Christmas Ale | Shepherd Neame Ltd

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Christmas AleChristmas Ale
BA SCORE
3.4/5
Okay
68 Ratings
Christmas AleChristmas Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Shepherd Neame Ltd
England, United Kingdom
shepherd-neame.co.uk

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-06-2003

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#43,036
Reviews:
31
Ratings:
68
pDev:
14.71%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
1
Gots:
10
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 68 |  Reviews: 31
Reviews by travolta:
Photo of travolta
2.77/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance:
Gold/apricot and scotch in color with a sticky, bubbly and light khaki head. Nice retention with spotted lacing.

Nose:
Fig, malt, light caramel, candied fruits, sweet.

Taste:
Clean light carbonation, easy caramel, yeasty aftertaste, crisp on the finish, smooth on the palate.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of bylerteck
4.06/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of beerhunter13
4/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single 500ml bottle from the LCBO, part of the 2012 holiday release. The bottle is quite nice, big Christmas wreath with hops.

Poured into a nonic. Light copper-amber, clear, decent head of foam that survives as a sturdy ring.

Nose is English pale with a little extra spice and earthy hops. Some citrus as well.

Decent pale ale taste with earthy hops, a bit of fruit (orange peel), tea, caramel. Standard stuff, but balanced and not bad.

Light bodied, easy to drink, mild carbonation.

Not bad, actually - classic case of the reviews setting me up for disappointment, but being pleasantly surprised, though this might just be this years' edition doing the talking. Might be a good stocking stuffer, but I'll stick with my usual holiday fare this year.

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Photo of DannyBaldoni
3.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TheBrk
3.25/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of djcreepshow
3/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of mintjellie
2.35/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Medium amber colour, brilliant clarity. Small, poorly retained off-white head. Almost no lace. Weak aroma, primarily floral with lighter notes of toasted cereal and diacetyl. Malt-forward flavour up-front with a nutty toasted malt note, followed by light butterscotch and an earthy/spicy hop note. Light-bodied with low carbonation and a thin, greasy mouthfeel. It doesn't taste bad, just overly plain and boring. Lacking in depth and complexity of flavour. Unpleasant mouthfeel. A disappointment.

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Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly spicy light orange tinged bodied beer. Decently drinkable. Understated, medium bodied. Drinkable with supper, somewhat more fruity and spicy (mild cinammon heat)than your average English beer. OK, but nothing outstanding or worth seeking out twice.

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Photo of beerluvr
3.68/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2012/13 edition

A - Off white head, clear light amber

S - Sweet malt, brown sugar, fruit

T - Biscuity malt, slighty tannic, mild spicy hop bitterness & yeast fruitiness

M - Smooth gentle carbonation, medium bodied with a spectacularly balanced finish

O - An excellent example of an English Xmas ale, very flavorful and balanced, with both hop and malt in check without either overpowering. Very well made.

 410 characters

Photo of Recoilx
3.73/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DaveBar
1.82/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 1.5

Thought this one would be interesting... wasn't really.

A- Pretty good! Nice dark amber colour. Ok head

S- Not much there at all. Was hoping for a lot more

T- Not so good. Cross between a scotch ale and a chocolate malt. Horrible aftertaste. Thin, thin, thin. No aging at all it seems. Alcohol is right forward but the whole beer is unbalanced. Just a hodge podge of characters strewn together and branded a Christmas Ale

M- Silky smooth

O- Not so good. Would not buy again.

Wow this thing just gets worse as time goes by. Pouring it down the drain it's that bad.

Food Pairing

LOL no way would I pair this with anything but the sink..

Thx for reading

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.02/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

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Photo of ikidunot
3.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BlackHaddock
3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Christmas Ale 2006. Clear 500ml bottle, 5.5%.

Best before end of September 2007, drank early November 2007, so just out of date.

Poured into my bateman's straight half pint sleeve glass, twice.

Light amber in colour, with an off white head, plenty of bubbles rising through the beer. Head shrinks too fast.

The label claims it has an aroma of tropical fruits, it did smell fairly sweet, but I thought caramel (I often do) and flowery perfume.

For a special Christmas brew it falls well short of a top winter warmer in my eyes, this is a good solid ale but it doesn't carry enough taste, power or umph to make it stand out. I detected oak within the aftertaste and I enjoyed the beer, but not enough to buy another if I see one.

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Photo of vinicole
4/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of beerdrifter
3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle of this at the Mondial Bier Fest in Strasbourg, France. Clear light copper-amber pour with two finger head, good retention, and great lacing. The nose was a bit skunky at first, but quickly faded and gave way to banana bread, tea, caramel, and toffee with just a touch of dark fruit. The taste pretty much follows suit with hints of fruity tea, caramel, herbal hops, banana bread, and a bit of butter and metal as well. The balance is good and the 7% ABV warms slightly and makes for a pretty drinkable beer. Fairly dry mouthfeel with a nice bitter finish. Not really what I think of as a Christmas beer, but still pretty solid.

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Photo of patre_tim
3.85/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

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Photo of Globetrotter
3.45/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Found in a Moscow grocery store - in April. Clear half liter bottle with "1698 - Britain's oldest brewer" etched on the glass. Silver and red label indicating 2005 vintage. No ingredient information. Best before end of September 2006, I opened it on 4/26/06.

Pours a clear pale copper under a one finger beige head with big bubbles but decent contour and good retention - albeit very little lace. The nose is strong and spicey, raising initial feas of skunk, but then unfolding as more syrupy and crisp. The mouth is light and very well-carbonated. Strong hoppy flavor, but weak on malt balance. The hops are very dry and quite bitter, like espresso. The dryness lingers long into the aftertaste. A touch of fruit emerges as it warms, this brew remains pretty one-sided, but pleasantly so.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for 3.50$

Appearance - Reddish copper colour with an average size fizzy and frothy beige head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some fairly good lacing. The head lasted for 4-5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, dark fruits, butterscotch

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts and some butterscotch. There is also some raisin/cherry flavour and a bit of a fruit cake like taste. There is also a light amount of all-spice and the beer ends with a malty sweet aftertaste.

Overall - It's better than the previous reviews lead me to believe. The alcohol seems well hidden and while it isn't the most exciting winter warmer I've had this year, it has a nice well balanced flavour. Not something I'd buy another bottle of this year, but something I'd buy again next holiday season.

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Photo of RedAleMan
3.25/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of liamt07
3.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle from the LCBO, into a tulip.

Translucent dark red, thin off white head with mild retention and some spots of lace. Nose is sweet, some bubble gum, some gentle spicing, and some bready character. Not the most complex nose, but not bad. Taste has some grainy bread character, obscure fruit notes and some peripheral spicing. Bitterness in the finish. Medium feel, medium low carb. Ok, nothing exciting.

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Photo of stjarnflikka
2.22/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a clear, red beer with a thick white foam that directly brings your mind to CHRISTMAS :D

The first dissapointment though comes quite quick with the first sniff. There is some malt, a citric fruity trace and a dry alcoholic smell. Weak smell however.

The second dissapointment comes when tasting the beer. Once again there is malt and some bitterness that quickly dissappears. The beer has some undefinable flavour that doesnt belong there that together with the generally weak taste really makes this a winter warmer.

Really not a winter warmer, and even so not a good beer. Ill try it again though, to see if its better next year.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
3.04/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

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

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Photo of Mousel
3.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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Christmas Ale from Shepherd Neame Ltd
Beer rating: 3.4 out of 5 with 68 ratings