with earthy, piney hop notes. The taste is excellent though, blending a sweet, lightly toasty malt with a generous helping of floral, leafy hoppiness. The yeast character offers a nice ripe fruitiness at the dry close. It has a heavy, thick body, though alcohol is not readily apparent in the taste.

Pretty good beer. I don't know if I would really call it an "IPA". It's still good though.

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Photo of champ103
4.01/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a perfectly clear copper/orange color. A two finger white head forms with excellent retention. Rings of sticky lace is left behind.
S: Grassy and floral hops that are kind of dank. Not much else in the nose.
T: Clean grassy hops up front with a light bitterness in the middle. That fades and more of the Christmas Ale comes out in the finish. Dark fruits of plums, cherries, apples. Toasted and bready malts. Very nice.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Very clean and smooth. So easy to drink. The bomber is gone in no time. Very morish.

I really enjoy this. If people think they can just add Elissa and Christmas Ale together, and get the same result people are kidding themselves. A great blend, and something I would recommend.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 11/7/2013. Pours fairly crystal clear deep orange amber color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, orange zest, caramel, apple, toast, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, floral, light pine, and herbal earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop, spice, and malt notes; with good strength. Taste of grapefruit, orange zest, caramel, toast, cinnamon, apple, nutmeg, ginger, clove, floral, light pine, and herbal earthiness. Light earthy pine/herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, orange zest, caramel, apple, cinnamon, toast, ginger, nutmeg, floral, and herbal earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of malt, hop, and spice flavors; with a great malt/spice balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and slightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice spiced IPA style. All around good balance and complexity of the Christmas ale and IPA counterparts; and very smooth and crisp to drink. I really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thank you to injuredreserve for sending this one my way. ipa blended with winter warmer...i'm in! enjoyed from a deschutes snifter.

a - cracked the bottle and filled my glass, brew poured. looks very ipa with a transparent orange and frothy offwhite head that had milkshake like chunky lacing.

s - yum. big toffee and caramel. smell is all winter warmer. candy. gave it a 4 for smelling good, not smelling like an ipa. hops are invisible in the nose (at this point at least).

t - just like the nose suggests...toffee and caramel for this winter warmer dominated brew. i'm a fan of winter warmers and i think that this is a very solid example of a nice sweet malty WW. if you are looking for an ipa, might be there in the background a bit, but not so much.

m - medium to full bodied even carbonation. cooling. this is a winter warmer.

o - overall i enjoyed it, but look elsewhere if you are seeking an ipa, this is a toffee malt bomb of a winter warmer. nice candied sweetness, not overly grainy. really enjoyable. good.

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3.97/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper / amber color with a 1" of beige head that falls to a cap quickly. Leaves some nice lacing.

Candy sweet malt - some muted piney hops. Floral. Raisin?

Sweet fruit - darker fruit. Piney bitter hops. Never gets too sweet in the finish - good balance.

Refreshing, clean mouthfeel....a little prickly heat in the finish, medium bitterness.

Enjoyed this beer - glad to see St Arnold mixing it up - - good job!

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber pours a crystal clear copper color with an ample cap of light tan head. Nice looker and the head sticks around nicely.

Nose is equally hoppy and malty with the hops being grassy and a little citric. The candy-caramel apple malts blend with the hops giving it almost a tropical aroma. Interesting.

Its been a looong time since I had an Elissa, but I think this beer drinks like a thinner Christmas ale with a more significant hop presence. The yeast seems to have more character and lends a nutty aspect and the special B malts are biscuity and caramely with a touch of toast. Interesting and tasty, goes down super easy. Well worth a go and might even warrant an additional purchase or two. This would make an excellent Christmas morning brew to get into the spirit of the season.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance: Pours clear amber with a small off-white head that dissipates quickly and leaves a small layer of film on top of the beer.

Smell: Smells of melon with a hint of grape backed up by earthy and woody hops. The smell could be a bit more assertive.

Taste: Begins fruity and citric, rounding out to some bready malt before finishing with a balanced hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with balanced carbonation and a dry finish with some stickiness in the back of the throat as you drink more.

Overall: A solid IPA. This doesn't break any new ground or do anything to truly set itself apart, but makes for an enjoyable drink. Worth a try for sure.

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Photo of beerdrifter
3.82/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2012 version. Clear copper-amber pour with two finger head with decent retention and nice lacing. Spicy, herbal nose with tons of cinnamon along with hints of caramel, biscuit, and pine. The taste follows suit and is dominated by the cinnamon as well along with hints of toffee, caramel, maple syrup, pine, and a touch of cherries. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a subtle metallic, bitter finish. Love a spicy Christmas beer and this one totally fits the bill. Very solid!

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Photo of HardTarget
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Good clarity in an amber yellow glass that holds a rocky white head that laces.

Smell: Mild Christmas spiced nose, doughy malt gives up some donut sweetness.

Taste: Fairly balanced, clean malt has just enough hops to let both flavors shine. Again, mild spices play a role with the yeast coming through as well. Hops are mixed, a bit of pine, some floral, some earthy. Mild soapiness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium light body, medium carbonation, slick texture.

Overall: A good blend, the two beers compliment each other leaving a lot of flavor but nothing challenging. Classic St. Arnold, beer for the masses without being Bud.

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Photo of Meldarred
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

S - Standard Bomber Bottle

A - Copper bronze appearance

T - Well balanced malt and hop flavor with the right amount of Christmas spice

M - It felt right . There was no acidic feel that is normally present in Elissa

O - I had extremely low expectations for Sailing Santa, but I always love a good Saint Arnolds scavenger hunt. It is blended just right to make me appreciate Elissa and the Christmas beer more.

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Photo of SWMeyer4141
3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a Claret...

Appearance-Copper body with lots of carbonation coming up to the top of the glass. Head is an off white, two finger head. Leaves some very very nice lacing.

Smell-At first I get that very piney Elissa aroma and then it quickly fades. Biscuity malts and some subtle sweetness.

Taste-Sweet and Bready malts and lots of spice. Piney and floral hops, some very subtle grapefruit. Still get a lot of the bitterness even with the added Christmas Ale.

Mouthfeel-Pretty thin on the body, almost like 10% of the beer blend was just straight water. Booze is not existent and it's very easy to drink. Highly carbonated.

Overall-Good beer, makes me want to blend some more maltier beers w/ IPAs. As long as I could find fresh Elissa I could just do the blend myself for cheaper.

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Photo of suspect
3.77/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Dogfish Head Signature glass. Big thanks to miikezombie for the Secret Santa hookup.

A: Crystal clear amber color. Normal pour leads to a 1 finger rocky not-quite-pure white head that sticks to the glass with consistent lacing. Almost has the color of an amber ale.

S: Nice, full nose on this one with a balanced attack of subtle hops and a big strong malt backbone. If I had to pick one that was more prevalent, I'd pick the malt. Some very subdued spices.

T: Malt backs down a bit and the hops remain about the same. Spices take a good step forward here with some nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon spices picked up. Nothing overpowering and this IPA is lacking in hop profile.

M: Nice feel. Good carbonation, nice crisp finish.

O: A decent beer but I'm not sure it's well suited being classified as an IPA. Regardless of it's classification, it's a good beer that Saint Arnold can be proud of.

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Photo of csiewert
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a beautiful slightly hazy copper color with a finger of white foamy head that recedes quickly. No retention or lacing.

S - not much on the hop front, but the malt bill is very pleasant. Notes of caramel and sweet bread come up front. You can get a hint of vegetal earthy hops if you get in there.

T - starts with the bready malt backbone, hints of caramel. Finishes with some citrus and the a sharp bitterness that dissipates rapidly. Everyhting is nicely balanced so as to be easily drinkable.

M - solid all around smooth drink... Maybe a little more carb

O - this is a good IPA for those not seeking hop bombs. Everything is balanced and subdued.

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Photo of DavidST
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass, coded bottle date, but I assume its still fresh. This pours a nice amber color with a decent white head and leaves a lacing. The smells are much more winter warmer, some spices and malts a little hop. Feel is medium to light. The taste is pretty good, lighter on the hops than I expected, I mostly get malts with alcohol.

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Photo of TX-Badger
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice deep copper color with white head. Some Christmas holiday spices, cinnamon and nutmeg, some hay and a little grass on the nose, rounded out by a hint of caramel malt; follows onto the palate. Finishes with some spice, grass, and bread.

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Photo of vickersspitfire
3.71/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a very nice burnt copper color has a crystal clear body and mild carbonation and is topped off with a nice semi-thick tan head, which slowly dissipates into a thin layer of bubbles. Very good lacing Hops are ever present in the aroma along with grapefruit, lemon peel, coriander and some spices. This has a medium mouth feel-leaning more toward the light end though, it is crisp all around mild citrus flavors come through-lemon grass, grapefruit. It’s slightly bitter over all but goes down easily. The aftertaste gets a bit more aggressive but isn’t hard to handle. Overall a very good IPA.

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Photo of jamescain
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pours a clear rich mahogany with a thin off white head that fades to a thin patchy lacing.

Aroma: Interesting mix of piney and citrusy hops with subtle spices. The spices include nutmeg, evergreen, allspice, and clove.

Taste: The flavors worked better together then I thought they would, spices with piney hops. There is little citrus character, which I think helps. There is also a nice malt backing to keep this beer away from IPA territory and closer to a winter warmer.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation, possibly even to high, with a dry finish.

Overall: Better then I was expecting, but I wish this was actually a new beer and not just a blend.

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Photo of GregSVT
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a tulip

A: Pours the same color as the regular christmas ale with a bigger head and more lacing.

S: The nose is a big amount of grapefruit hops with a big caramel backbone.

T: The taste is a nice touch of grapefruit and floral hops with the candied apple and christmas spices of the christmas ale.

M: The feel is crisp and slightly dry yet medium bodied on the finish.

O: An interesting blend and something I may try again. It's not the best IPA but the melding of flavors is nice.

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Photo of rphillips71
3.64/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Extremely clear amber beer with 2.5 inch light tan head that was still there 20 minutes after pouring. Solid lacing after drinking.

S: Pine scent with a sweetness to it. Nice aroma, but nothing that really stands out.

T: The hops and malt are nicely balanced, and the beer is surprisingly smooth for a 7% abv drink. Hops are piney and characteristic of American hops with a nice aftertaste that doesn't feel like you've been smacked in the face.

M: Light to medium mouthfeel. Drinkability is very high on this one and I'm finding it hard to finish the review before the beer is completely gone.

Overall: Nice beer. I wouldn't at all consider this a winter ale, but other than that I'm enjoying it quite a bit. I don't know what the mix is between the Elissa IPA and their Christmas Ale, but I'd bet that it's heavier on the Elissa side. Although nothing particularly stands out in this beer, it's quite easy to drink and very enjoyable. It leaves you wanting a bit more, so I'd say it's a success.

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Saint Arnold Sailing Santa from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.