Christmas Ale | Shepherd Neame Ltd

Christmas AleChristmas Ale
BA SCORE
3.37/5
63 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:
#40,629
Reviews:
29
Ratings:
63
pDev:
15.13%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
1
Gots:
8
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 63 |  Reviews: 29
Photo of josanguapo
4.52/5  rDev +34.1%
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.

 194 characters

Photo of Vyronian
4.25/5  rDev +26.1%

Photo of bylerteck
4.06/5  rDev +20.5%
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.

 474 characters

Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.03/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours copper with a large thick tan head. Dissipation leaves nice lacings.

S: Buttery creamy notes up front. Then sweet caramell malt and dark dried fruits together with citric notes.

T: Frutiy, English style. Citric notes together with green apples. But also dark dried fruits, figs and raisins. Sweet, a bit roasted, caramell malt. Buttery notes. A little bit spicy.

M: Long warming bitter-sweet afteratste. Body is full and carbonation only moderate (a good thing).

D: A highly drinkable beer. The 7% ABV isn't noticable at all.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.02/5  rDev +19.3%
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.

 442 characters

Photo of beerhunter13
4/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of vinicole
4/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of psm90
4/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nicely balanced with spicy notes throughout. Warming alcohol notes.

67 characters

Photo of bark
3.98/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2005.

The colour is deep copper, the thick off white foam sinks slowly down to a finger thick lid, leaving a massive lacing.

When I first opened the bottle, I recognized a familiar scent of another beer from Shepherd Neame: Bishops Finger! Sweet notes of malt, caramel, marzipan, dough and a touch of chocolate. There are some mild notes of some kind of bitter hops. The smell is weaker than I had expected.

The taste is very malty with a balanced sweetness. Somewhat roasted notes mixes with creamy butterscotch, sweet fruits, hazelnuts and vanilla. The medium long aftertaste got notes of mango, papaya, bananas and a refreshing background-bitterness.

The carbonation is soft and very pleasant. The strength of the carbonation suits this malty ale very good.

Not the most complex beer that I have reviewed but very well balanced and crafted. A perfect beer for chilling after a laborious day of Christmas shipping

 942 characters

Photo of helloloser12345
3.85/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type: 500ml, Presented in a very nice silver box.

Pour: Nice tan head foams up but quickly subsides.

Appearance: Beautiful dark amber colour with warm red hues.

Smell: Biscuit, dried fruit. Aromas are unusually subtle for this kind of beer and are very hard to pick out.

Flavour: Dark fruity malts, raisins and slightly nutty.

Overall: Not bad at all, very drinkable. I agree with my fried bob that it isn’t just a typical winter warmer.

 462 characters

Photo of OneTuffPony
3.8/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of andrenaline
3.75/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of KrisDLSmith
3.75/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of BartMcStout
3.75/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of kelvarnsen
3.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of beerluvr
3.68/5  rDev +9.2%
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 ikidunot
3.65/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of cypressbob
3.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, boxed

Pours with a dark amber body, slight whispy head with fair retention, fizzy body

Smell, slightly musky, some hint of diactal, some hint of christmasy spice

Taste, quite refreshing and along the lines of a standard pale ale, bicuity, some clean hops on the finish, some slight clove

Not a bad ale, crisp and drinkable, not very wintery warmer

 374 characters

Photo of windowside
3.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

 257 characters

Photo of liamt07
3.58/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

 414 characters

Photo of taxandbeerguy
3.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle purchased for $3.50 CDN from the LCBO. Served cold into a pint glass.

Appearance - 1 finger of frothy white head rests on top of a bubbly copper red beer that is transparent. Head subsides a bit then lingers for the remainder of the beer. Very festive looking.

Smell - Beer and bready smell with a few spices thrown in and a butterscotch note that is a reminder of Christmas. I'm also picking of something that reminds me a bit of a rum soaked fruitcake. Very pleasant smells, but they are not terribly strong. Smells do come out a bit more as beer warms.

Taste - Boozy and sweet which transitions into a bit of a bitter flavor with slightly metallic elements. Also a bit of the aforementioned fruitcake flavor doused in alcohol. I enjoyed this this but I can see that the very upfront alcohol (especially given that its 7% we're not talking a 12% Christmas Ale here) could be a distraction to some.

Mouthfeel - Well carbonated and fairly smooth, but even a bit thin despite high ABV. Also a bit on the gassy side.

Overall - Nice winter warmer that i enjoyed more than the Wychwood offering, but still not super enamored with the style. However a beer that will certainly warm you up especially after a short walk on a cold November's night in Canada.

 1,271 characters

Photo of Wajohnst
3.55/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of beerdrifter
3.53/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

 647 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.53/5  rDev +4.7%
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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Christmas Ale from Shepherd Neame Ltd
Beer rating: 3.37 out of 5 with 63 ratings
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