Special Holiday Ale | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
87
very good
322 Ratings
Special Holiday AleSpecial Holiday Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States
stonebrewing.com

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
A collaboration ale between Jolly Pumpkin / Nøgne-Ø / Stone with chestnuts, juniper berry, white sage & caraway seed and 25% rye malt.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-23-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
322
Reviews:
291
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
10.71%
 
 
Wants:
21
Gots:
7
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 322 |  Reviews: 291
Photo of Tyrawlings
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of kojevergas
3.72/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into an EKU 28 snifter in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm as consumption progressed. Not paired with food or anything. Expectations are high; I trust Nogne quite a bit and Stone tends to be hit and miss. I'm hoping she's a good one; it's been a long day. Winter Warmers are one of me top five favourite styles.

A: Pours a one finger head of good cream, pretty good thickness, and good retention. Colour is a nontransparent solid black.

Sm: Chestnuts, heavy berry esters (I don't know that I'd necessarily detect it as juniper), and spices. Toasted malts, chocolate, and caramelized malts. Chocolate and berry are dominant. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Chocolate, heavy berry, lovely spices, chestnut, caramel, cream, and underlying toasted malt. Balanced quite well, with impressive subtlety. It doesn't fully commit to its flavours, leaving it feeling a bit muted. Quite enjoyable and pleasant. I like it. It's complex. Rich and delightful.

Mf: Silky smooth, wet, and creamy. Quite lovely, especially for the ABV. The most impressive aspect of this beer. Not too thick or too thin. Exquisite. Almost perfect. I'm extremely impressed.

Dr: Very drinkable - especially for the high ABV, which is well hidden. I'd have it again, preferably either aged in the bottle or on draught. I don't know that it'd get much better, but I do like it. I just wish it was more forward and confident with its flavours.

B

 1,543 characters

Photo of NickMunford
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of SpdKilz
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A long time want (read tick) for me though I never really tried that hard to get it. Picked up this summer during a brand new Binny’s opening in IL. Such a random place to finally be able to pick some bottles up!

Appearance – Pours into a tulip with a ruddy burgundy color. There are definite floaties in the beer. Slight head is achieved with a moderate pour.

Smell – Still plenty of spices and juniper in the beer after a few years in the bottle. Sage, chestnut, and malt.

Taste – Maltier than expected. Slight spices with the juniper coming through at first. Just a hint of the sage is there, along with chestnuts. Heavy caramel and toffee at the end.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, mild carbonation.

Overall – Have a few more left in the cellar…but honestly don’t know how much “better” this will do with age. Glad to tick it, though not a spectacular beer by any means.

 896 characters

Photo of warnerry
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very deep garnet color with some suspended material and one finger of tan head. Head has pretty good retention, but only leaves spotty lacing.

S - Big toffee and caramel malt with juniper and some nice spice of sage and caraway. Also a bit floral in the aroma.

T - Similar to the nose, this is very malty with a nice spice profile. Juniper is quite prominent, and the rye gives a nice bite. The spices are actually somewhat subtle at this point, not sure what is was like fresh. Sage is quite nice.

M - Nice, creamy medium mouthfeel. Spices give some dryness on the finish.

O - Nice, unique winter warmer. Spices really elevate the beer in this case, which isn't often true in my experience. Glad I got to try this.

 731 characters

Photo of SageO
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of jophish17
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of rab53
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of BrewinHeadBanger
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of StarRaptor
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of whatthehull
3.52/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted oct. 27th 2011 (from notes)

Tulip

A - deep swampy brown, no head and no lacing

S - lots of malts, toasty, funk, flowers, hops, fall weather, pie spices, flowers and crisp everything

T - hoppy, sour, tons of roasted malt, pumpkin seeds, flowers, citrus, fall spices, earth and maybe a slight pumpkin pie

M - full bodied, nice complexity, well balanced, low acidity and medium finish

D - very nice easy to drink beer. Tastes like the holidays. Reminds me of fall and relaxing watching football with a nice fire

Final thought - stone colabs never disappoints. Get it and get a couple if you like holiday ales

 627 characters

Photo of brandoman63
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of jerz
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of adamant1912
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of kkrez
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of AlexM
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of armock
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Perry's Liquor in Livermore, CA.

A - Poured a muddy brown color with a thin tan head that leaves some lacing behind

S - Has a spicy herbal nose with some sweet malt scents

T - The juniper and rye are very noticeable right away then fades to a sweet malt finish

M - This beer has a full body with higher carbonation to it

O - While this isn't a bad beer I'm just not into it all that much and I think its the junipers fault but if your into that this would be a decent beer to check out if you can still find it

 527 characters

Photo of HopHead84
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

9/15/2011

Bottle poured into a snifter. This has been in my cellar for 1127 days.

A: Dark brown and opaque with an inch of tan cream that lasts for half a minute.

S: Caramel blends with earth and a rich bready malt profile. The juniper berry makes itself known immediately, and it lingers in the foreground at all times. Rye accompanies caraway and a touch of chocolate. Sage is pronounced. This smells nice.

T: Lightly spicy rye and caraway with caramel, bread, and a whisper of chocolate. The juniper is present but not near as strong as it was in the nose. The finish is rich with malt and lightly spicy, with just a dash of alcohol.

M: Upper medium in body with a creamy moderate carbonation and a sticky, smooth mouthfeel.

Overall: I don't know why I waited so long to open this, it's a nice Winter Warmer.

 818 characters

Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a rich cloudy red-black color with a finger of frothy off-white head atop. The head fades down leaving behind some spots of lace.

S - The aroma is a wonderful mix of spices including cinnamon and nutmeg with a balancing amount of sweet caramel malt in the background.

T - Starts off with the spices from the aroma with the addition of some clove and again a nice balance provided by the sweet caramel malts. Through the middle, the caramel malts get a bit stronger and richer with some brown sugar jumping in as well. The finish is a mix of sweet and spice elements that linger.

M - Medium-plus bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth and just a bit syrupy. The spices provide a nice dry mouthfeel, especially at the finish.

D - Very drinkable. The spices are very nicely balanced with the malt flavor and they never get too strong.

 853 characters

Photo of THECPJ
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark murky brown with a 1 finger off white head

smell: holiday spices, caramel, malts,

taste: holiday spices, caramel, malts,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: pretty nice winter warmer. to bad I will probably never see it again.

Cheers,
The CPJ

 301 characters

Photo of abar22
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz, DFH Signature Glass

Dark, murky brown with ruby highlights when held to the light. Spotty-white cap with average lacing.

Smells fantastic! A multitude of spices meet up to make a mouth-watering scent. Alcohol takes a peek here as well.

I really don't know what juniper berry, white sage, and caraway seed tastes like but I know they combine with chestnuts to make a damn good Winter Warmer. Spices show early and nutty alcohol shows late. I get that nice warm feeling in my belly from this beer which puts it over the top. I wish I could buy this every winter.

Dry finish and a silky smooth mouthfeel. One would think this was an oatmeal warmer with that smoothness.

Too drinkable! I look at what is very likely the only bottle of the best Winter Warmer I'll ever have and it makes me sad. This beer is fantastic. The spices are perfectly balanced and it gives me the warm feeling it's supposed to. Beautiful.

 925 characters

Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.72/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Pours a thick brown (sludge) with a one finger foamy tan head that seems to rise out of nowhere and stays as a nice cap with some not so pleasant looking suspended yeast clumps.

S. Strange; smells like a mixture used to baste a chicken in - sage with fennel and juniper - very herbal with some almost citrusy bright notes.

T. Some dark fruit notes with a touch of citrus. I don't really get the rye, but the chestnuts are quite apparent (I only recently tried my first chestnut). I think I'd like this with a sage roasted chicken.

M. Thick body with a high level of creamy carbonation.

D. An interesting complex brew. I'm interested and I like the dark fruit flavors that continue to come out as it warms.

 712 characters

Photo of beerhan
3.47/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle. Little over a year on it. Dark ruby color with a thin head that stays throughout the glass. Smells very spicy. The sage really stands out as well as a lot of bread, malt, and citrus notes. This tastes very hot with a lemon pepper burn. Quite an odd beer and not all that balanced. The spices are all over the place and nothing really goes together that well. I found there to be too much alcohol and it was not the most pleasant to get down.

 463 characters

Special Holiday Ale from Stone Brewing
3.92 out of 5 based on 322 ratings.
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