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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
84
good

178 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 178
Hads: 510
Avg: 3.71
pDev: 21.29%
Wants: 21
Gots: 73 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Schlafly Tap Room
Missouri, United States | website

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: 178 | Hads: 510
Photo of 88caprice
3.96/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a stemmed glass.

OVERALL: Deeelightful. A spiced beer that's not too sweet, too bitter, in-your-face, or gimmicky. The spice compliments a fine base brew, rather than covering up for a lame beer that couldn't hold it's own to begin with.

LOOK: Lovely deep amber hue with nice lacing.
SMELL: Crisp and spice-forward, quite sweet, with a malt-hinting backbone.
TASTE: Some initial spice upfront, with a clove-like taste more prevalent at swallow. Afterward, the spiced taste pulls a bitter exit, leaving behind a solid roasted finish. Almost none of the sweetness from the nose follows through to taste. Hides the 8% ABV well.
MOUTHFEEL: Medium bodied and somewhat smooth, lots of carbonated tingles, with a thicker finish.

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Photo of drtth
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours into a Duvel glass a nice clear dark amber, almost brown, color with a 1/2" light tan head that soon recedes leaving a ring of foam, some scattered patches of lacing, an island of foam and a thin film on the liquid. Sipping creates some small scattered patches of lacing.

The aromas include ginger, caramel, cinnamon and some other spices along with a light bready character in the background.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose with the mix of caramel malt, spices and sweetness giving the impression of something akin to gingerbread.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and there's a light prickly feeling from the gentle but persistent carbonation. The finish begins about mid-way through after the malt has given way to the spices and the sweetness begins to fade into a nicely dry, slightly bittered finish that invites another sip.

Overall I've enjoyed this as a well made Christmas beer that is now on my "buy for Christmas list," to have again next year. While there is not a strong hop presence the spices play nicely with the malt and they all get a chance to shine.

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Photo of BrownAleBollocks
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep garnet color with a one finger khaki color head. Aroma is a blend of seasonal spices and malt sweetness. Taste follows with seasonal spice, caramel, toffee, biscuit, and a solid malt presence. Mouthfeel is thin to medium and nicely carbonated. Overall a very good winter spiced beer that is reminiscent of Christmas cookies, gingerbread houses, and spiced holiday cake.

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Burnt umber red. Beaver tones.Thick and rocky head. 1 thick band of lacing before head starts petering out.

S: Mostly herbal pine, juniper, and slice of citrus made spicy with grated ginger. Caramel malt swoops in and takes over a bit too much.

M: Med to full bodied. Spicy, dry finish.

T: Caramel biscuit treacle. Spice perfumes; allspice, cardamom is on check with orange. Good combination. Sweet honey florals with spicy herbal ginger finish. Lots of ginger spice if you like that. A very good Christmas beer with good flavors that complement each other, and elevate above basic potpourri that I get from so many xmas beers. Good compensatory beer for striking out on GL Christmas Ale.

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Photo of threesignificantstarfish
3.99/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Nothing says Christmas like a beer label that says Christmas Ale on it! I mainly just buy this beer around Christmas time because it's like buying egg nog, you just do it. Smell of cinnamon and cloves are my favorite part. Really smooth going down, easy to drink and a good ABV to tolerate the in-laws.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated 10/20/2015:
Beautiful dark ruby color with a lasting pink-tinted white head that lasts all pour and laces the glass. Clarity of beer is evident.

Amber/red ale malt with a fruity nature - cherry and apple, or maybe cranapple-like. The spices are present, but meld with the fruit notes-an amalgam of berry, allspice, spruce, cider.

A little sweet to open, with the fruit juice notes from the nose. Spice notes take a second to grab, but wrest control from the fruit about mid taste. A little bitterness hits before the spice fades to end with a nice balance of the two notes by the end. I noticed the bitterness later in the beer.

A refreshing, clean, easy drinking beer. Hits the notes but doesn't excite me.

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Photo of jw4free
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured a 12 oz bottle dated 10/14/2015 into a Weizen glass. L: dark Amber to red color. Clear. 1/2 finger of head that fades moderately. Good lacing. S: complex bouquet of orange, juniper, clove and other spices (cardamom, maybe not..) . Aroma fades quickly after the first couple drinks and into a nice malty sweetness. Let this one rest midway through. T: strong clove and citrus. A bittered malt comes out about halfway through the glass. F: flavors linger in the mouth a bit, not too thin nor too boozy for 8.0%. O: Starts out spicy, but it does settle in the belly.

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Photo of ksimons
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-a ruby color with a thin cream colored head that disappears quickly to leave a ring around the top

S-caramel malt backbone with cinnamon and ginger, kind of smells like a gingerbread cookie

T-caramel malt backbone with lighter spices than in the smell, but still with cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg

M-medium body, moderate carbonation, somewhat dry finish

Overall a very attractive looking beer that lives up to it's look, not too sweet, but with enough spices to make it a Christmas beer

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.84/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed from the 12 oz bottle in a pint glass. This nice ale pours a bright reddish brown with a modest light tan head of foam that settles to a thin ring and light thin pool with very nice lacing. Nose of cinnamon, clove, ginger, caramel malts, and light biscuit. Flavors follow the nose with ginger and cinnamon blending with honey and sweet caramel malt notes. Oranges and nutmeg (cardamom?) notes follow from the middle to the back of the taste with the ginger leaving a medium herbal note on the aftertaste. Coating finish and nice warming alcohopl. If you like ginger this is your cup of ale. While I can put my dislike for ginger to the side it is a solid brew, but there is just so much of it. Very festive, but a little too much going on.

Cheers

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nice amber color with excellent clarity. There's just a trace of fingernail thick beige head around half of the rim and a tiny bit floating in the middle. I smell notes of caramel and just a hint of cinnamon. When I take a sip I taste that nice blend of caramel and cinnamon and perhaps allspice. This is medium bodied and a touch warming with alcohol.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

It may not be the Christmas season anymore, but the weather's close enough for me not to care too much right now. This stuff pours a clear midnight amber-tawny topped by a finger of pale khaki foam. The nose comprises candied orange peel, light cocoa, brown sugar, cinnamon, caramel, allspice, ginger, and a touch of sweetbread. The taste brings in more of the same, the caramel drying out to a graham cracker-like situation and taking a back seat to the panoply of spices in play. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a tasty, spicy brew for these still-frigid times.

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Photo of hophugger
2.8/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Deep amber-gold color with small head and average lacing. Aroma is full of nutmeg and other dry spice. Taste is similar with a mouthful of dry spice, especially nutmeg, alittle too much. Feels ok on thr palate and definitely has an alcohol burn. Overall, not that pleasant of a beer, maybe just my taste...

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Photo of AuntBea
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I was expecting more spiced flavor from this beer since it is a Christmas beer. I like Bell's Christmas Ale better but, when this beer is really cold it tastes better. A nice head of foam when you pour and a beautiful color in the glass.

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Photo of Myboymi
2.91/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured to a pint glass. Nice amber color with a 1 inch foamy head. Aroma of malt and caramel. Taste of dark malt & coffee, and finished with the taste of honey. Mild mouth feel. Overall a good choice for the Holidays!

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.21/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sampling right now on 12/24/14. 12 ounce bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a reddish-burnt orange in color with a half-finger foamy & creamy off-white head that settles down to about 1-2mm along the top with more along the sides of the glass. A decent amount of lacing is seen when sipped that sticks to the glass in small spots. The aroma is very pleasant and is of sweet caramel malts with spices. Even more going on with the taste as the mix of spices (cloves, hint of ginger and juniper berries) with some orange zest. Very smooth and goes down easy. Love the mix of the above flavors on this seasonal brew. Medium-bodied with perfect carbonation. Another great brew from Schlafly. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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Photo of rangerred
3.34/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a tulip.

Pours a very dark brown with abundant carbonation leading to a long-lasting head with plenty of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Aroma at first strikes me as soapy but farther along there is some cinnamon and clove along with honey. Maybe just a light touch of pine. All of it is a bit light, though.

The flavor closely resembles the nose with the spices equally light. Cinnamon and clove once again dominate but they just don't really have any staying power. Gingerbread seems to be a lingering quality with a silky and spritzy mouthfeel. Thankfully the sweetness is held in check with just a brief shot of alcohol towards the finish.

Overall, a very standard Christmas ale that is pretty drinkable. For me, though, I prefer something a bit heartier that packs a bigger punch in this style.

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Photo of Averwo
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Basically Schlafly Pumpkin Ale but with Christmas spices instead of the pumpkin. Medium mouthfeel. Smell of clove, ginger, brown sugar. Taste is more like the smell.

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours a brownish tan and creamy head that dissipates quickly. The beer itself is a dark and clear bronze color.

The beer smell has a smattering of the usual spices you find in Christmas Ales. The smell has a strong ginger smell and strong cinnamon smell, and potentially a little bit of clove. The smell doesn't necessarily have a strong honey smell, unfortunately. I detect a little bit of an orange peel but it's not strong enough to alter the smell by much.

The beer taste is similar to the smell. Strong gingerbread and clove notes with a weak orange peel taste. The sweet caramel malt also makes an appearance and it works pretty well with the spices. The taste also has some faint honey notes and a little bit of a hop bitterness.

The beer is medium bodied with a slightly thick feel. The carbonation keeps the beer from becoming too thick and gives it a little bit more texture.

Overall, a pretty decent beer but could be better. While the notes are well done, they're not as strong as they could be and that would probably improve the beer. However, the beer is pretty nice and I would recommend getting it.

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Photo of Suds
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%

Brownish red with a moderately fizzy head, this beer is an attractive pour. The aroma is a mix of malt, spice, and wood. Full flavor, well balanced, and a spicy,ms harpness in the taste. Full bodied.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with bottled on date 10/20/2014 printed on the label. My first beer from Schlafly, their seasonal Christmas ale. "Ale brewed with natural flavors and with spices added". That's fairly indistinct. Expectations are about average, per the style.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - It pours a coppery caramel body, appears with a slight ruby tinge in the glass with about one finger of frothy khaki-tan head.

S - The nose is fairly bland. Some distinctive orange peel & juicy ginger notes are noticeable. Slightly herbal, but again it is indistinct. Very mild alcohol content is noticeable, but not distracting. I'm not really pulling out any sweetened caramel malt from the nose. Becomes slightly more nutty as it warms.

T - Taste follows the nose - a cherryish / berry (from the juniper) flavor seems dominant, with subtle notes of raisins, & caramel malts in the background. The ginger and orange peel flavor is very recognizable, when you look for it. Again, not nearly enough caramel / nutty malt flavor for my liking.

M - The feel is sticky, fairly smooth, but a hefty medium-fullish body. Very drinkable, however, despite the moderately high 8.00% abv. Lightly warming.

Overall, a fairly average holiday ale from Schlafly; but very drinkable one at that. Representative of the style, and recommended for what it is.

Schlafly Christmas Ale -----4/5.

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Photo of WesMantooth
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- A deep amber red, semi transparent pour. A decent off white head that leaves a slight ring.

S - Nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves/all spice, ginger. A slight sourness.

T - Initially, I get that sourness. Definitely has some citrus. I assume from the orange peel listed in description. All of the spices seem to mix together. Pretty noticeable alcohol for 8%. No real single one stands out until the aftertaste, where I notice more cinnamon and cloves. Also some sweetness in the form of honey. A lot of thick malt. Reminds me quite a bit of the malt base in their pumpkin.

M - Still a medium body for as heavy of a malt base as it has. Average carbonation. A considerably dry, and slightly spicy finish.

O - I had high hopes for this based on the Pumkin Ale being one of the best out there, and for the most part, it didn't disappoint. Looks like I am going to have a +rdev on this one based on the other scores. I think it could do without the orange/citrus aspect, and it does seem slightly boozy for what it is. However, it is an excellent winter warmer that I would likely enjoy again… if I wasn't surrounded by Great Lakes and Thirsty Dog :)

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark chestnut color. The head is a finger high, with a khaki shade and a soft texture. Retention isn't great, though. Small patches of thin lacing are left on the glass. (3.5)

Smell: The spices here do a good job of invoking Christmas, bringing nice savory qualities such as ginger, clove, and juniper. Just like as advertised! In addition, the malt brings some notes of nut, caramel, toffee, and even roast. It smells like a fruit cake without the moronic sweetness. While the nose isn't really my thing, I can't deny it's executed extremely well. (3.5)

Taste: It's weird...because just as the nose suggested, it's a savory brew instead of a bitter or sweet one. The spices end up initially dominating with notes of clove and spruce, before transitioning to notes of caramel, chocolate, and brown sugar. At times, it's faintly roasty. Hell, even some hints of honey and coffee (!) pop up on occasion. While it's not the most cohesive brew in the world, it's still quite complex and even nicely balanced. (3.75)

Mouthfeel: Honey gives it a subtle sweetness...and a nice finishing dryness that makes it go down easily for 8%. Carbonation is gentle, but helps ease this beer down well. (4)

Overall: Wassails can be hit or miss with me. This is a hit, thankfully. Admittedly, the subjective qualities of this don't really appeal to me, so I won't go looking for it again. However, it's superbly made and loaded with complexity, and that means I'm still going to give it a higher score. (3.75)

3.71/5: Really well made, even if it isn't my favorite kind of beer

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Photo of chinchill
3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12 oz 2013 bottle served in a goblet.

Body is dark red-brown with excellent clarity. Head has decent retention.

Smells and tastes like a spicy brown ale. The spice mix seems odd and not entirely appealing in the nose, but works better in the taste.
The spicing, while obvious and a bit strong for some ales, is not so powerful as to mask the caramel and medium roast malts used in this ale. Still, seems a bit too spicy and slightly too sweet

Medium body with medium carbonation..

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Photo of jrenihan
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Sammy.

Beer is murky caramel brown in colour, with a smallish tan head.

Nose contains spices strongly, as well as sweet malt.

Flavour strongly contains sweet malt and caramel. as well as a variety of spices. The spices are not quite as prominent as I expected, which is nice.

Moderately carbonated, medium bodied.

Overall. quite nice. I have a low tolerance for spices in beer, but this one works.

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Photo of Boca-X
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Great deep red amber color poured into a snifter, visually nice. Very little head or lacing, assuming the 8% is in play. First impressions on the nose, the usual spices, cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin. Watery, light and thin with a grassy molasses finish that lingers on the tongue. The alcohol is hidden nicely. Flavors are enhanced as the ale slowly warms, more spice and molasses, less grass.

All in all a pretty nice winter ale, I wish it was a little more "thick" & "chewy" but still a good representation of what Christmas is all about.

Share with friends on a cold winter night...fireplace preferred.

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Schlafly Christmas Ale from The Schlafly Tap Room
84 out of 100 based on 178 ratings.