XXXmas Ale - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
XXXmas AleXXXmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

47 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 47
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 11.91%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  8.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: comat0se on 01-01-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 47 | Reviews: 42
Reviews by maybrick:
Photo of maybrick
3.72/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this was presented for review at our Monday tasting session on 1/3/05. The bottle had been cellared since December, 2001.

It was a 1 pint 6 ounce bottle. The nose was real interesting - very much cinamon. Color after pouring was a ruby to brown color. There was a modest amount of carbonation after several swirls yet the mouthfeel was good.

Not too much hop on the back end but this is a Christmas Ale. The brew had a characteristic similar to mulled wine. The upfront taste is definitely cinamon blened with other spices and the finish had detectable notes of of citrus zest and carmel.

A nice brew.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Beaver13
3.35/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle. Pours a dark ruby amber with a thin wispy head that quickly goes to a thin collar.

The aroma is cinnamon, ginger, honey and chocolate. Not nearly as appealing as Anchor's OSA.

The flavor is some sweet honey (a little too much so) malts up front followed by lots of strong spices. Cinnamon is the dominant one, especially in the finish mixed with some spicy hops. There's some ginger too. The alcohol is well hidden, but provides some warming. It's medium bodied and a little watery.

Overall, decent but a very poor man's Anchor OSA. The spices don't come together and blend well. It's kind of like drinking a Cinnamon Chex beer.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Left Hand- XXXmas Ale

Appearance- reddish copper brown with no head.
Smell- Very sweet and spicey. Cinnimon mostly dominate.
Taste- Molasses and caramel malt with a big spice flavor. Cinnimon, nutmeg, clove, and licorice.
Mouthfeel- Sweet up front, slighty dry in the end.

Overall- A nice Winter Warmer. Very sweet though. Thumbs up, for sure!!

Photo of russpowell
3.14/5  rDev -13%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured dark copper with athin white head that dropped off to zero quickly. Bubbles cling to the side of the glass I drink from. No head retention or lacing at all

Smell: Mostly cinamon, cloves and faint malt

Taste: Cinamon up front and some nutiness ansd warming alcohol

MF: A little thin and undercarbonated

Too one dimensional to reccomend, but will try again just assure I didn't get a crap bottle. If you like x-mas beer but aint looking for complexity this is your beer. Can't believe this was 8.0 abv

Photo of UncleFlip
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Copper to brown, hazy in the glass. Half-finger tan head, a little loose.

A little hopy on the nose, wiht a spicy wet towel under. A bit of maltiness there, but not enough for my personal tastes.

On first taste, t reminds me a good bit of pumpkin pie spice. There's some ginger there, too, on top of a thick heavy maltiness...not bad at all.

Body is average to hearty, with a healthy carbonation- but not TOO much.

Not my first choice, but remarkably drinkable. Not bad at all.

Be well

Photo of BeerSox
3.82/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into mug.

Cloudy dark amber color with a thin light tan head that settles to a think cap. Strong lacing along the glass.

Sweet malt background with a prominant cinnimon spice aroma along with clove and some caramelized sugar. Warming alcohol is also included.

Strong spicy flavors with bits of pumpkin pie coming through among the warming alcohol. The high carbonation along with the spiciness and alcohol lends a little bit, which then moves to a slightly hoppy finish with tiny bits of phenols and apple cinnimon. The alcohol is hidden well.

This is a very spiced variety of winter warmer. Not bad, although it may be too spicy for some. Watch out for the alcohol, as it can sneak up on you. You'll probably be satisfied by the time you reach the end of the bottle.

2.95/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Deep blackest red body with the deep red only present when held to light. Head is an inch and a half of fuzzy off white bubbles with about a 2 minute life.

Nose is sharp with penatrating spicey cola like maltiness, it is very much like pumpkin pie.

Enters the mouth very sweet with an ashey malty hue glazing the tongue. Twords the end of the palate this one turns real woodsy but raw and feeling like it is twords the end of its drinkable life.

Before first sip this one had real promise but comes up short and a bit flat.

Photo of k75
4.47/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Liquid Christmas candy.

great aromas of sweet orange and spice ( clove, allspice? )

tastes great , and I don't usually enjoy a heavily spiced beer
( think Anchor mid - 90's )

enjoyable in small amounts ( 3 of us shared a 22 )

perfect take on a sweet, candied and spiced ale.

I'll have it again...


Photo of lou91
3.42/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

There is no date on this but I assume it was from 2004. Pretty still on the pour with some ginger and molasses notes. The taste is decent but far from outstanding. The spices may have been more prominent but they were just hints now. I can see how this may go well with pumpkin bread but on its own it leaves an unpleasant syrupy coat on your tongue. I might give it another chance fresh but if after six months it has lost this much, it may not be worth seeking out.

Photo of Bierguy5
3.9/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle. Pours a clear, deep bronze color with a nice white fluffy head. Good head retention. Smells of Christmas spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. Deep caramel malt character, maybe a hint of ginger, candy sweetness, cinnamon mix with just a slight amount of bitterness. The spices work well together. Medium body, but maybe a bit thin, moderate carbonation. Very good mixture of spices make this a pretty enjoyable Christmas beer.

Photo of VoodooBrew
3.23/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

XXX Mas eh? Kinda like Ho Ho Ho...

The beer pours a burnished copper color with a decent head. Alas, this may be the most attractive aspect of the beer. The aroma contains some of the usual "holiday" elements: most notably a spiciness, especially cinnamon and cloves. The nose is sweet, almost perfumy. More cinnamon is to be had in the flavor, but it's more of a cinnamon mouthwash quality. Inasmuch as the flavor seems to lean so heavily on this cinnamon spice element, I'm reminded of those "pumpkin" beers. And I don't really like those much either.

Photo of gbontrag
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

smells surprisingly sour; spicy and woody, and really ripe bananas.
nice off-white froth climbs to the lip of the glass over a glowing walnut colored brew. It's thin, but leaves good lacing.
Nice drink. The mouthfeel is spicy, thin, but full. The carbonation is really beautiful.
Tastes of rich, overripe fruits, and the wood notes are great. Taste some black tea. Reminds me of a bock. the winter warmer moniker seems tacked on, but it's a good beer.

Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.27/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz. bomber

Pours a hazy chestnut brown with a thin white head. Mild lacing on the glass.

Aroma is spicy and malty sweet. Reminds me of a mulled cider or fresh baked spice cookies.

Taste is malty sweet upfront and then a wave of holiday spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg) dominates the flavor. The spices have a very good flavor, but just too much of it. It should mellow with age and be a better beer next year.

Body seems slightly thin. Not enough batter to handle the spice level.

It's an anverge drinking winter warmer (btw - this stye really means nothing). Too spiced for my taste....

Photo of sulldaddy
4.2/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another of my goodies from secret santa 04. Thanks Mentor!
I am drinking in a tulip glass at room/cellar temp.
The beer pours a clear chestnut with a small frothy beige head, it fizzes similar to a coke and fades just as quickly to a thin edge layer.
Big caramel and brown sugar nose, very malty. A hint of ripe fruit and perhaps a touch of nutmeg are the other scents my nose detects.
First sip reveals an average tingly carbonation and a nice robust body, maybe alittle chewy but for sure enjoyable!
Flavor is very nice as well. The beer starts with caramel and general sweetness with a touch of molasses and brown sugar. Overall sweet up front, the finish is very nice and leaves a lingering warm spiciness on my palate. I dont know if the beer is brewed with spices or not, but I get the nutmeg and now a bit of cinnamon coating my tongue and warming the palate for sure. A very nice winter beer and a great choice IMO to start off my New Year's festivities!
Enjoy this one if you see it!

Photo of kosmoraios
4.74/5  rDev +31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, red mahogany color with a 1-finger off-white head that dissipates quickly. Minimal lacing. Moderate amount of carbonation bubbles visible when the glass is held to the light.

Smell is very nice! Piney hops and spices like cinnamon, clove and nutmeg make this ale smell like the essence of Christmas. Can't wait!

Taste is amazing. Other reviews say it was very sweet - I don't find this to be the case. In my opinion it is pleasantly dry. The toasty malts lend a toffee sweetness. Hops are piney and floral, and beautifully balanced. Plenty of spices - cinnamon, clove, nutmeg - very Christmassy. A hint of cashew nuttiness. Very complex, some apple and pear come out as the ale warms.

Mouthfeel is spicy, a little oily, stays on the tongue. Ample carbonation. I'd drink this all day.

Photo of SupaCelt
3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I am so paranoid about drinking this. I have no idea which winter this one was released on but I am sure it was a long time ago. At least an eon. The pour throws some rich amber coloured fluid into my glass. This thing is like red fo'real. Minimal lace follows a minimal head. Damn thing is nearly flat. The nose smells like cola with some fermented fruit skins floating in it. The taste is much the same. Cola. Yeah, and there is some crazy spice and fruitcake stuff going down too. The mouthfeel is oily and sugared. Drinkability not so great. This thing just takes the winter warmer gross potential and runs with it. I am sure it is dated, but still this thing should stay on the shelf. I wouldn't recommend this to a Thunderbird swillin wino with some Christmas cash to blow. Blaaah.

Photo of robbyc1
3.17/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A dark look with a fluffy head, this does have the nose of honey and spices including cinnamon, clove, and anise. Nice nose, but it doesn't carry though to the taste. The roasty malt supports a sweetness from the honey, but it's over the top, a bit cloying, and the spices don't combine very well. The base beer would be something to try without all else, but it's hard to discern underneath. A bit of a mess, with a medium body, silky with good carbonation, not a great drinker overall, but not bad. It was hard to finish a bomber between two people.

Photo of mactrail
2.97/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

The nice mahogany color is the best feature of this stuff. It's sweet and spicy, like a Christmas malt liquor. Still, is it drinkable? Possibly, but it needs a chaser. Overall this is just hot and dirty, unpleasantly sweet, with cheap candy flavors. The long overdone spice flavor ends with cloves sticking in my throat. Thank goodness they've discontinued this. My notes were from 2006 on this one.

Photo of emmasdad
3.2/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Received this one as Christmas gift from my lovely wife. Pours a dark ruby-red color, with a little bit of off-white foam. Aromas of Christmas spice--cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice. Somewhat malty on the palate, with the same lineup of spices cutting the sweetness. Ok, but nothing special.

Photo of frazbri
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep ruby color with a small, but thick off white head. Okay lacing and head retention. Aroma of cinamon, ginger, and spices. Sweet and spicy ginger bread flavor with a slightly bitter finish. Moderate carbonation and medium body. warm finish.

This brew is a liquid christmas cookie. This 22oz bottle is made to share. Split the bottle with a couple friends. Though enjoyable, one glass is enough for one night. This beer makes me want to string some lights on the house.

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

Pours a nice rich dark amber, and mostly clear with a medium to short lived beige head. Smell is sweet pumpkin pie like spices. If I didn't know it wasn't a pumpkin beer that's what I would have guessed it was. Taste is crisp, lightly hoppy and bittered but with a touch of alcohol flavor and pumpkin pie like spice with nutmeg and cinnamon. Medium bodied with soft to medium and slightly crisp carbonation and a dry finish to it. Not a bad winter beer at all.

Photo of clvand0
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours an amber color with a small head that falls quickly and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma has a lot of spices, but not of the peppery variety. Ginger, nutmeg, slight alcohol. The flavor has a nice malt backbone and the forefront is comprised of a small amount of nutmeg and lots of ginger. Pretty tasty for a spiced beer, actually. I'm glad I split the bottle because I think the spices would have gotten to me if I had tried to drink the whole thing. Still, a good brew.

Photo of allengarvin
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice dark mahogany color, though little head to speak of and no lacing. Aroma is mostly nutmeg over a light caramel. Rich toffee flavor with a lot of ripe fruit, at the front. After a moment a peppery spiciness becomes apparent, more nutmeg with perhaps a touch of cinnamon. The spices are handled with a light touch, not overpowering at all. Lack of carbonation makes the body feel a little flat and thin. A nice change from most other Christmas beers out there.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured into the glass clear medium amber with and off-white head which rose slightly and lasted well to lace the glass.

The aroma was mostly muted spices, cinnamon and clove, and fruity esters. There was a bit of malt in the background mostly comprised of caramel.

The flavor was sweet caramel malt flavor coupled with a subtle and muted spice that was again mainly cinnamon and a bit of clove. There was little bittering to back up the malt, but the beer was not cloying in it's sweetness, but was a bit one dimensional. A fruity cherry impression emerged as the beer warmed.

The finish was even to almost dry with a lasting subtle spice and caramel impression into the aftertaste. The body was medium full. The alcohol was present in the warming after consumption and boosted the spicy phenolics of the aroma.

22 ounce bottle, $5.

Photo of Fish113d
3.82/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

*Poured into a pint glass from a tap chilled.

Pours a chestnut hue with a slight thin tan edge layer; slightly hazy throughout the body.

Aroma reminds me of chocolate mint chip with some nutmeg or cinnamon. Interesting.

Sipping reveals a lot of chocolate up front along with some nutmeg and slighty caramel malts. Some alcohol on my palate as well with a slightly drying oak finish. Nice.

Creamy full body with a healthy bit of alcohol. Drying on the finish due to the alcohol. A bit dry, but suits the style.

Overall, this was okay. Decent flavor, but would be better served sharing a bottle of it than drinking too much myself.

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XXXmas Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.