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Hoppy Holidaze - Marin Brewing Company

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Hoppy HolidazeHoppy Holidaze

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101 Ratings

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Ratings: 101
Reviews: 78
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 13.8%
Wants: 0
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Marin Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mark on 12-02-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 101 | Reviews: 78 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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

Photo of Halcyondays
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Photo of MareInfinitus
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of mactrail
2.99/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

Photo of Rempo
3/5  rDev -15.5%

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.

Photo of sweethome
3.32/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Photo of beagle75
3.86/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.33/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

Photo of snpub540
3.67/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Photo of womencantsail
3.59/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of jeffjeff1
3.92/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Photo of Kaiser81
4.35/5  rDev +22.5%
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.

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.

Photo of HalfFull
3.86/5  rDev +8.7%
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

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.

Photo of madtappers
3.2/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage, poured from 22 oz bomber into pint glass.

Pours a merky copper haze. Nice 1 inch white head. Gives of a odor of cinnamon and nutmeg, there is no smell of hops to speak of.

I was amazed at how drinkable of a beer this is, smooth malt taste up front with a after taste of warming cinnamon and nutmeg.

Wouldn't be top on by beers to buy again, but wouldn't turn one down!

Photo of NorCalYeti
3.16/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

taste- caramel, spice, malt taste, smooth finish

color- honey

clarity- hazy

smell- malt and spice, delicately balanced nose, kettlecorn

body- medium-light weight

appearance- nice, clean looking, flat head

overall impression- well balanced, clean, needs more weight and complexity

notes- brewed with pale, wheat, caramalt and munich malts, and hopped with sterling and styrian goldings varieties. spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, orange peel, and vanilla extract. this review is for a 2008 vintage tasted in 2008

glassware: pint

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.62/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 22 ounce bomber bottle poured into a nonic Imperial pint glass. Appears a hazed medium apricot color with two fingers of off white foam. Nose and flavor consist of citrus such as orange and tangerine, a touch of cinnamon, nutmeg and medium toasted grains, malty sweetness pulls it all together. A notch better than medium bodied and amply carbonated for a winter warmer. Worth trying.

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

A: pours a nice rose colored amber. Nice, big bubbled, off-white head. Great rate of head retention and a nice amount of lacing to accompany it.

S: nice big earthy hop aroma, some flowery notes, with a hint of evergreens. Slight funky aroma, like a wild ale. Light sweetness from the malts in the nose.

T: very unusual ale. Good amount of flavors from the hops, mostly floral. I do pull a holiday flavor out of this, which is nice. I pull some strawberries, light notes of vanilla. Light flavors of orange peel as well.

M: wonderful holiday brew, light, crisp and refreshing. Higher carbonation level than expected. Medium bodied.

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.32/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle tried 7 Jan 2009.

Poured in 0.5 L Adambrau becker. Medium white head. Well carbonated. Clear bright copper color. Aroma is light, reminiscent of bananas, rum and brown sugar. Starts sweet and cinnamony with some nutmeg and caramel. Like a spicy christmas cookie. Some hoppy bitterness at the finish. Light body. Ethanol shows up late.

Overall a decent Christmas beer.

Photo of Grabbin2nd
3.98/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From Notes: 11/18/08
Marin Brewing Co. Hoppy Holidaze 2008 22 oz. Bomber, 7% abv.

Appearance=vigorous pour yields a 1 finger head that quickly dissipated, plenty of lacing and carbonation on sides of glass.

Smell=Hops, smells like Christmas. Can i say that? Can't pick up much else.

Taste= great overall taste, a Hoppy holiday beer for sure. Everything is dialed in, nothing out of balance. If anything is lacking, it's the fact that the taste does not linger in your mouth.

Mouth Feel= Almost perfect, not too think, not too thin. If it was slightly more resinous (thicker) i would prefer it.

Drinkability= highly drinkable. Great "holiday" beer.

Photo of BrewerB
3.37/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Medium orange color with a thin off-white head that doesn't quite hold together.

S - Orange, nutmeg, and spices. Light hints of cinnamon. Malty sweetness also present. Hops are a bit more difficult to detect but seem floral/earthy in nature.

T - Curious mix of orange and nutmeg with touches of vanilla around the edges. Spice-like quality (nutmeg, perhaps) lingers on into a soft, medium finish. Slight sweetness along with medium-level of bittering. Bottle proclaims to include mace as an ingredient though I am unsure what this would taste/smell like.

M - Medium-bodied with moderate to moderate-high level of carbonation. Smooth.

D - I wouldn't make this a daily beer but it can be nice when looking for something out of the ordinarily. Not brewed year-round and for good reason.

Hoppy Holidaze from Marin Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.