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Schlafly Christmas Ale - The Schlafly Tap Room

Not Rated.
Schlafly Christmas AleSchlafly Christmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

169 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 169
Hads: 466
Avg: 3.7
pDev: 21.62%
Wants: 21
Gots: 56 | 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: 169 | Hads: 466
Photo of gpcollen1
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of budgood1
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours out of the bottle a glowing and darkish rust colour with a big frothy head that settles to a rocky lace. aroma is a unique combination of orange peels and cloves, just as the label on the bottle states. there is an underlying caramel malt nose and some leathery, soapish notes as well. very festive. i'd say the flavour is malty at first...very rich, candy sweet and warming. then come complimentary spices...more orange and clove...maybe some nutmeg too. all very well within the parameters of a balanced x-mas spice ale. there is a touch of spicy hops that add a welcome bitterness to offset the heavy maltiness and serve well to intermingle with the clove notes and any other peppery (alcohol) nuances that make this beer a very nice x-mas/winter sipper. the body is full and the mouthfeel slippery; sledding down my throat like a toboggan down an ice encrusted hill. very nice. drinkability is great; this could be an all evening sipper beside a fire or a festive quaffer at a holiday soiree. nevertheless...i found it to be a nicely balanced holiday spiced ale worthy of any wintertime quaffing. hard to believe that this is 8.00% ABV.

thanks to my brother who brought this up from st. louis at thanksgiving.

i was saving this for a special occasion...and i think i found one as this evening my wife and i went for a six mile walk in -15 below temperatures on the coldest day of the winter thus far here in northern minnesota and witnessed Comet McNaught. just because we could. gotta love rural living.

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Photo of hopsaplenty
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark, bright amber with a thin sheet of white lacing that combs the pint glass. Streaky, thunderstorm lacing. Sweet piney hops, freshly baked apple pie, cloves, gingerbread and nutmeg are all in the aroma, sets up for a great first impression. Spicy malts, massive cloves and nutmeg that turn creamy. Full bodied; pumpkin and apple pie crust with orange peel and caramel roll noted. Large winter spices, cloves, gingerbread cookies, and spicy cinammon come to fruition. Talk about a full flavored spiced up beer; props to Schlafly for marketing this as a winter ale, one to look forward to each year!

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Photo of ppoitras
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

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Photo of foureyedgeek
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

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Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer typifies what a spiced holiday beer should be - lots of spice but doesn't taste like someone stuffed a mincemeat pie in a bottle. Cloves and nutmeg are nicely integrated into the sweet-ish malt, but are well moderated throughout the draft and don't become cloying. Within this class, I think this is a very good example.

For folks who have criticized this beer for having a lot of spice, that is like criticizing an IPA for having a lot of hops.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass. The liquid it a Dark amber color with tones of copper and red it contains good carbonation. The head is 2 finger thick tan, it fades leaving little lace.

The smell is holiday spice, with thick sweet malt.

The taste follows mild spice, with a hugely sweet over powering malt.

The mouthfeel is OK, nice carbonation but a thick and sticky syrupy body.

The drinkability is ok not bad but a it's a thick heavy brew and not very sessionable.

Thanks to JPM30 & Vancer for this festive Holiday brew. Prosit MK

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Photo of shivtim
2.68/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

My roomate brought me back some of this from a trip to St.Louis, which I shared with beer club.


It was not too good; I didn't think it was as bad as some others (aforbes) did, but the taste pretty much kills this beer. It pours a deep clear red brown, looks ok so far. Smells like christmas. Piney, nutmeg, cloves. Not bad. The taste is overload of ginger, nutmeg, cloves, orange, pine... pretty much tastes like a christmas air freshener in beer form. On the plus side, the alcohol is very well hidden (errr... covered-up?). Mouthfeel is ok, a bit dry. Drinkability is hurt by the taste. But I bet if you simmered this stuff on the stove it would make your house smell really good.

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Photo of aforbes10
2.05/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I've been to Schlafly's, I know they make good beer. I also know that this is not one of the one's that i like. Yeah, i know its a Christmas ale, and i know that some people like to put some spices in their Christmas drinks, but come on guys....this was just they dumped in a bunch of cloves and nutmeg and orange rind and figured that if you could taste all of that crap in the beer it would make it a good beer. I've all for those flavors in beer, now, dont get me wrong; but to the extent that they were all right up there hitting me in the tongue? and it was so muddled and unbalanced. Its the worst tasting spiced beer i've had since that Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin from 2 yeaers ago. way too many spices and it was a bit thin too. looked ok, and actually smelled fine, but yeah, downhill from there.

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Photo of merlin48
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A clear copper amber body is graced by a small beige head that has good retention. Some spotty patch lacing is left on the glass.

Aroma is quite spicy with gingerbread, pine cone, cloves, and orange peel.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a solid carbonation. There is a zingy spice bite on the tongue.

Taste is malty and spicy. A toffee tasting malt backbone supports a myriad of spice flavors. Ginger, nutmeg, and clove are most prominent. The orangepeel adds a nice touch and there is a solid pine hops bitterness. The finish is dry with a hot ginger flourish. Hard to believe this is 8%.

A very well done winter warmer. Tasty and interesting but with all the spices I doubt I could finish more than one at a sitting.

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Photo of whynot44
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear cinnamon/copper color with a modest off-white headthat shrinks to barely a ring and leaves only hints of lacing.

The aroma is very spicy with citrus and pine notes.

The taste is also heavy on the spices - nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves - toward the middle some caramel malt sneaks in with orange/grapefruit flavors toward the end. The finish is slightly piney with lingering spice notes and some definite alcohol warmth for cool weather enjoyment. This is a lot like their pumpkin ale without the pumpkin and a heavier load of spices.

It would be nice after shovling snow or just for holiday enjoyment. Medium/full bodied, nice mouthfeel and drinkable, but better for sipping. A little heavy on spices for pairing with most food but should be nice after dinner.

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Photo of bort11
3.59/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into an Imperial pint glass, after a long day of eating turkey. Not a lot of head, leaves a very thin film of lace around the edges. Color is a warm orange-brown, hazy through the center with mild carbonation. Smell is of cloves, very strong and slightly bitter. Taste has a slightly bitter hardwood flavor with various spices mingling around the edges. More of the cloves, a bit of nutmeg. Finishes with some hop notes. Even though it is 8%, it doesn't feel as "warm" as some other winter warmers that are lower in ABV. It is an interesting beer, and one I will enjoy this holiday season. I think this one is better suited for after dinner rather witht he meal.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks rsyberg01 for this bit of St. Louis Christmas.
Pours a glowing red/amber with a moderate white head that melts to a sticky lacing.
Aromas are so spicy I am reminded of a pumpkin ale....cinnamon, cloves, orange peel. Very fresh smelling spices.
Taste is so spicy again I am reminded of a pumpkin ale. Tons of cinnamon, a little cloves, corriander, and orange peel hop bitterness on the tail end.
Aftertaste is a tingly spiciness reminiscent of a wheat. A little white pepper in the hop bite.
Nice full comfortable mouthfeel.
This is an unusual winter ale...very spicy...not bad and the farther I get into the bottle the more I like it. Could that be the 8% talking?
Very tasty.
Thanks Ric.

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Photo of rsyberg01
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
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.

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Photo of Vancer
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ruby red brown topped off with lacey ivory rings. This pour came from a bottle, but I had the ale last nite on tap – which always is a notch better.

Just like the kitchen on Xmas, the aromas of clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon really tantalize the nose. Also, I smell….pumpkin!! Damn, carln26 planted that thought in my head. Anyway, taste was solid – small notes of citrus and pine is in there, but in the background.

It does hop bite just a tad too strong, a couple more malt seeds would have worked wonders. Oh well, it may be 8%, but I could drink these all evening long, although slowly.

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Photo of karst
4.23/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

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Photo of jokelahoma
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
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!

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Photo of hckyfn9999
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
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)

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Schlafly Christmas Ale from The Schlafly Tap Room
84 out of 100 based on 169 ratings.