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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: 451
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 7.01%
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
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Reviews: 167 | Hads: 451
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 hophugger
2.8/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Deep amber-gold color with small head and average lacing. Aroma is full of nutmeg and other dry spice. Taste is similar with a mouthful of dry spice, especially nutmeg, alittle too much. Feels ok on thr palate and definitely has an alcohol burn. Overall, not that pleasant of a beer, maybe just my taste... (306 characters)

Photo of Myboymi
2.91/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured to a pint glass. Nice amber color with a 1 inch foamy head. Aroma of malt and caramel. Taste of dark malt & coffee, and finished with the taste of honey. Mild mouth feel. Overall a good choice for the Holidays! (217 characters)

Photo of BeerWithMike
4.21/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sampling right now on 12/24/14. 12 ounce bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a reddish-burnt orange in color with a half-finger foamy & creamy off-white head that settles down to about 1-2mm along the top with more along the sides of the glass. A decent amount of lacing is seen when sipped that sticks to the glass in small spots. The aroma is very pleasant and is of sweet caramel malts with spices. Even more going on with the taste as the mix of spices (cloves, hint of ginger and juniper berries) with some orange zest. Very smooth and goes down easy. Love the mix of the above flavors on this seasonal brew. Medium-bodied with perfect carbonation. Another great brew from Schlafly. MERRY CHRISTMAS! (760 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 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 HattedClassic
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours a brownish tan and creamy head that dissipates quickly. The beer itself is a dark and clear bronze color.

The beer smell has a smattering of the usual spices you find in Christmas Ales. The smell has a strong ginger smell and strong cinnamon smell, and potentially a little bit of clove. The smell doesn't necessarily have a strong honey smell, unfortunately. I detect a little bit of an orange peel but it's not strong enough to alter the smell by much.

The beer taste is similar to the smell. Strong gingerbread and clove notes with a weak orange peel taste. The sweet caramel malt also makes an appearance and it works pretty well with the spices. The taste also has some faint honey notes and a little bit of a hop bitterness.

The beer is medium bodied with a slightly thick feel. The carbonation keeps the beer from becoming too thick and gives it a little bit more texture.

Overall, a pretty decent beer but could be better. While the notes are well done, they're not as strong as they could be and that would probably improve the beer. However, the beer is pretty nice and I would recommend getting it. (1,129 characters)

Photo of Suds
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%

Brownish red with a moderately fizzy head, this beer is an attractive pour. The aroma is a mix of malt, spice, and wood. Full flavor, well balanced, and a spicy,ms harpness in the taste. Full bodied. (202 characters)

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with bottled on date 10/20/2014 printed on the label. My first beer from Schlafly, their seasonal Christmas ale. "Ale brewed with natural flavors and with spices added". That's fairly indistinct. Expectations are about average, per the style.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - It pours a coppery caramel body, appears with a slight ruby tinge in the glass with about one finger of frothy khaki-tan head.

S - The nose is fairly bland. Some distinctive orange peel & juicy ginger notes are noticeable. Slightly herbal, but again it is indistinct. Very mild alcohol content is noticeable, but not distracting. I'm not really pulling out any sweetened caramel malt from the nose. Becomes slightly more nutty as it warms.

T - Taste follows the nose - a cherryish / berry (from the juniper) flavor seems dominant, with subtle notes of raisins, & caramel malts in the background. The ginger and orange peel flavor is very recognizable, when you look for it. Again, not nearly enough caramel / nutty malt flavor for my liking.

M - The feel is sticky, fairly smooth, but a hefty medium-fullish body. Very drinkable, however, despite the moderately high 8.00% abv. Lightly warming.

Overall, a fairly average holiday ale from Schlafly; but very drinkable one at that. Representative of the style, and recommended for what it is.

Schlafly Christmas Ale -----4/5. (1,382 characters)

Photo of WesMantooth
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- A deep amber red, semi transparent pour. A decent off white head that leaves a slight ring.

S - Nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves/all spice, ginger. A slight sourness.

T - Initially, I get that sourness. Definitely has some citrus. I assume from the orange peel listed in description. All of the spices seem to mix together. Pretty noticeable alcohol for 8%. No real single one stands out until the aftertaste, where I notice more cinnamon and cloves. Also some sweetness in the form of honey. A lot of thick malt. Reminds me quite a bit of the malt base in their pumpkin.

M - Still a medium body for as heavy of a malt base as it has. Average carbonation. A considerably dry, and slightly spicy finish.

O - I had high hopes for this based on the Pumkin Ale being one of the best out there, and for the most part, it didn't disappoint. Looks like I am going to have a +rdev on this one based on the other scores. I think it could do without the orange/citrus aspect, and it does seem slightly boozy for what it is. However, it is an excellent winter warmer that I would likely enjoy again… if I wasn't surrounded by Great Lakes and Thirsty Dog :) (1,148 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark chestnut color. The head is a finger high, with a khaki shade and a soft texture. Retention isn't great, though. Small patches of thin lacing are left on the glass. (3.5)

Smell: The spices here do a good job of invoking Christmas, bringing nice savory qualities such as ginger, clove, and juniper. Just like as advertised! In addition, the malt brings some notes of nut, caramel, toffee, and even roast. It smells like a fruit cake without the moronic sweetness. While the nose isn't really my thing, I can't deny it's executed extremely well. (3.5)

Taste: It's weird...because just as the nose suggested, it's a savory brew instead of a bitter or sweet one. The spices end up initially dominating with notes of clove and spruce, before transitioning to notes of caramel, chocolate, and brown sugar. At times, it's faintly roasty. Hell, even some hints of honey and coffee (!) pop up on occasion. While it's not the most cohesive brew in the world, it's still quite complex and even nicely balanced. (3.75)

Mouthfeel: Honey gives it a subtle sweetness...and a nice finishing dryness that makes it go down easily for 8%. Carbonation is gentle, but helps ease this beer down well. (4)

Overall: Wassails can be hit or miss with me. This is a hit, thankfully. Admittedly, the subjective qualities of this don't really appeal to me, so I won't go looking for it again. However, it's superbly made and loaded with complexity, and that means I'm still going to give it a higher score. (3.75)

3.71/5: Really well made, even if it isn't my favorite kind of beer (1,615 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 jrenihan
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
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. (418 characters)

Photo of Boca-X
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Great deep red amber color poured into a snifter, visually nice. Very little head or lacing, assuming the 8% is in play. First impressions on the nose, the usual spices, cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin. Watery, light and thin with a grassy molasses finish that lingers on the tongue. The alcohol is hidden nicely. Flavors are enhanced as the ale slowly warms, more spice and molasses, less grass.

All in all a pretty nice winter ale, I wish it was a little more "thick" & "chewy" but still a good representation of what Christmas is all about.

Share with friends on a cold winter night...fireplace preferred. (609 characters)

Photo of CFHMagnet
3.71/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A big thank you to my Broseph, SplashyFob and his friend for obtaining this one for me. The bottle says "Bottled with love on 11/11/2013".

An aggressive pour does not get me more than half a finger of head. This disappears rather quickly, leaving a tiny bit of froth over a ruby brown body. No lace.

It smells of malt, sugar and xmas spices. I get a hint of dark fruit as well.

Malty with xmas spices up front. Sugar and honey make a a quick in/out appearance before surrendering to an earthy baked good flavor with more xmas spices.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied. Carbonation is barely there. Slight dry finish. (617 characters)

Photo of reebtaerG
3.74/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass

A-lovely amber color with a thin creamy white head with little lacing

S-aromas of Christmas of clover and cinnamon

T-great taste sweet malt caramel with the clover and cinnamon with a light spicy finish

M-is light body and low carbonation mouthfeel which was great with Xmas dinner

O-this a great beer by schlafly for the winter ale (393 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 MadCat
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice ruby amber color with a short tan head that dissipates quickly

Smell: Some nice Christmasy spices up front, along with some malty sweetness

Taste: Reminds you of fresh baked gingerbread, got all the spices there, along with nice bready, caramely malts. There are other Christmas spices and malt flavors in there as well, so its not like drinking liquid gingerbread. Just gives you that warm inviting feeling, invoking memories of Christmases past.

Mouthfeel: Light body, good carbonation, little bit of spicy finish

Overall: A good Christmas beer, and even better for a spiced one. I enjoy it and would gladly recommend to anyone looking for a solid seasonal choice. (687 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 ssarah
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear, dark copper color, visible carbonation. Thin, cream colored head.

S: Aroma of cloves, brown sugar, and dried fruit. Sweet to smell.

T: Malts, raisin and molasses flavors predominate. Cinnamon and clove spices come through on the end notes. Overall sweet finish.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Sweet flavor lingers on the tongue.

O: Overall good Christmas ale, well flavored with spices and fruit notes. However it was too sweet for my tastes so I probably wouldn't buy it again. (503 characters)

Photo of taylor714914
3.72/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Another solid offering from Schlafly. Nice, deep mahogany color with some spice and sweet molasses in the nose. Taste is a beautiful mix of Christmas spices, toffee, dried fruits, and a hint of honey. A light bitterness helps balance the sweetness. A nice showing from Schlafly. (278 characters)

Photo of sommersb
3.69/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Tasted On: 12-16-2013
Freshness: Bottled on 11-01-2013
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Tulip pint
Purchased: Received from a friend

A: Clear, dark amber colored beer, with an offwhite head standing a finger high. Little in the way of head retention and just a little lacing sticks to the glass.

S: Aromas are not strong, but I get caramel malts with some spices such as ginger and clove.

T: The taste features a lot of various spices like allspice and cinnamon plus some apple cider-like fruitiness.

M: High carbonation with a medium body. The finish has a lot of the spice character noted earlier.

O: Overall I'd say Schlafly hit the mark they were shooting for as this beer tastes a lot like a mulled wine, grog or cider. Not something I'd reach for often, but a well-made beer nonetheless.

Thank you Kirk for the beer! (847 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
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. (742 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 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)

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