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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: 1
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 BuckeyeNation
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fluorescent tangerine peel with bright banana borders and an appealing light haziness. The creamy crown is the color of white chocolate fudge and looks good in contrast with the beer. Thick sheets of fine dotted lace are being deposited as the foam slowly melts.

For an ale with so many extra ingredients, this winter warmer doesn't smell overly bold or distinctive. Nor does it smell very hoppy, and this is an '08. Each sniff delivers sweetened citrus (mostly orange) and an indeterminate spiciness. Warming opens things up a little.

Hoppy Holidaze is a solid spiced ale that fails to stand out from the spiced ale crowd. There aren't any faults, per se, but it doesn't have much pizzazz either. Adding at least 50% more Sterling and/or Styrian Goldings hops would have given it a needed zing and would have lent some measure of truth to the name. As is, Moderately Happy Holidaze is a more appropriate moniker.

The lightly toasted malt backbone is nice and sturdy, with sweet staying ahead of bitter at all point along the flavor arc. The extra ingredients (nutmeg, mace, cinnamon, vanilla and orange peel) are relatively well-balanced, although nutmeg is beginning to assert itself as the beer gains a few degrees.

If you like well-spiced, pale malted winter warmers, the drinkability score is a 4.0. If you're ambivalent, subtract a half point. If you aren't a fan, subtract a full point. The mouthfeel is a highlight. It's a fraction more full than medium and has an impressive smoothness born of perfect carbonation.

Even though Hoppy Holidaze isn't the best thing since sliced bread, it's a well-brewed winter warmer that does what it's supposed to do. Note to Marin: delivering on the Hoppy will make future Holidaze much brighter.

Photo of srandycarter
3.67/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pretty amber, not much head, reduces to ring fast. Thin sudsy lacking.

S - Almost Belgian at first thought, but no, Christmas spices dominate.

T - Taste follow smell. Malt sweetness is there but accented with the type of spices associated with hot Christmas drinks.

M - Good coating, fair carb, good balance.

D - I think this just isn't my cup of beer.

Photo of rossthefireman
4.55/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Nice hazy orange brown color
S- Malty smell with some vanilla notes
T- Great malty taste, some vanilla, hint of cinamon
M- Great mouthfeel, great carbonation and balance
D- Easily drinkable

I really enjoyed this beer. The one thing that threw me of was that it didnt taste like a holiday ale. With holiday ales I expect a big beer with juniper berry and hop flavors but this didnt have it, it actually confused me at first. So even though it threw me off, I still really liked it and gave it favorable reviews.
After drinking it I dont consider this a holiday ale/ winter warmer, but this would make a great every day ale produced by Marin brewing due to its easy drinkablility and great flavor.

Photo of Tdizzle
3.56/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A winter warmer brewed with spices and pure vanilla extract.

A- Poured into an imperial pint glass, this beer pours a clear yellowish-orange color with a white head that settles to a thin cap over the beer. Minimal lacing is left behind.

S- Citrusy and floral. Sweet malts, oranges, and honey with indiscernible spices in the background. A bit chemically smelling though, which might be the vanilla.

T- Sweet and malty, with spices like cinammon and nutmeg followed by a flavorful finish. The vanilla comes through in the flavor profile.

M- A very pleasing mouthfeel. Smooth and velvety, with medium-light carbonation that feels just right.

D- Good tasting beer, good drinkability, good night. Kudos to Marin on the 7% ABV.

An all-around good winter warmer. I would have this again.

Photo of magictrokini
2.26/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Expecting an IPA, but got something I really did not like. Pours gold with a minimal white head. Dusty, dank aroma. Taste was not good. Mix of apricots with spice and vanilla. Hops were undetectable until the end of the bottle, and then they tasted like vegetables. Blech.

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

Pours a clear light orange color with a 2 finger deep head of creamy white bubbles.

Smells of holiday spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, orange as well as a bready, bakery aroma.

Slighty spicy from the holiday spices, caramel like maltiness, zesty orange, vanilla in the finish.

Feels nice. Smooth, creamy, lush, medium bodied, lingering vanilla extract flavor.

The whole bottle was a chore. Not bad by any means, I just dont particuarly care for these flavors in my beer. Kudos to Marin for brewing this though.

Photo of gpogo
3.79/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Opaque orange with off-white head.

A- Citrusy hop aromas with spices. Cinnamon and nutmeg seem to be the most prevalent.

T- LIght malty sweetness backed with citrusy hop flavors and spices. It was a very enjoyable taste, not overly spiced.

M- Medium-light body and low carbonation. Not much of an alcohol warming though.

D- Very drinkable holiday beer. Admitedly I acquired this one on holiday clearance, though I'd love to try it again closer to when it is brewed.

Photo of sulldaddy
3.82/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I am sampling a 22 oz bottle poured into a snifter at cellar temp.
The brew pours a clear copper hue with a fizzy off white head of 2 cm foaming up and receding quickly to a thin edge layer. No streams of carbonation rise to refresh the head.
Aroma is fruity and spicy with some caramel and cinnamon mixing with cloves and nutmeg and perhaps vanilla. Overall a sweet nose but not over done or imposing.

First sip reveals a lite body with very fine tingly yet spacious carbonation. Almost under carbonated and the texture is a little thin but so far so good.

Flavor is sweet through and through. Caramel and cinnamon intertwine and dominate but hints of nutmeg and cloves and some vanilla poke through. The beer is easy to drink and festive for sure. Not a bad beer, but it would be more fun with a little more body to it.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.37/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice looking golden-orange with a sticky, foamy white head. The smell is an intriguing mix of floral, cinnamon, nutmeg and hops. It tastes like a weaker version of Anchors Christmas Ale. The smell is really good. The taste is decent but not something I would drink again. I would go for Anchor if I wanted a similar warmer with a zing.

Photo of JDV
2.8/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared at tasting with Fly, Dewbrewer, Humulone_Red and others. Thanks guys!
Some apple juice like maltiness in the nose and taste. Somewhat oktoberfest like taste to it. Nice musty maltiness predominantly and I didn't pick up on the spices or vanilla really. Just ok, I thought.

Photo of t0rin0
4.04/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy apricot color with a foamy head that retains well; not much in the lacing department

Smell: Peach, toffee and vanilla; some of the spices are also in there, such as cinnamon, nutmetg and orange peel

Taste: Opens with a bizarre fruity flavor that contains peach and holiday spicing, where the bitter orange peel dominates but the nutmeg and cinnamon are apparent; after the swallow, the bitter orange peel dominates the hop flavor which has an English earthiness at the very end

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I would characterize this as an interesting but failed experiment; very different but it just doesn't come together

Thanks, tangfoot, for the opportunity

Photo of Floydster
3.67/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bomber purchased from Cooke's Family Market for around four dollars, split with my dad last night

Poured into my Firestone pint glass with a golden orange color and that was more on the lighter side, 1/2 soapy white head that stuck around for a few minutes, some retention and small amounts of lacing

Smell had lots of different spices, some orange peel, coriander, ginger, faint hoppiness, and caramel

Taste was very spicy and full of different herbs, good amount of hoppiness, strong cinammon and nutmeg flavors, some malt but not as much as most winter beers, mostly bread and toffee, very faint milk chocolate flavor, but mostly spices overall, got sweeter as it warmed and became easier to drink surprisingly, the bitterness in the finish made the spiciness bearable for me, complex brew that will give your tongue some different sensations

Body was pretty good and there was just the right amount of carbonation, taste lasted a pretty long time too

Could drink another bomber of this probably, but the spiciness would get to me after a while even though it is relatively light on the stomach and it has a pretty low ABV

Another above average brew from Marin, cannot wait to try their White Knuckle double IPA, this was one of the better winter warmers I had this holiday season and I am usually not a fan of them, recommended, but I would probably age it for at least a year to see if it would mellow a bit

Photo of Viggo
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Christmas tasting with biegaman and grub. biegaman brought this one back from Cali!

Pours a hazy orange/brown, thin off white head forms, leaves some lace spots, nice ring, looks okay. Smell is caramel, some spices, oranges, ginger, bready malt, citrus, interesting, very spicy. Taste is similar, heavy on the ginger and oranges, some vanilla, cinnamon, caramel, bread, touch of alcohol, very spicy, bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Not too bad, little bit unfocused though. Thanks Jan!

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.28/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2006 release, Sampled December 2007
Very well carbonated as a careful pour produces a four-finger thick, light tan colored head that sits a top a brilliantly clear amber hued beer that is just filled with excessive carbonation bubbles. Aromas of spices dominate the nose; nutmeg is the most persistent, but a backdrop of cinnamon is also noticed. Not much else is noticeable in the aroma, though there is perhaps a touch of herbal hop character here.

Lightly sweet, yet with a sharpness that is a combination of spice notes as well as a slight sourness. Dusty nutmeg flavors and flavors of muted cinnamon turn a bit astringent and almost woody as one gets towards the finish. Fairly light, especially for a 7% alcohol beer, this would definitely be an easily quaffed beer if not for the excessive spice notes. Some fruit flavors are noticeable under the spices, with touches of apples and perhaps a hint of pear flavors. Hop flavors add some bitterness as well as some herbal notes that become muddled together with the more powerful spice notes.

This is not a bad beer, it is just not my cup of tea. Too spice dominated, even after a year of age.

Photo of grub
3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

christmas tasting hosted by biegaman on dec 15/07. he contributed this one. thanks jan!

22oz bottle.

pours a nice reddish amber colour with a bit of very fine white head. no lace.

aroma is nice. light alcohol. bit of caramel. big floral character, but not quite as dominating as in the moylan's we had before it. bit of pepper. hint of pine. cinnamon and nutmeg.

taste is ok. medium bitterness level. grapefruit. orange peel. bit of caramel. pepper. cracker malt. lots of flowers and spice again.

mouthfeel is ok. low carbonation level. medium body.

drinkability is not great. the spice and floral character are overpowering and not pleasant. no balance.

Photo of largadeer
2.79/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Amber-colored with a slight haze. Very foamy with good head retention.

Smell: Slightly funky - the nose is a mishmash of various spices, the dominant aroma being orange peel. Not entirely enjoyable.

Taste/mouthfeel: Very dry. The spices are dominant, primarily orange and vanilla, with malt taking a backseat to those flavors. Hops come out more in the finish, leaving a pleasantly bitter aftertaste. Sits well on the tongue with moderate carbonation and a medium body. Not bad, but the spices seem to overwhelm the malt. A less dry foundation would support the spices better.

Photo of Murchmac
2.6/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer this year pours with a big head. Watch out pouring it.

Smells of slight hops, but more of a macro smell than anything.

Tastes like a Mr. Potato Head at Guernica. Some vanilla notes, some hop notes, some malty caramel, but just all over the place, not very uniform.

Good alcohol content is present, good beer to drink a lot of to get drunk if you like vanilla. If you dont like vanilla in your beer. Stay away.

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

22oz. bottle

Slightly hazy, light gold in color. Large, white head. Brewed with Sterling and Styrian Goldings hops.

Aroma was floral - lavender? Nutmeg and oranges, some vanilla.

Taste was much too dependent on spice, in my opinion. Not the same flavors as Weyerbacher's Imperial Pumpkin, but the intensity level was similar. Hops push through as citrus & floral. Some pepper in there.

Medium + in body. Carbonation was fairly high, but well integrated. Quite dry, almost astringent.

Not my cup of beer. Too spicy. It improved as it warmed, but not enough for me to want to go here again.

Photo of hoppymeal
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours honey gold with some cloudiness and a massive size off white head that recedes fairly quickly. Tart apple, lemony-orange, honey sweetness, some soft sweetness like belgian sugar and a bit of nuttiness in the aroma. taste shows some lemony tartness, a bit of grassiness and straw, and a soft bready sweetness. Mouthfeel is soft and fluffy up front with some decent dryness and bitterness in the finish. Much like a biere de garde, nice level of spicing, not overpowering, a nice mild tartness and soft creamy sweetness. Refreshing and enjoyable.

Photo of warmstorage
3.99/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle, states 7.0% ABV, and notes various awards including 2006 World Beer Championships, suggesting it's a 2006 winter brew.

Poured in a wide-mouthed wine glass, pours a bright orange with little white head, dissipates rapidly, leaves no lacing.

Aroma is sweet malt and spice.

Taste is all about the spice: hard to pin down, but cinnamon and nutmeg seem most likely. Perhaps allspice? Some hints at white pepper, and ripe peaches. I'm reasonably pleased with my guesses and that this beer shows the spices well, as the Marin website indicates the spicing as follows: "Spices include Nutmeg, Mace, Cinnamon, Vanilla and Orange Peel." Ms. Warmstorage thought it was a homebrewed tripel we made; her next guess was a quadrupel. Interesting. I'm not sure what to make of that, though I did know what it was I was tasting, and I always have her taste it 'blind' to avoid skewing the results.

Mouth is slightly tingly and somewhat thin, doesn't linger too long.

A very tasty spiced ale, and something I'll buy again. I'm rarely to never disappointed with Marin, and this is no exception.

Photo of rallison
1.95/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A: Nothing special - light amber color with not much of a head.

S: Smells like peaches mixed with malt.

T: Like many other reviewers have said, it has a distinct peach syrup taste. Unfortunately, this is true. It tastes artificial. It takes everything bad about most fruit ciders and puts it into a beer. Ugh. It's bad. One dimensional peach flavors. And where the hell are the hops?

M: Much of the same - and by same I mean boring one-dimensional mediocrity. Somewhat thin and boring.

D: You could drink a ton of this except for the fact that it tastes horrible.

Marin and Moylan's usually do some good beers. This is not one of those.

Photo of BeerRun13
3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy orange with some yellow highlights. Super fluffy eggshell head is thick and bubbles rise from below.
Slight wheat. Orange citrus. Banana and clove.
Interesting Orange citrus and fruity flavors. Spices. Almost artificial tasting sugary spiciness.
Medium bodied. Well carbonated. Kinda sticky.
I enjoyed the try, but was generaly not impressed with this one.

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

$4.99 at LaBodega in Riverside, CA. for a 22 oz Bomber. 2006 Version.

OK, I have been trying a lot of West Coast Hop beers lately- the Stones, the Alesmiths, etc. So when I saw "Hoppy Holidaze", I was expecting another west coast hop bomb. What a surprise when I found a beer of generally mellow malts with a sweet multi-flavored mix with no hops to be found. The label proclaims: "delicately spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, orange peel, and pure vanilla extract." OK, great- but what I taste is peach syrup. Vanilla. Some other winter spices that I can't identify. OK, I'm not so good at picking up subtle (or not so subtle) flavors.

Where are the hops??? Don't get me wrong, I am not a hop monkey like some I know- I like all different kinds. This one just surprised me from the complete lack thereof.

But the bottom line- do I like it? In a way, yes, I do. But it's one of those "a little goes a long way" kind of beers. Good taste, enjoyable for 8-12 ounces, but a 22 oz. bottle is just too much for me.

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

A: Dark honey copper with a slight haze from the chill. Lively activity with loads of bubbles spurring from the bottom. Light beige head doesn't appear to be overly thick but seems to have some great staying power.

S: Overwhelming coriander, cinnamon, cloves, lemon rind, grass clippings and green banana peel. Overall sort of pungent and musty.

T: Begins lightly citrusy with a gentle amount of spices. This moves to bready fruit flavors, I guess I'd describe it as a fruitcake. Malty flavor sort of reminds me of pumpkin or squash, but I'm sure the spices are adding to the effect. This mixed with some caramel creates a secure backbone. Spices from this point start to get carried away and a bit muddied. Aftertaste is a hodge podge of seasonings and spices which sort of bugs me...not really any depth.

M: Medium body with a full mouthfeel. Very nice carbonation.

D: A bit too much seasoning in this one. The flavors didn't meld well and the aftertaste had WAY too much spices on the tongue. With that said, I appreciate the offering from Marin and look forward to seeing what they put forth next year.

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