1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Schlafly Christmas Ale - The Schlafly Tap Room

Not Rated.
Schlafly Christmas AleSchlafly Christmas Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

335 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 335
Reviews: 156
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 13.93%
Wants: 12
Gots: 13 | 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:
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 added by: hopsaplenty on 11-02-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 335 | Reviews: 156 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HumanParaquat
HumanParaquat

Indiana

3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

01-28-2013 02:44:55 | More by HumanParaquat
Photo of Goliath
Goliath

Illinois

4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color with a thin slightly yellowed head. Decent retention, but no lacing.

The aroma is really nice. A big citrusy orange peel up front, with a bit of a hop presence as well and a nice touch of spice. Some sweet honey finishes out the nose.

The taste is nice. A gentle hop profile in addition to the orange peel gives a really nice citrus component. The holiday spicing is also really nice. Notes of cinamon, nutmeg, and cloves linger on the palate. I really love this beer.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and lightly carbonated with a gentle and fine bubble.

Drinkability is moderate to high. Certainly an easy beer to consume as it's tasty and simple, however spiced beers aren't generally sessionable which will limit this beer a bit.

On the evenings following this review, I also got a nice sappy piney hop presence (subtle), and a biscuity malt note.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2008 23:15:26 | More by Goliath
Photo of drseamus
drseamus

New York

3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I'm not crazy about spiced beers in general, but I guess it is the proper day to drink this.

Pours a cloudy red color with a nice white head. The aroma is has a bunch of malt and cloves. The flavor has a bunch of clove in it and a touch of bitter orange. The malt presence is strong but the spices overpower somewhat. The body is nice but I'm still not crazy about this beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2007 05:43:37 | More by drseamus
Photo of BedetheVenerable
BedetheVenerable

Missouri

3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle, bottled on 10-28-2008, with a nice classy-looking Christmas label.

Appearance: A vigorous pour produces a pretty burnt orange/amber beer with some very fine sediment in suspension. This beer has very high, cascading carbonation (quite pretty) and an off-white head with great retention.

Smell: Sweet, spicy, and very "Christmas-y." This is somewhat like their pumpkin ale, in truth, minus the pumpkin aromas themselves. There are strong notes of clove, delicate but aggressive spicy/piney hops, and bitter orange peel. It's kind of like Christmas in a glass. Quite nice.

Taste: 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.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, a bit prickly from the high carbonation levels.

Drinkability: It's fairly tasty, but almost a little bit overpowering in the spice. I usually find myself picking up one or two of these a year in a mix-a-six...but a sixer might be a little over the top. I'm curious to see what a little aging might do to this.

Conclusion: Not a bad winter beer, and I like the balance between malt sweetness and hops (a lot of spiced beers seem to have little to no real hop presence) but at the end of the day the spices are just a little overwhelming for this to be truly great.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2008 06:04:33 | More by BedetheVenerable
Photo of Troville1990
Troville1990

Illinois

4/5  rDev +9.3%

12-07-2013 04:55:12 | More by Troville1990
Photo of bnes09
bnes09

Illinois

3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2011 04:38:09 | More by bnes09
Photo of hwwty4
hwwty4

Missouri

3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz bottle into my Smokestack goblet.

This beer poured a nice reddish brown with a fluffy 3 inch white head that left some seriously sticky white lacing. The aroma is really spicy. Clove, nutmeg, a hint of cinnamon, a just a bit of orange zest are apparent in the aroma. The flavor follows suit with what seems like my wife's hole spice cabinet thrown in. Clove and nutmeg are definitely the most prevalent flavors with orange zest, date and a bit of vanilla. The mouthfeel is quite a bit creamier then what I expected. Absolutely fabulous. This is a good beer, and I'm proud to call Schlafly a "local" brewery.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2009 05:20:32 | More by hwwty4
Photo of weonfire
weonfire

Illinois

3.88/5  rDev +6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2012 23:38:41 | More by weonfire
Photo of FanofHefe
FanofHefe

Illinois

3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 11-14-2011. Poured into a Duvel tulip. Nearly clear amber body with a touch of red tint. Small, less than one-finger light tan head that dissipates rather quickly and leaves very little lacing.

The aroma starts like a hefeweizen with some bubble gum sweetness and the noticeable orange peel coming through as well. A few other spicy notes follow.

Tastes like a winter warmer-type brew. Sweet start and finish, with some added spices (not yeast) like the coriander coming through. Otherwise, drinks somewhat like a sweet wheat beer with the added spices.

Although the flavor is not off the charts, nothing offends and it is actually very drinkable. For the high abv, there is no real notice of alcohol. I will enjoy this as a dessert beer during the holidays and think it will be a good fit in that role.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2011 21:06:40 | More by FanofHefe
Photo of ToddHolder
ToddHolder

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

05-11-2013 01:59:20 | More by ToddHolder
Photo of shivtim
shivtim

Georgia

2.6/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

My roomate brought me back some of this from a trip to St.Louis, which I shared with beer club.

oops.

It was not too good; I didn't think it was as bad as some others (aforbes) did, but the taste pretty much kills this beer. It pours a deep clear red brown, looks ok so far. Smells like christmas. Piney, nutmeg, cloves. Not bad. The taste is overload of ginger, nutmeg, cloves, orange, pine... pretty much tastes like a christmas air freshener in beer form. On the plus side, the alcohol is very well hidden (errr... covered-up?). Mouthfeel is ok, a bit dry. Drinkability is hurt by the taste. But I bet if you simmered this stuff on the stove it would make your house smell really good.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2006 05:24:31 | More by shivtim
Photo of whynot44
whynot44

Missouri

3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear cinnamon/copper color with a modest off-white headthat shrinks to barely a ring and leaves only hints of lacing.

The aroma is very spicy with citrus and pine notes.

The taste is also heavy on the spices - nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves - toward the middle some caramel malt sneaks in with orange/grapefruit flavors toward the end. The finish is slightly piney with lingering spice notes and some definite alcohol warmth for cool weather enjoyment. This is a lot like their pumpkin ale without the pumpkin and a heavier load of spices.

It would be nice after shovling snow or just for holiday enjoyment. Medium/full bodied, nice mouthfeel and drinkable, but better for sipping. A little heavy on spices for pairing with most food but should be nice after dinner.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2006 05:10:59 | More by whynot44
Photo of JSchock7
JSchock7

Kansas

3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

11-14-2012 06:21:30 | More by JSchock7
Photo of mwar
mwar

Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

12-08-2013 20:47:54 | More by mwar
Photo of fishguyac
fishguyac

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

01-23-2014 02:05:24 | More by fishguyac
Photo of karst
karst

Missouri

4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a smaller sniffer that shows off its chestnut amber, low head persistant ring. A fireside beauty!
Cinnamon, clove, and sweet caramel meets the nose at the taproom with all its competing aromas. Malts don't dominate but easily support the spices that give a gingerbread impression to the palate.

Well balanced with alcohol and IBUs easily handling sweet malts and dextrins that provide a nearly full mouthfeel. Still young but very nice as winter approaches. Pleasing carbonation that allows sipping without going flat.
Alcohol very nice and although apparent very nice in that it overall supports what the brewer is doing.

Hats off to Steve Hale and the rest of the Schlafly brewers.

Serving type: on-tap

11-07-2006 04:03:50 | More by karst
Photo of Schlafly33
Schlafly33

Missouri

2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

11-04-2013 13:16:44 | More by Schlafly33
Photo of Hellpop65
Hellpop65

Kansas

3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

12-07-2012 23:23:56 | More by Hellpop65
Photo of NonicPanic
NonicPanic

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +23%

12-24-2013 02:04:41 | More by NonicPanic
Photo of barefootbrewer
barefootbrewer

Mississippi

4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden with a fluffy, creamy head. The carbonation bubbles were continuous.

S: Pumpkin, vanilla, sweet and spicy.

T: Hoppy and piney. Definitely suited for the holidays. (This beer does not taste at all like it smells - weird.)

M: Medium bodied and fitting.

D: Excellent beer. I think I'll be looking for this one again next holiday season.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2008 13:41:12 | More by barefootbrewer
Photo of brownbeer
brownbeer

Missouri

2.55/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a coppery color without much head.

Very subdued aroma with subtle spice, a little funk, and candied tangerine.

There isn't much going on as far as flavor, clovey spice and maybe some citrus. The body is smooth but watery. Lacks depth and the 8% is creepy considering how little flavor it has.

I haven't had a beer I liked less than this in a while and I could easily pour it down the drain but i'll finish it. If you're looking for a strong beer without much flavor and a thin body, this might be for you.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2009 18:08:09 | More by brownbeer
Photo of brewskifan55
brewskifan55

Mississippi

3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2013 18:57:17 | More by brewskifan55
Photo of PGVG
PGVG

Virginia

4/5  rDev +9.3%

12-11-2013 01:32:53 | More by PGVG
Photo of craft_shannie
craft_shannie

Indiana

3.64/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2012 18:49:22 | More by craft_shannie
Photo of Grebdioz
Grebdioz

Texas

3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

12-28-2011 01:56:03 | More by Grebdioz
Schlafly Christmas Ale from The Schlafly Tap Room
83 out of 100 based on 335 ratings.