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Father Christmas Highland Ale - The Olde Burnside Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Father Christmas Highland AleFather Christmas Highland Ale

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

50 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 50
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 6
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Olde Burnside Brewing Company visit their website
Connecticut, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Legend has it that Father Christmas wandered through Scottish villages gathering a merry following and distributing sweets to children and "wee heavy," a cheery libation, to adults. Like its predecessors, Father Christmas is heavy and potent, tremendously and uniquely satisfying and flavorful. The aroma of toasted grain and mocha are mouth-watering. Father Christmas Ale is ruddy and ruby-brown, topped by a thick, loose, tan head. Sweet, roasted malt and mild smoky tastes merge into a phenomenal finish. The tall, cobalt-blue bottle, brightly labeled, makes for a wonderful presentation and host's gift. Delightful in every respect, Father Christmas Highland Ale is a Yuletide staple and Santa's favorite. He enjoys a pint at my house annually and never spares a drop.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-04-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 50 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of 420Rick
4/5  rDev +3.4%

420Rick, Mar 13, 2014
Photo of KelsoSaaz
4.16/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into snifter

A: Pours a deep mahogany brown that shines amber when held to light. Thin, quickly dissipating, khaki head.

S: Woody, peaty and rich cherry aromas up front. Caramel and other sweet malt tones are apparent as well. Earthy and boozy notes too.

T: Sweet and rich malts up front dominate flavors. Not as much cherry flavor as I would have expected. Very soft, medicine and cherry flavors are what you taste here. Earth and slightly tart dark fruit flavors lurk in the background.

M: Very slightly viscous body. Moderate to mild carbonation.

O: A nice winter treat. Malty and sweet with deeper cherry flavors than other similar beers this beer sets itself apart from the pack in a good way. Not your typical scotch ale; this beer is great for philosophical evenings in the dead of winter.

KelsoSaaz, Mar 04, 2014
Photo of edhizdeid
4/5  rDev +3.4%

edhizdeid, Feb 16, 2014
Photo of Mess
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Mess, Jan 20, 2014
Photo of tigg924
4.43/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: high carbonation, 1/4 inch head, clear, brown in color

Smell: peat, caramel, and berries

Taste: big time caramel and cherries, light chocolate and bread

Mouthfeel: very sweet, medium body, moderate carbonation

Overall: I loved this beer and is now one of my favorites coming out of Connecticut. This is a malty dessert beer and not an everyday drinker. The caramel works perfectly with the cherry for a holiday treat. I will be getting this again.

tigg924, Jan 06, 2014
Photo of JTomczak
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

JTomczak, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of Robtobfest
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Robtobfest, Dec 25, 2013
Photo of ejane
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%

ejane, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of PicoPapa
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle. Part of the ever so popular 2 pack.... Pours a dark brown color with some medium brown ruby hues and a half inch of head. Minimal lacing. Aromas of caramel and butterscotch. Malty and boozey. The taste is more of the butterscotch with lots of caramel malts. Slightly watery with lots of alcohol flavor. Earthy towards the end. Slightly medicinal. Butterscotch finish. Mouthfeel is a bit thin. Overall, a decent Scotch Ale I'd buy again, but I'm not a big fan of the 2 pack format.

PicoPapa, Dec 02, 2013
Photo of Atomicskis5
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Atomicskis5, Apr 11, 2013
Photo of thegerm87
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

thegerm87, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of Thads324
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Thads324, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of Rifugium
3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Served in a snifter, a garnet-brown liquid, hazy, with a thin cap of beige bubbles on top; minimal retention and lacing. Muted aroma of caramel, nutty, woody, touch of brown sugar and cocoa. Taste was fairly mild, caramel malts, brown sugar, light fruity esters, hints of cocoa cobwebs, and smoked wood. I find some beers of this style to be bland and flavorless, and others to be overblown and even sickeningly sweet. This one was at a pretty solid mid-ground, though overall not very interesting. Medium body, perhaps thin for the style, but easily drinkable; soft carbonation, and ABV fairly well-hidden.

Rifugium, Dec 24, 2012
Photo of davey101
4/5  rDev +3.4%

davey101, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of Casterbridge
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Casterbridge, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of rolltide8425
4/5  rDev +3.4%

rolltide8425, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of yeti123
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

yeti123, Dec 04, 2012
Photo of jrfehon33
4/5  rDev +3.4%

jrfehon33, Dec 02, 2012
Photo of raythealeman
4/5  rDev +3.4%

raythealeman, Apr 05, 2012
Photo of chrispoint
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

chrispoint, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of jfcaa193
3/5  rDev -22.5%

jfcaa193, Jan 30, 2012
Photo of HopsHopenstein
4/5  rDev +3.4%

HopsHopenstein, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of wowbagger
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this while traveling for the holidays. Decent head. Pours dull brown with reddish notes. Smells of yeast and cherries. Sharp flavor, but mild hops and malt. Sweet but only just, which balances well. Aftertaste is bready.

Overall, very pleased with this one. I would recommend it to anyone who can find some.

wowbagger, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of Pahn
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 liter swing top bottle into Duvel tulip. It's Christmas Eve, may as well start into this giant Father Christmas Highland Ale from my hometown brewery.

Appearance: Free pour yields a 2 inch frothy offwhite head that dissipates steadily and lacelessly. Pours a hazy red orange, and leaves small streaks and spots of lacing.

Smell: Butterscotch and caramel at first. Very rich and dessert like. Soon, a strong cherry cordial note emerges (it's not like cherry, or chocolate, or chocolate covered cherry, but the full on, syrupy flavor of eating a cherry cordial). The cherry cordial and caramel sort of vie for prominence. Faint sourdough aroma present underneath.

Unique and inviting.

Taste: Like the nose, but with a watery and sour Euro-lager-like tang, with cherry cordial in the middle and caramel in the crisp finish. Takes some getting used to, but after a few sips, I'm on board.

The two main players in the flavor and aroma remain prominent... in fact, this beer doesn't change much from start to finish. Alcohol is completely masked. Some toasted bread flavor is there under the fruit and caramel. It's good, and well balanced, but a bit bland.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. At times creamy, at times watery. High side of moderate carbonation. Crisp, semi-dry finish.

Overall: This is an interesting beer. Despite being decidedly less complex than the better Scotch ales of the world, the flavors here aren't something you often find in a beer. Nor is anything really out of place.

Father Christmas Highland Ale is a good one for celebrating. It doesn't have the character to stand up to the kind of "sit there, drink, think," kind of drinking that I often do, but it would be perfect for getting merry in the company of friends. Hidden alcohol, pleasant taste, giant bottle.

Pahn, Dec 25, 2011
Photo of layapandora
4/5  rDev +3.4%

layapandora, Dec 22, 2011
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Father Christmas Highland Ale from The Olde Burnside Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.