2XMAS - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
2XMAS2XMAS

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

239 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 239
Hads: 1,331
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 14.93%
Wants: 53
Gots: 259 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: CloudStrife on 10-29-2012

Brewed in the tradition of Swedish Glogg. Ale brewed with Figs, Orange peels, and spices. 2 varieties of hops and 4 types of malts.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 239 | Hads: 1,331
Photo of JAFoley
3.51/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep red amber body with foamy tan head. Took a vigorous pour. Good retention and some sudsy lacing.

S - Well they nailed the scent of Christmas. Candy canes, licorice, and pine.

T - Slightly dry pine hop start quickly taken over with sugary medicine flavors which hold all the way through the aftertaste.

M - Medium/full body with moderate carbonation. Thick and sticky.

O - This one is tough. I want so much to like this, but not sure I do. I do like medicine flavors that are less sugary and normally along side good bitter hops. But this medicine flavor is just too sweet and licorice. In terms of nailing the Christmas flavor, it lives up to its name and I'd give it a 5.0. But as a beer that I'd like to drink again, I can't rate it so high. (764 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.15/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

This beer has a deep dark aged copper body with a thick beige head and some nice sticky lacing. The nose is full of dry ginger with some other dry herbal spices, cloves notes in the finish. The taste has bolder powdered ginger spice that leads to more herbal dry spice flavor with some allspice hints and coriander dryness in the finish. There is a medium mouthfeel and no alcohol heat. The spice flavor really dominates and covers up any malt character. It was ok to have one but the spice is just to much to make a second one enjoyable. (543 characters)

Photo of JPowell712
4.59/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very spicy! Love it for the season. The beer is very good. It pours very dark and reddish. The aroma is all about the spices. I get a lot of ginger, orange peel, and maybe nutmeg or allspice? The taste is bold, hoppy and sweet. I can taste honey? Very good mixture of everything you would expect from a Christmas beer or winter warmer. I recommend it! (360 characters)

Photo of cbutova
3.24/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Glogg eh?

A- Dark ruby red pour from the 12oz to a chalice. A thick, puffy off-white cap rises to over two fingers with good retention. A few large sheets of lace remain with some spots and drizzle.

S- Spices are felt along with the other adjunct ingredients. Cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg come to mind; kind of in that ballpark of spice. Something rather earthy and woody about it. Dark dried fruits, deeply browned malts, herbal spicy ginger and orange zest. Cardamom really opens up with time.

T- Ginger really gets put into overdrive as cinnamon, earthy spice, orange peel and figs follow that. For me this is mostly about the adjuncts and that seems like the point; beastly spices. Hints of cloves, vanilla sweets, bitter citrus rind, raisins, toasted grains and cardamom on the back end.

MF- Medium thickness overall with a creamy and foamy consistency helping in driving those spicy flavors onto the palate. Finishes with a harsh bitterness from the spices; cinnamon and bitter orange pile drive the taste buds.

Spice monster. I actually enjoy a lot of the distinct flavors this brings to the table with cinnamon followed by cardamom and orange peels leading to figs but it all clashes. The cardamom seems to grow with each sip and throws things off. I can certainly appreciate spiced beers but the after taste of this beer is off putting at times. (1,360 characters)

Photo of lstorie3
3.12/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a copper reddish with a very small slight off white head. Head dissipates rather quickly. Smell is cloves and banana and cinnamon and bubble gum. My God it smells like Christmas. Medium mouthfeel with plenty of carbonation. The taste is very interesting. It was a good bit piney-er than I expected. A bit of alcohol warmth. Honestly, there’s a little too much going on tastewise - all the smells are represented in the flavor - maybe just a bit too much. Not really sure if I like the taste, but I know I like the smell a whole lot more. (545 characters)

Photo of WheelsPSU
2/5  rDev -46.7%

Wow. That is unlike an any beer I've ever had. I appreciate it but not my favorite at all. The smell was pure pickled ginger, like the one you get when you get sushi. The overall taste was like a cleaning agent with lemon and ginger. I know that sounds weird but that's this beer in a nutshell. I usually love ST but this was not for me. First ever drain pour (359 characters)

Photo of PostRockandCats
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sweet, spicy and smooth. Tastes like a Xmas pudding with a slight bitter bite at the end. Figs, cherries and oranges with nutmeg, Cardamom, allspice...

Almost a slight barrel-aged tinge to it. Different and fun! (212 characters)

Photo of macher0
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A. Deep amber mahogany color. Fairly cloudy. Frothy slightly amber head develops. Some laces adhere to the glass.

S. Christmas spice nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice. Cinnamon baked apples, dark malts, yeast rolls,and butter.

T. Dark malts and hop dominant the front. The back is where the spices cone through in a much more subtle form than the nose. Fairly bitter.

M. Fairly smooth, moderate carbonation, full body.

O. A good seasonal Christmas ale. I'm glad the spice profile in the taste is toned down compared to the nose. This is a good beer to get a person in the Christmas spirit. (588 characters)

Photo of spacecake9
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Had it on tap at Tap House in Plainfield.
Pours a dark amber with small head.
Not very aromatic.
Taste is of a spicy ale.
Mouth feel is typical of an amber ale.
Overall a fine Xmas Ale. Just enough spice to make if different. A solid offering from ST. (251 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4.16/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Brooklyn chalice.

Appearance: Pours a dark brownish amber orange. Moderate amount of bubbles and about one finger of off white head which settles into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A spicy, herbal, and bready malt forward aroma with big hints of winter spices and sweetness. Big upfront mix of winter spices with hints of clove, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and cardamom. Toasted malt with hints of biscuit, grains, baker’s dough, and yeast. Fruit hints of apple and orange peel along with some wine like hints of cherry. Very light on hops. A pretty good spicy aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a spicy, herbal, and bready malt forward taste with notes of spice and fruit. Big presence of winter style spices with notes of cinnamon, clove, ginger, allspice, and cardamom. Toasted barley malt with notes of biscuit, dough, grains, cake, and yeast. Fruit notes of orange zest along with some apple and cherry. Also some brown sugar. Hops are pretty light. A nice winter taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Spicy, creamy, and pretty smooth and silky. Alcohol heat is masked well.

Overall: A pretty solid twist on a Winter spiced brew. The spices mix well with the malt and subtle fruit notes. (1,265 characters)

Photo of HamdenHector
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: clear; brownish amber - SRM approx. 18; 1 finger khaki head that receded to a thin collar; light lacing;

S: nutmeg is predominant, then ginger, maybe a little dark fruit in the background;

T: a little musty up front; nutmeg with ginger from mid-palate to the end; finish has a touch of bitterness; a little warming after the swallow;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; very dry finish - so dry that it's almost off putting;

O: a nice representation of the style; (474 characters)

Photo of utopiajane
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a lovely caramel brown with a glowing orange blush to it. Slight haze, faint head of tan foam that would have been bigger had I poured more vigorously. It lasted and left a film on top and made a little lace. presents elegantly int he glass and twinkles like a xmas tree light.

Nose is like a piece of spiced cake has been set down in front of me. Bright orange peel, sensual figs, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Clove and some soft notes of ginger. The ginger really peeks out brightly and lightens up the nose with a bit of gaiety. The malt is a light sugar cookie type scent with hints of brown sugar. There's some malty depth to it but not too much. This smells a lot like pumking only without the pumpkin.

Taste is lovely. The orange peel is the bright stage on which all these jolly spices play. They are well blended and none stands out more prominently than the others. The fig is a bit of voluptuous dark fruit to go with that dark malt. The malt plays a bit deeper on the palate and shows it's resilience but it has a melt in your mouth quality that is delightful. There is no alcohol on the nose or on the palate save for the very last moment when it tings with a faint medicinal. I feel this adds a bit of gaiety to the beer. There is even a touch of hops bitter to finish this one . Just as these spices are merrily dancing on your palate a small but noticeable hop bitter comes through and ends the beer with a discreet finish and leaves the malt to linger in the aftertaste.

I thought this tasted a lot like pumking without the pumpkin. (1,581 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%

Poured a brown body with one finger head and lace and a very ginger and piney hop aroma with some mild sweetness in the aroma.
Dry, spicy, sharp, there is a cinnamon like sweetness and a peppery spice but the real stars are touches of ginger and again this piney, earthy hop taste sensation I keep getting.
Basically, it's like a spicy sweetness I'm tasting with minimal hop bitterness for balance and a little breadiness to make the beer a bit more full than watery blandness.
I enjoyed this beer but the flavors just didn't completely come together for me. (558 characters)

Photo of delta490
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep clear mahogany with a thin cream-white head. There's a small amount of lacing left. The aroma is great, with unique spice tones. Once you know what's in it, you can recognize the cardamom and ginger, amongst the others. The taste builds on the aromas and the fruit additions play quite well. The body has a nice thickness and a little spicy tingle from the ginger on the finish. Pairs perfectly with Thanksgiving dinner. (433 characters)

Photo of dahlen22
2/5  rDev -46.7%

Appearance: A reddish-brown with an average head.
Aroma: Def. oranges (almost smells like an A.C. casino circa 1995 that would use an orange deodorizer on carpets), and cloves stand out.
Taste: Kind of disappointing for the style. Lacks any real balance, just a face full of spices like cloves and cinnamon. Has a slight hop in the middle and a bit peppery. The alcohol is well hidden, but again, just too much in the clove department.

Overall: Their are much better choices for this style. Cheers! (510 characters)

Photo of logicalparadox
1.25/5  rDev -66.7%

VERY spice forward, with an aggressive, almost astringent cinnamon, clove, and allspice profile. Especially cloves. Huge cloves. And Cinnamon. There's allspice there, too. Not liking this. Not getting much else beyond the medicinal spices. Ugh. I'm not sure I can finish this. Not recomendied. (293 characters)

Photo of Jammyman
1/5  rDev -73.3%

If you love spices, especially cloves, you're in for a treat. Unfortunately, I despise cloves! Sadly, it's the 1st beer I've EVER poured down the drain after having 2 sips. Wish I checked my BA app before buying the 6 pack. My fault. (233 characters)

Photo of Hoptometrist
3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served from the bottle into a goblet. The second beer of my 2014 twelve beers of Christmas.

A- Poured a very dark, deep, and clear reddish brown color with light visible carbonation and white soapy head that left no lace.

S- Lots of fresh orange zest; holiday spices of cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg; and some dark fruit and dark malt notes.

T- Sweet fruit cake notes, red apple, orange citrus, some medicinal notes, dark beady malts, and pretty big allspice notes on the finish.

M- Medium to full bodied, slightly syrupy, some pretty big warming, some burn, and a pretty dry finish.

O- A pretty interesting spiced Christmas Ale. The aroma was much more spice-forward than the flavor. The flavor profile was a bit on the sweet side, but not too cloying. I wouldn't really want more than one in a night, as it was a little boozy, but this is a pretty good ale that is reminiscent of the season. (903 characters)

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.86/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A- Body is a beautiful dark ruby red hue. Pours with a 1-2 finger foamy white head. Head fades to a medium sized collar and some lacing is left behind in the glass. Body is transparent.

S- Nose is very heavy on the nutmeg and cinnamon. Fig and orange are definitely there too with a mild hop presence. There is a malty sweetness in the background.

T- Flavor does not blend as well as the nose. Lots of spice upfront with a faint malt backbone. The finish is a hodgepodge of orange, sweetness, and spices- with a lot of nutmeg and cinnamon left to linger as well as a warming alcohol heat.

F- medium weight body with medium to high carbonation. Somewhat dry/powdery as the spices are the highlight.

O- This is definitely a Christmas beer. Lots of spiciness-nutmeg, cinnamon, orange, fig- think the way the yankee candle store smells at Christmas time. Then to top it off- there is a big alcohol warmth. The perfect beer for an ugly Christmas sweater party. Its a pretty good beer- its a little over the top though. (1,031 characters)

Photo of ClavisAurea
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Bottle from the original 2012 batch aged 2 years and served at fridge temps in a tulip glass.

Appearance: reddish brown with a thick head. It was very effervescent and poured almost syrup like.

Nose: gingerbread, spicy, malty, caramel, toffee, cocoa nibs and chocolate

Taste: slight hops bitterness, very mellow and smooth, there was some alcohol heat, nutmeg and clove. This was a very powerful and dense brew.

I really enjoyed this beer with some age on it. I'll have to pick a pack up this holiday season to see what it is like fresh. (541 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.34/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

LOOK: Light amber brown colored brew with a white head. Free from sediment, which is a fine trait for a spiced ale, as many examples are not clear.
SMELL: Potpourri, spices, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, nutroll. A strongly spiced brew if the nose is any indication.
TASTE: In the taste, malt and the aforementioned spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and coriander, some citrus is in there as well which at this point I would think would be dry citrus peel additions. Has enough malt to carry the spices to a point, but it is busy. In all the flavor, alcohol could not be noticed.
FEEL: Medium bodied and smooth. Just a little cellaring to the bottle smoothed out the feel alot more than the feel I remembered it having. A nice feel on this one.
OVERALL: This is a big, spicy ale that drinks like a smaller, spiced ale. Pretty good brew once you get used to it, sampling this one does not do it justice, 2XMAS needs time to build. After that, its kinda nice. (953 characters)

Photo of TBoneJones
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From earlier tasting:
Pours a dark reddish/ mahogany with a nice one finger- width of head, nice lacing evident, although little evidence of carbonation.
Smells quite nice of ginger, cinnamon, sweet bread, mulled spice. Perfect scent for the holiday for which it's named.
Taste is more ginger-forward, which isn't so bad, but this seems it would drink better if it were counter-balanced with sweet vanilla or creamier bread notes. This ginger flavor is more in line with the root than with the holiday cookie. Clove in here as well. Ends somewhat dry and peppery too. The biggest disappointment for me was the role the orange plays. The orange must contribute to the spicing, because it certainly doesn't lend any actual orange flavor (or citrus refreshment for that matter). Other than that, this beer seems to live up to resembling the spicier mulled wine flavors of the Norwegian glogg for which it's named. Not my favorite style, but pleasant.. and one and done. (968 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.62/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This review might be a bit more free-form than most because I'm tiring of the rigid structure I've been relying on of late. Reviewed live. "DOB: 11/15/13."

I picked up this 12 oz brown glass bottle recently; it has red and green label art and a branded black pry-off pressure cap. 8% ABV per the label. "Spiced beer" seems the best style to review this as since it purports to be brewed in the tradition of Swedish glogg.

Served cold into an Avery tulip and allowed to warm a bit as I drink it. Side-poured.

Head: Khaki in colour. One finger in width. Has a decent complexion, with okay creaminess and thickness. Pretty standard, with a below average (~1 minute) retention. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass. Middling execution overall.

Body: Dark amber. Translucent when backlit, but not particularly vibrant. Quasitransparent. It's clean; I don't see any yeast particulate or hop sediment.

Appearance: Overall underwhelming. Carbonation seems off. It's not unique or special, but I'll buy it as a glogg-esque beer appearance. I can't say I'm impressed.

Aroma: It certainly evokes a mulled/spiced character, but I wouldn't say it smells like mulled wine per se as there aren't any wine notes. I think I'm getting allspice, nutmeg, orange peel/orange zest, clove, rosemary, and ginger.

Also dry fruitcake, sugarcane, and brown sugar.

It's breadier than most spiced beers I've had, but I think the main malt is amber malt. The spices overwhelm the malty foundation, though.

What I don't find is an obvious hop profile. I guess there are vague fruity hop notes, but it does have an obvious citrusy or floral or piney character. The beer's age (~5 months) might play a part in that.

Overall, it's a pleasing aroma of mild strength, and definitely delivers on the premise of the beer.

Texture: I like the subtle coarseness, which helps coax out the flavour, but I don't like the sticky syrupy viscous feel of the beer, which while nicely plump lends the beer an unbecoming filling vibe - like a meal in a glass. The medium to full body is good, but I think it's too thick considering the lack of diverse and deep flavour here. It has more heft than it needs to support its flavours. Carbonation is off. Overall presence on the palate is okay, but by no means is this mouthfeel a perfect complement to the taste.

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

Taste: There's a weird metallic note on the finish, which I despise.

It's quite sweet, but I think it unfair to call it cloying; the sweetness kind of works for the whole mulled wine thing they're after. And the spices are apt: allspice, nutmeg, maybe cinnamon, light clove, faint ginger, and rosemary. They overwhelm the amber malt body, which is unremarkable anyway. The orange peel isn't as strong here as the aroma suggested, which is disappointed. And as far as the fig mentioned on the label? I search for it, but don't find it.

There is an alcohol presence here which I'm not sure works for it. No overt hop profile comes through, nor does any yeast character.

It's a bit too overbearing to be balanced, and forget about subtlety - there's none here. Southern Tier has confused muddled complicated-ness with artful complexity and intricacy; more ingredients do not make a better beer if the flavour profile is an unfocused mess. I dig the Swedish glogg premise, but this taste ultimately doesn't deliver; it's not the beer version, just a poor wine imitation. The build has a loose cohesion, but it's far from gestalt - I could change, substitute, or remove many notes and the beer wouldn't lose anything essential. This beer is the sum of its parts, and nothing more.

Dr: My problem with Southern Tier is usually that they seem to believe more ingredients equals a better beer - it's right there on the label. Look how many malts and hops and spices we used! We've quantified it for you, so the quality must be high. This beer is evidence of where that line of thinking can take you. While it has some interesting components that help evoke mulled wine, it doesn't really hold its own as a beer. If you got this blind at a bar with no knowledge they were going for mulled wine, you'd have trouble appreciating it. I wouldn't buy it again, and I think it's a pretty weak seasonal. Underwhelming but well-intentioned. Subpar work from Southern Tier.

C- (4,347 characters)

Photo of ThickNStout
3.46/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from Lucky's (Woodstock, GA). 7.99/ 6 pack. Bottled 10/23/13. Served in a Founders snifter.

Pours a clear chestnut brown with a finger and a half of dirty sand hued head. The foam settles to a healthy halo that leaves small splotches of lace.

An odd array of spices on the nose for a beer. Nutmeg, clove, faint cinnamon, a little citrus zest and hints of brown sugar and dark fruits.

The taste is even more packed with spice than the nose. Huge doses of clove with nutmeg, coriander, pepper, anise, cinnamon, orange zest, mild brown sugar and only the faintest hints of dark fruit. A very strange combination but it keeps the alcohol hidden. Very different.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Cloves and bitter orange peel linger in the finish.

A totally different holiday brew experience. I'm glad I held off reviewing this because the first I drank last November ended up feeding my drain. This was at least palatable but still far from my flavor profile preference. I can't take off too much just because I didn't care for the taste because I think they did what they did well. But I'll never buy more. (1,131 characters)

Photo of JayQue
3.76/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I would have trouble distinguishing between Herbed/Spiced Beers and Winter Warmers, but that's my problem. This beer is quite complex and pretty good drinking.

Pours a chestnut brown color with a lot of light showing through as golden highlights, A hard pour gives you a minimal tan head without much head retention or lacing.

Strong aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg (holiday spices). The fruit (figs and orange peel) are noticeable too. The fruit aromas are reminiscent of Belgian Strong Dark Ales.

The taste is a bit more complex. The holiday spices are backed up by a strong, malty beer with plenty of Belgian type sweet fruit flavoring and some other spices like black pepper. The finish contains some mild but lingering piney or grassy hops presence as well. Much better than most holiday beers.

The mouthfeel is rich, with a touch of warming alcohol. This is a good holiday/winter warmer type beer. (904 characters)

2XMAS from Southern Tier Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 239 ratings.