1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

333 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 333
Reviews: 156
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 14.21%
Wants: 12
Gots: 12 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 333 | Reviews: 156 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of karst
karst

Missouri

4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-07-2006 04:03:50 | More by karst
Photo of MarzenMan
MarzenMan

Missouri

4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2008 03:43:51 | More by MarzenMan
Photo of dllman25
dllman25

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

12-10-2012 22:22:44 | More by dllman25
Photo of gtg079x
gtg079x

Georgia

4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

04-14-2013 01:22:43 | More by gtg079x
Photo of tut2528
tut2528

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

11-22-2013 01:23:21 | More by tut2528
Photo of mwar
mwar

Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

12-08-2013 20:47:54 | More by mwar
Photo of woogie359
woogie359

Missouri

4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

05-23-2014 19:11:24 | More by woogie359
Photo of Jamison85
Jamison85

Indiana

4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

03-24-2013 21:14:59 | More by Jamison85
Photo of acslatersbtb
acslatersbtb

Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

12-29-2013 04:18:20 | More by acslatersbtb
Photo of RoryOMoore
RoryOMoore

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

12-15-2012 04:13:39 | More by RoryOMoore
Photo of SolomonGrundy
SolomonGrundy

California

4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2010 22:14:12 | More by SolomonGrundy
Photo of Roland45s
Roland45s

Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

11-30-2012 00:18:08 | More by Roland45s
Photo of peabody
peabody

Kentucky

4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2009 19:11:33 | More by peabody
Photo of MTNboy
MTNboy

Germany

4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-15-2012 06:29:34 | More by MTNboy
Photo of beerphilosopher
beerphilosopher

Illinois

4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2007 20:09:35 | More by beerphilosopher
Photo of jokelahoma
jokelahoma

Missouri

4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
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!

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2006 04:26:33 | More by jokelahoma
Photo of deepsouth
deepsouth

Mississippi

4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2008 15:16:26 | More by deepsouth
Photo of pasdachuri
pasdachuri

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2010 18:57:32 | More by pasdachuri
Photo of cousineddy
cousineddy

Illinois

4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2012 15:23:47 | More by cousineddy
Photo of kopper65
kopper65

Missouri

4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2010 18:00:28 | More by kopper65
Photo of hckyfn9999
hckyfn9999

Missouri

4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
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)

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2006 01:32:41 | More by hckyfn9999
Photo of Illtryit
Illtryit

Missouri

4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
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!

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 02:00:14 | More by Illtryit
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

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!

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2011 00:34:20 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
brewdlyhooked13

Ohio

4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - reddish amber, a good-sized head slows down the pour into a standard pint glass. A minute later, the beer is practically coverless. Some very fine sediment suspended in the brew.

Aroma - some spice and caramel at first, turning slightly metallic and fading back to a light grain, licorice, and cinnamon smell.

Taste - sweet with licorice, citrus, clove, and a touch of the metal, too. The maltiness is nice, a good base to work from. There are some mild hops after the swallow and some creeping warmth in the aftertaste. The finish is extended by the spices and wrap things up well.

Mouthfeel - a little heavier and a good fit. Carbonation is there but a bit restrained, maybe just not so big due to the body.

Drinkability - a great seasonal ale. Good fireside brew, let it warm up a little to let the flavors shine.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2007 15:55:50 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-25-2012 21:20:49 | More by kylehay2004
Schlafly Christmas Ale from The Schlafly Tap Room
83 out of 100 based on 333 ratings.