Schlafly Christmas Ale - The Schlafly Tap Room

Not Rated.
Schlafly Christmas AleSchlafly Christmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

167 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 167
Hads: 449
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 7.01%
Wants: 19
Gots: 53 | 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: 167 | Hads: 449
Photo of tigg924
3.97/5  rDev +7%
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. (457 characters)

Photo of bnes09
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
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. (625 characters)

Photo of kbutler1
3.46/5  rDev -6.7%
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. (419 characters)

Photo of bum732
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
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. (471 characters)

Photo of titosupertramp
3.42/5  rDev -7.8%
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. (661 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
3.99/5  rDev +7.5%
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. (482 characters)

Photo of chodinheaven
3.52/5  rDev -5.1%
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 (423 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
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. (433 characters)

Photo of JToad
3.76/5  rDev +1.3%
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. (749 characters)

Photo of mikey711
2.97/5  rDev -19.9%
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 (607 characters)

Photo of bbkd3b
3.82/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I always kind of perk up when I come across a new Schlafly brew. As one of the few dependable Missouri breweries, I have a strange sort of pride for the company. Way to represent the midwest!

A - Comes out with a clear, copper tone, very orange-golden. Prety color, but the head is 1-finger, thin, and white... retention isn't great at all. Almost no lacing, but a fair amount of carbonation leaves me wondering why.

S - Spices and floral hopiness, mostly. They're backed up by an attractive orange peel scent, and a trace of sweetness. Not bad at all.

T - It's like the nose in flavor-form. There's a degree of peppery spiciness, and definitely a nice citrus twist in there. I don't know how "Christmasy" it is, but it isn't a bad flavor. At the back end, as it warms, a good kick of bitter hoppiness shows good depth and a gives the beer an entirely new character. Nice little trait for a beer.

M - Light-bodied and sharp on the tongue. When it's cold the first swig is almost hard to taste, but as it warmed it became a much better feel on the tongue. I have a feeling I should've let this warm before I gave it a try.

D - Great beer at a bit warmer temperature, and because of that, it's easy to drink a few and let the flavors get even better. It's a bit pricier than the usual Schlafly affair, though. Probably will finish the six pack before long.

Overall/notes - The word dependable is appropriate. I've never had a brew from this company that floored me, but I've also never had one that disappointed. This fits just in that mold, and once again, I have a another variety of beer to enjoy. Worth tasting, but I recommend letting it warm a bit if you don't have a true beer fridge or cellar (like me). (1,715 characters)

Photo of eclaycamp
3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a basic tumbler glass. Aroma is primarily orange and clove - not surprising considered those spices are used in the brewing of the beer. First taste yields a surprising amount of bitterness followed by a hefty and clear amount of alcohol warmth. Heavy handed carbonation keeps things from getting overpowered. Graham cracker sweetness starts up front, giving way to a cinnamon bitterness. Reminds me of their Pumpkin Ale, though with a slightly different spicing regimin. If I had to choose between the two I'd go with the Pumpkin, though this certainly isn't bad by any stretch of the imagination. The high alcohol and heavy spicing make this one a bit tougher to drink however. (707 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 11/17/10 notes. Had on tap at Churchkey in Washington, DC.

a - Pours a amber color with one inch of white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of cinnamon, cloves, spices, and fruity malts.

t - Tastes same as the smell with cinnamon and spices, fruity malts, and then also some graham crackers and bready malts.

m - Medium body, very smooth, low carbonation.

d - A pretty decent spiced beer, I enjoyed the taste a little more than the smell. Would be willing to try again. (492 characters)

Photo of SolomonGrundy
4.23/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Actually looks like the 2009 release, an extra from great trader Brian44556...Thanks mate, and cheers...Pours a rusty amber. Two to three-fingers of marshmallowy head adorn this-a-here brew. Sheets of pleasant lacing fall down the glass like snow. Good carbonation. Actually a beautiful looking beer so far. Huge, robust aromas. I get a lot of interesting notes. Yes, some orange peel. Yes some clove. But the nose is more and better than the sum of the parts. It comes off also having an egg nog note to it, as well as some banana. Sweet smelling and very robust. Wow on the flavor...This is more than I expected. A blizzard of sweet, malty, egg-nog like flavors burst over you. Truly amazing, as I expected a much maltier, more effervescent beer given the carbonation and typical versions of the style. Carbonation actually helps to subdue these Winter flavors and balance it out nicely, otherwise they might be cloying. The initial burst of flavor slowly fades into a nice, malty middle that features a lot of banana flavor, and closes out with a orange peel/hop melding of flavors that lasts a while. This is actually an exceptionally good beer. Very tasty and highly surprising to me. The only flaw appears to be a weird bitterness in the finish, but it's a minimal flaw to be sure. I can only assume this beer is well-priced, and I'm going with that assumption. I would definitely suggest trying to tracj down this wonderful and unique version of the style.

What I like most: Pretty much everything, but mostly the robust, unique and expressive flavor profile upon first taste.

What I like least: The pithy, off bitterness in the finish.

Verdict: Really excellent and wonderful beer. Worth tracking down. (1,713 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer is brown and clear with almost a reddish hue to it and a thin head that forms a halo around the edge of the glass. Beer is lightly carbonated and leaves very little evidence in the form of lacing that it was ever there.

Aroma is spicy, almost like cloves and cinnamon. Eh...

Beer is light in body and sweet at the lead off and finishes with a light cinnamon flavor in the background. It's nice, not a great beer in my opinion but a drinkable one. The spices aren't terrible, its just an average beer. (507 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.08/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Churchkey. Served in a snifter.

Pours a light bronze color with only a half finger of head to start out with and that doesn't last all that long. There is a light ring a foam around the edges of the glass for some time. The nose is quite muted, not something I'd expect from a Christmas ale. As it warms, there's just a hint of light spicing with a bit of cinnamon.

The taste is a bit more pungent and the mild spices are fairly tame and well-distributed. At the same time, the beer is completely one dimensional and I'm not sure I'm enjoying that dimension all that much. Light cinnamon and some ginger are what I pick up as well as a bit of light malt. The spicing is nice on the medium body. This is a fairly-drinkable winter brew, but it's not all that special in the end. (788 characters)

Photo of TheSarge
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Christmas in July! That's right, this Christmas Ale is out now.

Anyhow, this brew makes for about a finger and a half thick head that retains decently. The body is hazy and is copper in color.

The aroma is very Christmas like. It seems like a bit of nutmeg, orange rind, tea, and ginger. It seems like there are a lot of different spices used here.

The taste is fruity, kind of in the way of a hot German spiced wine (Gluhwein). There are the nuances of the smell in the taste, along with a hint of cherry.

Mouth feel wise there is plenty of carbonation to make this lively, and the warming feeling in the end is faint for the ABV content, which is a plus for me. (667 characters)

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle tried 17 Apr 2010

Poured in a 512 One snifter. Small off white head. Almost flat. Oily ruby brown color. Smells of banana bread and lots of clove. Tastes like clove blended with ethanol. Sweet, oily and spicy. Finish is a bit tart and spicy (clove), with banana and just a touch of orange zest. Ethanol is quite warming, so is the clove. Did we mention the clove? Becomes a bit more fizzy as it warms (probably an effect of the cloves). Aftertaste is warming and a bit bitter, somewhat clovey. Medium (clove) body.

Spicy, but hard to place a finger on what spice they might have used. (600 characters)

Photo of CMW
3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a crystal clear dark amber color with minimal head and retention. Although the head is small there still is a little soapy lacing on the side of the glass.

S - This is a heavily spiced Xmas beer. Big time cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. There is a nice malt base and very little hops present.

T - Sweet upfront with the cinnamon and nutmeg doing most of the work. It fades to a sweet malt backbone. Not as well balanced as I would like but there is something there to balance the sweetness.

M - Carbonation is on the high side and gives the beer a little chewiness that is needed.

D - Although this is April this is still drinkable. However, it really hits the spot on those cold winter nights as the 8% can warm you up a little. (740 characters)

Photo of rrski198
3.81/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a case today at the bottleworks in Maplewood for $26. They stated that some of there special release comes back if it doesn't sell before they roll out the next release. In this case that would have been the Extra Irish Stout. I will wait outside daily for the stout to come back.

A: This mirrors a red ale. Big off white head with moderate lacing. Dark red and amber hues. Beautiful

S: Clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, alcohol.

T: I get all the same tastes as smells with a nice balance of hops. This beer is nicely balanced. Alcohol comes through a little more than i would prefer.

M: Cleaner feel in the mouth. Despite a 8% ABV, its not heavy at all. The clove flavors linger long after the sip. Its in the back of my mouth, still.

D: I could have maybe two at a time. This is a very good beer, but due to the "Holiday" flavors, I wouldn't put down 4 or 5. Worth the money for sure. (893 characters)

Photo of dropout86
2.98/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle with bottled on date: 11/12/2009. Sampled 2 for a fair tasting.

A: Pours a crisp, clean amber to toasted caramel with a dense but short off white head. Very little head retention or lacing.

S: Smells of caramel, subtle oranges, fruit (pumpkin?), vanilla, malt, and clove.

M: Moderately carbonated but not overly so. Light to medium-light body with a syrup backbone. CO2 evaporates halfway through the glass leaving a syrup overload.

T: Front: Mild clove and citrus, toasted malts Middle: Floral hops Finish: metallic, oxidized fruits and vegetables, malt, and alcohol.

D: Drink it cold and drink it quickly on a cold night and you'll enjoy yourself.

I've had better examples of this style but I wouldn't hesitate to drink this again next year, maybe a little fresher or on tap? (810 characters)

Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 02-08-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Golden amber color, 2 fingers of foam with carbonation present throughout the review

S - Just what the bottle says. I can pick up the orange peel and cloves. I get a faint cinnamon aroma but next to nothing regarding any hops

T - Medium bodied but a very smooth citrus malt taste, the spices masked the smell of hops until I had some hop bitterness at the back end. The bitterness did smooth rather quickly

M/D - Another great brew from Schlafly. Smooth medium bodied brew that carried the right amounts of citrus and sweet blended well with spices but over done. A little hop bite at the end but doesn't ruin the experience. A great seasonal from Schlafly that comes highly recommended (754 characters)

Photo of pasdachuri
4.17/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice reddish brown with a fluffy 3 inch white head

Lots of spices in the nose that smells like a Christmas dessert.

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. Very Nicely done.

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

The spice and sweet malty character of this beer hide the fact its 8% ABV. I had to consciously pace myself when drinking this six pack as the inviting aromas and solid flavor keep you comin back for more. (634 characters)

Photo of Gehrig
4.07/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Burnt orange with ruby trim and a finger of white foam that recedes a bit too fast for my liking. Strong smell of the advertised orange peel and cloves, unmistakably so, with some caramel malt for structural integrity.

Good taste, good enough to make me wish for a "tweener" grade of 4.25--between good and very good. This is really good--clove and some cinnamon predominate--but orange peel and citrus hops are nicely represented. Delicious, smooth mouthfeel, accessible and easy on the palate.

Schlafly rarely makes beer that wows me and, while Christmas Ale doesn't wow me, it's better than a good many Schlafly offerings I've enjoyed. This is a solid, rather enjoyable Christmas Ale that should please, and deserves a spot in many a fridge over the Holidays. (765 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, bottled on 11/12/2009. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a mostly clear amber color with about a half inch off-white head. Lacing and head retention are both decent. Aroma 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. Drinkability is good, the alcohol in this brew is well hidden. However 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. With that being said, I think this is a good overall brew, and I'll have to pick some more up next year. (760 characters)

Schlafly Christmas Ale from The Schlafly Tap Room
84 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.