Christmas Ale
Shepherd Neame Ltd

Christmas AleChristmas Ale
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Shepherd Neame Ltd
England, United Kingdom
Winter Warmer
Ranked #126
Ranked #27,878
3.43 | pDev: 14.58%
Dec 29, 2021
Dec 06, 2003
Christmas AleChristmas Ale
Notes: None
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Photo of Snowcrash000
4.05/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by Snowcrash000 from Germany

Pours a slightly cloudy, deep amber coloration with a medium, fluffy head. Smells of bready, caramel malt and floral, slightly herbal and spicy hops, with hints of red berries also coming through. Taste is a great balance between bready, caramel malt and floral, herbal and spicy hops, with fruity accents of orange rind, fig and cranberry. Finishes with a medium bitterness and some bready malt, floral hops, spice and citrus and berry notes lingering in the aftertaste. Smooth mouthfeel with a medium body and carbonation.

While this seems quite hoppy for a Christmas Ale, I actually really like the balance between malt and hops here, while this also has got quite a dry and bitter character to it, which totally lacks the sweetness which one might expect from the style. That's a good thing in my book though and the bready, caramel malts do provide a certain richness with a little sweetness that is clearly overshadowed by the floral and quite bitter and spicy hops, with notes of citrus zest and red berries rounding things out very nicely here. Overall, while this may not be a typical Christmas Ale, I still found it quite enjoyable for what it is.

Dec 29, 2021
Photo of LanceBiggums
4.34/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by LanceBiggums from Canada (AB)

Crystal clear, very orange amber, with two fingers of foamy off-white head. Very pretty to look at. Lush fruit on the nose. The taste is bursting with fruit flavour, cranberry, orange, sweetish crystal malt, and typically English bitter hops. There is also a fleeting flavour that I can only say reminds me of almond extract. The alcohol is noticeable and warming, but not obtrusive. Overall a very tasty and satisfying winter ale.

Dec 18, 2021
Photo of OlaB
3.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by OlaB from Norway

Pours a clear copper color with a small top off white head that dissolves quickly.
Aroma is of caramel, malts, bread, raisins, figs and spices.
The taste starts of sweet with notes of dried fruits and spices allong with dark malts, bread and caramel in the background. The finish is quite bitter with some hop notes.
Soft and smooth mouthfeel with a mediucarbonation and a medium body.
A fairly good winter warmer.

Dec 10, 2021
Photo of TooManyGlasses
3.83/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by TooManyGlasses from Canada (AB)

On the cusp of the first day of summer why not have a slightly aged Christmas Ale.
Pours a clear dark reddish amber with a finger of creamy khaki head.
Aroma of doughy bready caramel malt, note of plum, raisin and faint hint spice.
Tastes of toffee, doughy caramel malt, a bit of bread pudding, touch of plum, and a light floral hop bitterness.
Smooth medium mouthfeel - sweet malt dominates over the slight spicy floral hop bitterness. This was actually really quite good and very drinkable.

Jun 19, 2020
Photo of janubio
3.49/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
by janubio from Spain

Tasted at The Situation in a snifter glass. Pours an amber colour, medium head with short retention, tiny crying lace.
Aroma of anise, spices, tobacco, caramel.
Light body, creamy texture, good carbonation. Sweet finish.
Taste of anise, some hops, spices, caramel, tobacco.

Jan 28, 2019
3.44 by Electros from Canada (ON) on Dec 26, 2018
Photo of biboergosum
3.81/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by biboergosum from Canada (AB)

500ml bottle - let the festive season commence, as it is at least post-Hallowe'en, amirite?

This beer pours a clear, bright medium bronzed amber colour, with a teeming tower of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly off-white head, which leaves some stellar blotchy lace around the glass as it slowly seeps away.

It smells of bready and biscuity caramel malt, some muddled pome fruitiness, a hint of earthy spice, and some plain leafy, herbal, and floral noble hop bitters. The taste is grainy and doughy caramel malt, a lesser biscuity toffee sweetness, baked apples, faint generic citrus notes, and more earthy, spicy, and floral hoppiness.

The carbonation is average in its palate-satisfying frothiness, the body a so-so middleweight, and generally smooth, with a wee airy creaminess evolving as things warm up a tad around here. It finishes off-dry, the malt keepin' on keepin' on.

Overall - this is an approachable enough version of the style, simple in its bearing. Something to sip on while sitting in front of a fireplace, listening to distant relatives' stories, or the like. And the well-hidden extra 2 points of ABV may surely help one get through the latter.

Nov 17, 2018
3.5 by GoHabsGo from Canada (ON) on Jan 06, 2018
3.73 by Recoilx from Canada (ON) on Dec 25, 2017
Photo of patre_tim
3.85/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by patre_tim from Thailand

Copper orange and filtered with lots of champagne carbonation, and topped with 4 fingers of light beige head.

Smells of treacle, toffee and caramel. Very malt forward.

The taste follows the nose, and is very sweet with hints of orange and treacle, malt beverage and a hint of hard water. Bitterness is only in the afterthought.

Medium, buoyant body, with little carbonation.

Got this at LCBO, and I'm drinking at the cottage tonight, Dec 14th, 2017. Better than expected based on other people's ratings. Enjoyable on a cold winters evening.

Dec 15, 2017
3.77 by DannyBaldoni from Canada (QC) on Dec 03, 2017
Photo of Aidan11
4/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Aidan11 from Canada (ON)

This is an easy, drinkable beer that still had slot of flavor. It's sweet, bready, and toffeeish, while also being spicy. One can taste the alcohol a bit, but that just compliments the spiciness.

Nov 03, 2017
3.67 by windowside from Germany on Feb 08, 2017
3.46 by Mousel from Canada (ON) on Jan 05, 2017
Photo of josanguapo
4.52/5  rDev +31.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
by josanguapo from Spain

From Cerveceria Internacional. In Ikea's pint glass. Reading JHTP11 Ch 21. Deliciously sweet, with some zesty notes that Im not sure if they come from spices or hops, and really, really moreish.

Dec 27, 2016
3.8 by OneTuffPony from Canada (ON) on Nov 05, 2016
3.65 by ikidunot from Canada (ON) on Aug 23, 2016
3.35 by Tee76 from Michigan on Nov 18, 2015
Photo of franklioni
3.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25
by franklioni from Sweden

Could have done with a bit more mellowness as it was just too much of everything to be a classic.

Nov 05, 2015
Photo of psm90
4/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by psm90 from England

Nicely balanced with spicy notes throughout. Warming alcohol notes.

Apr 01, 2015
3.39 by Molson2000 from Canada (ON) on Jan 22, 2015
3.7 by kelvarnsen from Canada (ON) on Dec 28, 2014
3.15 by Cycle69 from Canada (ON) on Dec 19, 2014
3 by srsev from Canada (ON) on Dec 01, 2014
3.75 by andrenaline from Canada (ON) on Nov 22, 2014
3.37 by CRObighit2 from Canada (ON) on Nov 16, 2014
3.55 by Wajohnst from Canada (ON) on Nov 11, 2014
3 by Cramshawbar from Canada (ON) on Nov 11, 2014
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.25/5  rDev -5.2%
by CAMRAhardliner from Canada (ON)

Pours clear copper with a small foam ring for a head. Fruity, estery, malty christmas cake with an edge of lemon rind, woody hops. Too much booze present for the gravity.

Worth a try if you like the style, but drinkability takes a hit because of the medicinal alcohol flavor.

Nov 08, 2014
3.25 by DaPan from Canada (ON) on Sep 13, 2014
3.5 by harpus from Alabama on Apr 09, 2014
3.25 by Jah_Json from Sweden on Feb 11, 2014
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.02/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

Bottle: Poured a bright copper color ale with a relatively large foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of fruity ester with candy like notes with light caramelized malt notes. Taste is also dominated by some very nice candy like ester with some refreshing fruity notes and some medium caramel malt notes. Body is light with good carbonation. Nothing extreme in this beer but well balance with nice work around the ester.

Feb 09, 2014
3 by curewhatalesu from Canada (ON) on Jan 16, 2014
Photo of bylerteck
4.06/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by bylerteck from Canada (ON)

From notes.

A - Poured dark gold and bright with a two finger fluffy off white head. Spotty lace and a half finger of retention.

S - Big toffee, bread, fruity esters, pudding, leather, hops. Good depth and malty complexity.

T - Much of the same pleasantness. Crystal malt, earthy hops, more toffee. Tasty.

M - Good carbonation, medium to full body, and a sweet finish.

O/D - I don't get the harsh reviews on this. It's a nice and strong complex English ale. Enjoyed it.

Jan 09, 2014
3 by windypete from England on Dec 24, 2013
2 by GarthT from Hong Kong on Dec 23, 2013
3.25 by BigGruntyThirst from Canada (ON) on Dec 22, 2013
4 by vinicole from England on Dec 18, 2013
Photo of EmperorBevis
3.04/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75
by EmperorBevis from England

A reddish brown clear body with a tidal wave of foamy white head that stops you pouring a 500ml bottle into a full pint glass that soon goes

Muted aromas of mince pies and gunpowder

Some crystallised fruit and some warmth but it feels more like boozy heartburn than Christmas spice and just then lies flat no depth, no

Just so thin for such a strength ale and too fizzy

not a good winter warmer

almost enough to convince Clarence it isn't a wonderful life

Dec 12, 2013
Christmas Ale from Shepherd Neame Ltd
Beer rating: 79 out of 100 with 75 ratings