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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: 452
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 11.59%
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 167 | Hads: 452
Photo of Averwo
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Basically Schlafly Pumpkin Ale but with Christmas spices instead of the pumpkin. Medium mouthfeel. Smell of clove, ginger, brown sugar. Taste is more like the smell. (165 characters)

Photo of naterock
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
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! (381 characters)

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

12 oz bottle brought back home by a friend who now lives in St Louis.

Pours a dark reddish brown, very clear and a little rising carbonation. Small finger of off-white head that fades quickly to a very light ring of bubbles, not much lacing.

Aroma is nice and spicy, as well as a little sweet.

Tastes of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, the citrus from the orange peel, accompanied by a fairly biting piney hop bitterness. Fairly sweet as well, this is kind of an amber ale for the holiday season.

Mouthfeel is crisp and lightly warming, maybe a product of the highish ABV. I can also feel a little warming from the spicing, kind of like the feeling you get from a mouthful of cinnamon, a la Big Red chewing gum.

Drinkability is good, a little high for more than a couple but one I could have a few of on a cold winter's night.

Pretty interesting interpretation of a winter warmer, I like the spiciness and the clean bite added by the hops. Good brew, Schlafly. (974 characters)

Photo of CMW
3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
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. (740 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 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 gpcollen1
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rec'd from Vancer - thanks again...

Poured into an Imperial Pint yielding a dark coppered color brew with a 3/4 inch head, slowly settling down nicely. Aromas mostly of spice - alll across the board. get hints of clove, cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg. Taste follows through on the nose with a bit of clove and a touch of citrus in the flavor - hints of cardamom on the finish with a bit of hops here and there.

I am a winter/spiced beer fan to an extent. This one is pretty good and I would drink a few if available locally. (531 characters)

Photo of tykees88
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- reddish gold color. Two finger lingering head. Lacing is nice.

S- Smells alot like the pumpkin ale. The spices are very nice. Cinnamon and nutmeg. But there is nothing that separates it from that spice smell wise.

T- There is where the taste differs. It has an orange flavor in place of the pumpkin flavor. The spices are the same. I think the graham cracker crust flavor is there just like the pumpkin. I think this is almost the same recipe just swapping out the orange for pumpkin.

M- Creamy and pie like.

O- Good beer. I loved the pumpkin ale, so why wouldn't I love this (582 characters)

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

I have had a few Schlafly beers before, and they have all be surprisingly good. This is one of their winter seasonals. Here is my review:

A: Pours a deep orange-amber color. Head is very minimal with no lacing.

S/T: The aroma is both fruity and spicy. Hints of toasted malts in there as well. The taste is very unique and unlike any other Christmas Ale I have had. The taste upfront it quite fruity and slightly citrusy, which gives way to a very interesting and complex spicy palate. The spice character is a combination of both traditional Christmas Ale spices and spice commonly found in Belgian style ales. They are very well blended, so it is quite a challenge to pick out specific flavors, however, there is definetly clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg present. The toasted malts also come through in the finish, as well as a bubblegum character. Not the best Christmas Ale, but very different and well worth trying.

M/D: Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Finish is pretty crisp. Very easy drinking beer, but not quite as sessionable as something like Great Lakes.

Schlafly doesn't disappoint with its Christmas Ale. Probably the most fruity of all the Christmas Ales I have had, this is one almost anybody could enjoy. (1,218 characters)

Photo of rundocrun
4.02/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a snifter.

A - Comes out of the bottle a coppery orange-brown color. Faint rose highlights. Has a 1/4 inch of coarse white head that fades fast.

S - Has a definite aroma of cloves, spruce and banana-like esters.

T - Sweet and caramely up front with more banana and a noticeable spicy nutmeg character. An almost bubble-gum like sweetness comes in toward the middle. Mild hop bitterness on the sides of the tongue that lasts through the finish. Some mild alcohol bite and orange peel in the finish as well.

M - Has a nice hefty body to it with good carbonation. Sweet and syrupy residual mouthfeel. The 8% ABV leaves a pleasant warmth in the chest.

Overall: a sweet, spicy, and warming winter beer. Not exceptional but definitely above average. (780 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 eclaycamp
3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
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. (707 characters)

Photo of westweasel
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a Sam Adams tasting glass.

The beer poured out thickly, with no splashes. The beer is a hazy copper color with almost no head. The smell is dominated by a malty sweetness, but also contains caramel, oranges, and sweet flowers.

The taste contains caramel, toffee, cinnamon, oranges, and tangerines. It has more of a bitter finish than I expected. It also has a strong carbonic bite.

The mouthfeel is on the high-side of medium, getting close to full. There is also carbonation fizziness on the tongue.

This is a very drinkable Christmas beer. Understated spices, a nice orange flavor, and enough bitterness to make it very palatable. (668 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 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 tito42
3.61/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle to an imperial pint. Bottled 10/31/2012.

A: Slightly cloudy amber with particulate and decent carbonation. Foamy, tan head.

S: Cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, doughy yeast.

T: Strong malt presence. Cookie dough, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin. Slight grassy hops finish.

M: Medium bodied, creamy but smooth, crisp finish.

O: Nice seasonal offering. Very well spiced. Not quite balanced enough by malt and other flavors. Doesn't taste of an 8.0% ABV brew. (465 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 bbkd3b
3.82/5  rDev +3%
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). (1,715 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 Dave128
4.09/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at pazzos pizza pub in Lexington KY. Brought to me in a pint glass.

A - Almost no head with only a slight ring around the edge of the glass. Lacing is nonexistent and color is clear amber.

S - Smells like Christmas. I don't know how else to describe it. It smells like a pot of spices my mom would simmer on Christmas morning.

T - Similar to the nose, but alcohol is very evident.

M - medium bodied. Correct for the flavors present.

O - Pretty awesome smelling beer. Alcohol is a little heavy though. (520 characters)

Photo of longbongsilver
2.87/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

It's that time of year, right? Considered taking a six with me to festivities to share, but having not had this before I decided to test one from a mix'n'match section first. I am guinea pig...

Pours a deep but clear amber with tons of visible carbonation, lacing and a significant white, hollow but short-lived head. Smell orange immediately (though not in annoying proportion), with honey and a bit of cinammon I assume is from the clove. Hop character doesn't come up on the nose at all, if it's there it's all taste. Speaking of which...

The orange continues while the honey disappears & the spice comes forward. No real bitterness, yet oddly little residual sweetness either (the malt character is pretty anonymous as a result). Goes down thin. The 8% is super well hidden -- TOO well hidden to be honest.

I wouldn't call it a total loss, but the richness I expected for a big winter ale wasn't there. Schalfly let the additional ingredients do too much of the work. (974 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 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 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 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)

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