Barley's Christmas Ale | Barley's Brewing Company

very good
11 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
Barley's Brewing Company
Ohio, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-27-2002

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Reviews: 11 | Ratings: 29
Photo of jrallen34
3.37/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I drank this on tap into a tasting glass.

The beer pours an orangy copper color with a light white head, light carbonation.

The aroma is light nutmeg, cinamin, pine and alcohol.

The taste is light and delicate which is good because with the aromas this beer could be really overwhelming. The taste you get are a lots of tart pine and alcohol dominating with nutmeg mixed in there.

The beer is too watery and not very drinkable.

Overall a decent spiced winter beer.

 469 characters

Photo of Otesanek
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft into a standard shaker pint, at the release party 2009, drowsy lads laying down some Irish tunes. No lingering head, perhaps from the oils of the spices. Great color and excellent clarity however. The aroma is muted, perhaps because the beer is quite cold, but there are definite winter spices and some sweet malts, lightly toasty, with a tiny hint of orange peel. The taste is sweet and slightly tangy with a mellow spicing, seems to be dominated by cinnamon and ginger. The finish is super clean with just a faint lingering spice. The mouthfeel is light and easy, with perfect carbonation. I assume a lower ABV because this stuff is soooo easy to put away.

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Photo of csmiley
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to fellow BA prototypic for hooking this one up.

A - Pours clear and amber with an off white head. Got about half inch worth of foam that shows decent retention. Head settles to a paper thin cap of suds that barely coats the top of the brew. Leaves a good amount of lace around the glass.

S - Smells sweet at first. Aromas of caramel and cinnamon flavored hard candy roll of this brew. Notes of smooth Christmas spice show midway. A little bready toward the end with darker bread dough and some crust.

T - A warm spiciness hits the palate first. Mostly cinnamon and maybe ginger. Caramel forms a solid base at this point and mixes ever so slightly with a mild doughy flavor. If the flavors work just right there are notes of fresh cinnamon roll. Mild alcohol brings up the rear. Some fruity flavors push through as it warms - pineapple and orange maybe.

M - Lighter bodied and light on the carbonation. Finish is sweet and spicey. This one is very smooth throughout.

D - Drinkability is good. Balance is very nice for this ale. It seems to disappear way too quick. Quite easy to put down a few pints in one session. There is just enough complexity to keep it from becoming cloying after a while. Easily recommended brew from Barley's

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Photo of xare
3.61/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured as an amber-mahogany color with a nice tan head that dissipates far too quickly for my taste. But it's very nice looking.

Smell was rather average - smelled like "beer" with a touch of orange... rather faint overtones of honey and ginger. But you have to struggle to discern them.

Taste was of ginger, honey, and orange. But again, have to struggle to discern them. Nice combo of flavors that were harmonious together though.

Mouthfeel was rather thin and the head didn't help very much. Carbonation didn't add pop either. Rather flat at times, but was quite smooth.

Drinkability is very high. Was able to polish off the growler within a couple of hours. Would definitely buy this again and polish another growler off again. Very easy to drink - I think the ABV is actually in the 5-6% range. Reasonably priced as well, definitely a must-drink if you have access to it.

Overall - a very solid seasonal beer.

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Photo of tkarsies
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from growler into pint glass. Served cool.
Appearance was a clear amber with a 2 finger beige head that leaves lots of sticky lacing
The nose is full of holiday spices¬óginger, orange peel, hint of cinnamon, and others. Very nice.
Taste is the same as the nose. Spices very prominent up front. After that, a solid malt backbone that supports more spices and a nice hop bitterness.
Light carbonation contributes to a creamy mouthfeel.
I don’t know what the ABV is, but alcohol is not evident at all. This has just the right mix of spices and maltiness. It is easy to drink, and went well with Thanksgiving dinner as well as standing on its own. I have not been a big fan of winter warmers, but I will be seeking this out next year.

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Photo of genog
4.21/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a great amber color with clear, and sparkling body. Thin white layer of head that leaves great lacing along the side of the glass. Smell is just like the holidays smell, if that makes sense. Cinnamon, Nutmeg, spices. Taste is delicious with the spices up front making a nice sweetness followed by a nice hop bite in the finish with some spicy floral. Mouthfeeling is crisp with great bubbles of carbonation.

 413 characters

Photo of Ahhdball
4.48/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ever had something that tastes "like Christmas"? This is truly a unique experience. Light copper with no head, small bit of lace and residue along the glass. Held to the light an almost blood red color shines through. Malt, spices like orange rind, vague vanilla and cinnamon. Interesting. Tastes fantastic; pine, cinnamon, citrus notes, molasses and malt all flow excellent together playing well with the warming presence of alcohol. Smooth easy going mouthfeel leaves a velvet finish that makes this a great brew to look forward to in the christmas seasons.

 559 characters

Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.82/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the cask at Ale House # 2.
Creamy tan head sits atop this copper colored beer.
Nice aroma of honey, sweet malts, orange, and ginger.

Taste shows a solid caramel malt backbone. Heavily spiced. Honey, orange, ginger and other spices play a large role in this beer. Nice up front, but a bit bitey and mouth puckering middle to end. I'd be very interested in having this one on tap at the colder serving temperature to see how that changes the beer.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel.
Very flavorful, but something is hampering it's drinkability for me.

Overall, the spicing and flavor reminds me in several ways of Great Lakes' Christmas Ale although the GLBC version is better, IMO. This is definitely a solid beer well worth sampling though.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Along with Dogbrick and Mrs. Dogbrick, Wildman, Eric the Wild, and assorted other revelers, this was the opening shot from Barley's for this Holiday Season. The 11th Anniversary Party was a blast and this brew did not disappoint, at least not terribly.

The lovely tawny amber body had a small and shortlived off-white head and some delicate lacing. The nose was nicely malty with plenty of fine spices noted in the aroma. This became firmly noted in the flavor as the subdued spice elements wiped away any doubt of this beer's seasonality. Lovely to taste, but a bit too thin and lacking carbonation, it seemed to take all its liveliness from the spices rather than the feel. Nicely drinkable and a pleasure to behold, it is a nice holiday treat. I donated my growler to the lady publican at Boston's for her holiday cheering.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted at Barley's 10th Anniversary Party on November 21st. I have been waiting awhile to try this one, especially since I have heard tales of people visiting family in Columbus over the holidays just to get this beer. While I was a little let down, it was still a very good seasonal. Dark amber color. Spiced aroma of ginger with some hops. A little thinner than I would have hoped, and I think I should have let it warm a little to let the flavor come out more. Either way I will get another shot because I took home a growler.

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Photo of Wildman
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the most popular beers this brewery offers. It has a very interesting flavor and hides it's alcohol content very well. Of course this can come back to haunt you later. That is what makes it infamous as well. It pours a regular slightly cloudy amber color with a small white head. The aroma is of malt, cinamon (?sp) and some citrus, with a touch of hops. The flavor is of malt, cinamon and some citrus. A slightly astrigent finish and a hidden alcohol kick. This beer varies enough each year to almost qualify to have a yearly review.

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Barley's Christmas Ale from Barley's Brewing Company
4.02 out of 5 based on 29 ratings.
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