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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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 169 | Hads: 466
Photo of hellobeerz
3.27/5  rDev -11.6%
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

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
3.24/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

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Photo of MCain04
4.06/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Acquired in a trade with beergod1, thanks! Brewed 11/12, drank 02/13. Poured into a 14oz tulip. Let's go!

Appearance: Opaque amber color, off-white 2 finger head, good retention and lacing.

Smell: Spicy, malty, sweet, nutty. Just what I want out a christmas ale aroma.

Taste: Sweet and malty, apple, some spices. Maybe a tad too sweet for my liking. A little citrus and lemonade. Complex flavor profile that isn't amazing but isn't the worst. No alcoholic heat, not much bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Low-moderate carbonation. Smooth, medium body. A tad sticky, a tad dry.

Overall: Not bad at all! Pleasantly surprised with this. One of the top 5 Christmas ales I've had before. If only it were a little less sweet, I'd really like it. Wouldn't mind trying this again.

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Photo of tito42
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours semi-hazy ruby, with very little carbonation and only a thin wisp of lace.

Nose is heavily spiced -- lots of brisk, wintery elements like cinnamon and allspice seem most prominent.

Taste is heavy-bodied, malty and spicy, with a slight warmth at the finish. A perfectly enjoyable sipper, and an ideal "winter warmer".

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Photo of cousineddy
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

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Photo of jtierney89
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper color with a healthy white head. Smells of allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Smooth rolling body. Caramel malt with a touch of soapiness on the front end. Creamy and big. Finishes with a pumpkin pie like spice flavor much like their pumpkin ale but not as good and with a bit of a drier rather than sweet flavor. Good with deceptive alcohol but its similarities to schlafly pumpkin are too apparent and this beer just isn't as good as the pumpkin

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Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured a clear orange copper, with a finger high tan creamy head building. It dissipates into nice lacing.
The nose is spice, nutmeg, coriander, caramel.
Tasting the beer, I feel this heavy dose of winter spices, which I feel overpowering in this beer. But than again, I assume that this is what winter ale is supposed to be like.
The beer is medium bodied and has a good malt backbone. The hops are in the shadow of the spices, which does this beer no good.
Maybe I will take from winter brews for a while.,

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Photo of weonfire
3.89/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Red/brown hue. Full finger of off white head. head dissipates quickly. not much to any lacing.

T - smell the spices from my glass which is 2' away. carmel, nutmeg, pumpkin and vanilla. solid nut.

T - Carmel. A moderately sweet but Nutty, pumpkin and a bit bitter from the alcohol.

M - A bit frothy, alcohol tingles the roof and tongue. Viscosity is high.

O - I thick its a descent Christmas brew. 8 ABVs could be hidden a bit more. burns a bit more than i wanted. Missing all forms of lacing. Solid carmel malt. I would buy this a christmas next year.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.04/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Clear ruby, some carbonation, one finger head

S-Spices galore, cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel, malt, all balanced nicely together.

T-Not as good as the nose, still good though. Spice heavy, cinnamon, less malt than the nose.

M-Light, some carbonation, tad watery though.

O-A nice spiced Christmas brew, a good one, not the best, but good.

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Photo of craft_shannie
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A: amber, rich frothy light khaki head
S: deeply spiced (cloves/nutmeg/cinnamon) banana bread; in all of my times drinking schlafly's christmas ale - its a consistent. not bad - just very unique.
T: sweet light pale malts on front; very crisp spice (clove/nutmeg). peppery finish.
M: thin; medium to medium-high carbonation. makes me question if it couldn't be dialed back a bit.
O: definitely gets me in the holiday spirit. it's the perfect beer to consume pre- or post- holiday shopping - but next year i just need to remember, i don't shop enough to buy a case of it. the ABV is very well hidden, so consider that before you bust it out at the christmas office party.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: rust body, finger khaki head, patchy lacing

S: orange peel, big clove, and spices (think Christmas cake)

T: orange peel, malt, clove, winter/Christmas spices, mild alcohol warmth.

M: med body, smooth/firm carbonation mouth

O: G-d Bless you, Schlafly! This Jew loves this time of year.
Fine brewery & delicious offering. Highly recommend
this Christmas Ale; most are too watery or odd flavor
combinations that sound great but just don't work.
This is a winner!


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Photo of kylehay2004
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of ScorpyX
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of a bottle this beer was a hazy, copper/bronze color with a good amount of rising carbonation and a tan head. The retention was good and the lacing in bands all the way down my glass. The aroma was of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, caramel malt and some light citrus notes. The flavors were very enjoyable to me. I tasted all the aforementioned spices built atop a solid caramel malt backbone with only light hopping which gave it a nice finish. Balanced and not overly spiced as many holiday ales tend to be. Additionally, there was almost no sign that the beer was 8% ALC and I didn’t realize it until after I’d enjoyed a few! The mouthfeel was good, the body surprisingly light and the carbonation appropriate.

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Photo of siege06nd
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass...

A: Mostly clear copper color. This beer has a thin quarter-finger ring of very crisp white head resting on top. Pretty good lacing on the sides. Solid retention.

S: Allspice, cinnamon, some clove, and orange citrus. Not a lot of complexity in this bouquet. Smells a lot like a gingerbread cookie....

T: ...and tastes a lot like a gingerbread cookie. Lots of cinnamon, allspice, clove, and even a little bit of caramel. A bit of an odd tang on the mid and the finish detracts from this one a touch. Tastes a little bit like orange or lemon rind, possibly hops. It emerges just as the palate is settling into the bolder and heartier spiced notes and is somewhat disruptive to the flavor profile.

M: This is a medium bodied brew with a moderate carbonation. Maintains a pretty good lightness considering the 8.0% ABV. Main problems are the spices being somewhat overwhelming (my tongue was scorched by this one) and that odd metallic tangy flavor that shows up for a split second on the mid. Decent overall.

O: Drinks like a lesser version of Great Lakes Christmas Ale. It's a spice bomb without a lot of complexity or character. Goes down easy like Sunday morning and is almost as forgettable as that one girl you hooked up with in college after 20 games of beer pong. It's certainly not bad, though, and holds its own with most of the entries in the "let's drink clove and call it a Christmas Ale" category.

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Photo of MTNboy
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brown amber body.

Smell: Spicy and very sweet malty aroma.

Taste: The flavor has a European like Christmas dessert like feel. Spicy at first but a sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, It reminds me a lot of the pumpkin but smoother. It is very slick feeling.

Overall: One of my favorite holiday beers. Very thick and warm it feels like the holidays.

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Photo of tykees88
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
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

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Photo of oline73
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of n2185
3.96/5  rDev +7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear red-orange with a finger of off-white head that fades into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: Lots of nice spice aromas with cinnamon and nutmeg notes with sweet caramel and bubblegum aromas mixed in. There are vanilla and floral qualities to it as well.

T: Similar to the aroma, lots of sweet spicy flavors. Cinnamon dominates with nutmeg and vanilla flavors also present. Some caramel flavors are also present.

M: Medium body with medium carbonation, this beer is creamy at first with a nice carbonation bite toward the end to accent the spices.

O: A surprisingly good beer that avoids being overly spiced. It definitely tastes like fall and winter in a bottle. It's not extremely complex, but still enjoyable.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
2.86/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a standard pint glass. The beer is a hazy copper color. The head dissipates quickly leaving nothing, and no lacing at all. The beer smells boozy with lots of different spices. I was hesitant to buy this, and the taste confirms why I shouldn't have: it's just over-the-top with flavor, like most of the Schlafly beers I have tried are. Sweetness and spices just blow your taste buds into defensive mode. There's a lot of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and the likes in this. It tastes like Chai tea, and almost could pass for a Pumpkin ale. And just like their Pumpkin ale, this beer is loaded at 8% ABV and goes down too smooth, so watch out.

Overall, I just don't like the sweetness overload on top of the high alcohol content. Plus, the spices are in overdrive, so this beer is just a bit too much, all the way around. This might be the last Schlafly beer I ever try.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.26/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle given to me by a friend. Thanks.
Poured into a standard US pint glass.

Pours a 2cm head, mildly thick, mostly of medium-sized bubbles. Head descends over a minute or two to a ring around the top of the glass and some minute islands. Some lace accumulates on sides of glass, but nothing particularly noteworthy. Body is a dark orange-amber color with a reddish tint. Held up to the light, it's a deep yellow-orange-red color. Transparent, with lots of visible carbonation.

Aroma is fairly weak, I detect faint, slight spices [cloves, allspice, cinnamon] and mild fruit [ale yeast esters]. As just stated, these aren't very strong or stand-out in any particular way.

Taste is generally sweet and spicy, with a mild, but always detectable alcohol warmth and burn. In specific, opens with sweet malts, spicy clove, and light citrus zest, changing to clove, cinnamon, and allspice flavors mid-palate, before transitioning to citrus zest, more pie spices, and sweet malts for the close. Aftertaste is of syrupy malt and mild clove spice.

Body is full of fairly soft, but noticeable carbonation. Not bad at all, as it goes with the medium-light body in a sensitive sort of way. Slightly too thin, maybe even watery around the edges, for such a heavy ABV beer. Finish is rather dry.

Overall, this wasn't particularly bad-tasting, but the aroma's meekness and body's lightness make this a bit off-putting as a high ABV winter beer.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

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