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
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no score

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Reviews: 167
Hads: 449
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 7.01%
Wants: 19
Gots: 53 | 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: 449
Photo of mikey711
2.97/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: a light brown color with very good clarity. not much head or hold making it almost look like a soda.

S: brown sugar, caramel, toffee, a slight peppery note, some herbal zesty hops. some pine notes.

T: Peppery with some pine tree notes. hints of cinnamon and all spice. lots of brown sugar and a touch of nut meg. the spices arent all that powerful but the all spice note sticks out the most and overwhelmed at times

M: Slightly hot and a bit chalky due to the spices. i would have liked a bit more of a creamy feel

D: Not my favorite of this style but a nice one to try. glad i did not buy a six pack (607 characters)

Photo of dropout86
2.98/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle with bottled on date: 11/12/2009. Sampled 2 for a fair tasting.

A: Pours a crisp, clean amber to toasted caramel with a dense but short off white head. Very little head retention or lacing.

S: Smells of caramel, subtle oranges, fruit (pumpkin?), vanilla, malt, and clove.

M: Moderately carbonated but not overly so. Light to medium-light body with a syrup backbone. CO2 evaporates halfway through the glass leaving a syrup overload.

T: Front: Mild clove and citrus, toasted malts Middle: Floral hops Finish: metallic, oxidized fruits and vegetables, malt, and alcohol.

D: Drink it cold and drink it quickly on a cold night and you'll enjoy yourself.

I've had better examples of this style but I wouldn't hesitate to drink this again next year, maybe a little fresher or on tap? (810 characters)

Photo of jbone78
3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I know it ain't Christmas no more, but I got theis beer and it needs to be drunk.

A- pours a light amber with a slight haze.
S- has a malty nose and you can start to smell the spices up front.
T- Very malty and a ton o fclove flavors, almost too much. not digging it at all.
M- Sticky, syrup, somewhat thick.
D- Not gonna drink many of these.

-Bye (355 characters)

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.03/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - slightly hazy auburn color with a nice white head.
S - orange, cloves, spices and sweet nutty malts
T - Cloves dominate with light notes of orange, spices and sweet malts. Cloves dominate though.
M - medium bodied, nicely carbonated, clove aftertaste
D - amazingly approachable for 8%. You'll probably guess a theme, touch too much clove for me. (350 characters)

Photo of bamadog
3.05/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Thanks to beerman207 for having this as an offering at a recent tasting. Pour is from a bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a coppery color that is just a little light; starts with a short 1/2 finger fluffy white head that fades immediately to a thin and incomplete whisp with a firm ring around the surface; body is clear and shows mild carbonation; no lacing, but there is a clear, oily residue that slides around.

Smell: Fair in potency, I pick up some nice warm cinammon and a slightly sweet malty backing. Not bad.

Taste: A little lighter in flavor than I expected based upon a stronger scent; does hold a light warm cinammon flavor and also a moderate flavor of anise or black licorice; minimal hint of nutmeg. Meh.

Mouthfeel: Body feels a little slippery and loose; mild carbonation that is too mild and it comes across as flat; not impressed.

Drinkability: I give it a 3 because it's not awful, but I would certainly never seek it out - doesn't really compete with the likes of a Bell's Christmas Ale or the Hoppin' Frog Frosted Frog. (1,055 characters)

Photo of Rukasu
3.06/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tried at Pi - Washington, DC

Great deep, dark ruby/copper color with a clean white head.

Smell is sweet and spicy.

Taste is a bit overly spicy. Abundance of cloves, ginger, and cardamom. A bit overpowering for me, but just about every kind of spice you can think of associated with Christmas, is probably in this brew.

The sweetness of the beer is immediately a bit cloying, but as it sits in your mouth you're able to begin to dissect the different flavors. Nice beer to try during the holidays, but anything beyond a 12 oz. snifter is probably more than enough. (567 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.08/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Churchkey. Served in a snifter.

Pours a light bronze color with only a half finger of head to start out with and that doesn't last all that long. There is a light ring a foam around the edges of the glass for some time. The nose is quite muted, not something I'd expect from a Christmas ale. As it warms, there's just a hint of light spicing with a bit of cinnamon.

The taste is a bit more pungent and the mild spices are fairly tame and well-distributed. At the same time, the beer is completely one dimensional and I'm not sure I'm enjoying that dimension all that much. Light cinnamon and some ginger are what I pick up as well as a bit of light malt. The spicing is nice on the medium body. This is a fairly-drinkable winter brew, but it's not all that special in the end. (788 characters)

Photo of drseamus
3.12/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I'm not crazy about spiced beers in general, but I guess it is the proper day to drink this.

Pours a cloudy red color with a nice white head. The aroma is has a bunch of malt and cloves. The flavor has a bunch of clove in it and a touch of bitter orange. The malt presence is strong but the spices overpower somewhat. The body is nice but I'm still not crazy about this beer. (376 characters)

Photo of Dogbrick
3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Party Source. This beer is a hazy amber color with a medium thin light beige head. Spotty lacing on the glass. Aroma of citrus peel, coriander and sweet cookies. Light-bodied with a sweet spiced character. Flavors of clove, caramel malt and mild hops. The finish is citrusy with a lingering sweet spice aftertaste. Slightly above average overall. (358 characters)

Photo of rsyberg01
3.18/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

S - Bottled with love on Oct. 26 2006

A - Pours a pink copper color with an eggshell colored head, decently sticky and attractive.

S - Odd, clove, cinnamon, orange peel, very sweet smelling, mint in there somewhere too I think. Not bad, confusing a little bit.

T - Orange, clove, pretty spicy, malt is well stood for. Similar to the nose, thought for a second I tasted something like orange toothpaste, but that went away pretty quickly. Not bad, not my cup of tea though.

M - Full bodied, good feel. This aspect of the beer is one that is pretty above average, nice.

D - Because of the huge spice note and the little odds and ends that I had trouble appreciating, I would put my personal limit at two with this brew. (732 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled 01 December 2010, from the Village Pump.

Pouring a beautiful crimson with a dense, off-white head with excellent retention and nice lacing, this is a rather beautiful beer. The nose is a blend of spices and bright orange peel, in some ways, like a holiday candle. The hop character is a little herbal, and has a touch of soap to it as well. The spice character is interesting. A little bit potpourri-like, with some clove, mace and maybe even some grains of paradise? The orange peel is rather dominant here. Solid.

The palate opens with a mild medicinal sweetness along with a blend of spices and herbs. Again, this really is like potpourri, with a melange of flavors present. Pine and citrus from the hops, an herbal character that I can't entirely describe, and a blend of spices with clove, cinnamon and a little nutmeg. Orange peel isn't as noticeable here, for some reason.There's a bitterness present that reminds me of grains of paradise for some reason. The alcohol is rather noticeable, even when cold, making this harsher than it needs to be. The booze also makes this more noticeably medicinal, which isn't entirely appealing. Medium in body with a high level of carbonation that is surprisingly creamy, this feels decent on the palate. Mildly bitter and mildly herbal on the finish, this is decent. Ultimately, not terribly enjoyable, but I don't regret buying a single. (1,393 characters)

Photo of boilermakerbrew
3.24/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A- Pours a deep copper to basic brown in color with a fairly high level of clarity. A small, 1 finger head forms and is of slightly off white color. Head isn't around long and there isn't much lacing.

S- Lots of spices and semi-sweet caramel malt are the dominant scents in this one. Spices are more prominent than the malt, with nutmeg and cinnamon being the primary scents. Hint of caramel malts towards the end with just a bit of brown sugar sweetness.

T- Much like the scent as far as spice dominance goes. Cinnamon and nutmeg dominate over all the other flavors in a big way. Somewhat of a gingerbread quality emerges form the spices. Caramel malts underlie the entire drink, but is mostly covered up by the spice flavors.

M- Light in body and medium level of carbonation. Fairly smooth going down. Fairly drinkable as far as weight goes, but the spices being the primary flavor and the ABV make this one more of a longer drink.

Overall, this is an interesting beer. It has lots of similarities to Schlafly Pumpkin Ale with the spices. Frankly, this pretty much taste like Pumpkin Ale without the pumpkin, and maybe a hint more malt. (1,142 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
3.24/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, "bottled with love on 11/14/2013"
A - ruddy brown color with a very thin ivory head
S - cinnamon, spice, bread, caramel, earth
T - gingerbready, cinnamon, clove, ginger, caramel, molasses, warming booze
M - creamy, a bit chalky, medium-full body
O - ok spiced winter warmer (288 characters)

Photo of falloutsnow
3.26/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle given to me by a friend. Thanks.
Poured into a standard US pint glass.

Pours a 2cm head, mildly thick, mostly of medium-sized bubbles. Head descends over a minute or two to a ring around the top of the glass and some minute islands. Some lace accumulates on sides of glass, but nothing particularly noteworthy. Body is a dark orange-amber color with a reddish tint. Held up to the light, it's a deep yellow-orange-red color. Transparent, with lots of visible carbonation.

Aroma is fairly weak, I detect faint, slight spices [cloves, allspice, cinnamon] and mild fruit [ale yeast esters]. As just stated, these aren't very strong or stand-out in any particular way.

Taste is generally sweet and spicy, with a mild, but always detectable alcohol warmth and burn. In specific, opens with sweet malts, spicy clove, and light citrus zest, changing to clove, cinnamon, and allspice flavors mid-palate, before transitioning to citrus zest, more pie spices, and sweet malts for the close. Aftertaste is of syrupy malt and mild clove spice.

Body is full of fairly soft, but noticeable carbonation. Not bad at all, as it goes with the medium-light body in a sensitive sort of way. Slightly too thin, maybe even watery around the edges, for such a heavy ABV beer. Finish is rather dry.

Overall, this wasn't particularly bad-tasting, but the aroma's meekness and body's lightness make this a bit off-putting as a high ABV winter beer. (1,434 characters)

Photo of hellobeerz
3.27/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A- A really good copper/amber color. Little head with slight thin lacing.

S- Spices, spices, and more spices, some caramel as well. Smells really close to their pumpkin ale.

T- Follows the nose, lots of spices at work here. Clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, maybe some coriander. Its all there, I feel like this is the little brother to there pumpkin ale, they taste too similar.

M- Pretty good carbonation. Not too thin and not too thick.

Overall, this is a pretty good seasonal brew. Pretty much the pumpkin ale with not so much pumpkin. All the same spices basically.

Serving type: bottle (587 characters)

Photo of hopsaplenty
3.28/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. brown bottle, bottled with love on 25Oct2006.

The label included this quotation from Sir Walter Scott: “Twas Christmas broached the mightiest ale, ‘twas Christmas told the merriest tale…”

Clear, burnished amber. Short persistent head of loose, small tan bubbles punctuated by steady columns of carbonation. The head falls to a thin skim leaving a few spots of foam. Sweet orange and spicy clove aromas are brushed with the smallest hint of spicy hops. Orange peel, more fleshy than rind meshes with a strong clove presence that finishes with more cloves lingering a long while. There is a modest amount of toasty malt, but it is dominated by cloves and orange. Medium body that feels thin at times, the carbonation is fine bubbles. Relatively singular in its spice focus, I would have enjoyed a wider flavor range and a slightly bulked up body. (860 characters)

Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured a clear orange copper, with a finger high tan creamy head building. It dissipates into nice lacing.
The nose is spice, nutmeg, coriander, caramel.
Tasting the beer, I feel this heavy dose of winter spices, which I feel overpowering in this beer. But than again, I assume that this is what winter ale is supposed to be like.
The beer is medium bodied and has a good malt backbone. The hops are in the shadow of the spices, which does this beer no good.
Maybe I will take from winter brews for a while., (517 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
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.. (486 characters)

Photo of rangerred
3.34/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a tulip.

Pours a very dark brown with abundant carbonation leading to a long-lasting head with plenty of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Aroma at first strikes me as soapy but farther along there is some cinnamon and clove along with honey. Maybe just a light touch of pine. All of it is a bit light, though.

The flavor closely resembles the nose with the spices equally light. Cinnamon and clove once again dominate but they just don't really have any staying power. Gingerbread seems to be a lingering quality with a silky and spritzy mouthfeel. Thankfully the sweetness is held in check with just a brief shot of alcohol towards the finish.

Overall, a very standard Christmas ale that is pretty drinkable. For me, though, I prefer something a bit heartier that packs a bigger punch in this style. (825 characters)

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
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). (982 characters)

Photo of chilly460
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a hazy amber with orange tones. Two finger head with decent retention, some spotty lacing.

S- Plenty of spicing as expected, get cloves predominantly, with cinnamon and orange peel coming through. Backed up with sweet caramel malts, and some warming alcohol.

T- Light pale malts form the bod of tasts, with some orange peel sharpness coming through. Transfers to the cloves and cinammon that I picked up in the smell. A bit of white pepper gets in at the end. Bit of grassy hops at the end.

M- Thought this was pretty nice, smooth and a bit chewy.

D- Nice solid winter seasonal, flavors are balanced and appropriate. (633 characters)

Photo of mdcrouser
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours about the color orange of an orange Christmas bulb, glowing from the glass. Pours with a head that dies immediately. Strangely audibly effervescent too - jumps right out of the glass.

Characteristic holiday spices, but they're fairly muted here. You really have to search to find them.

Holiday spicy on the tongue, with gestures of cloves, cinnamon, and greenery - like noshing on a bowl of holiday spirit.

Decent in the mouth, as the cloves stick around most prominently, holding at the back of the tongue.

A drinkable holiday brew, but nothing exceptional. (572 characters)

Photo of paxchristi
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from tap into snifter at Schlafly Bottleworks in Spring 2011.

Appearance: Pours reddish copper with about 2.5 fingers of tan head. Lacing and fairly tenacious head retention.

Smell: Biscuity cinnamon, ginger, pine, and a bit of orange peel. A lot going on but done very thinly in intensity.

Taste: its a spicy brew though it is a bit more underwhelming than what I had anticipated. Its held together nicely, but it does what many Schlafly beers do and have good balance with their flavors but to a lowest common denominator of intensity. Nose is like taste. There are some earthy hops and a sweet pear in there somewhere.

Mouth: Chewy, warm, and low carbonation.

Overall: I really was underwhelmed by this one, sadly enough. I had high expectations, but it seems to succumb to the lowest common denominator again. If I find it on tap again, I might try it again. But there are so many other fall ales that they have leftover by the time its around that it will probably get washed over by the fall leftovers and the spring releases. Give it a shot though if you find it. Not anything to rearrange your life over. (1,127 characters)

Photo of brewskifan55
3.4/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

poured into a snifter

A: An opaque cherry color. A tan one-finger head that dissipates fast. Frothy lacing.

S: Cinnamon, cloves, allspice. Biscuity malts.

T: Follows nose with a festive flavor. Caramel, sweet with a spicy finish.

M: Thin with a kinda watery carbonation. This is what ruined it for me. I miss the robustness from the Pumpkin ale.

O: Disappointed. Wanted to like it. But just too thin. Add some robustness and you have my vote. (447 characters)

Photo of titosupertramp
3.42/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to AlCaponeJunior for the opportunity to try this one.

A: Burnt orange/amber with thin, off-white head.

S: Spices, yeast, maybe a little of the orange peel that was mentioned on the label. Can pick up a little hoppiness when it warms. Pretty good.

T: Nutmeg, cloves and a general spiciness kind of dominate. There is a hoppy bitterness in there that I quite like.

M: I really like the mouthfeel here. Spicy, bitter, a little dry. Alcohol warming. In my opinion, the highlight of the beer.

D: For me, this would probably be a one and done.

Pretty good beer that I think a lot of folks would enjoy, but not something that I would typically seek out. (661 characters)

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