Christmas Ale
Shepherd Neame Ltd

Christmas AleChristmas Ale
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Shepherd Neame Ltd
England, United Kingdom
Winter Warmer
Ranked #125
Ranked #27,732
3.43 | pDev: 14.58%
Dec 29, 2021
Dec 06, 2003
Notes: None
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Photo of Snowcrash000
Reviewed by Snowcrash000 from Germany

4.05/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Pours a clear, 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. (2021)

I had this again in 2022 and it seemed a bit less hoppy and more malt-focussed than I remembered it, making me wonder if it's actually the same bottling date, as I got it from the same shop. Still not bad though, perhaps even better, depending on your preference, although I prefered it fresher, making for a nice change of pace from your usual Christmas Ale. Memory can be a tricky thing, but it does seem a bit richer in caramel malt and dark/red fruit, while the citrus notes and bitterness seem to have dimished somewhat.
Dec 29, 2021
Photo of LanceBiggums
Reviewed by LanceBiggums from Canada (AB)

4.34/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
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
Reviewed by OlaB from Norway

3.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
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
Reviewed by TooManyGlasses from Canada (AB)

3.83/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
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
Reviewed by janubio from Spain

3.49/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
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
Rated: 3.44 by Electros from Canada (ON)

Dec 26, 2018
Photo of biboergosum
Reviewed by biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.81/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
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
Rated: 3.5 by GoHabsGo from Canada (ON)

Jan 06, 2018
Rated: 3.73 by Recoilx from Canada (ON)

Dec 25, 2017
Photo of patre_tim
Reviewed by patre_tim from Thailand

3.85/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
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
Rated: 3.77 by DannyBaldoni from Canada (QC)

Dec 03, 2017
Photo of Aidan11
Reviewed by Aidan11 from Canada (ON)

4/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
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
Rated: 3.67 by windowside from Germany

Feb 08, 2017
Rated: 3.46 by Mousel from Canada (ON)

Jan 05, 2017
Photo of josanguapo
Reviewed by josanguapo from Spain

4.52/5  rDev +31.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
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
Rated: 3.8 by OneTuffPony from Canada (ON)

Nov 05, 2016
Rated: 3.65 by ikidunot from Canada (ON)

Aug 23, 2016
Rated: 3.35 by Tee76 from Michigan

Nov 18, 2015
Photo of franklioni
Rated by franklioni from Sweden

3.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25
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
Rated by psm90 from England

4/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Nicely balanced with spicy notes throughout. Warming alcohol notes.
Apr 01, 2015
Christmas Ale from Shepherd Neame Ltd
Beer rating: 79 out of 100 with 75 ratings