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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
83
good

432 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 432
Reviews: 173
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.32%
Wants: 19
Gots: 41 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 432 | Reviews: 173 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Amyliz4
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Illtryit
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a full three finger head. Off white. Great retention and lacing. Deep amber beer.

smells spicy and sweet. Cloves.

Tastes is all spice. This actually reminds me a little of Schlafly Pumpkin ale a bit. A little heat at the end. I can taste the alcohol just a bit.

For all the flavors this beer has it doesnt carry allthat much body. Kind of light actually. Plenty of character though.

I dig this. But I think it worth mentioning again...this really reminds me of their pumpkin ale. Good beer. Drink it!

Photo of ScreamForMe
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of seth72104
2/5  rDev -45.7%

Photo of UncleJimbo
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of mikesgroove
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ight brown pour fills the glass and leaves a nice and very sustainable top of light fizze head that gives it some nice depth.

the aroma is a very big blend, a kitchen since, or spice rack if you will as i am picking up copious notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, ample apple notes, brown sugar and touches of light citrus. at first you would not think this would work, but hell yeah it does. as i take the first sip I am struck by how well this is working for me. really nicely put together with light body that is crisp, clean and does wonders for keeping the large amount of flavor in check. starts with a healthy dose of citrus like flavors that roll into a spiced brown sugar and ends with a nutmeg and cinnamon led charge of nice spiced, holiday like flavor.

Photo of paxchristi
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from tap into snifter at Schlafly Bottleworks in Spring 2011.

Appearance: Pours reddish copper with about 2.5 fingers of tan head. Lacing and fairly tenacious head retention.

Smell: Biscuity cinnamon, ginger, pine, and a bit of orange peel. A lot going on but done very thinly in intensity.

Taste: its a spicy brew though it is a bit more underwhelming than what I had anticipated. Its held together nicely, but it does what many Schlafly beers do and have good balance with their flavors but to a lowest common denominator of intensity. Nose is like taste. There are some earthy hops and a sweet pear in there somewhere.

Mouth: Chewy, warm, and low carbonation.

Overall: I really was underwhelmed by this one, sadly enough. I had high expectations, but it seems to succumb to the lowest common denominator again. If I find it on tap again, I might try it again. But there are so many other fall ales that they have leftover by the time its around that it will probably get washed over by the fall leftovers and the spring releases. Give it a shot though if you find it. Not anything to rearrange your life over.

Photo of Boto
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle: This one pours a cloudy amber color. There was a big frothy head on it that took a little while to recede. Leaves a little lacing. Nice aroma. A little lighter, but definitely Christmas: clove, cinnamon and nutmeg. Maybe a hint of orange. Taste if pretty good. Malt, clove, cinnamon, a touch of orange and pine. This is actually just a touch bitter, with just a hint of sweetness to start. Lots of hops to balance the malts. A decent winter beer.

Photo of DefenCorps
3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled 01 December 2010, from the Village Pump.

Pouring a beautiful crimson with a dense, off-white head with excellent retention and nice lacing, this is a rather beautiful beer. The nose is a blend of spices and bright orange peel, in some ways, like a holiday candle. The hop character is a little herbal, and has a touch of soap to it as well. The spice character is interesting. A little bit potpourri-like, with some clove, mace and maybe even some grains of paradise? The orange peel is rather dominant here. Solid.

The palate opens with a mild medicinal sweetness along with a blend of spices and herbs. Again, this really is like potpourri, with a melange of flavors present. Pine and citrus from the hops, an herbal character that I can't entirely describe, and a blend of spices with clove, cinnamon and a little nutmeg. Orange peel isn't as noticeable here, for some reason.There's a bitterness present that reminds me of grains of paradise for some reason. The alcohol is rather noticeable, even when cold, making this harsher than it needs to be. The booze also makes this more noticeably medicinal, which isn't entirely appealing. Medium in body with a high level of carbonation that is surprisingly creamy, this feels decent on the palate. Mildly bitter and mildly herbal on the finish, this is decent. Ultimately, not terribly enjoyable, but I don't regret buying a single.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes 2/25/11

A: Poured a clear ruby/copper color. Small one finger white head with poor retention and no lacing.

S: Lots of spice, mostly cinnamon and nutmeg. A little bit of orange peel.

T: Very similar to the nose, but more pronounced. Lots of cinnamon and nutmeg, but by far the most dominant flavor is bubble gum.

M/D: Light bodied with good carbonation and quite smooth. A pretty good beer, but had high hopes after trying their pumpkin beer in the fall, which was amazing.

Photo of alleykatking
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle. Thanks to VinnieVanGogh for this bottle.

A- Pours a light hazed amberish orange color. Two finger head shows low retention. Some spotty lacing on the sides of the glass...nothing else.

S- Spicing on this beer does come through a lot with cloves being the leader. Undertones of cinnamon and orange peel act as a nice buffer between the caramel malts and medium alcohol tingling the nose. Didn't get any hops in the nose but it really wasn't too important.

T- Light toasted malts with a nice orange peel upfront. Clove comes out as well in the front of the beer but no real other spicing besides light pepper notes here and there. Caramel malts in the middle of the beer. Medium alcohol flavor with some light bitter earthy hops in the ending of the beer.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Clove and caramel malts are left on the palate. Aftertaste is bitter hops, big alcohol warming notes, and spicing linger for awhile. Flavors were kept in check with other flavors so none were over the top. No off flavors were present in the beer. Medium alcohol drying on the palate.

D- A nice spiced winter seasonal beer. The flavors were well balanced but the aroma at times seemed to be a little muted. The ABV is present toward the ending of the beer but only for a second or two. Would love to try this stuff again....I think a little fresher bottle will do this beer a little more justice.

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From bottle to Bruges hybrid class on 2/10/11

*I'm performing a "Spring Cleaning" of sorts, and finishing off the holiday beer in and around my home - this being one of them.

A: Like a shiny, new Christmas ornament. It's simply gorgeous - rich carmine in color, it's slightly hazy and when poured, yields a robust 1.75 finger head with great retention and lacing.

S: Alcohol first and foremost, then undertones of cinnamon spice and orange citrus. I don't detect any hop presence, but I'm certainly not complaining as this is really well done.

T: Extremely well balanced, as the spicy cloves and nutmeg dance ever so gracefully with the 8% alcohol. Coriander and orange zest work their way around the taste buds. It all finishes a bit hot, but isn't that the point on a cold winter's night?

M: Heavy and thank God for it. This isn't a lawnmower beer, it's to be enjoyed by the fire while telling tales of yore. Creamy and inviting.

O: The review above was performed two months after purchase. For as quaffable as it is today, it is simply outstanding when fresh. Most of the lovely spices are still there, but have been slightly muted, even while sitting in my fridge for a couple of months.

Schlafly's Christmas Ale is one the best holiday brews I've encountered. Like their Pumpkin Ale, they really know how to walk the fine between too little and too much. This is so well balanced, and it makes for supremely enjoyable drinking. Like Christmas itself, I'll be looking forward to this one all year.

Photo of mountdew1
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a dark golden amber. Head was a very thin off white that didn't last at all, in fact never really formed. Aroma was a tad sweet, but also spicy. Cloves and a hint of citrus as well. Taste was fruity, with some bubblegum as well. Hint of hops. Felt ok in the mouth, coated well, but perhaps a bit over carbonated. A different take on a winter seasonal that was a very solid sipper.

Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into dimpled mug (I also had it on tap once in a bar in DC). Pours a hazy orange with a thin-moderate linen white head that lasted through the first quarter of the glass and left partial lace. Pleasant aroma of orange peel, honey, and cloves - subdued holiay spcies. Decent carbonation. The flavor is mild malt with stronger orange peel, honey and cloves. Black pepper emerges in the aftertaste about five seconds after the swallow and lingers for several seconds.

Photo of obywan59
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours thinly into my pint glass. 2+ finger whitish head recedes quickly almost to nothing leaving some light spotty lacing. Transparent orange-amber in appearance with a few carbonation bubbles.

This beer has some definite spice in the aroma. Cloves especially, but followed by a bit of orange or orange peel.

Some sweet malt upfront Followed by a rising bitterness. Cloves in the middle. Bitterness hangs on till the end. For me it's not the spices that are too much, but it seems like the bitterness of the orange peel clashes with the hops.

Moderate mouthfeel. Some light stickiness retained in the mouth. Minimal bite. Rather potent alcohol burn. It seemd lighter at first.

Decent drinkability. What with the sweet spiciness and the alcohol, it kind of reminded me of a Belgian.

Photo of tigg924
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: minimal head, hazy, orange-brown in color

Smell: toasted malt, cinnamon, caramel, and clovess

Taste: lots of caramel malt, cinnamon, caramel, and a touch of earthy hops in the middle

Mouthfeel: heavy bodied, medium carbonation, very sweet and spicy with a slight bitter jump in the middle

Drinkability: A nice and malty holiday treat where the alcohol really sneaks up. The combination of spices is good. A sipper that is one I will revisit.

Photo of bnes09
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orange amber ale with thick white head. Head sticks around in a thin blanket with some lace patching.

Smooth aromas of whole grains, caramel, spices, citrus fruits and mild alcohol flood the nose and lure me in.

Diverse flavor profile. Caramel malt sweetness with a touch of wheat. Semi-assertive citrus hop bitterness. Orange. Nutmeg. Mild alcohol warmth. All in balance.

Brawny medium-bodied with good carbonation and a crisp and semi-dry finish.

This is a solid winter seasonal. Seems to warm with each sip. Plenty of complex and interesting flavors that blend well together. One of the best brews yet from Schlafly's.

Photo of kbutler1
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Poured into a tulip glass a clear medium copper amber color with a slight off white 1 finger head. The aroma is a a muted, subtle citrus and spice of cinnamon. The taste is a lot more flavorful than the nose with a sweet gingerbread like start along with sweet citrus. Fairly malty. Medium mouthfeel. Ends with a slight bitterness. Overall, this is a decent drinking beer. The booze is only slightly noticeable.

Photo of bum732
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

S: Fruitcake like, clove, oranges, ginger, fruity hops, slightly caramel malt, some spiciness, spices are dominant.

L: Brilliant burnt orange, decent carbonated head that dissipates to a light dusting.

T: Spicy rich caramel and melanoinden malt. Some orange peel and slightly spicy hoppy bitterness. Finishes quite sweet with some hoppy leafiness.

M: Medium-full body, medium carbonation.

Ok beer spices are a bit much, they really clash with the malt. Kind of messy.

Photo of titosupertramp
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to AlCaponeJunior for the opportunity to try this one.

A: Burnt orange/amber with thin, off-white head.

S: Spices, yeast, maybe a little of the orange peel that was mentioned on the label. Can pick up a little hoppiness when it warms. Pretty good.

T: Nutmeg, cloves and a general spiciness kind of dominate. There is a hoppy bitterness in there that I quite like.

M: I really like the mouthfeel here. Spicy, bitter, a little dry. Alcohol warming. In my opinion, the highlight of the beer.

D: For me, this would probably be a one and done.

Pretty good beer that I think a lot of folks would enjoy, but not something that I would typically seek out.

Photo of Bitterbill
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of russpowell. Thanks Russ!

It pours a clear red with a 2 finger head of foam.

The smell is awesome. Loads of cloves, oranges, hint or 2 of cinnamon. Now that's a spicy brewski.

The taste follows the nose for the most part. Big cloves, oranges, spiciness from the hops, but no apparent taste of any cinnamon. This is a very tasty Spiced beer indeed.

Medium describes the body and carbonation...very smooth mouth feel and it's a pretty easy drinker. Nicely done.

Photo of chodinheaven
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Nice color, has a short-lived head that dissapates into no head at all in a few seconds.

S: orange and fruity aromas. Malty behind that.

T: Also fruity but bitter first with an alcohol finish. Not quite balanced perfectly.

M: Carbonation is high and alcohol is present, but neither is overwhelming

D: I probably won't have more than one in a setting. I think it loses its effect after one, but definitely worth a try

Photo of smcolw
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good starting head that settles quickly but leaves some decent spotty lace. The color is darker amber and appears to be perfectly clear.

Aroma: Lots of cinnamon, nutmeg and sweet molasses. There's a some lesser clove and alcohol smell.

Starts off spritzy and malty. It transitions into white peppery spice. The aftertaste is very dry and the alcohol warms the throat. Relatively thin body but this may be from the high carbonation.

Photo of JToad
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single 12oz of this for around $2.50.

Poured into my DFH glass a clear blood red orange, the color of Ice Tea. Minimal head with a thin white line of lacing.

Smell is not to overpowering. Malt with faint hops, some cloves and maybe ginger.

The entire flavor profile is on the back end. Ginger and cloves, some all spice and slight cinnamon round out the nice hop profile. Very smooth, if almost uneventful.

Very solid brew, with great carbonation. It's well made and simple, yet some nice flavors hidden if you dig deep enough. A perfect Christmas brew to have with a nice turkey dinner. Enough alcohol to get you a warm buzz, but not a sipper either. Could easily drink a sixer of this, which would be dangerous, given the 8 ABV.

Photo of mikey711
2.95/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: a light brown color with very good clarity. not much head or hold making it almost look like a soda.

S: brown sugar, caramel, toffee, a slight peppery note, some herbal zesty hops. some pine notes.

T: Peppery with some pine tree notes. hints of cinnamon and all spice. lots of brown sugar and a touch of nut meg. the spices arent all that powerful but the all spice note sticks out the most and overwhelmed at times

M: Slightly hot and a bit chalky due to the spices. i would have liked a bit more of a creamy feel

D: Not my favorite of this style but a nice one to try. glad i did not buy a six pack

Schlafly Christmas Ale from The Schlafly Tap Room
83 out of 100 based on 432 ratings.