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Schlafly Christmas Ale - The Schlafly Tap Room

Not Rated.
Schlafly Christmas AleSchlafly Christmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

167 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 167
Hads: 451
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 7.01%
Wants: 18
Gots: 52 | 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:
Beer added by: hopsaplenty on 11-02-2006

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 167 | Hads: 451
Photo of RickS95
4.95/5  rDev +33.4%
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. (831 characters)

Photo of KI9A
4.54/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can't believe I haven't reviewed this yet, have notes back from the past couple years. Seems like 2007 & 2008 have been really tuned, from the 2006 version.

A: 2008 into a tulip. Hazy copper, lingering tan head, wonderful lace windows.

S: Wow. WOW! Best smell from a beer I ever reviewed. Citrus/orange/malt/cloves.

T: Malt. Hops. Then, orange, nutmeg, cloves. What a wonderful balance these guys have stumbled upon. Might even detect a bit of chocolate at the back.

M: Moderate carb, clean, but a very slight ABV burn afterwards.

D: I can drink this year 'round, but, it is my favorite Christmas brew, hands down. The 8% ABV sneaks up on you, so, be careful. this drinks like a macro lager, and easy to get lost in it.

Fine job, guys!

Cheers & Merry Christmas! (770 characters)

Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 02-08-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Golden amber color, 2 fingers of foam with carbonation present throughout the review

S - Just what the bottle says. I can pick up the orange peel and cloves. I get a faint cinnamon aroma but next to nothing regarding any hops

T - Medium bodied but a very smooth citrus malt taste, the spices masked the smell of hops until I had some hop bitterness at the back end. The bitterness did smooth rather quickly

M/D - Another great brew from Schlafly. Smooth medium bodied brew that carried the right amounts of citrus and sweet blended well with spices but over done. A little hop bite at the end but doesn't ruin the experience. A great seasonal from Schlafly that comes highly recommended (754 characters)

Photo of BeerLover99
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: rust body, finger khaki head, patchy lacing

S: orange peel, big clove, and spices (think Christmas cake)

T: orange peel, malt, clove, winter/Christmas spices, mild alcohol warmth.

M: med body, smooth/firm carbonation mouth

O: G-d Bless you, Schlafly! This Jew loves this time of year.
Fine brewery & delicious offering. Highly recommend
this Christmas Ale; most are too watery or odd flavor
combinations that sound great but just don't work.
This is a winner!

DELICIOUS, CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAYS PROPERLY! (512 characters)

Photo of BCK
4.27/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a cheap Rusty Wallace racing Pint glass, haha. After drinking it, I regret that I didn't put it in a better glass.

Nice amber/brown/orange color brew with a nice inch head on it after pouring. Smell of citrus and clove, very nice aroma.

Beautiful taste of Hops, spice and citrus.

Nice smooth beer with lovely hops bite to it and a bit of carbonation.

My favorite Christmas/Winter Ale so far this year and lucky me that it's readily available everywhere I go. I am a newer person to the craft beer population, but Schlafly still has not disappointed me and this one raised the bar for the next. (629 characters)

Photo of jokelahoma
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very bright and clear amber, with minimal head. Very nice looking beer.

Spices come through nicely in the nose. Not exactly pumpkin pie, but very "country kitchen"-like, with a good deal of cinnamon, ginger, clove, and a bit of citrus. A touch of sweet caramel adds to the complexity. Very, very, appetizing!

A bit of fruity sweetness up front, followed almost immediately by the spices. Note this doesn't taste hoppy. I'm getting no perceptible hop flavor. But there's bitterness here to balance the sweetness. The clove really comes through in the flavor, giving it a spicy burn that I found very appealing. Almost a cinnamon roll flavor, but nowhere near as sweet. Unsweetened cinnamon rolls? Nah... not even sure if there's cinnamon in this. But it is spiced nicely, and tastes very good.

The mouthfeel is well done as well. Not watery, but you don't have to shew it, as you do some winter beers. That makes this one a lot easier to drink than many others.

Overall, I found this to be surprisingly good. Easy to drink, with nice "holiday" spiciness that is balanced by the sweetness of the malt. I could drink many of these, I'm sure. Nicely done! (1,171 characters)

Photo of karst
4.23/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a smaller sniffer that shows off its chestnut amber, low head persistant ring. A fireside beauty!
Cinnamon, clove, and sweet caramel meets the nose at the taproom with all its competing aromas. Malts don't dominate but easily support the spices that give a gingerbread impression to the palate.

Well balanced with alcohol and IBUs easily handling sweet malts and dextrins that provide a nearly full mouthfeel. Still young but very nice as winter approaches. Pleasing carbonation that allows sipping without going flat.
Alcohol very nice and although apparent very nice in that it overall supports what the brewer is doing.

Hats off to Steve Hale and the rest of the Schlafly brewers. (701 characters)

Photo of SolomonGrundy
4.23/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Actually looks like the 2009 release, an extra from great trader Brian44556...Thanks mate, and cheers...Pours a rusty amber. Two to three-fingers of marshmallowy head adorn this-a-here brew. Sheets of pleasant lacing fall down the glass like snow. Good carbonation. Actually a beautiful looking beer so far. Huge, robust aromas. I get a lot of interesting notes. Yes, some orange peel. Yes some clove. But the nose is more and better than the sum of the parts. It comes off also having an egg nog note to it, as well as some banana. Sweet smelling and very robust. Wow on the flavor...This is more than I expected. A blizzard of sweet, malty, egg-nog like flavors burst over you. Truly amazing, as I expected a much maltier, more effervescent beer given the carbonation and typical versions of the style. Carbonation actually helps to subdue these Winter flavors and balance it out nicely, otherwise they might be cloying. The initial burst of flavor slowly fades into a nice, malty middle that features a lot of banana flavor, and closes out with a orange peel/hop melding of flavors that lasts a while. This is actually an exceptionally good beer. Very tasty and highly surprising to me. The only flaw appears to be a weird bitterness in the finish, but it's a minimal flaw to be sure. I can only assume this beer is well-priced, and I'm going with that assumption. I would definitely suggest trying to tracj down this wonderful and unique version of the style.

What I like most: Pretty much everything, but mostly the robust, unique and expressive flavor profile upon first taste.

What I like least: The pithy, off bitterness in the finish.

Verdict: Really excellent and wonderful beer. Worth tracking down. (1,713 characters)

Photo of MarzenMan
4.22/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on 10/29/2008.

A - Medium sized head on a bright amber beer. Good lacing. The bottle reminds me of old Christmas records. I think they took it off a Kenny Rogers Christmas Record we used to have :). Very....'Christmasy'.

S - Reminds me of Blue Moon because of the orange/citrus and the spice that may be clove but comes across similar to corriander. Some slight alcohol.

T - Wow. This is better than I expected. Some good malty qualities and a nice, but subtle, hop balance. Def. some orange and other spices but not overpowering at all. A little alcohol in the mix. Very nice. Medium body on the tongue.

D - I'd drink it a ton if it weren't for the price tag. I paid 10.50 for a sixer but it does appear to be worth it. This is exactly what I want in a holiday ale. (781 characters)

Photo of deepsouth
4.22/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this beer poured a nearly clear amber color.

the smell is of orange and clove and sour fruit. i can also detect pumpkin it seems.

the taste is consistant with the smell with the exception of the BIG hop surprise i got when i tasted it. fantastic.

the mouthfeel is appropriate for the style.

this is a great seasonal beer that i wish i could get on the regular. (364 characters)

Photo of BeerWithMike
4.21/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sampling right now on 12/24/14. 12 ounce bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a reddish-burnt orange in color with a half-finger foamy & creamy off-white head that settles down to about 1-2mm along the top with more along the sides of the glass. A decent amount of lacing is seen when sipped that sticks to the glass in small spots. The aroma is very pleasant and is of sweet caramel malts with spices. Even more going on with the taste as the mix of spices (cloves, hint of ginger and juniper berries) with some orange zest. Very smooth and goes down easy. Love the mix of the above flavors on this seasonal brew. Medium-bodied with perfect carbonation. Another great brew from Schlafly. MERRY CHRISTMAS! (760 characters)

Photo of peabody
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours our a really clean effverscent ice tea color with very little suds. Some lacing.
Smell is very spicy. Fresh corriander and nutmeg/allspice/pumpkin pie. Can't really smell the alcohol here.
Can't taste the alcohol here either. This is very refreshing for a christmas ale. Very spicy and a great balance between bitter and sweet. Hey, this is good and from Schlafly!
Mouthfeel is clean for the most part because of the bitter blackness at the end.
Drinkability is good here is you like the spices.
All in all, a pretty darn good beer. (538 characters)

Photo of MTNboy
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brown amber body.

Smell: Spicy and very sweet malty aroma.

Taste: The flavor has a European like Christmas dessert like feel. Spicy at first but a sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, It reminds me a lot of the pumpkin but smoother. It is very slick feeling.

Overall: One of my favorite holiday beers. Very thick and warm it feels like the holidays. (366 characters)

Photo of beerphilosopher
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a gorgous and lively amber red color and produces a nice, bubbly off-white head that dissipates fairly quickly. The beer is just slightly hazy, but very rich in color. This beer just looks good. Spotty lacing is left inside the large snifter I'm using for this beer. The nose is the Holidays in a glass. Strong aromas of holiday spices (cloves, cinnamon and citrus). Behind the spicy notes is a very pleasant roasted malt character. Smells festive in every way. The palate doesn't disappoint either - spices up front, intermixed with aggressive floral hops and dominant citrus notes (bitter orange peel, mostly). Due to the liberal use of hops in this beer, you get an over all dry taste with a lot going on in the back of the mouth. The finish is very herbal and citric, without being medicinal or cloying at all. Beautifully crafted. The mouth feel is medium and very fluid. The 8% ABV is well-masked in my opinion, but opens up a bit as the beer warms. I believe this to be one of my very favorite Christmas beers. It's very well balanced, incredibly tasty te. This is a nicely balanced spiced Christmas beer that is quite enjoyable. It's the type of beer I'd hit up for a and a nice departure from the typical winter warmer. For me, the citrus and bold hop presence makes this beer. These characteristics could well be why some won't like this beer, but it's what makes it stand out of the crown for me. Absolutely excellent and one of my favorite beers from Schlafly this year ... and that's saying a lot. (1,516 characters)

Photo of hckyfn9999
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled with love on Oct. 25 2006. Pours a nice clear amber color, with a one finger, cream colored head. The head doesn't last for very long and leaves some thin lacing in and around the glass.

The aroma of this beer is pretty sweet. Smells of clove, ginger bread, cinnamon, and spicy hops. Very good smell.

Taste is sweet upfront. A little caramel and sweet bread. This is followed up by some spice. the cloves are definitely noticeable as is a little cinnamon. Next up is the taste of ginger, also the orange peel is noticed. The spicy hops help to balance this beer out a little bit.

This is definitely a full bodied ale as the label promises. Carbonation is at a pleasant level also.

Despite the 8% ABV, the alcohol is not noticed at all. Even with all of the spice this is a drinkable beer.

If you don't care for a lot of spice in your beer, this probably isn't your thing as it is definitely noticeable. I can see myself enjoying a few of these on a cold night by the fire. Proud to be the first reviewer of this beer.

(edited for spelling errors) (1,074 characters)

Photo of pasdachuri
4.17/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice reddish brown with a fluffy 3 inch white head

Lots of spices in the nose that smells like a Christmas dessert.

Sweet caramel maltiness, backed by a whallop of clove spiciness and a bit of spicy piney hops as well. It's definitely sweet across the palate, but ends with a small hop kick and a somewhat dry finish. Very Nicely done.

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

The spice and sweet malty character of this beer hide the fact its 8% ABV. I had to consciously pace myself when drinking this six pack as the inviting aromas and solid flavor keep you comin back for more. (634 characters)

Photo of Illtryit
4.16/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a full three finger head. Off white. Great retention and lacing. Deep amber beer.

smells spicy and sweet. Cloves.

Tastes is all spice. This actually reminds me a little of Schlafly Pumpkin ale a bit. A little heat at the end. I can taste the alcohol just a bit.

For all the flavors this beer has it doesnt carry allthat much body. Kind of light actually. Plenty of character though.

I dig this. But I think it worth mentioning again...this really reminds me of their pumpkin ale. Good beer. Drink it! (510 characters)

Photo of cousineddy
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with 2.5 fingers of white head. Good lacing

Smell: Cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Very rich aroma, reminds you of the holidays.

Taste: More cinnamon, nutmeg, slight notes of brown sugar. Not a sweet as the pumpkin ale, which i thought was a nice change.

Mouthfeel: Not to bubbly, slightly thick

Overall: Been wanting to try this one for a while and I was not let down. Great beer to have by a warm fire to celebrate the holidays. (468 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at the brewpub in St Louis, reviews from notes.

A: 1.5 finger head with nice lacing on a clear amber body. Nice head retention.

S: caramel malt, toffee, peppermint and cinnamon.

T: very similar to the nose with spices of the season including nutmeg, mint, cinnamon with barley, breads and ginger.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: very nice seasonal brew. Not usually a fan of seasonal beers but this one is very good and matches well with the season. (480 characters)

Photo of kopper65
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Color is similar to iced tea, sort of an orangish-brown or copper color. Very little head and not much lacing to speak of, either.

Smell: Spicy with orange, cinnamon and clove, and some maltiness.

Taste: Spicy with malty sweetness. You can really taste the orange peel and cloves right off the bat. Then the cinnamon comes in and finally, some hops. I really enjoy this beer. It is one of my holiday favorites and due to the spicy ingredients that dominate the taste, actually makes me think of Christmas.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied carbonation, which suits this beer just fine. Smooth to watery with a crisp finish.

Drinkability: This beer is meant to be enjoyed during the holidays, and I have no problem with that whatsoever. Although slightly overpowering, and for that reason I like to mix it up with other styles. This also helps with the ABV level of this beer, which, if you're not careful, can take you by surprise. (936 characters)

Photo of BigJim5021
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a sixer of this stuff for a family gathering. At $10.50, I was hoping for good things. No disappointment there.

Pours a hazy amber with a nice white head. Head settles down into a nice ring with a good deal of lacing.

The smell is goddamn phenomenal, I tells ya. It's like a spicy, sweet, orangey Christmas tree.

Flavor is damn good too. It's not as spicy or sweet as it smells, but it's definitely got a hint of citrus and some nice, piney hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is a tad beyond medium bodied. Carbonation is spot-on. The finish is nice and dry. Nicely played.

Drinkability is high for a beer clocking in at 8%. I might have to pick up some more of this in anticipation of the ensuing holidays. I really didn't like Schlafly's Pumpkin Spice offering, but their Christmas Ale is the shit. (806 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes, poured into a shaker pint from the bottle at Jackie's in Silver Spring.

A solid two maybe three finger head off white in color, some good staying power. Body appearance is great dark orange and crystal clear. Some small carbonation rises slowly, not much lacing but a little. Good looking beer.

Even off the pour this bottle releases quite a bouquet. Lots of cinnamon, sweet nutmeg almost allspice too. Toasty malts and a bit of actual hot brown spicy heat. Impressive.

Taste is spicy hot in the palate. Matching the nose of sweet brown nutmeg and the like. Malt action comes with a brown sugar finish and toast a little. Spicy heat detracts a little, but the flavors are quite good. Medium carbonation with a good feel.

Overall a solid Christmas beer from Schlafly, love this brewery. (801 characters)

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stumbled onto four bottles from 2007 recently.

Poured from the bottle a cloudy amber gold with a sea of tiny floaties. I assume those are from aging a year. The beige head is creamy but small.

Aroma of sweet malts, Juicyfruit gum, orange peel, ripe orchard fruits, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves.

Tastes of sweet malts, candy sugar, cinnamon, cloves, apple, and just a hint of spicy hops. Not overly sweet or fruity. Finishes quite clean.

Light-to-medium bodied, slightly dry, and lightly carbonated.

A fine ale for the Christmas season, indeed. A great drinker.

Now to pick up some 2008. (592 characters)

Photo of ScorpyX
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice amber color. Translucent appearance with a lot of carbonation visible.

S: Detect orange peel, ginger, and cinnamon. Little bit of cherry, too.

T: Citrus sweetness, ginger, and pine up front. Very sweet beer.

M: Medium bodied and smooth, though gets a little sticky as you work your way through the bottle. Not overwhelming, though.

Nice beer. Reminds me of Christmas, so it's quite fitting. (413 characters)

Photo of barefootbrewer
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden with a fluffy, creamy head. The carbonation bubbles were continuous.

S: Pumpkin, vanilla, sweet and spicy.

T: Hoppy and piney. Definitely suited for the holidays. (This beer does not taste at all like it smells - weird.)

M: Medium bodied and fitting.

D: Excellent beer. I think I'll be looking for this one again next holiday season. (347 characters)

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Schlafly Christmas Ale from The Schlafly Tap Room
84 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.