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
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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 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 (1,615 characters)

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.. (486 characters)

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. (418 characters)

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. (609 characters)

Photo of CFHMagnet
3.71/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A big thank you to my Broseph, SplashyFob and his friend for obtaining this one for me. The bottle says "Bottled with love on 11/11/2013".

An aggressive pour does not get me more than half a finger of head. This disappears rather quickly, leaving a tiny bit of froth over a ruby brown body. No lace.

It smells of malt, sugar and xmas spices. I get a hint of dark fruit as well.

Malty with xmas spices up front. Sugar and honey make a a quick in/out appearance before surrendering to an earthy baked good flavor with more xmas spices.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied. Carbonation is barely there. Slight dry finish. (617 characters)

Photo of reebtaerG
3.74/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass

A-lovely amber color with a thin creamy white head with little lacing

S-aromas of Christmas of clover and cinnamon

T-great taste sweet malt caramel with the clover and cinnamon with a light spicy finish

M-is light body and low carbonation mouthfeel which was great with Xmas dinner

O-this a great beer by schlafly for the winter ale (393 characters)

Photo of brewskifan55
3.4/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

poured into a snifter

A: An opaque cherry color. A tan one-finger head that dissipates fast. Frothy lacing.

S: Cinnamon, cloves, allspice. Biscuity malts.

T: Follows nose with a festive flavor. Caramel, sweet with a spicy finish.

M: Thin with a kinda watery carbonation. This is what ruined it for me. I miss the robustness from the Pumpkin ale.

O: Disappointed. Wanted to like it. But just too thin. Add some robustness and you have my vote. (447 characters)

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

Appearance: Nice ruby amber color with a short tan head that dissipates quickly

Smell: Some nice Christmasy spices up front, along with some malty sweetness

Taste: Reminds you of fresh baked gingerbread, got all the spices there, along with nice bready, caramely malts. There are other Christmas spices and malt flavors in there as well, so its not like drinking liquid gingerbread. Just gives you that warm inviting feeling, invoking memories of Christmases past.

Mouthfeel: Light body, good carbonation, little bit of spicy finish

Overall: A good Christmas beer, and even better for a spiced one. I enjoy it and would gladly recommend to anyone looking for a solid seasonal choice. (687 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
3.24/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, "bottled with love on 11/14/2013"
A - ruddy brown color with a very thin ivory head
S - cinnamon, spice, bread, caramel, earth
T - gingerbready, cinnamon, clove, ginger, caramel, molasses, warming booze
M - creamy, a bit chalky, medium-full body
O - ok spiced winter warmer (288 characters)

Photo of ssarah
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear, dark copper color, visible carbonation. Thin, cream colored head.

S: Aroma of cloves, brown sugar, and dried fruit. Sweet to smell.

T: Malts, raisin and molasses flavors predominate. Cinnamon and clove spices come through on the end notes. Overall sweet finish.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Sweet flavor lingers on the tongue.

O: Overall good Christmas ale, well flavored with spices and fruit notes. However it was too sweet for my tastes so I probably wouldn't buy it again. (503 characters)

Photo of taylor714914
3.72/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Another solid offering from Schlafly. Nice, deep mahogany color with some spice and sweet molasses in the nose. Taste is a beautiful mix of Christmas spices, toffee, dried fruits, and a hint of honey. A light bitterness helps balance the sweetness. A nice showing from Schlafly. (278 characters)

Photo of sommersb
3.69/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Tasted On: 12-16-2013
Freshness: Bottled on 11-01-2013
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Tulip pint
Purchased: Received from a friend

A: Clear, dark amber colored beer, with an offwhite head standing a finger high. Little in the way of head retention and just a little lacing sticks to the glass.

S: Aromas are not strong, but I get caramel malts with some spices such as ginger and clove.

T: The taste features a lot of various spices like allspice and cinnamon plus some apple cider-like fruitiness.

M: High carbonation with a medium body. The finish has a lot of the spice character noted earlier.

O: Overall I'd say Schlafly hit the mark they were shooting for as this beer tastes a lot like a mulled wine, grog or cider. Not something I'd reach for often, but a well-made beer nonetheless.

Thank you Kirk for the beer! (847 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very light brown coloring yielded a relatively tight knit group of small bubbles that lifted to a finger width head of foam.

The aromas were a touch boozy but the malted structure won out. A less sweet caramel malt scent coincides with some fruit cake like scents such as date and prune.

The flavor is very light, not necessarily light as in weak but more to light as refreshing. Not really a winter warmer sipping beer it had a crisp Christmas spiciness. Nutmeg and cinnamon, with a tinge of peppercorn, the base of this beer tends to the fruitcake malt.

The feeling is so easy, very refreshing and moderately carbonated.

This reminds me of the Pumpkin Ale, to an extent, but it simply doesn't measure up in the thickness and robustness. (742 characters)

Photo of hellobeerz
3.27/5  rDev -11.9%
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 (587 characters)

Photo of boilermakerbrew
3.24/5  rDev -12.7%
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. (1,142 characters)

Photo of MCain04
4.06/5  rDev +9.4%
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. (768 characters)

Photo of tito42
3.61/5  rDev -2.7%
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. (465 characters)

Photo of secondtooth
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
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". (324 characters)

Photo of cousineddy
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
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. (468 characters)

Photo of jtierney89
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
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 (457 characters)

Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
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., (517 characters)

Photo of weonfire
3.89/5  rDev +4.9%
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. (560 characters)

Photo of rlee1390
4.04/5  rDev +8.9%
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. (339 characters)

Photo of craft_shannie
3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
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. (671 characters)

Photo of BeerLover99
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
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!

DELICIOUS, CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAYS PROPERLY! (512 characters)

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