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Schlafly Christmas Ale - The Schlafly Tap Room

Not Rated.
Schlafly Christmas AleSchlafly Christmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

170 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 170
Hads: 467
Avg: 3.7
pDev: 21.62%
Wants: 21
Gots: 56 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 170 | Hads: 467
Photo of obywan59
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of oline73
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a 2010 bottle poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a slightly cloudy amber with a finger and a half of off white head. There is an alright amount of retention and no real lacing on this one.

Smell: Sweet caramel malt with some spices and dark fruit as well. The fruity notes remind me a bit of cherry.

Taste: Follows closely from the smell. The malt sweetness blends well with the spice and fruit notes. There is a slight bitterness in the finish with no real alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: The time has improved this beer a bit. The lack of alcohol is a good thing. The spices have faded a bit, but still smooth and good.

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Photo of ssarah
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of bort11
3.59/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into an Imperial pint glass, after a long day of eating turkey. Not a lot of head, leaves a very thin film of lace around the edges. Color is a warm orange-brown, hazy through the center with mild carbonation. Smell is of cloves, very strong and slightly bitter. Taste has a slightly bitter hardwood flavor with various spices mingling around the edges. More of the cloves, a bit of nutmeg. Finishes with some hop notes. Even though it is 8%, it doesn't feel as "warm" as some other winter warmers that are lower in ABV. It is an interesting beer, and one I will enjoy this holiday season. I think this one is better suited for after dinner rather witht he meal.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.59/5  rDev -3%
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.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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Photo of tito42
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of smcolw
3.62/5  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.

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Photo of daledeee
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright dark orange or auburn. Head was minor and went away without much lacing.

Nose is earthy, spicy and brandy.

Taste is on the sweet side with brandy(maybe a little rum) orange and of course spices. I am not a fan of cloves in my food; therefore it is not my favorite taste in beer, but that is just me. It is a pretty sweet beer.

Mouth feel is not very carbonated. This isn't an in your face beer. It reminds me of some barley wines without the strong hops. Easy to drink with hidden alcohol; nothing remarkable though.

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Photo of Averwo
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
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 htomsirveaux
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of DCon
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on-tap @ the Schlafly Tap Room in St. Louis, MO for $4.25. Tapped from the Plain Black/Silver tap handle w/o a Label on it into a 12oz Snifter Glass.

Aroma- The aromatics are very tough to pick out in this one... Very strong hops are around, a bit of caramel, and then a booziness that may be too much. Zesty and bit of orange peel? Good all around.

Appearance- Received with a .5 finger head that dies almost immediately. Has the darkest orange colored body you can get but then is very clear. Leaves good lacing behind.

Flavor- Very sweet starting and then the nice orange peel and zestiness come into play again. Little bit of booze hits the mouth throughout and has medium hops involved.

Mouthfeel- Full Bodied, Medium Carbonation, Strong malts, and viscous... Not much to say here on the mouthfeel but this is my meal tonight?

Overall Impression- Not an easy one to drink! I would say you could have your 12 ounces of this and then can call it a night. More of a Night Cap. Go for it if available but only buy a 6-pack of this if your with 5 other guys. Not one to be enjoyed one after the other. You'll see what I mean!

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Photo of westweasel
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a Sam Adams tasting glass.

The beer poured out thickly, with no splashes. The beer is a hazy copper color with almost no head. The smell is dominated by a malty sweetness, but also contains caramel, oranges, and sweet flowers.

The taste contains caramel, toffee, cinnamon, oranges, and tangerines. It has more of a bitter finish than I expected. It also has a strong carbonic bite.

The mouthfeel is on the high-side of medium, getting close to full. There is also carbonation fizziness on the tongue.

This is a very drinkable Christmas beer. Understated spices, a nice orange flavor, and enough bitterness to make it very palatable.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.67/5  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.

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Photo of craft_shannie
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of orangemoustache
3.67/5  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!

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of sommersb
3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
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!

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Photo of mntlover
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium amber color with a smaller tan head that falls to a ring not much lace.

Aroma is nice malty caramel mingled with lots of orange citrusy aromas that mingle with spice lots of clove thru out along with cinnamon hints noted. Nice spicy malty brew strange that it smells like popari.

Taste is some caramel malt that is swamped by orange peel, cloves and again with light cinnamon. Decent malt base but loaded up with spice even spicy hops noted. Decent brew probably very nice spice/herb beer as there are plenty of both to go around. Just a little too much for me to say good though.

Mouthfeel in a solid medium with a good mellow level of carbonation noted.

Drinkability is for me not great but its not a bad brew just not something I could see myself drinking lots of. No notice of the 8% at all, very well hidden. Want to thank merlin48 for sending this one my way.

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Photo of Suds
3.7/5  rDev 0%

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 budgood1
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours out of the bottle a glowing and darkish rust colour with a big frothy head that settles to a rocky lace. aroma is a unique combination of orange peels and cloves, just as the label on the bottle states. there is an underlying caramel malt nose and some leathery, soapish notes as well. very festive. i'd say the flavour is malty at first...very rich, candy sweet and warming. then come complimentary spices...more orange and clove...maybe some nutmeg too. all very well within the parameters of a balanced x-mas spice ale. there is a touch of spicy hops that add a welcome bitterness to offset the heavy maltiness and serve well to intermingle with the clove notes and any other peppery (alcohol) nuances that make this beer a very nice x-mas/winter sipper. the body is full and the mouthfeel slippery; sledding down my throat like a toboggan down an ice encrusted hill. very nice. drinkability is great; this could be an all evening sipper beside a fire or a festive quaffer at a holiday soiree. nevertheless...i found it to be a nicely balanced holiday spiced ale worthy of any wintertime quaffing. hard to believe that this is 8.00% ABV.

thanks to my brother who brought this up from st. louis at thanksgiving.

i was saving this for a special occasion...and i think i found one as this evening my wife and i went for a six mile walk in -15 below temperatures on the coldest day of the winter thus far here in northern minnesota and witnessed Comet McNaught. just because we could. gotta love rural living.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.7/5  rDev 0%
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 CFHMagnet
3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of taylor714914
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Schlafly Christmas Ale from The Schlafly Tap Room
84 out of 100 based on 170 ratings.