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Schlafly Christmas Ale - The Schlafly Tap Room

Not Rated.
Schlafly Christmas AleSchlafly Christmas Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

363 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 363
Reviews: 161
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.9%
Wants: 15
Gots: 23 | 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:
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 added by: hopsaplenty on 11-02-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 363 | Reviews: 161 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Dave128
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

Dave128, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of rcatalano
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

rcatalano, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of apintofknowledge
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

apintofknowledge, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of ianjsullivan
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
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).

ianjsullivan, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
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!

NeroFiddled, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of Chugs13
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Chugs13, Dec 12, 2011
Photo of FanofHefe
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 11-14-2011. Poured into a Duvel tulip. Nearly clear amber body with a touch of red tint. Small, less than one-finger light tan head that dissipates rather quickly and leaves very little lacing.

The aroma starts like a hefeweizen with some bubble gum sweetness and the noticeable orange peel coming through as well. A few other spicy notes follow.

Tastes like a winter warmer-type brew. Sweet start and finish, with some added spices (not yeast) like the coriander coming through. Otherwise, drinks somewhat like a sweet wheat beer with the added spices.

Although the flavor is not off the charts, nothing offends and it is actually very drinkable. For the high abv, there is no real notice of alcohol. I will enjoy this as a dessert beer during the holidays and think it will be a good fit in that role.

FanofHefe, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of Rukasu
3.05/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

Rukasu, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of WoodBrew
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

WoodBrew, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of davesway10
4/5  rDev +9%

davesway10, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of Screper
4/5  rDev +9%

Screper, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of daledeee
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright dark orange or auburn. Head was minor and went away without much lacing.

Nose is earthy, spicy and brandy.

Taste is on the sweet side with brandy(maybe a little rum) orange and of course spices. I am not a fan of cloves in my food; therefore it is not my favorite taste in beer, but that is just me. It is a pretty sweet beer.

Mouth feel is not very carbonated. This isn't an in your face beer. It reminds me of some barley wines without the strong hops. Easy to drink with hidden alcohol; nothing remarkable though.

daledeee, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of southhousebrew
5/5  rDev +36.2%

southhousebrew, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of ROGUE16
4/5  rDev +9%

ROGUE16, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of mdcrouser
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

mdcrouser, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of ch473
3/5  rDev -18.3%

ch473, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of jheezee
4/5  rDev +9%

jheezee, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of leinie13
4/5  rDev +9%

leinie13, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of drn
4/5  rDev +9%

drn, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of rundocrun
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

rundocrun, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of awdturboiv
3/5  rDev -18.3%

awdturboiv, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Re-review from the 2011 batch, bottled.

Amber colored and clear, with a 1.5 finger head and good lacing, a little stickier this year.

I smell malts, bready and toasty, spices (plenty of nutmeg and cinnamon), and a slightly grainy aroma. A bit odd but not bad smelling at all.

Tastes again like I expect from this type of brew. Spices come out strong but not too strong, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and pepper all come to mind. A malty backbone is accented with a little hops and citrus. Alcohol could be concealed a bit better, still slightly noticeable.

Feels warming and tangy due to the spices and alcohol.

Pretty good but not the best of the winters/holiday treats that are available.

AlCaponeJunior, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of Pintofbrown
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this into a tulip glass.

Appearance- The body is an auburn-copper with a couple slow columns of CO2 in the clear glass. The orange-tinged, white head was tiny; it only managed to leave a ring around the inside of the glass.

Smell- I can definitely smell nutmeg on the nose, it is the spiciest spice in here. There's also a slight hop quality coming through. Most like a grassy hop.

Maybe a litte biscuit malt is implied, but it is hard to tell. Not really that big, or as fun as it should be for the spices it was brewed with.

Taste- The flavors are better than the nose, and actually beefs up what could hardly be detected by giving a sniff. There is lots of spice that is backed up by a biscuit malt that really smooths this out.

Mainly I am getting nutmeg, maybe just a little cinnamon, even some sweet ginger. However, all the flavors work very well together and make quite a drinkable beer.

Mouth feel- This part of the beer is also great. The body is a lighter medium, but it is really smooth. Maybe the body could fill the mouth a little more, but other than that, this is done very well.

Overall- A beer that does not start out very promising by the way it looks and smells, but it really kicks it into gear on the palate and with the mouth feel. The best holiday ale I have had yet!

Pintofbrown, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of EmergingZymurgy
2.2/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle, crystal clear and deep copper color. Smells like a nice Christmas ale, cloves and other spices. Tastes like a bad beer gone sour and tried to mask the flavor with spices. Not a fan of this one. Has a slick body to it and tastes sour at the end of the taste. Not sure if it was a bad bottle or what.

EmergingZymurgy, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of DCon
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on-tap @ the Schlafly Tap Room in St. Louis, MO for $4.25. Tapped from the Plain Black/Silver tap handle w/o a Label on it into a 12oz Snifter Glass.

Aroma- The aromatics are very tough to pick out in this one... Very strong hops are around, a bit of caramel, and then a booziness that may be too much. Zesty and bit of orange peel? Good all around.

Appearance- Received with a .5 finger head that dies almost immediately. Has the darkest orange colored body you can get but then is very clear. Leaves good lacing behind.

Flavor- Very sweet starting and then the nice orange peel and zestiness come into play again. Little bit of booze hits the mouth throughout and has medium hops involved.

Mouthfeel- Full Bodied, Medium Carbonation, Strong malts, and viscous... Not much to say here on the mouthfeel but this is my meal tonight?

Overall Impression- Not an easy one to drink! I would say you could have your 12 ounces of this and then can call it a night. More of a Night Cap. Go for it if available but only buy a 6-pack of this if your with 5 other guys. Not one to be enjoyed one after the other. You'll see what I mean!

DCon, Nov 24, 2011
Schlafly Christmas Ale from The Schlafly Tap Room
83 out of 100 based on 363 ratings.