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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

362 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 362
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: 362 | Reviews: 161 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brownbeer
2.55/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a coppery color without much head.

Very subdued aroma with subtle spice, a little funk, and candied tangerine.

There isn't much going on as far as flavor, clovey spice and maybe some citrus. The body is smooth but watery. Lacks depth and the 8% is creepy considering how little flavor it has.

I haven't had a beer I liked less than this in a while and I could easily pour it down the drain but i'll finish it. If you're looking for a strong beer without much flavor and a thin body, this might be for you.

brownbeer, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of peabody
4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours our a really clean effverscent ice tea color with very little suds. Some lacing.
Smell is very spicy. Fresh corriander and nutmeg/allspice/pumpkin pie. Can't really smell the alcohol here.
Can't taste the alcohol here either. This is very refreshing for a christmas ale. Very spicy and a great balance between bitter and sweet. Hey, this is good and from Schlafly!
Mouthfeel is clean for the most part because of the bitter blackness at the end.
Drinkability is good here is you like the spices.
All in all, a pretty darn good beer.

peabody, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of Jayli
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Recieved this from diekia so a big THANK YOU goes out to her!

A: This beer pours a burnt orange color with a 1/4 inch of white head and not much lacing to speak of.

S: Nose is of orange peel, clove, and a hint of malt.

T: Taste is - holy citrus and malt batman! Taste starts with a crazy amount of clove and orange peel. Heavy malt presence comes through with a boatload of sweetness - brown sugar, molasses and honey. Finish has a decent hop presence.

M: Medium body, light carbonation, very dry throughout and a bone dry finish. I've never had a beer finish this dry before.

D: This is a tasty little beer, it's one that you could have one or two, but not sessionable.

Jayli, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice beer here, says it's brewed with orange peel and cloves. Beautiful color, nice head on it too. Clove definitely comes through in the nose, along with some cinnamon, ginger, and something slightly metallic that's off-putting. The taste follows almost exactly, big gingerbread, clove, and spiced notes. Metallic taste returns, though. MF is medium bodied, not bad, coating. A decent winter beer to enjoy and warm up with.

LordAdmNelson, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of jmw141
2.78/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Serving: 12 oz bottle into Rogue Yellow Snow IPA pint glass

A: A clear reddish brown, with a thin off-white head

S: Malty aroma, slight hoppiness, definite ginger, "farmhouse ale" scent as well

T: Sweet all the way through, woody, slightly fruity, very thin (not subtle) flavors that could benefit from being slightly more pronounced, slight orange flavor

M: prickly carbonation, almost undetectable finishing bitterness, watery

D: Drinkable, this is #1 of the 6-pack I bought. This one served after being in fridge for one hour- lets see how it changes at cooler temps.

Overall: 25% through this one I'm not overly impressed. It seems just a bit too cloying for 8.0% ABV.

jmw141, Dec 06, 2009
Photo of OldSchoolGamer
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

OldSchoolGamer, Dec 05, 2009
Photo of Tilley4
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up from the local bottle shop today... A new arrival to our area...

Pours a dark amber appearance with a fluffy creamy head... Very inviting..

The first thing I get off of this is the spices such as the orange peel and cloves along with a big dose of booze... Deep and malty and rather Christmas-like...

Big boozy maltiness that melds into a sweet spiciness from the cloves... At first, I wasn't sure if I liked this but it really opens up as it warms and gets really tasty...

A sipper, for sure... This would be terrific with some gingerbread or fruitcake...a nice seasonal effort from Schlafly...

Tilley4, Nov 25, 2009
Photo of Tone
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, amber/red color. Oddly, no head. Smells of strong spice, yeast, slight citrus, and some herbs. Fits the style of a Herbed / Spice Beer. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of spice, herb, slight citrus, and slight yeast. Overall, drinkeable, but a little lacking in body.

Tone, Nov 16, 2009
Photo of katan
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a pint dated 12/4/2008

A - Brown to orangish brown in color - head formation is strong and well retained. Off-white to also brown in color. Hazy.

S - Super spicy with notes of cinnamon and cloves hitting you square in the eyes.

T - Starts off with a light mix of the cinnamon spice and malty sweetness. A hair of bitterness builds which jumps into a nice bite of american hops. Finishes with a big hit of cinnamon and spice - almost a gingerbread cookie - and a big bite of phenolic tones.

M - Full of body - both from the carbonation and from the strong substance of the beer. Not very biting in carbonation. Leaves a sweet film on the tongue.

D - Moderate to low drinkability in my mind - the abv on this beer would sneak up on you big time. The spicy edge makes it a nice after dinner drink. Somewhat filling.

katan, May 16, 2009
Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to bort11 for this brew.

2008 Edition

Pours a very nice hazy amber color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger plus creamy tan head, with lots of nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some cinimmon, nutmeg. The taste is malty, slightly sweet, with nice touch of spices. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a tasty brew, I enjoyed the 08 better. Thanks Tim.

Thanks goes out to bort11 for this brew.

2007 Edition

Pours a very nice hazy amber color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy tan head, with lots of nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some cinimmon, nutmeg. The taste is malty, slightly sweet, with nice touch of spices. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a tasty brew, Thanks Tim.

Wasatch, Mar 27, 2009
Photo of mikereaser
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a murky rust orange with no foam to speak of

S - Aroma of oranges and cloves, brown sugar & cinnamon

T - nice citrus flavor with spices but mainly a strong clove taste

M/D - Nice tasting brew for the holidays, but a bit too sweet or clovey for my tastes.

mikereaser, Feb 03, 2009
Photo of kdog630
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Much more flavor and aroma than I've come to expect from a Schlafley offering. The spices are very apparent in this darker beer. Not much head on this glass but the tender worked to get it pretty full. Still, there was some lacing occurring as I drained the glass.

Very spicy. Hints of cinnamon, clove, and maybe some allspice. Mouthfeel was average (or above average for a Schlafley) as was the drinkability. Maybe if it had been a little warmer in more of a snifter or tulip style glass, I might have enjoyed it more.

kdog630, Jan 09, 2009
Photo of hwwty4
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz bottle into my Smokestack goblet.

This beer poured a nice reddish brown with a fluffy 3 inch white head that left some seriously sticky white lacing. The aroma is really spicy. Clove, nutmeg, a hint of cinnamon, a just a bit of orange zest are apparent in the aroma. The flavor follows suit with what seems like my wife's hole spice cabinet thrown in. Clove and nutmeg are definitely the most prevalent flavors with orange zest, date and a bit of vanilla. The mouthfeel is quite a bit creamier then what I expected. Absolutely fabulous. This is a good beer, and I'm proud to call Schlafly a "local" brewery.

hwwty4, Jan 09, 2009
Photo of naterock
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
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!

naterock, Jan 08, 2009
Photo of RickS95
4.95/5  rDev +34.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Three fingers of thick, fluffy, light beige head. The beer is copper in color and unfiltered...it's simply a gorgeous beer as it sits in the glass.

Lots of spices in the nose, but as the bottle mentions, orange peel and cloves top the list. It smells like a Christmas dessert.

Lots of carbonation in the mouth, almost tingling to the point of refreshment.

With the hops, cloves, orange peel and high alcohol, you'd expect a bitter aftertaste, but this beer is simply too smoooth. The only bitter is the alcohol late, late, late in the finish.

The lacing follows the beer with each sip. This is my 4th or 5th Schlafly's and I'm still waiting for one that's not exceptional. This may be the best beer I've ever had. It's potent at 8% alcohol, but it's terribly smooth so it's highly drinkable. It's a shame it's a seasonal brew.

RickS95, Dec 31, 2008
Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle, bottled on 10-28-2008, with a nice classy-looking Christmas label.

Appearance: A vigorous pour produces a pretty burnt orange/amber beer with some very fine sediment in suspension. This beer has very high, cascading carbonation (quite pretty) and an off-white head with great retention.

Smell: Sweet, spicy, and very "Christmas-y." This is somewhat like their pumpkin ale, in truth, minus the pumpkin aromas themselves. There are strong notes of clove, delicate but aggressive spicy/piney hops, and bitter orange peel. It's kind of like Christmas in a glass. Quite nice.

Taste: 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.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, a bit prickly from the high carbonation levels.

Drinkability: It's fairly tasty, but almost a little bit overpowering in the spice. I usually find myself picking up one or two of these a year in a mix-a-six...but a sixer might be a little over the top. I'm curious to see what a little aging might do to this.

Conclusion: Not a bad winter beer, and I like the balance between malt sweetness and hops (a lot of spiced beers seem to have little to no real hop presence) but at the end of the day the spices are just a little overwhelming for this to be truly great.

BedetheVenerable, Dec 26, 2008
Photo of russpowell
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in Wichita this weekend

Pours copper with 3 fingers of tan head. Good lacing & average head retention

S: Faint breadyness & cinnamon

T: Pineyness, a bit of biscuitty malt & spruce tips up front. Orange slices, brown sugar, cinnamon, pears & dryness dominate as this warms. Finishes with leafy hops, caramel & dryness

MF: Medium bodied, fairly chewy with low carbonation & good balance

Drinks easy, nice mix of flavors here

russpowell, Dec 22, 2008
Photo of KI9A
4.53/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can't believe I haven't reviewed this yet, have notes back from the past couple years. Seems like 2007 & 2008 have been really tuned, from the 2006 version.

A: 2008 into a tulip. Hazy copper, lingering tan head, wonderful lace windows.

S: Wow. WOW! Best smell from a beer I ever reviewed. Citrus/orange/malt/cloves.

T: Malt. Hops. Then, orange, nutmeg, cloves. What a wonderful balance these guys have stumbled upon. Might even detect a bit of chocolate at the back.

M: Moderate carb, clean, but a very slight ABV burn afterwards.

D: I can drink this year 'round, but, it is my favorite Christmas brew, hands down. The 8% ABV sneaks up on you, so, be careful. this drinks like a macro lager, and easy to get lost in it.

Fine job, guys!

Cheers & Merry Christmas!

KI9A, Dec 16, 2008
Photo of BCK
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a cheap Rusty Wallace racing Pint glass, haha. After drinking it, I regret that I didn't put it in a better glass.

Nice amber/brown/orange color brew with a nice inch head on it after pouring. Smell of citrus and clove, very nice aroma.

Beautiful taste of Hops, spice and citrus.

Nice smooth beer with lovely hops bite to it and a bit of carbonation.

My favorite Christmas/Winter Ale so far this year and lucky me that it's readily available everywhere I go. I am a newer person to the craft beer population, but Schlafly still has not disappointed me and this one raised the bar for the next.

BCK, Dec 06, 2008
Photo of BigJim5021
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a sixer of this stuff for a family gathering. At $10.50, I was hoping for good things. No disappointment there.

Pours a hazy amber with a nice white head. Head settles down into a nice ring with a good deal of lacing.

The smell is goddamn phenomenal, I tells ya. It's like a spicy, sweet, orangey Christmas tree.

Flavor is damn good too. It's not as spicy or sweet as it smells, but it's definitely got a hint of citrus and some nice, piney hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is a tad beyond medium bodied. Carbonation is spot-on. The finish is nice and dry. Nicely played.

Drinkability is high for a beer clocking in at 8%. I might have to pick up some more of this in anticipation of the ensuing holidays. I really didn't like Schlafly's Pumpkin Spice offering, but their Christmas Ale is the shit.

BigJim5021, Dec 01, 2008
Photo of tpd975
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sea Bass for sharing this one during a wonderful night of tasting at the Oldsmar Taphouse.

A: Pours a nice light golden hue with tones of amber showing thru. 1/2 finger creamy head with okay retention. No real lace noted.

S: Very green aromas, almost a marijuana type quality. There are hints of spice behind, but not the entire spice rack.

T: Nice sweet malt flavors with a big pine hoppiness for the style. Hints of cinnamon and nutmeg poke thru. I like this one.

M: Medium in body, soft and creamy.

D: Not bad, a nice take on the xmas offering.

tpd975, Nov 30, 2008
Photo of MarzenMan
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on 10/29/2008.

A - Medium sized head on a bright amber beer. Good lacing. The bottle reminds me of old Christmas records. I think they took it off a Kenny Rogers Christmas Record we used to have :). Very....'Christmasy'.

S - Reminds me of Blue Moon because of the orange/citrus and the spice that may be clove but comes across similar to corriander. Some slight alcohol.

T - Wow. This is better than I expected. Some good malty qualities and a nice, but subtle, hop balance. Def. some orange and other spices but not overpowering at all. A little alcohol in the mix. Very nice. Medium body on the tongue.

D - I'd drink it a ton if it weren't for the price tag. I paid 10.50 for a sixer but it does appear to be worth it. This is exactly what I want in a holiday ale.

MarzenMan, Nov 23, 2008
Photo of Goliath
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color with a thin slightly yellowed head. Decent retention, but no lacing.

The aroma is really nice. A big citrusy orange peel up front, with a bit of a hop presence as well and a nice touch of spice. Some sweet honey finishes out the nose.

The taste is nice. A gentle hop profile in addition to the orange peel gives a really nice citrus component. The holiday spicing is also really nice. Notes of cinamon, nutmeg, and cloves linger on the palate. I really love this beer.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and lightly carbonated with a gentle and fine bubble.

Drinkability is moderate to high. Certainly an easy beer to consume as it's tasty and simple, however spiced beers aren't generally sessionable which will limit this beer a bit.

On the evenings following this review, I also got a nice sappy piney hop presence (subtle), and a biscuity malt note.

Goliath, Nov 18, 2008
Photo of orangemoustache
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a reddish/orange amber with a small cream colored head that leaves a little bit of lace as it slides away to a very thin cap. The nose is spicy and smells of clove, pine cones and some very subtle citrus notes. The malt tastes like a mix of pretzel and ginger snap cookies,with a good amount of sweet/sugary hard candy flavors too. Hops are gentle yet assertive and taste of pine sap and greenery. The mouthfeel is not quite full bodied as label suggests,it is well carbonated and has a interesting dry/musty finish that I can appreciate as character. This could use just a bit more hop or a lot more malt and it could be a classic,still a great brew that captures that holiday feeling in a bottle.

Thanks Pmcadamis and Happy holidays!

orangemoustache, Nov 13, 2008
Photo of pmcadamis
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - This one is a deep orange amber color that is clear, and lighter than I expected. Most Christmas/Winter brews tend to be on the dark side, but this one is the color of a good IPA. The head is initially three fluffy fingers, and settles to a persistent finger of cloud-like foam. Big sheets of lace slide down the glass, leaving nice big arcs in their wake. Head retention is pretty good for a high abv brew.

S - Candied apples (not caramel apples, but the candied apples covered in sugary red stuff), orange zest, wintergreen and peppermint. This smells like a mixed bag of Christmas candy. I'm reminded of those candy canes (sans hook) that some in a ton of different flavors. There is definitely a nice Christmas tree sappy hop note that reminds us that this is beer...not liquid holiday candy.

T - Hoppy, sweet, and well spiced. This seems like it is an IPA style beer that has been Christmas-ified with nutmeg, cinnamon, orange rind, and peppermint. Red apple skin and vinous grape skin tartness keep this lively.

M - This is medium bodied and initially quite sweet before transitioning to a ridiculously dry and dusty finish. I find that many spiced beers have a dusty finish...like putting dry cinnamon in your mouth. The alcohol is extremely well hidden...I would have never guessed that this was 8%!

D - A good sipper for a cold holiday season night. It's 33 degrees and wet here in central Illinois... the perfect time for a spicy and boozy winter ale. This one is pretty good, but not as glorious as I expected from a "special release" beer from Schlalfly. I do like the SN Celebration - like take on a winter brew.

pmcadamis, Nov 11, 2008
Schlafly Christmas Ale from The Schlafly Tap Room
83 out of 100 based on 362 ratings.