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Schlafly Christmas Ale - The Schlafly Tap Room

Not Rated.
Schlafly Christmas AleSchlafly Christmas Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

342 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 342
Reviews: 156
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 13.93%
Wants: 12
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Schlafly Tap Room visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Our Christmas Ale is a warming winter ale that blends the spices of the season with sweet caramel malt. Orange peel, juniper berries, ginger root, cardamom and cloves are added for spiciness. We use honey in the fermentation process, which raises the ABV without producing too much heat from the alcohol content.

Many breweries produce richer, higher alcohol beers for the winter holiday season, bolder than their year-round offerings. The inspiration for this beer came from spiced holiday beverages such as wassail and mulled wines. Around the holidays, the sweet and spicy aromas, not to mention the booze, in such libations tend to smooth the rougher edges of enjoying each other’s company and spreading goodwill.

30 IBU

(Beer added by: hopsaplenty on 11-02-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 342 | Reviews: 156 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by craft_shannie:
Photo of craft_shannie
3.64/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A: amber, rich frothy light khaki head
S: deeply spiced (cloves/nutmeg/cinnamon) banana bread; in all of my times drinking schlafly's christmas ale - its a consistent. not bad - just very unique.
T: sweet light pale malts on front; very crisp spice (clove/nutmeg). peppery finish.
M: thin; medium to medium-high carbonation. makes me question if it couldn't be dialed back a bit.
O: definitely gets me in the holiday spirit. it's the perfect beer to consume pre- or post- holiday shopping - but next year i just need to remember, i don't shop enough to buy a case of it. the ABV is very well hidden, so consider that before you bust it out at the christmas office party.

craft_shannie, Dec 05, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of mojohawk21
2.5/5  rDev -31.7%

mojohawk21, Feb 28, 2014
Photo of brownbeer
2.55/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a coppery color without much head.

Very subdued aroma with subtle spice, a little funk, and candied tangerine.

There isn't much going on as far as flavor, clovey spice and maybe some citrus. The body is smooth but watery. Lacks depth and the 8% is creepy considering how little flavor it has.

I haven't had a beer I liked less than this in a while and I could easily pour it down the drain but i'll finish it. If you're looking for a strong beer without much flavor and a thin body, this might be for you.

brownbeer, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of DuckDodgers
4/5  rDev +9.3%

DuckDodgers, Nov 27, 2012
Photo of merlin48
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A clear copper amber body is graced by a small beige head that has good retention. Some spotty patch lacing is left on the glass.

Aroma is quite spicy with gingerbread, pine cone, cloves, and orange peel.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a solid carbonation. There is a zingy spice bite on the tongue.

Taste is malty and spicy. A toffee tasting malt backbone supports a myriad of spice flavors. Ginger, nutmeg, and clove are most prominent. The orangepeel adds a nice touch and there is a solid pine hops bitterness. The finish is dry with a hot ginger flourish. Hard to believe this is 8%.

A very well done winter warmer. Tasty and interesting but with all the spices I doubt I could finish more than one at a sitting.

merlin48, Dec 10, 2006
Photo of tigg924
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: minimal head, hazy, orange-brown in color

Smell: toasted malt, cinnamon, caramel, and clovess

Taste: lots of caramel malt, cinnamon, caramel, and a touch of earthy hops in the middle

Mouthfeel: heavy bodied, medium carbonation, very sweet and spicy with a slight bitter jump in the middle

Drinkability: A nice and malty holiday treat where the alcohol really sneaks up. The combination of spices is good. A sipper that is one I will revisit.

tigg924, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of elBecko
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

elBecko, Dec 19, 2012
Photo of amstokesdb9
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

amstokesdb9, Dec 16, 2013
Photo of chinchill
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12 oz 2013 bottle served in a goblet.

Body is dark red-brown with excellent clarity. Head has decent retention.

Smells and tastes like a spicy brown ale. The spice mix seems odd and not entirely appealing in the nose, but works better in the taste.
The spicing, while obvious and a bit strong for some ales, is not so powerful as to mask the caramel and medium roast malts used in this ale. Still, seems a bit too spicy and slightly too sweet

Medium body with medium carbonation..

chinchill, Apr 21, 2014
Photo of navband
3/5  rDev -18%

navband, Dec 13, 2013
Photo of hagbergl
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

hagbergl, Dec 30, 2013
Photo of drn
4/5  rDev +9.3%

drn, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of ianjsullivan
3.35/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

ST: 12oz poured into a pint glass. Bottle lists BOD but does not list ABV.

A: Reddish amber with a slight-off white half a finger fluffy head. The beer is very clear with steady carbonation. It leaves average lacing, and the head retention is okay.

S: The clove and orange are very noticeable. There is also some malt and some lemon from hops.

T: Sweet malt with orange and clove along with some bubblegum and spice on the finish from hops. There is slight warming alcohol in the finish.

M: Medium and smooth.

O: The alcohol is blended very well in this beer, but it loses points in a few areas. For a winter seasonal, this beer is a bit too light. It is also on the sweeter side. While the hops are there, the sweetness of the orange combines with the malt to create a beer that can be a bit of a toothache. The warming alcohol at the end does help, but the beer almost reminds me of sweet and sour sauce. This beer screams of fruitcake (which is not the best association).

ianjsullivan, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of sgttibbs
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

sgttibbs, Jun 03, 2014
Photo of Schlafly33
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

Schlafly33, Nov 04, 2013
Photo of weonfire
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Red/brown hue. Full finger of off white head. head dissipates quickly. not much to any lacing.

T - smell the spices from my glass which is 2' away. carmel, nutmeg, pumpkin and vanilla. solid nut.

T - Carmel. A moderately sweet but Nutty, pumpkin and a bit bitter from the alcohol.

M - A bit frothy, alcohol tingles the roof and tongue. Viscosity is high.

O - I thick its a descent Christmas brew. 8 ABVs could be hidden a bit more. burns a bit more than i wanted. Missing all forms of lacing. Solid carmel malt. I would buy this a christmas next year.

weonfire, Dec 16, 2012
Photo of IntriqKen
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks rsyberg01 for this bit of St. Louis Christmas.
Pours a glowing red/amber with a moderate white head that melts to a sticky lacing.
Aromas are so spicy I am reminded of a pumpkin ale....cinnamon, cloves, orange peel. Very fresh smelling spices.
Taste is so spicy again I am reminded of a pumpkin ale. Tons of cinnamon, a little cloves, corriander, and orange peel hop bitterness on the tail end.
Aftertaste is a tingly spiciness reminiscent of a wheat. A little white pepper in the hop bite.
Nice full comfortable mouthfeel.
This is an unusual winter ale...very spicy...not bad and the farther I get into the bottle the more I like it. Could that be the 8% talking?
Very tasty.
Thanks Ric.

IntriqKen, Nov 23, 2006
Photo of mdaschaf
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes 2/25/11

A: Poured a clear ruby/copper color. Small one finger white head with poor retention and no lacing.

S: Lots of spice, mostly cinnamon and nutmeg. A little bit of orange peel.

T: Very similar to the nose, but more pronounced. Lots of cinnamon and nutmeg, but by far the most dominant flavor is bubble gum.

M/D: Light bodied with good carbonation and quite smooth. A pretty good beer, but had high hopes after trying their pumpkin beer in the fall, which was amazing.

mdaschaf, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of Dave128
4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at pazzos pizza pub in Lexington KY. Brought to me in a pint glass.

A - Almost no head with only a slight ring around the edge of the glass. Lacing is nonexistent and color is clear amber.

S - Smells like Christmas. I don't know how else to describe it. It smells like a pot of spices my mom would simmer on Christmas morning.

T - Similar to the nose, but alcohol is very evident.

M - medium bodied. Correct for the flavors present.

O - Pretty awesome smelling beer. Alcohol is a little heavy though.

Dave128, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Sammy, Jan 05, 2014
Photo of pmcadamis
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - This one is a deep orange amber color that is clear, and lighter than I expected. Most Christmas/Winter brews tend to be on the dark side, but this one is the color of a good IPA. The head is initially three fluffy fingers, and settles to a persistent finger of cloud-like foam. Big sheets of lace slide down the glass, leaving nice big arcs in their wake. Head retention is pretty good for a high abv brew.

S - Candied apples (not caramel apples, but the candied apples covered in sugary red stuff), orange zest, wintergreen and peppermint. This smells like a mixed bag of Christmas candy. I'm reminded of those candy canes (sans hook) that some in a ton of different flavors. There is definitely a nice Christmas tree sappy hop note that reminds us that this is beer...not liquid holiday candy.

T - Hoppy, sweet, and well spiced. This seems like it is an IPA style beer that has been Christmas-ified with nutmeg, cinnamon, orange rind, and peppermint. Red apple skin and vinous grape skin tartness keep this lively.

M - This is medium bodied and initially quite sweet before transitioning to a ridiculously dry and dusty finish. I find that many spiced beers have a dusty finish...like putting dry cinnamon in your mouth. The alcohol is extremely well hidden...I would have never guessed that this was 8%!

D - A good sipper for a cold holiday season night. It's 33 degrees and wet here in central Illinois... the perfect time for a spicy and boozy winter ale. This one is pretty good, but not as glorious as I expected from a "special release" beer from Schlalfly. I do like the SN Celebration - like take on a winter brew.

pmcadamis, Nov 11, 2008
Photo of secondtooth
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours semi-hazy ruby, with very little carbonation and only a thin wisp of lace.

Nose is heavily spiced -- lots of brisk, wintery elements like cinnamon and allspice seem most prominent.

Taste is heavy-bodied, malty and spicy, with a slight warmth at the finish. A perfectly enjoyable sipper, and an ideal "winter warmer".

secondtooth, Jan 04, 2013
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Schlafly Christmas Ale
12 oz. bottle; $2.49 @ Joe Canal's, Egg Harbor Twp., NJ

Wow, what a great beer! I'm surprised I've never tried this before, but then again I am a little "gun shy" when it comes to spiced beers.

It's a little bit sweet, but that's balanced by the spices and a nice bit of fruitiness. And the spices aren't overdone. I'd imagine you could have two of these in a row without having either the sweetness or spice build up on your palate. At the same time, it's not a weak or light beer, it's pretty flavorful. There's a decent amount of malt here, and a good 8% abv to boot!

Maybe it's the choice of spices that I like so much: orange peel, juniper berries, ginger root, cardamom and cloves; and the fact that they're so bright and that I can actually pick each one out. But there's no cinnamon or nutmeg either, and that makes a difference as they both tend to be a bit heavy and stick on the palate. And although a lot of people like to think of cinnamon and nutmeg as "Christmas spices", I think this one tastes just fine.

I'm not sure that I would drink it other than as a seasonal, or with special events, but I'm really impressed and I think that it would make a great after-dinner beer, or even an apertif. Quite nice!

NeroFiddled, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of WoodBrew
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Trying the Schlafly Christmas Ale this evening and the beer pours a mostly clear amber color with about a half inch off-white head. Lacing and head retention are both decent. The scent is very sweet and spicy, I can smell cloves, cinnamon, orange peel, and some ginger. It tastes pretty much the same as it smells, but the clove flavor is the strongest. Also, I think it tastes more spicy than sweet. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating and is well carbonated. Overall, it can be a tough beer due to the amount of spice in this beer, I don't think I could drink more than 2 or 3 of these at a time.

WoodBrew, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of RickS95
4.95/5  rDev +35.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Three fingers of thick, fluffy, light beige head. The beer is copper in color and unfiltered...it's simply a gorgeous beer as it sits in the glass.

Lots of spices in the nose, but as the bottle mentions, orange peel and cloves top the list. It smells like a Christmas dessert.

Lots of carbonation in the mouth, almost tingling to the point of refreshment.

With the hops, cloves, orange peel and high alcohol, you'd expect a bitter aftertaste, but this beer is simply too smoooth. The only bitter is the alcohol late, late, late in the finish.

The lacing follows the beer with each sip. This is my 4th or 5th Schlafly's and I'm still waiting for one that's not exceptional. This may be the best beer I've ever had. It's potent at 8% alcohol, but it's terribly smooth so it's highly drinkable. It's a shame it's a seasonal brew.

RickS95, Dec 31, 2008
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Schlafly Christmas Ale from The Schlafly Tap Room
81 out of 100 based on 342 ratings.