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Christmas Ale - Olde Hickory Brewery

Not Rated.
Christmas AleChristmas Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

66 Ratings
THE BROS
74
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 66
Reviews: 23
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 16.47%
Wants: 0
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Olde Hickory Brewery visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  ABV ?

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Loki on 12-29-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 66 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jonmorgan
1/5  rDev -71.1%

jonmorgan, Dec 08, 2012
Photo of therope
2/5  rDev -42.2%

therope, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of DoctorB2B
2/5  rDev -42.2%

DoctorB2B, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of jmarsh123
2.4/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a reddish brown with a small off-white head and good lacing down the glass.

Smells like nutmeg with some malty sweetness.

Starts off slightly spicy then recedes into a honey sweetness with a little nutmeg. Definitely malt forward.

Too thin for my taste. Carbonation level is good.

Usually like Olde Hickory, but this one doesn't do it for me. A bit too sweet without the backing mouthfeel and kind of bland overall.

jmarsh123, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of GPHarris
2.65/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

a - poured a one finger thick bubbly tan head that left a thin ring throughout. the body was a deep amber color.
s - oranges with some honey and malt sweetness to balance it out.
t - oranges with some spices with a grainy/bready balance.
m - thin.
o - not overly impressed. seems to be a mish-mash of flavors and aromas that don't mesh well. a little dull.

GPHarris, Jan 02, 2013
Photo of mwbrady12
2.75/5  rDev -20.5%

mwbrady12, Jul 29, 2013
Photo of dharmabum1102
2.75/5  rDev -20.5%

dharmabum1102, Dec 19, 2013
Photo of ctrevino
2.75/5  rDev -20.5%

ctrevino, Dec 03, 2013
Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -13.3%

acurtis, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of dvmin98
3/5  rDev -13.3%

dvmin98, Dec 09, 2013
Photo of JCam9981
3/5  rDev -13.3%

JCam9981, Oct 24, 2013
Photo of Jeeb
3/5  rDev -13.3%

Jeeb, Dec 04, 2013
Photo of dirtylou
3.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

on-tap at Mac's Speed Shop on South Blvd

I do not understand breweries like Olde Hickory that seem to crush the more challenging styles (barrel aged beers, imperial IPA's, etc) but consistently trips over themselves when crafting more basic beers. Christmas Ale is just the latest example - a crappy and muted winter warmer at best. Bland spicing, 'off' malt profile, artificial ginger. Not good.

dirtylou, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. "To ensure brewery fresh taste keep me cool, serve me cool, and enjoy me before" M [May] 11" notched.

This one was contained in another badass box of beer sent from a great trade partner, Onenote81. Thanks Jon!

A - Beautiful color and clarity, it's a vibrant, brilliant orange with golden highlights and amber low-lights. A finger of foam rests on top lightly with a ring of bubbles trailing in the wake.

S - While the Christmas cookie-like nose is mild, it's certainly inviting. Raw honey sweetens the amber malt and cinnamon and nutmeg dashed in. A pinch of yeast appears on the finish. Low presence leaves me wanting.

T - Toasted amber malts push past the mild spice and raw honey sweetness to leave a bready flavor offset by earthy Willamet hops that are very slightly noticeable.

M - Spritzy carbonation is well-balanced but doesn't do much to mask the thin feel of this brew. Light-bodied, it falls flat mid palette through the finish. Moderately dry ending.

D - The aroma needs elevating as well as the body, and the flavor could use more in general. I like subtlety in brews, especially winter sippers, but this is just lacking a bit. Another bottle I find myself wishing I opened with company.

BeerFMAndy, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of Jason
3.23/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz brown bomber with a drink before date on the side of the label.

Brassy golden color, very clear with a thin lace on top. Lemony, spicy, malty, honey aroma. Modest crispness shows some slickness in the mouth. Some pie spice, biscuity malt, slightly buttery and a faintness of honey hit the taste buds. Very light on the hops, spiciness lingers for a little while, honey flavor and maltiness bring a sweet finish.

A sweeter Winter Warmer, not half bad.

Jason, Feb 02, 2010
Photo of cardsfan
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%

cardsfan, Jun 07, 2013
Photo of mdfb79
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 12/18/11 notes. Received as an extra from Beerverage; thanks man. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Bell's tulip.

a - Pours a clear dark amber-orange color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of honey, fruity malts, spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, and bready malts. Pretty nice nose, reminds me of gingerbread cookies.

t - Taste is very bland; some light cinnamon, bready malts, and toasted malts. No honey or fruit here like in the nose. Not bad but a step down from the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall a bit disappointing. The nose was nice and promising full of cinnamon and nutmeg, but the taste was very bland. Not a bad beer but probably something I'd pass on next time.

mdfb79, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of mklinger
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%

mklinger, Jul 17, 2012
Photo of Brewski
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%

Brewski, Nov 07, 2013
Photo of CooperEllis
3.28/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not a bad bottle overall but a bit disappointing as it is very thin in the mouthfeel and the flavor is dominated by the two added favors: honey and "spices" here nutmeg.

Redish amber, thin bubbles, no lacing.

Nose is honey, nutmeg, ginger and clove.

Thin mouthfeel, a thin bit of malt but taste is dominated by the cinnamon, nutmeg, clove. Crisp ending helps but I think this misses the mark a bit.

One of the people I had this with felt it was the "tastiest" of the bottles we sampled tonight.

(145th)

CooperEllis, Dec 25, 2011
Photo of bwiles
3.35/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Christmas Ale ha a lite cinnamon taste. The ginger flavor is slightly heavy. While I enjoy spicy tastes in winter beers this one is a little weak in flavor overall. It was very hard to taste any orange flavor or honey. I think with a little tweaking they could have a great winter ale.

bwiles, Jan 01, 2014
Photo of msubulldog25
3.4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice local & seasonal brew, sent by craytonic (thanks, Matt). 22 ounces in a brown bottle, emptied to a pint.

Label: A perfectly snowy/Thomas Kinkade-ian scene.
'Ale Brewed with Honey & Spices'. Notched at '...enjoy me before': A[pril] 11

A: Perfectly clear and the epitome of 'auburn'. Relatively little carbonation; what there is: lazy. C'mon, bubbles, wake up!!! Nice color and clarity, but otherwise a dull beer to look at. Scrawny whitish head that fades to near-nothingness; tiny lace flecks that don't last long.

S: A malty and vaguely 'gingerbread' nose, candied and pleasantly spiced. Certainly malt-centered but I'm OK/intrigued by a winter warmer so sweetly scented.

T: Buttery biscuit and a thin dusting of 'Christmas Spice', a sugar-sweet cinnamon and buttery toffee. Nutty roast is thematic here; flowery honey, light spices, a little cocoa and touches of apple and pear provide some backing and depth. Not TOO sweet, but borderline...

M: Disappointing feel: thin and underwhelming, carbonation-wise. Somehow, though, a coating gumminess catches up. Overall, a strange mouthfeel and not very appealing...

D: Not hard at all to drink, just not very remarkable; if sweeter winter ales are your thing, this may be perfect for you. Me? I'd have preferred a little more balance (not to mention, vibrance!); some hop depth and busier carbonation could work wonders. Just alright... but as a sucker for malty yumminess, I'm drinking one if you give me another...

msubulldog25, Dec 18, 2010
Photo of Durge
3.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at The Mellow Mushroon in Greensboro, NC, this holiday brew is a dark mahogany color with solid off-white fluff on top and lots of lacing. The aroma is weak wheat, really nothing more which seems very odd for a Christmas brew. The flavor is better with mild evergreen and caramel with a little citrus apple brightness. i also detected just a touch of cardboard but not much. There is some distinct juniper and allspice. It's medium light in body with a mild, tingly feel. Good but not great.

Durge, Dec 06, 2012
Photo of tdm168
3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - dark orangish amber with a big frothy, white head that has good retention

S - a bit soapy, a hint of yeast, all around unusual aroma

T - nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, caramel, faint orange peel

M - medium bodied, good carbonation

This is an all-right beer. There isn't anything to separate it from the dozen other beers out this time of year with the exact same spice profile. In the end this is a decent beer but boring. It was nice to try once, but I won't be buying it again.

tdm168, Nov 26, 2012
Photo of beer2day
3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sat on this one for a bit to see if age would smooth it out some.

Orange gold pour with 2 fingers of darker khaki head. Thin lace and decent head retention well into the glass.

Nose is very understated for a winter warmer. Sour fruit (cherries, apples), caramel malt, allspice, and light earth hops round things out. A touch of light peat lingers there too. Not bad, but could be more aggressive.

Tastes is definitely on the sweet side. Honey, flowery hops and a light, spicy finish define this glass. Leaves with a cake-like sweetness on the back end. Not bad, but just a bit too sweet.

Feel is too thin for the flavors, even though they are light.

Overall, not the best offering from OH. Didn't care for it much back in January and not much better now.

beer2day, Jun 23, 2012
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Christmas Ale from Olde Hickory Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.