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2XMAS - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

244 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 244
Hads: 1,357
Avg: 3.76
pDev: 38.03%
Wants: 57
Gots: 291 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 244 | Hads: 1,357
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.34/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

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Photo of TBoneJones
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.62/5  rDev -30.3%
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.


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Photo of ThickNStout
3.46/5  rDev -8%
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.

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Photo of JayQue
3.76/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. 2/15

Pours medium to dark amber. Touch of foam on top. Light sweet nose. Jammy and figs. Cinnamon and nutmeg. Orange fig flavors, sweet malt, spiced finish. A touch sweet, but has a little bitter balance. Works for the season, nice festive beer.

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Photo of GOBLIN
3.26/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Southern Tier is usually pretty solid in my book but not this one here. What I detect to be Nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and conifer doesn't work well together. well, at least not for my palate.

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Photo of karengarys
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours dark mahogany, crystal clear. Very little to no head with my slow pour. Doesn't fizz, looks like a plain old transparent mahogany liquid in my glass.

Smells nice and holiday spicey. Cinnamon seems to come forth most, followed by nutmeg.

Taste is amazingly delicious for a holiday offering. I kind of go into these knowing I'm rolling dice with the odds against me. I'm not a typical hophead, though, leaning more towards the malty preference side of things. I don't care for spices and flavorings, but the Christmas offerings are always interesting enough to try. This time they have rolled a winner. The taste is also spicy, cinnamon, nutmeg, corriander, pepper, brown sugar... The funny thing is that it isn't too heavy on anything, and it is just rich malty and delicious.

Mouthfeel is very good, creaminess is hidden in that seemingly dormant liquid. It is very nice.

Overall, I'm very surprised this is so good. Of all the holiday offerings, this is one of the first I'm going to try and find an entire 6-pack of!

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Photo of JerUrbans
2.78/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

My last 2014 Christmas beer, (unless I pick up one more Krampus, I saw my local still has). Clear thin amber color, with light colored head. Smells is strong nutmeg, and spice. I pick up some cinnamon as well. Taste kind of,...well actually, just like potpourii. Mouthfeel is thin light and just slightly bitter, but definitely not really sweet. Overall, it's OK. I think I would have rated this a bit higher before Christmas, but now after the holidays, somethings wore off. With that said I will look forward to another six pack next Christmas, but I will drink all of it before the holiday is over. Guess some things aren't better if you wait.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
3.89/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Thanks for this one darthvohn.

The ecru-colored, creamy foam of this holiday offering almost builds to a finger in width, receding less than thirty seconds later to barely covering the cap. An almond-hued body is streaked with ruddy highlights.

The orange peel, cinnamon, and nutmeg-like aromas all jump out of the glass first, spiced-smelling like a crafts store on December 21st. The malt slowly bubbles to the surface with impressions of graham, vanilla, a little bit of honey, Christmas in a glass.

First impressions recall mulled wine with a big punch of orange and cinnamon swelling on the back end of the palate. Clove, nutmeg, cinnamon grab the attention of the palate at first, with a smokey fig, orange-y bite, and graham-like malt near the finish. A slight bitterness, feeling like pine, surprises on the finish.

2XMAS sits on the tongue with a medium heft and velvety, creamy smoothness, with the bitterness drying up the finish.

2XMAS, packed to the brim with spice like Santa's gift bag on Christmas Eve, smells and tastes like Christmas. Not wanting to "Bah Humbug" this beer, the sweet and decadent malt could be more forward, for an even more delectable holiday drinking experience. Great job Southern Tier!

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Photo of TCMike
3.69/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Produced a 1 finger, beige head. Beer color is a slight translucent, medium mahogany.

The aroma is of gingerbread, caramel, raisins.

The taste is similar, but syrupy, and with a hint of orange, and mild hop bitterness. Upper end of medium, for mouth-feel. Medium carbonation.

Not my fave Christmas beer, but it's okay.

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Photo of ThisLadyLovesBeer
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really like this seasonal ale brewed with "figs, orange peels, and spices." It is smooth and flavorful on the palate, not a all hoppy, and the 8 percent alcohol completely missed me until I read the label. It's a very nice ale flavor, not a strong "anything" in the mouth, except for good flavor, and perfect for a cold winter's day or night. Not my first tasting, to mention. This is my third or fourth over the past month, and it's still a whole lot of winter fun and flavorful ale!

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A Christmas ale on a blizzard of a day – we’ll end up with at least 8” for sure.

A: Deep ruby with a crisp, bubbly head of dark tan: looks like an inch and a half of soda fizz, rising high at first but disintegrating in seconds. Little retention.

S: Spice and malt, emphasis on the spice. Each whiff provides a massive smack of fresh-ground black pepper, dark and robust, with supporting tones of orange, gingerbread, and lime peel. Beneath the spice is a bed of fig and brown sugar, like dark raisin cake.

T: The palate’s all spice on a mildly sweet foundation, following the nose. Starts with a mouthful of black pepper, spiced additionally with anise, nutmeg, and cardamom; absolutely crackling with zesty flavor. The malt foundation is crusty French bread, raisin, and shortbread cookie, with a hint of pumpernickel. Aftertaste is mild malt after the spice fades: a lingering wheat bread tone. All in all, this is (spicy) spice cake in a bottle.

M: Chewy and full with silky carbonation, making this a hefty ale that’s still highly drinkable.

O: Like black pepper on your fruitcake? I didn’t think so either, but this ended up being a tasty beer. I usually prefer holiday ales balanced more toward toasted malt; this, though, was a nice change of pace.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.02/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

(A)- Pours a clear mahogany brown color. A good head of off-white froth. Good retention and lacing.

(S)- Very spicy and malty. Obvious cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and orange peel, but alot more going on than than in a malt sense.

(T)- Not as intense as the smell, but better balanced. A nice malty background meets some orange peel and nutmeg.

(M)- A smooth carbonation level meets a well balanced profile of sweet malts and winter spices.

(O)- I always feel like winter seasonals are a dime a dozen, however this one is a bit more on the sweeter side yet the spices complement; do not overpower the base. One of the better ones this year.

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Photo of farrago
4.11/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Two fingers of dark yet oddly glowing tan foam, looks backlit or something, full mix of bubble sizes and pretty good retention for the category, same could be said for the lacing, sticks well. Crystal clear liquid, deep coppery brown, inclines more towards red than orange, not that many bubbles but they rise with swift insistence, pretty enough overall. The nose is all cardamom, anise, pine sap, clove and cinnamon, huge cleansing lift in the nostrils, milk chocolate and orange peels, not getting the figs nor other fruit here, basically smells like the bowls of seeds and stuff at the entrance to an Indian restaurant. Medium-bodied, tightly woven carbonation, erect posture, on the dry side given the constituent elements. Ginger, cardamom, clove, cinnamon, cola, chocolate, light caramel. Again, has a sort of mentholated cleansing feel, fresh and tingly. Still not getting much fig or other dried fruits, some light apple or peach maybe. Soft undercurrent of blanched nuts. Easy to see how the intensity of the spices could polarize, love it or hate it. Finding it food friendly and lack of sweetness adds to versatility. Could not do more than a couple in a sitting but they would be enjoyable start to finish.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a one finger light tan head that fades quickly to a ring and leaves no lace. Cloudy dark amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Orange peel nose and flavor is spicy orange peel, figs are hidden. $2.09 for a 12oz bottle from Madden Beverage Saco, ME.

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Photo of dar482
4.02/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a dark copper brown color.

The aroma has tons of spice, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, a caramel sweetness.

The flavor follows with caramel and toffee sweetness. Then tons of spice with clove, star anise, cinnamon, with some caramel sweetness. It's dry on the end.

Possibly the best winter holiday beer this year.

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Photo of fx20736
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bought a 6 pack from Beers of the World, November, 2013. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Nonic, served at cellar temp.

Appearance: Rich chestnut amber with a 2 finger khaki head, not much lacing.

Aroma: ginger, cinnamon,

Mouthfeel: good, well done.

taste: Brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon

notes: too sweet for me. I think I am done with Christmas flavored beers.

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Photo of RickS95
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle comes a reddish, brownish, garnet color. A bit clearer than you'd guess for a spicy beer, but still dark. The head is slow forming and a finger thick, but lacks retention. The slightest of lacing left behind.

The smell can fill a room. It's everywhere. From the smell, which immediately grabs the olfactories, you expect a murkier, cloudier beer, but no dice. Lots of holiday spices (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, etc) meet up with a variety of malts for a treat to the nose. As it warms, the cloves grow and you get a hefe-like bubble gum scent. The spices are the main attraction, but you get plenty of malt as well, but it's more a supporting role.

Very spice forward, but plenty of malt backbone that's is reasonably well-balanced. All the spices in the nose are accounted for in the taste, but you also pick up a bit of mint as well. It's not quite as strong in spice as wassail, but it's close. The cinnamon and nutmeg are a bit strong, staying with you well into the finish. The alcohol feel is negligible.

A little sweet and a lot spicy up front. The spice drowns out the sweet from midsip on. It's not as heavy as I expected, actually, a bit loose feeling, but it ends strong with the continued spices and the onset of the alcohol. Medium bodied. Not a lot of hop bitterness, but the spice never crosses the line into offensive.

A nice winter warmer. Multiple bottles would warm you up nicely, and if you're a fan of the spiced beers, a handful of these would make for a happy evening. Easy to drink, as the spices approach the line but never cross it. A good choice for a seasonal because it would eventually wear on you.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz beer was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a

Smell: Spices, dark fruit, orange peel, ginger, caramel, and toasted malts.

Taste: Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, dark fruits, orange peel, ginger, caramel, and some bitterness.

Mouthfeel: A bit smooth, chewy, spicy, warming, low to medium carbonation, and medium bodied.

Overall: Pretty good spiced winter warmer. I'll grab another.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.1/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured bottle into glass. 8% abv.

Appearance- Deep red/dark brown. Not unlike the color of root beer. Moderate puffy head.

Smell- Nutmeg and cinnamon spices dominate. A slight hint of orange peel citrus.

Taste- Sweet maltiness of caramel first. Then extremely spicy much like the smell. After the initial sweetness, it is as if you have a mouthful of nutmeg. Hoppy/piney bitterness in the aftertaste but the spices linger all the way through.

Mouthfeel- Medium to high heaviness, still smooth with medium carbonation.

Overall- A decent beer. As noted the spices were a bit overbearing personally, but then again the style is an "herbed/spiced beer" so can't detract from that based on what it is. Still smooth however and does have ample complexity. Claims it is brewed with figs, spices, 4 malts and 2 hops which accurate to the taste. With an X-mas themed bottle and cool name, why not give it a try, tis the season!

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tulip glass

A: Opaque amber with a tan half-finger head that dissipates to tiny bubbles. Significant lacing.

S: Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves. The holidays have arrived.

T: Follows nose with mounds of malt and cherries. Sweet, robust. Now dat's Christmas!

M: Medium with medium carbonation.

O: One of the better examples of a winter warmer. I wasn't a big fan of the style...until I tried this one. Will drink again next Christmas.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle dated 11/4/13 poured into a pint glass
A: The same brown as the bottle it was poured from, with a thin head that disappears in a flash
S: Tons of baking spice particularly nutmeg/cloves, a bit of molasses
T: Matches the nose in terms of spice, along with a healthy dose of coffee cake from the malt and some molasses/caramel/fig
M: Medium+ bodied, fairly balanced, a touch warming from the alcohol
O: Definitely what I want to be drinking in front of the fire on a cold day. Tasty brew

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Photo of Slatetank
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I picked this up at wegman's enjoyed chilled in a goblet shared with tenderbranson69 on Christmas day 2013.

The color is sunset red with good clarity and thick beige head with very fine bead. The smell is very festive with nice citrus and spice odors with mild sweet ester and yeast fruitiness in the nose. The feel is very nice, spiced yet balanced with malt and moderately high carbonation with dry strong warming finish.

The taste is good with lots of spice and and an orange zest and slight toasted malt with a mild caramel sweetness and very low alcohol in the taste with nice woodiness and a slight hint of cinnamon bark. The taste has a nice amount of dried fruit and hops bittering but not too bitter with a slight dry alcohol taste in the finish. Overall this is a great beer for celebrating -it is strong but you don't really taste any alcohol since the spice covers it pretty well.

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Photo of Ryanm1
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Talk about a full bodied beer! Had this ale back to back against another Christmas one and this wins in the taste category hands down. Pours a dark bet color. Significant amount of white grayish lacing at the top, quickly dissipates though. Nutmeg and other Christmas spices emanate from the glass. Get a hint of orange peel in the taste, along with a Carmel toffee taste. Bottle says that it includes figs which definitely comes out on the palate. Mentions that uses two hop varietals and 4 malts. Not sure what tradition of Swedish glogg brewing is but apparently that's the metho of brewing. An excellent Christmas ale.

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2XMAS from Southern Tier Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 244 ratings.