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Gritty McDuff's Christmas Ale - Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Gritty McDuff's Christmas AleGritty McDuff's Christmas Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

175 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 175
Reviews: 123
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.6%
Wants: 2
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
If it looks like Ed just got merrier, you're right. Every November heralds the return of our holiday seasonal, Christmas Ale – available on draft and in six-packs. Our Christmas Ale is a robust E.S.B. (Extra Special Bitter) full of holiday cheer. Christmas Ale has a lovely, dark red/amber color and a rich, full-bodied, malty taste with a slightly roasted undertone. We brew our Christmas Ale to an original gravity of 1064 (about 6.2% alcohol by volume) using only the finest English Pale and Crystal Malts, with a touch of Roasted Barley as well. A blend of Clusters, Styrian Goldings, Saaz and Yakima Goldings leaf hops round out this hearty brew. Gritty's Christmas Ale has no additives, fruits or spices. It's just a good honest ale, perfect for the season. And to top it all off, it's already gift-wrapped! Happy Holidays!

28.5 IBU

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 01-11-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 175 | Reviews: 123 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by TK5150:
Photo of TK5150
TK5150

Maine

3.7/5  rDev -2.9%

A- Pours dark amber (bordering on ruby) with a beige head.

S- Bread, Ringwood yeast, plums, light hints of roasted malt.

T- Sweet malt, sour cherry, plums, Ringwood yeast butter, nutty, lingering continental hop bitterness.

M- Medium bodied, sharp carbonation.

O- When I first started drinking beer, this was my favorite. While not a great beer, the sentimental value makes this one of my favorite beers for the holiday season nowadays.

11-14-2011 21:43:45 | More by TK5150
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -0.3%

Great to see Gritty McDuff brews now available in wny,poured a deep rich bronze with a hefty tight 1 one finger slight off white head.Fruity yeasty aromas along with some caramel and biscuity malt a tad of butter,flavors seem to be malt tilted somewhat buttery and caramelly with some orange-like fruitiness a lighter leafy hop hits in the finish.A sustaining malty brew quite flavorful a few years ago this would have been it for me that is until I found the blessed hop,as is I still really enjoyed this brew.

12-02-2006 21:59:48 | More by oberon
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

3.53/5  rDev -7.3%

Ya gotta love these combo packs. You get to try three or four beers in one 12 pack. This winter seasonal has a nice red color with a small head. It has a predominately spicy aroma. The taste is a sweet malty flavor, with a little hops thrown in. Nice mouthfeel, only a little carbonation. I liked this beer, but I drank it after Gritty's Scottish ale, and it suffers in comparison.

01-20-2006 01:24:08 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of Doomcifer
Doomcifer

Rhode Island

3.6/5  rDev -5.5%

Pours a bright reddish/amber color with a decent, off-white head that fades away into a thin film within a minute.

Smells of sweet malty goodness. Sort of fruity, and a pinch of earthy/spicey tones.

Taste is of sweet malts, with some champagne-like fruit flavors going on...hard to describe. Finishes off with some hop spiciness and bitterness but nothing overwhelming.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation.

This beer is pretty drinkable. Good session beer.

11-15-2006 00:02:49 | More by Doomcifer
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.38/5  rDev +15%

Presentation: 22oz brown bomber with no freshness date.

Appearance: Slightly chill hazed reddish brown with a varied sized bubbly lace that sticks everywhere.

Smell: Buttery diacetyl, neighboring butterscotch in aroma. Candied fruit with a light malt sweetness and a touch of earthy hop.

Taste: Medium bodied with a crisp malty mouth feel, bordering dry though a pinch of residual sweetness is noticeable. Carbonation helps with the crisp malt and mild hop bitterness, chocolaty character is a bit dominant soon followed by an earthy / minty hop flavour with a musty buttery diacetyl flavour from the yeast. Alcohol is present with its light warming feature. Fruity middle to end with hints of melon and pear.

Notes: Sizeable and hearty ESB … full to capacity of malt, yeast and hop flavours. One of the best Gritty brews I have had to date and a great brew to end of the night with.

09-29-2002 05:00:58 | More by Jason
Photo of Cavanaghty
Cavanaghty

Maine

3.05/5  rDev -19.9%

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark brown with a thin white head, no lacing on the glass.

Smell: Citrus, spices, malts, and alcohol.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Taste of toasted malts, spices, and mild citrus. Some faint pine notes and bitters hops as well.

Overall: Ok beer, not my first choice for a holiday brew, but it is bold and will keep you warm on a cold winter night.

12-25-2013 16:51:20 | More by Cavanaghty
Photo of bpfrush
bpfrush

Wisconsin

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

11-14-2011 20:56:11 | More by bpfrush
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -21.3%

11-28-2013 06:08:54 | More by acurtis
Photo of caddybuyer
caddybuyer

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +5%

A-Ruddy bright amber pour with a nice creamy tan head. Filtered clarity. Nice looking brew.

S-Biscuit malts predominate. Slightly nutty, sweet and earthy. A bit underwhelming, it reminds me of a well done brown.

T-Nose carries over to the palate but the taste is spot on and refreshing. The bready malts yield a bit midway to a bit of fresh and slighly sour fruit and a buttery backdrop that closes out with a crisp dry slighly hopped finish.

M-Medium feel and carbonation.

D-This is an exceptionaly drinkable beer, and while not the most complex thing on the shelf, is charming in its quality and its drinkability. This reminds me a bit of their Halloween Ale, although I think this may be a tad bit smoother.

11-23-2010 00:16:03 | More by caddybuyer
Photo of NJpadreFan
NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev -7.3%

Gritty McDuff's- Christmas Ale

A- Beautiful ruby red with a huge frothy head.
S- Molasses and caramel malt with a touch of brown sugar. Slight spiciness; nutmeg and cinnamon.
T- Brown sugar, caramel, and toffee malt with a touch of vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and butter.
M- Bitter up front with a sweet buttery body. Flavors really kick in near the back end.

Overall- The 2007 batch just hit the stores. Not bad. I'll be drinking this on tap from the brewpub when I go up to Portland.

11-16-2007 21:43:44 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of jmz62565
jmz62565

Connecticut

3.9/5  rDev +2.4%

Pours a clear deep dark mahogony red with a large tan foamy head. The head leaves just alittle lacing,but otherwise this is a good looking beer. The smell is a little on the slight side with pine, cinnamon,butter,hops, and other Christmas spices. The taste is a mixture of hop pine and bitterness with holiday spices. A very good mixture makes this a nice drinkable beer. A real Holiday treat.

11-18-2006 21:56:13 | More by jmz62565
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev +1%

Pours a darkbrown wth a bit of fizziness, looks better aged than its half year storage. Neutral in the aroma. More or less medium mouthfeel. Taste is good, and drinkability good, based on malt, a bit of roasted malt, touch of nuttiness, background but significant bitterness in mid-sip, some chocolate, scotch-like something.
Bee-aye #2800

04-18-2008 02:12:00 | More by Sammy
Photo of cliff1066
cliff1066

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

12-27-2012 02:20:41 | More by cliff1066
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev +1%

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark amber with a initial huge tan head. It eventually shrinks down into a smallish creamy covering that left good lacing. Aroma is sweet caramel maltiness, cherries, spice, and some fairly light hops.

Taste is caramel sweetness with hints of roast and spice, a prominent splash of tart cherry and a slight taste of butter. The sweetness is well balanced by a light hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied but not overly carbonated, giving it a full feeling over the tongue.

Not the most full flavored ESB but it seems to be well balanced with a nice assortment of hearty festive flavors for the holidays, plus it drinks pretty well.

12-27-2007 02:18:32 | More by Kegatron
Photo of bum732
bum732

Lesotho

4.1/5  rDev +7.6%

Pours a copper red, decent creamy head that dissipates slightly. Smells of caramel and toffee sweetness, some dark fruits, earthy hops, touch of butterscotch. Tastes of sweet caramel malt, some dark fruits on the backbone. Hints of pear and touch of biscuit. A nice earthy and almost grassy bitterness balances the sweetness nicely. Finishes fairly sweet with more caramel and earthiness. Nice medium to full body, carbonation appropriate.

A really nice beer. Heavy on the caramel for an ESB, but the hops provide a nice balance. Not sure if i love the dark fruits, presumably from high lovibond crystal, but overall a solid beer.

12-18-2009 02:00:11 | More by bum732
Photo of edchicma
edchicma

Massachusetts

3.88/5  rDev +1.8%

Pours a dark copper with a nice initial head that dissipates quickly.Smell is butterscotch, grass and a touch of malt. Flavor is initially maltyt, then exapnds in a lightly bitter quality, with a slight butter quality..very nice. Mouthfeel is medium with a dryness on the finish that is very good. Smooth enough to rate higher than average on teh drinkability scale.

11-18-2006 00:51:17 | More by edchicma
Photo of nickmantia
nickmantia

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

02-03-2014 18:39:31 | More by nickmantia
Photo of ZacMetalFan
ZacMetalFan

Maine

4.75/5  rDev +24.7%

04-18-2012 02:00:49 | More by ZacMetalFan
Photo of jtierney89
jtierney89

New Jersey

4.3/5  rDev +12.9%

Brown color with good clarity. 1 finger of off white head. Very faint nose, not a lot going, a bit of spice and pale malt.

Pretty robust beer. I forgot this was an ESB. A really big ESB at that. Prickly carbonation. Nice pale and caramel malts, big nice caramel malts, toffee, sugared biscuit balanced by big earthy hop presence. A really great brew.

11-19-2012 04:45:46 | More by jtierney89
Photo of lzepplin01
lzepplin01

Arizona

4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

01-13-2014 23:26:00 | More by lzepplin01
Photo of Minotaur
Minotaur

Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev -2.9%

Both on cask at Winter Beer Fest in Philadelphia and a bottle in the pint glass.

Pours with the carbonation and head of a light colored birch beer. The head is at first billowing but then settles to just some spots of white-gray atop the deep rust colored beer.

The aroma is very malty with some raisin notes.

The taste is a good balance of malt and hops. Both are present and strong but even each other out. The lasting finish is a bitter hop taste. There is a bit of prune/raisin flavor along with a bit of spice. But it is not overly seasoned unlike some seasonal ales. There may also be a hint of cedar or spruce in there: adding to the bite.
The mouthfeel is a bit dense despite the fizz, which adds a nice contrast in sensation.

It is very drinkable and smooth for the amount of bitterness. I have had more unique winter ales, but this one has a strong sense of completion and flavor character which is memorable.

12-21-2009 01:52:04 | More by Minotaur
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons

New Hampshire

4.13/5  rDev +8.4%

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle marked November 2010. Sampled on December 10, 2009. The pour is an attractive ruby red with excellent clarity and ab out a quarter inch light tan head that fizzles after a couple moments. The aroma is moderately hopped with a variety of bitter scents along with caramel malts. A mouthfeel that can be characterized as medium to heavy and maybe a tad creamy. The taste is more like a stong ale and less like a spicy Christmas ale but it is likeable. Gritty McDuff's makes a decent bitter ale and this is a slightly more pungent variation on their most recognized recipe.

12-10-2009 23:53:20 | More by puboflyons
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.4/5  rDev -10.8%

A: Poured a clear, dark, cherry-apple color with a micro-fizzy flat tan head that barely covered the surface and quickly dissipated without leaving any lacing. Visible carbonation was light. Overall a very nice deep coloring saved this from just an average appearance.

S: The nose however didn't fair as good. A light cookie sweetness and caramel apples are present but was pretty mundane overall.

T: a dry munich malting upon first tasting with some dry caramel apple fruitiness. A woodsy flavor type hopping and sweet caramel and cola highlights are also present. A light toasted breadiness with fresh raisins and fruitcake flavor rounds things out here. Better then average flavor wise, dry, warm, and not overly spicy were its strong points.

M: a light fizziness with a slick texture and a warming cola and caramel lacing.

D: Good for a try at best as with most xmas beers but not one you want to continually drink. A fair and good drink overall with its warm and toned down nature lets you enjoy this without being assaulted by a barrage of spices that distracts from the flavor.

11-28-2008 12:47:53 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of philbe311
philbe311

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev +7.1%

A - A finger and a half of fluffy white head off of a relatively hard pour... Reddish amber color... Very slow, very small carbonation bubbles along the sides of the glass... Clings to glass... Solid lacing...

S - Subtle but complex... Intriguing... Earthy floral notes are first and foremost... Muted hard candies... Malt... Ginger... Piney hops are detectable as well...

T - A near perfect blend of spicieness, maltiness, and a slight hoppy backbone... Biscuit... Apple... Roasted malt... Caramel... Minor hints of dark fruit...

M - Medium bodied... A tad on the dry side... Lush carbonation... Slightly puckering... Smooth... Warming... Crisp... Very good...

D - This is a great winter beer... Above average in all categories and slightly unique in terms of typical winter beers... Highly drinkable and still sessionable at 6.2% ABV... I had never heard of this beer or brewery prior to receiving this as part of a recent SEPA case split, but am highly impressed with my introduction to Gritty McDuff...

12-22-2008 03:09:28 | More by philbe311
Photo of TLove
TLove

District of Columbia

3.43/5  rDev -10%

12 oz bottle to Palm snifter.

A great beer for drinking just about any time of the year, as I've come to think of this as more of an IPA with winter spices than a Winter Warmer or ESB.

Pours light brown with some hints of red and a thin head. The nose has a bit of maltiness and some grainy winter spices, with a nice, buttery touch and piercing alcohol in the hops.

A little round in the mouth, balanced by a wheat-like taste and some crispness in the carbonation. Finishes pretty well. Again, like an IPA with winter spices. Hard to argue with a few of these.

12-03-2009 04:19:54 | More by TLove
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Gritty McDuff's Christmas Ale from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 175 ratings.