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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
83
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:
Photo of eclaycamp
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a basic tumbler glass. Aroma is primarily orange and clove - not surprising considered those spices are used in the brewing of the beer. First taste yields a surprising amount of bitterness followed by a hefty and clear amount of alcohol warmth. Heavy handed carbonation keeps things from getting overpowered. Graham cracker sweetness starts up front, giving way to a cinnamon bitterness. Reminds me of their Pumpkin Ale, though with a slightly different spicing regimin. If I had to choose between the two I'd go with the Pumpkin, though this certainly isn't bad by any stretch of the imagination. The high alcohol and heavy spicing make this one a bit tougher to drink however.

eclaycamp, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle
"bottled with love on OCT31 2007"
"T'was Christmas broach'd the mightiest ale, 'twas Christmas told the merriest tale..."
-Sir Walter Scott

a: A very hazy orage brown. The white head has good retention and leaves plenty of lacing.

s: Cloves, orange and nutmeg.

t: Malt mixed with spices upfront, but what strikes me is the solid hop presence in the finish. A very tasty Christmas beer, good mix of spices and hops.

m: Full body, very crisp, nice warming feel from the alcohol.

d: Maybe I'm just in the holiday spirit, but this is one of the best winter warmers/holiday beers I've had this season. It isn't too sweet or spiced and allows hops to shine through. I could just be a homer, but this and boulevard's nutcracker ale have really hit the spot this winter.

BradLikesBrew, Dec 20, 2007
Photo of tpd975
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sea Bass for sharing this one during a wonderful night of tasting at the Oldsmar Taphouse.

A: Pours a nice light golden hue with tones of amber showing thru. 1/2 finger creamy head with okay retention. No real lace noted.

S: Very green aromas, almost a marijuana type quality. There are hints of spice behind, but not the entire spice rack.

T: Nice sweet malt flavors with a big pine hoppiness for the style. Hints of cinnamon and nutmeg poke thru. I like this one.

M: Medium in body, soft and creamy.

D: Not bad, a nice take on the xmas offering.

tpd975, Nov 30, 2008
Photo of katan
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a pint dated 12/4/2008

A - Brown to orangish brown in color - head formation is strong and well retained. Off-white to also brown in color. Hazy.

S - Super spicy with notes of cinnamon and cloves hitting you square in the eyes.

T - Starts off with a light mix of the cinnamon spice and malty sweetness. A hair of bitterness builds which jumps into a nice bite of american hops. Finishes with a big hit of cinnamon and spice - almost a gingerbread cookie - and a big bite of phenolic tones.

M - Full of body - both from the carbonation and from the strong substance of the beer. Not very biting in carbonation. Leaves a sweet film on the tongue.

D - Moderate to low drinkability in my mind - the abv on this beer would sneak up on you big time. The spicy edge makes it a nice after dinner drink. Somewhat filling.

katan, May 16, 2009
Photo of CMW
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a crystal clear dark amber color with minimal head and retention. Although the head is small there still is a little soapy lacing on the side of the glass.

S - This is a heavily spiced Xmas beer. Big time cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. There is a nice malt base and very little hops present.

T - Sweet upfront with the cinnamon and nutmeg doing most of the work. It fades to a sweet malt backbone. Not as well balanced as I would like but there is something there to balance the sweetness.

M - Carbonation is on the high side and gives the beer a little chewiness that is needed.

D - Although this is April this is still drinkable. However, it really hits the spot on those cold winter nights as the 8% can warm you up a little.

CMW, Apr 17, 2010
Photo of bbkd3b
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I always kind of perk up when I come across a new Schlafly brew. As one of the few dependable Missouri breweries, I have a strange sort of pride for the company. Way to represent the midwest!

A - Comes out with a clear, copper tone, very orange-golden. Prety color, but the head is 1-finger, thin, and white... retention isn't great at all. Almost no lacing, but a fair amount of carbonation leaves me wondering why.

S - Spices and floral hopiness, mostly. They're backed up by an attractive orange peel scent, and a trace of sweetness. Not bad at all.

T - It's like the nose in flavor-form. There's a degree of peppery spiciness, and definitely a nice citrus twist in there. I don't know how "Christmasy" it is, but it isn't a bad flavor. At the back end, as it warms, a good kick of bitter hoppiness shows good depth and a gives the beer an entirely new character. Nice little trait for a beer.

M - Light-bodied and sharp on the tongue. When it's cold the first swig is almost hard to taste, but as it warmed it became a much better feel on the tongue. I have a feeling I should've let this warm before I gave it a try.

D - Great beer at a bit warmer temperature, and because of that, it's easy to drink a few and let the flavors get even better. It's a bit pricier than the usual Schlafly affair, though. Probably will finish the six pack before long.

Overall/notes - The word dependable is appropriate. I've never had a brew from this company that floored me, but I've also never had one that disappointed. This fits just in that mold, and once again, I have a another variety of beer to enjoy. Worth tasting, but I recommend letting it warm a bit if you don't have a true beer fridge or cellar (like me).

bbkd3b, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of Boto
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle: This one pours a cloudy amber color. There was a big frothy head on it that took a little while to recede. Leaves a little lacing. Nice aroma. A little lighter, but definitely Christmas: clove, cinnamon and nutmeg. Maybe a hint of orange. Taste if pretty good. Malt, clove, cinnamon, a touch of orange and pine. This is actually just a touch bitter, with just a hint of sweetness to start. Lots of hops to balance the malts. A decent winter beer.

Boto, Jul 15, 2011
Photo of Tilley4
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up from the local bottle shop today... A new arrival to our area...

Pours a dark amber appearance with a fluffy creamy head... Very inviting..

The first thing I get off of this is the spices such as the orange peel and cloves along with a big dose of booze... Deep and malty and rather Christmas-like...

Big boozy maltiness that melds into a sweet spiciness from the cloves... At first, I wasn't sure if I liked this but it really opens up as it warms and gets really tasty...

A sipper, for sure... This would be terrific with some gingerbread or fruitcake...a nice seasonal effort from Schlafly...

Tilley4, Nov 25, 2009
Photo of rrski198
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a case today at the bottleworks in Maplewood for $26. They stated that some of there special release comes back if it doesn't sell before they roll out the next release. In this case that would have been the Extra Irish Stout. I will wait outside daily for the stout to come back.

A: This mirrors a red ale. Big off white head with moderate lacing. Dark red and amber hues. Beautiful

S: Clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, alcohol.

T: I get all the same tastes as smells with a nice balance of hops. This beer is nicely balanced. Alcohol comes through a little more than i would prefer.

M: Cleaner feel in the mouth. Despite a 8% ABV, its not heavy at all. The clove flavors linger long after the sip. Its in the back of my mouth, still.

D: I could have maybe two at a time. This is a very good beer, but due to the "Holiday" flavors, I wouldn't put down 4 or 5. Worth the money for sure.

rrski198, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of wnh
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.
Bottled with love on 11.10.09

Pours a crisp, bright orange-tinted copper with a smallish and fleeting off-white head. Beautiful color, disappointing head retention.

Nose is packed with baking spices, predominately cinnamon and clove. Accompanying is a strong pepper and citrus peel combination that's reminiscent, oddly, of a saison, with a lightly funky earthiness. Spicy, and yet mouthwatering. (Seems to be quite similar to the Schlafly Pumpkin Ale, only without the big and bold canned pumpkin note.)

Spicy and fruity on the palate, showing clove-studded orange slices up front. Cinnamon comes in mid-palate, subtle and mild yet relatively easy to pick out, and brings with it a powdery feel, dry and somewhat prickly, as though there was actually powdered cinnamon on my tongue. Finishes with a touch of hoppy spiciness, decidedly differentiated from the cinnamon and clove spice. Relatively short and surprisingly clean finish; a few very faint lingering flavors remain, but only if I look for them.

Not the most unique beer in this general style, nor the most flavorful, but I am favorably impressed.

wnh, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a cool christmas beer, a drinker, not a novelty. the pour is amber to red, darker than that, but not brown at all, mostly clear, and a minimal head. the nose is really boozy, but juniper and cardamom permeate too. love the taste of this, complex, fruity, spicy, strong, and as drinkable as any holiday ale or winter warmer out there in terms of subtle and not dominant or aggressive spice notes. sour fruit up front, sweet finish, daring but approachable at the same time. body is thin, too thin really. it lends to drinkability, but it makes it less of a winter warmer in the classic sense. its carbonated fine, but its just a tad too little on body for me, especially given how alcoholic this is. better and better as it warms. overall an exceptional holiday brew, a must try at the taproom.

StonedTrippin, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of naterock
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep Amber in color with a decent head that doesn't lace.

smell is rich malt and brown sugar, cinnamon and cloves. definitely a christmas aroma.

tastes very well blended on flavors, spicy cloves and cinnamon, nutmegy undertones. Rich malt with a slight hop bote in the back.

mouth is thick, oily and very candy-like. medium carbonation and easily drinkable. Way to go Schlafly!

naterock, Jan 08, 2009
Photo of alleykatking
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle. Thanks to VinnieVanGogh for this bottle.

A- Pours a light hazed amberish orange color. Two finger head shows low retention. Some spotty lacing on the sides of the glass...nothing else.

S- Spicing on this beer does come through a lot with cloves being the leader. Undertones of cinnamon and orange peel act as a nice buffer between the caramel malts and medium alcohol tingling the nose. Didn't get any hops in the nose but it really wasn't too important.

T- Light toasted malts with a nice orange peel upfront. Clove comes out as well in the front of the beer but no real other spicing besides light pepper notes here and there. Caramel malts in the middle of the beer. Medium alcohol flavor with some light bitter earthy hops in the ending of the beer.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Clove and caramel malts are left on the palate. Aftertaste is bitter hops, big alcohol warming notes, and spicing linger for awhile. Flavors were kept in check with other flavors so none were over the top. No off flavors were present in the beer. Medium alcohol drying on the palate.

D- A nice spiced winter seasonal beer. The flavors were well balanced but the aroma at times seemed to be a little muted. The ABV is present toward the ending of the beer but only for a second or two. Would love to try this stuff again....I think a little fresher bottle will do this beer a little more justice.

alleykatking, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of mountdew1
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a dark golden amber. Head was a very thin off white that didn't last at all, in fact never really formed. Aroma was a tad sweet, but also spicy. Cloves and a hint of citrus as well. Taste was fruity, with some bubblegum as well. Hint of hops. Felt ok in the mouth, coated well, but perhaps a bit over carbonated. A different take on a winter seasonal that was a very solid sipper.

mountdew1, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of zeff80
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an orange/burgandy color with a tan, one-finger head that left some soapy lace. It also had a cloudy appearance.

S - It smelled of tons of clove, nutmeg and orange.

T - It tasted of a good deal of spice. It brought a little heat. It tasted a little like a pumpkin pie.

M - It was crisp and sharp. It had a warmth due to the alcohol. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This was a really good beer. It is probably the best herbed/spiced brew that I've ever had.

zeff80, Aug 30, 2007
Photo of JToad
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single 12oz of this for around $2.50.

Poured into my DFH glass a clear blood red orange, the color of Ice Tea. Minimal head with a thin white line of lacing.

Smell is not to overpowering. Malt with faint hops, some cloves and maybe ginger.

The entire flavor profile is on the back end. Ginger and cloves, some all spice and slight cinnamon round out the nice hop profile. Very smooth, if almost uneventful.

Very solid brew, with great carbonation. It's well made and simple, yet some nice flavors hidden if you dig deep enough. A perfect Christmas brew to have with a nice turkey dinner. Enough alcohol to get you a warm buzz, but not a sipper either. Could easily drink a sixer of this, which would be dangerous, given the 8 ABV.

JToad, Dec 15, 2010
Photo of KYGunner
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very light brown coloring yielded a relatively tight knit group of small bubbles that lifted to a finger width head of foam.

The aromas were a touch boozy but the malted structure won out. A less sweet caramel malt scent coincides with some fruit cake like scents such as date and prune.

The flavor is very light, not necessarily light as in weak but more to light as refreshing. Not really a winter warmer sipping beer it had a crisp Christmas spiciness. Nutmeg and cinnamon, with a tinge of peppercorn, the base of this beer tends to the fruitcake malt.

The feeling is so easy, very refreshing and moderately carbonated.

This reminds me of the Pumpkin Ale, to an extent, but it simply doesn't measure up in the thickness and robustness.

KYGunner, Dec 07, 2013
Photo of Tone
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, amber/red color. Oddly, no head. Smells of strong spice, yeast, slight citrus, and some herbs. Fits the style of a Herbed / Spice Beer. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of spice, herb, slight citrus, and slight yeast. Overall, drinkeable, but a little lacking in body.

Tone, Nov 16, 2009
Photo of jrenihan
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Sammy.

Beer is murky caramel brown in colour, with a smallish tan head.

Nose contains spices strongly, as well as sweet malt.

Flavour strongly contains sweet malt and caramel. as well as a variety of spices. The spices are not quite as prominent as I expected, which is nice.

Moderately carbonated, medium bodied.

Overall. quite nice. I have a low tolerance for spices in beer, but this one works.

jrenihan, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of whynot44
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear cinnamon/copper color with a modest off-white headthat shrinks to barely a ring and leaves only hints of lacing.

The aroma is very spicy with citrus and pine notes.

The taste is also heavy on the spices - nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves - toward the middle some caramel malt sneaks in with orange/grapefruit flavors toward the end. The finish is slightly piney with lingering spice notes and some definite alcohol warmth for cool weather enjoyment. This is a lot like their pumpkin ale without the pumpkin and a heavier load of spices.

It would be nice after shovling snow or just for holiday enjoyment. Medium/full bodied, nice mouthfeel and drinkable, but better for sipping. A little heavy on spices for pairing with most food but should be nice after dinner.

whynot44, Nov 29, 2006
Photo of GregDuB65
3.76/5  rDev +2.7%

GregDuB65, Sep 14, 2014
Photo of amstokesdb9
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

amstokesdb9, Dec 16, 2013
Photo of hagbergl
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

hagbergl, Dec 30, 2013
Photo of cliff1066
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

cliff1066, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of StevenH
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

StevenH, Dec 27, 2012
Schlafly Christmas Ale from The Schlafly Tap Room
83 out of 100 based on 342 ratings.