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Hoppy Holidaze - Marin Brewing Company

Hoppy HolidazeHoppy Holidaze

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

95 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 95
Reviews: 78
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 14.37%

Brewed by:
Marin Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Mark on 12-02-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 95 | Reviews: 78 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of kojevergas


3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-draught into a Spaten halbelitre glass in low altitude Orange, California. Reviewed from notes. I didn't know what to expect. I didn't pair it with food.

A: Pours a 2.5 finger head of fair cream, decent thickness, and good retention. Colour is a hazy orange-gold.

Sm: Orange peel and barley. A mild strength aroma.

T: Orange peel, clean barley, and light malt. Simple but pleasant. Balanced well and decently built.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the flavours. Not too thick or too thin.

Dr: Very drinkable and pleasant. Lovely on draught, but it might be too sharp out of the bottle. I'd have it again.

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2011 23:29:52 | More by kojevergas
Photo of mjl21


3.48/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewpub. Comes in at 7.5%. Poured into a pint glass.

A-Pours a clear amber with a 3/4 finger off white frothy head that fades fast to a small ring.

S-It is full of spices, particularly nutmeg. There is no malt or hops to be found. The spices are strong, but veer away from the usual pumpkin pie aroma.

T-Like the nose, the spices, particularly nutmeg, dominate throughout each sip. There is a little cinammon flavor and some sweet malt. As it warms I get some orange peel. There is some noticeable bitterness at the end. It tastes like a Xmas cookie that has been liberally spiced with nutmeg.

M-Medium bodied and smooth. It is lightly carbonated.

D-Too spiced for my tastes, but better than a lot of other spiced beers that I have tried.

People who enjoy spiced beers and/or nutmeg will like this one. I'll pass next time and go for their stout if I want a dessert beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2009 18:27:35 | More by mjl21
Photo of t0rin0


4.05/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm going to have to disagree with the majority of the reviews here. I've had this from the bottle a couple times and more recently from the brewery. I really enjoyed it each time.

The beer pours a light orange color that is pretty hazy. There is a decent amount of head but not much in the way of retention. Plenty of bubbles coming up the whole way through the glass. Not really an impressive beer to look.

The smell is complex to say the least. It's classified as a winter warmer here but I'd say its got a lot of white ale elements to it. Definitely some orange and/or lemon peel. Not sure on the other spices but I wouldn't doubt that theres a bunch of different spices in there.

The taste is very smooth, almost wheat like. Don't have a bottle laying around anymore to verify that. Very smooth and despite the name there isn't much hop bitterness. There is however some hop flavor mixed with the spices. Can't taste much malt other than some sweetness. From the tap I didn't get any alcohol flavor. I rather enjoyed the flavor of this beer and if its like their other beers it should age just fine so maybe next year I'll buy some extra to last through the summer.

The body is moderately heavy and pretty carbonated. Very drinkable in my opinion.

Serving type: on-tap

02-27-2008 21:55:23 | More by t0rin0
Photo of donnebaby

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I liked this beer alot, and was disappointed to only have one try. Light color, goldish with a creamy, sticky top. Breezy hops in the nose and some allspice.

Taste in the mouth is a moderate allspice, wheat kick and an excellent after chock full of bitter grains and hops. Wide-mouth crispness. Smooth, clean feel.

This came off for me like a spiced wheat brew, heavily on the side of allspice/pumpkin pie spices.

Serving type: on-tap

01-13-2005 02:09:47 | More by donnebaby
Photo of IceAce


4.25/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap into a one liter mug with a tan collar of foam and a hazy orange body. The foam quickly collapsed to form a razor-thin ¼ moon floating at the top of the mug.

Aroma is light-n-bright with Holiday spices...much like an apple pie fresh from Grandma's oven. Roasted apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla abound. The nutmeg takes the forefront on the initial taste, then yields to a cinnamon spiced malt midtaste. The finish closes with a spike of carbonation and the slow fade of Magnum and Golding hops.

Mouthfeel is superb with the vanilla extract providing just a hint of slickness. Despite the vast array of spices, drinkability is well above average. I'd love to pair this with a nice pastrami sandwhich loaded with a spicy brown mustard.


Serving type: on-tap

12-27-2004 19:49:33 | More by IceAce
Photo of lou91


3.95/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2004. The golden yellow color was nice to look at but the nose is what draws you in - definite nutmeg and vanilla with hints of clove and honey. The taste does not disappoint as the spices in the nose are present in a dry, mildly hoppy (despite its name) light ale. This beer is always consistent - almost to a fault. This is one beer that needs some expert advice to take it from a good beer to an excellent world class beer given its high quality ingredients.

Serving type: on-tap

11-18-2004 05:35:35 | More by lou91
Photo of mickeymac


4.1/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Lucky Baldwin's, it pours a nice looking golden-orange with a sticky, foamy white head that just leaves a mess all over the glass. The smell is an intriguing mix of tropical flowers, cinnamon, fruity hard-candy, and hops. The smell is really astounding. The taste is very nice also, but becomes a bit too sweet after it sits a while. The mouthfeel and nice drinkability add to an enjoyable experience.

Serving type: on-tap

01-15-2004 02:21:53 | More by mickeymac
Photo of rand


3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From 650 mL bomber to Mikasa pint glass

A: Spot on apricot in color, clear and quite pretty. Forms a small wispy head that dissipates quickly, leaving scant lacing.

S: The bouquet is the highlight of the brew as it gives off distinct aromas of orange-chocolate candy, nutmeg and clove, with a doughy, pastry-like malt sweetness that works as a backdrop. There isn't much in the way of hop or alcohol presence to speak of, but this smells lovely.

T: At the front of the sip your palate is met by the array of described holiday spices, with a touch of earthy, tea-like hop flavors to break up the festive sweetness. But then, "pfft', gone. It's like the flavors neutralize each other and your palate is left with a subtle citrusy malt flavor that rapidly retracts.

M: And the relatively light body contributes to this flavor-vanishing act. I didn't notice it at first, but the beer lacks weight and viscosity for its attempted style and flavor-profile.

Hmmm, strange beer. When you pop the cap you smell nothing but holiday goodness, but flavors just don't go far enough. This isn't to say it's not drinkable. In fact, far from it - this goes down pretty easy. But it's as if the subtle hop presence nukes the tasty holiday flavors, and the back of the swallow is almost...watery? Well, not watery, but tamed, and the brew would do so much better if it aimed a little "bigger".

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2012 07:15:00 | More by rand
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly murky light orange with a 1 inch foamy bone colored head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruits, and a blend of spices. Taste is of slightly sour citrus fruit, bubblegum, and the spice flavors (although nothing stands out on its own). There is a very mild sourness that lingers on the tongue after each sip. This beer has a crisp mouthfeel and is a bit drying on the palate. Overall, this is a pretty good Winter beer from Marin that is easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2012 03:44:41 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of brotherloco


3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber. 2011 vintage. Served in a tapered 22oz glass.

Pours a cloudy gold with a finger of white foam. Head settles, but doesn't disappear. Moderate amounts of lacing in the glass.

Aroma is mostly of bold christmas spices. Cinnamon and nutmeg come on strong with a touch of orange peel. Grainy malt in background. Hops seem fairly neutral, or are just buried by the spices.

Taste is very sweet, spicy, and a little fruity. There's an initial tartness that is quickly overwhelmed by sweet malts. Spices emerge in the middle along with some citrusy fruits. Finish stays sweet and spicy and lingers for quite awhile. No sign of the moderately high ABV in the flavor. Really nice flavor and better than the nose.

Medium-full body with medium-low carbonation. A touch thick but seems good for a winter warmer.

I really like this beer. Obviously the name is more of a pun than an indication that this is an amped-up hoppy beer, but I'm not going to hold it against them.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2012 05:04:33 | More by brotherloco
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.38/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Comes out looking like liquid caramel, but there is a ton of haze in the beer. Small white head. Aroma was very sweet, that was the most obvious thing. For having hoppy in the name, it was one of the least hoppy beers aroma wise.

Taste, still not much in the way of hops, but who jacks up a bunch of hops in their winter warmer anyway? More big time caramel sweetness. Pretty sticky stuff. Legitimate amount of malt heft to this one. Not overly spicy, just a bit of cinnamon and mint in very low leves. Might as well round that out with a pinch of nutmeg and a somewhat peppery aftertaste given how sweet the initial sips were.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 03:14:14 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of whatthehull


3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


A - nice semi cloudy orange/amber, one finger off white head and some decent lacing

S - seriously smells exactly like it tastes.

T - winter spices, super sweet, nice wheat note, some bready yeast, slightly nutty, cinnamon, a bit of citrus zest, sugar cookies, pumpkin pie, lots of sweet and toasted malt flavors, a nice crisp hop, some earth and a fresh rainy day smell/taste

M - full bodied, very low acidity, nice balance and complexity and medium plus finish

D - drinks awesome! One of my favorite winter warms, it tastes like Christmas and thanksgiving, reminds me of home and tastes just great. I think anyone can get into this one

Final thought - at $4 a pop, a 7% abv this is a great starter for craft brew and just fun and yummy

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2011 09:40:03 | More by whatthehull
Photo of Halcyondays


3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours an amber orange with a medium white head. Good retention, with spots of lace.

S: Cinnamon and orange, with some pale malt, like a light spiced cookie.

T: Good winter spicing, orange, cinnamon and mace with some bready malt character. Wishing the malt could be a little darker, this is really more like a spiced ESB, but it still works.

M: Medium-bodied, soft yet crisp carbonation. Frothy at times.

O: A solid winter beer and one I haven't had in a long time. The flavours are good, they don't mesh as well as I would have hoped, but it's still well made.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2011 02:49:08 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of mactrail


3/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sweet and reeking of cinnamon. Not to mention cloves and nutmeg and Karo syrup. Gummi worms and Red Hots. Looks nice with the brownish golden color and lots of foam and lacing. Plenty of carbonation and a little slick in the mouth. Light body. A dirty hop taste on the back of my tongue. Very long nose of the spice mix followed by the bitterness.

I can't think why this is a Winter Warmer-- should just call it what it is-- seriously spiced beer.

Who started this spiced ale-pumpkin pie thing in the US? I blame Anchor. At least they have had some subtlety most years.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2011 06:40:51 | More by mactrail
Photo of mikechance


3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from a 22 oz. bottle

A --- nice straw color (almost Kellerweis like)

S --- hops, hints of honey, spices and sweetness

T --- nutmeg, orange, honey and sweet

M --- medium body, smooth, oily, and creamy

O --- This is a delightful beer. It's very sweet, but goes down very smooth. A bottle now and then is perfect (22 oz. is about my max on it). A little something to spice it up would be nice. At it's price point it's worth buying --- I will add it to my yearly holiday beer buying list.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2011 02:07:40 | More by mikechance
Photo of sweethome


3.3/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour is a hazy, limp gold. A little white head.

Nutmeg jumps out on nose. Sweetness of applesauce.

Smooth and creamy entry. Hints of ginger...honey. Sweet maltiness, some hops in the back help cleanse the finish. Long spicy flavors on finish - cinammon comes in on finish.

Lacks complexity of flavor and hops backing that I like from this style.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 06:52:21 | More by sweethome
Photo of beagle75


3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Slightly hazy, medium amber color with less than one finger of diminishing eggshell foam head. No lacing remains on the glass.

S: Syrupy fruitcake, caramel, cloves, orange peel, and vanilla.

T: Begins surprisingly dry, mild-flavored with peppery spice and slight toffee. Flavors become more acidic in the middle, revealing cloves and vanilla as malt turns strongly toasty. The finish is brief and very mild, with low bitterness and baking spices.

M: Medium viscosity, stays fairly labile on the palate, with low carbonation.

D: As a winter ale this one delivers all that it promises. Sensory qualities stay enticing without fatiguing the palate. This is a holiday seasonal to look forward to; like other noteworthy representatives of this style, it changes in small ways every year.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2010 16:10:56 | More by beagle75
Photo of BretSikkink


3.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light golden orange color with nice hazing. Bland white hand without much character, lacing doesn't do much either. Lots of orange cleaner in the nose, with other light fruity sweetness. Pale malt only.

The spicing is a bit exotic, but not necessarily in a fantastic way. Hops are only mildly present (disappointing given the name) and the malt backbone is quite thin and weak. Sweet trumps here, with the vanilla and nutmeg eking out cinnamon and whatever else on the spice front. To me, this is a strange mix of flavors without a lot of body to drive it home.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2010 04:01:38 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of BeerAdvocate


3.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer review from BA Mag Nov 2007.

The winter warmer is yet another style to be revived by American brewers. Every year a new artist is showcased on the label; this year is L. Gruger from Seattle, WA. [lgruger.com]

The dark crystal malt used gives the beer a deep mahogany color, that has excellent clarity when put up to the light. Multi-sized, tan-bubbled lacing is promising even after a few sips, with patch rings left over on the glass. Soft aromas of dried plums, raisins, brown sugar and a spicy mix of hops and faintly warming estery alcohols suggest a holiday spice cake to the nose. Tiny bubbles roll around the palate with a creamy smoothness that opens up the malt character. Huge caramel note with an orbiting toasted grain that circles closer and closer. Hops offer a solid balanced bitterness with a minty, floral citric flavor. A tad fruity middle to end with a slow and modest warming alcohol. Finishes on the sweet side with a long path of toasted grain and hop flavor.

A bit too drinkable for its size and alcohol, flavors are perfectly balanced and small spikes of complexity everywhere. We can imagine a plate of warm, spiced molasses cookies to pair with this beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2010 01:06:55 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of snpub540


3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a dark golden hue with more pale yellow coming out at the edges when held up to light. Nice foamy quarter inch head. Left some nice lacing.

Smell was my favorite part here. Sweet and spicy made for a nice complex aroma. Alcohol sweetness upfront, a nice cinnamon note and the slightest hint of vanilla. A little citrus in there as well.

Taste was mostly mulled spices and some bitter orange peel. not hoppy like the name implies but still a nice flavored beer. Nice warming effect in the finish but not much alcohol flavor.

Mouthfeel was a little thin. Nice carbonation though. Drinkability was good. The alcohol doesn't come through harsh or even at all pretty much.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2010 22:19:26 | More by snpub540
Photo of womencantsail


3.6/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour into a pint glass is fantastic on this one. A clear amber color with a fluffy white head which leaves some great lacing.

S: The nose is rather disappointing, especially considering the name of the beer. A bit of muddled spice (perhaps some nutmeg and cinnamon), and a slight pepper aroma.

T: The flavors are more impressive, with the typical winter ale players. Nutmeg and cinnamon are again the main spices with a slight sweetness and maybe even some vanilla. The finish has an ever so slight bitterness to it.

M: The sip really fills your mouth and the carbonation gives the beer an almost creamy feel, very nice and pleasantly surprising.

D: Just about no alcohol presence and some nice flavors from a holiday ale. I was expecting a hoppier brew, given the name, but was not let down either way.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2010 02:05:16 | More by womencantsail
Photo of jeffjeff1


3.93/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was another christmas present.

Appearance- light amber color, thin head

Smell- spices mostly nutmeg

Taste- nutmeg and cinnamon, very nice

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- Really good, I like it, really good spice flavors, I would love to drink it again.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2010 00:01:49 | More by jeffjeff1
Photo of Kaiser81


4.38/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Buddy brought down a bomber from the brewing company. Thanks Mike!

Poured into a pint glass

A - Pours a hazy amber color with a finger width of cream colored head. Bubbles are visible coming up through the beer. The head dies after a few minutes and leaves no ring. There is some lacing on the glass.

S - I am fighting a slight cold, so I will give it my all on the smell.
Smell is of nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger with just a faint hint of vanilla - pretty much everything you want in a Christmas ale.

T - Taste is along the lines of the nose; nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. There is just a touch of hops and malt (or is that the vanilla?)for balance, but this is absolutely delicious.

M - Very creamy with just a bit of prickly carbonation notes

D - Wow. What a gem. I could a few bombers of this, and then sleep very well for the night. What a perfect way to spend on day 1 of the "biblical stormweek" that is supposed to hit the So Cal region.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2010 06:23:31 | More by Kaiser81
Photo of flexabull


3.48/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear dark gold color with a pretty nice fluffy white head.

Aromas are very spice forward. Mostly nutmeg and cinnamon, as well as some vanilla sweetness.

Taste is like the nose. Very spicy, with mostly nutmeg sticking out to me. There are some sweet vanilla and malt creaminess in there as well. But this beer seems to be mostly about the spices, without much in the way of traditional beer flavors.

Mouthfeel is good. This has a nice smooth and thick feel to it. About right for the style.

Drinkability is ok. Not a bad beer, but it's just comes off as more of a sweet over spiced drink than a spiced beer. A little more balance and less spice might help this one out.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2010 07:50:57 | More by flexabull
Photo of HalfFull


3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber into a pint glass. Pours a slightly hazy deep golden/apricot. A thin head of white foam settles into a light cap rather quickly. We seem to be stretching the boundaries of a 'winter warmer' once again. Gases off fully by the lower third of the glass.

Mace and light cinnamon take the nose by storm, sweeter nutmeg and white pepper in the background. Light hops and a citric backdrop as well as some sweet clove. Interesting spice nose yet I'm not picking up much in the malt department aside of some orangey malts.

Sweetness comes forward in the flavor however with some orange caramel and spice. Spice notes diminish with exposure as the beer outgasses and reveals a slightly sweet side. Overall rather light in body and an interesting take on a Winter Warmer. I'd surely consider this more of an Herbed/Spiced Beer regardless of the typical winter spices employed, particularly given the light color and malt presence. Interesting nonetheless and worth a try, hiding its 7.0% well without undue sweetness.

Rated as Herbed/Spiced vs. W.W.

Value: C

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2009 05:56:35 | More by HalfFull
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Hoppy Holidaze from Marin Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 95 ratings.