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: 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 167 | Hads: 449
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 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 StonedTrippin
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
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. (793 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shlafly's special offerings usually fare well, but it's the standard beers that sometimes fall short. The experience with this beer leads to a wonderful, light, spicy flavor, but with a lesser body. Opens with a bright copper / orange hue with great clarity, initial head formation that lacked staying power. Spicy aromas of curraco, clove, and giner dominate the modest malt profile. Flavors bring more than just a hint of these spices, but allowing a smooth caramel malt flavor to balance and smoothen. Somewhat dry and thin in the textures, leading to a crisp, grahm-cracker finish. Very nice, drinkable beer, but a more round body would have helped. (653 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ight brown pour fills the glass and leaves a nice and very sustainable top of light fizze head that gives it some nice depth.

the aroma is a very big blend, a kitchen since, or spice rack if you will as i am picking up copious notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, ample apple notes, brown sugar and touches of light citrus. at first you would not think this would work, but hell yeah it does. as i take the first sip I am struck by how well this is working for me. really nicely put together with light body that is crisp, clean and does wonders for keeping the large amount of flavor in check. starts with a healthy dose of citrus like flavors that roll into a spiced brown sugar and ends with a nutmeg and cinnamon led charge of nice spiced, holiday like flavor. (755 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
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. (469 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

It may not be the Christmas season anymore, but the weather's close enough for me not to care too much right now. This stuff pours a clear midnight amber-tawny topped by a finger of pale khaki foam. The nose comprises candied orange peel, light cocoa, brown sugar, cinnamon, caramel, allspice, ginger, and a touch of sweetbread. The taste brings in more of the same, the caramel drying out to a graham cracker-like situation and taking a back seat to the panoply of spices in play. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a tasty, spicy brew for these still-frigid times. (662 characters)

Photo of oline73
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a 2010 bottle poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a slightly cloudy amber with a finger and a half of off white head. There is an alright amount of retention and no real lacing on this one.

Smell: Sweet caramel malt with some spices and dark fruit as well. The fruity notes remind me a bit of cherry.

Taste: Follows closely from the smell. The malt sweetness blends well with the spice and fruit notes. There is a slight bitterness in the finish with no real alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: The time has improved this beer a bit. The lack of alcohol is a good thing. The spices have faded a bit, but still smooth and good. (726 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.08/5  rDev +10%
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! (1,250 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in Wichita this weekend

Pours copper with 3 fingers of tan head. Good lacing & average head retention

S: Faint breadyness & cinnamon

T: Pineyness, a bit of biscuitty malt & spruce tips up front. Orange slices, brown sugar, cinnamon, pears & dryness dominate as this warms. Finishes with leafy hops, caramel & dryness

MF: Medium bodied, fairly chewy with low carbonation & good balance

Drinks easy, nice mix of flavors here (442 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good starting head that settles quickly but leaves some decent spotty lace. The color is darker amber and appears to be perfectly clear.

Aroma: Lots of cinnamon, nutmeg and sweet molasses. There's a some lesser clove and alcohol smell.

Starts off spritzy and malty. It transitions into white peppery spice. The aftertaste is very dry and the alcohol warms the throat. Relatively thin body but this may be from the high carbonation. (433 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 11/17/10 notes. Had on tap at Churchkey in Washington, DC.

a - Pours a amber color with one inch of white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of cinnamon, cloves, spices, and fruity malts.

t - Tastes same as the smell with cinnamon and spices, fruity malts, and then also some graham crackers and bready malts.

m - Medium body, very smooth, low carbonation.

d - A pretty decent spiced beer, I enjoyed the taste a little more than the smell. Would be willing to try again. (492 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer is brown and clear with almost a reddish hue to it and a thin head that forms a halo around the edge of the glass. Beer is lightly carbonated and leaves very little evidence in the form of lacing that it was ever there.

Aroma is spicy, almost like cloves and cinnamon. Eh...

Beer is light in body and sweet at the lead off and finishes with a light cinnamon flavor in the background. It's nice, not a great beer in my opinion but a drinkable one. The spices aren't terrible, its just an average beer. (507 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 mdaschaf
3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
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. (498 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 Wasatch
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to bort11 for this brew.

2008 Edition

Pours a very nice hazy amber color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger plus creamy tan head, with lots of nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some cinimmon, nutmeg. The taste is malty, slightly sweet, with nice touch of spices. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a tasty brew, I enjoyed the 08 better. Thanks Tim.

Thanks goes out to bort11 for this brew.

2007 Edition

Pours a very nice hazy amber color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy tan head, with lots of nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some cinimmon, nutmeg. The taste is malty, slightly sweet, with nice touch of spices. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a tasty brew, Thanks Tim. (742 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From bottle to Bruges hybrid class on 2/10/11

*I'm performing a "Spring Cleaning" of sorts, and finishing off the holiday beer in and around my home - this being one of them.

A: Like a shiny, new Christmas ornament. It's simply gorgeous - rich carmine in color, it's slightly hazy and when poured, yields a robust 1.75 finger head with great retention and lacing.

S: Alcohol first and foremost, then undertones of cinnamon spice and orange citrus. I don't detect any hop presence, but I'm certainly not complaining as this is really well done.

T: Extremely well balanced, as the spicy cloves and nutmeg dance ever so gracefully with the 8% alcohol. Coriander and orange zest work their way around the taste buds. It all finishes a bit hot, but isn't that the point on a cold winter's night?

M: Heavy and thank God for it. This isn't a lawnmower beer, it's to be enjoyed by the fire while telling tales of yore. Creamy and inviting.

O: The review above was performed two months after purchase. For as quaffable as it is today, it is simply outstanding when fresh. Most of the lovely spices are still there, but have been slightly muted, even while sitting in my fridge for a couple of months.

Schlafly's Christmas Ale is one the best holiday brews I've encountered. Like their Pumpkin Ale, they really know how to walk the fine between too little and too much. This is so well balanced, and it makes for supremely enjoyable drinking. Like Christmas itself, I'll be looking forward to this one all year. (1,508 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (607 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed 1/2" beige head over the slightly cloudy dark amber brew. Thick head lasts nicely, with lasting lace. Aroma is a light popourri, ample spicing, but not over the top. Taste is just what the label indicates, a zesty citrus cut with clove. Again, moderate amounts here, not falling for the overdo that many spiced beers do. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with relative easy drinkability. Not the world's biggest spiced beer fan, but this one pulls it off rather well. (589 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

- Brewed with orange peel, cloves, and spicy hops.

A: Dark coppery-penny coloring shows a fine mist of effervesce within. A bready, buff head sits atop moderately before succumbing to a slight creamy covering. Lacing is minimal, a few splashes adore the glass at best.

S: No doubt about the cloves, spicy cinnamon and cola are also there. The dried orange peels is also fairly dominant. Very xmasy, fresh pine, gingerbread and sweet baked sugar cookies.

T: Dominant orange peel first arrives on the flavor, along with sweet baked cookie malt. Pine and ginger closely mirrors the nose. Spicy hops, golding like, with some honey pine. A dusting of dry caramel malt residue covers the tongue on the swallow.

M: spicy and gingerly, dry caramelized malt dusting residue sits on the tongue. Enough carbonation to give this some feel without distraction.

O: Overall a lot of spicy xmas nature here. Sweet and festive and blends rather nicely together. It is what it is a xmas beer, limit of one is fine. (1,004 characters)

Photo of Tone
3.76/5  rDev +1.3%
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. (323 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice looking scarlet red hue. Glows in a way. Pretty hazy. Thin off white head. Sporadic lace is left behind. Nose is very spicy. Get the cloves bigtime. And some orange notes. Caramel malt notes are evident as well. First sip is not bad, which is good because I'm not a big fan of cloves in beer. But it's not overpowering in this one. And the orange notes blend nicely with the crystal malt in this brew. Hops add some nice spiciness as well. Body is about medium to medium-full. Carbonation is appropriate. This is a nicely balanced spiced Christmas beer that is quite enjoyable. It's the type of beer I'd hit up for a 6er or 2 around Christmas if it were available around here.

Thanks Hopsaplenty. (704 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
3.99/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of russpowell. Thanks Russ!

It pours a clear red with a 2 finger head of foam.

The smell is awesome. Loads of cloves, oranges, hint or 2 of cinnamon. Now that's a spicy brewski.

The taste follows the nose for the most part. Big cloves, oranges, spiciness from the hops, but no apparent taste of any cinnamon. This is a very tasty Spiced beer indeed.

Medium describes the body and carbonation...very smooth mouth feel and it's a pretty easy drinker. Nicely done. (482 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, bottled on 11/12/2009. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a mostly clear amber color with about a half inch off-white head. Lacing and head retention are both decent. Aroma 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. Drinkability is good, the alcohol in this brew is well hidden. However 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. With that being said, I think this is a good overall brew, and I'll have to pick some more up next year. (760 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Schlafly Christmas Ale from The Schlafly Tap Room
84 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.