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Blitzen Holiday Ale | Maumee Bay Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
81
good
33 Reviews
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BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Maumee Bay Brewing Company
Ohio, United States
oh-maumeebaybrewingco.com

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.70%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Blitzen is a robust holiday ale specially brewed with Orange, Cinnamon, and Honey. Once each year we handcraft this tasty ale to celebrate the holiday season. It contains a masterful blend of dark malts, Willamette and Bullion hops and just the right amount of orange, cinnamon, and honey. Lightly filtered and bottled fresh this is the perfect beer for the holiday season.

Added by Ellbert on 12-24-2003

BEER STATS
Reviews:
33
Ratings:
70
Avg:
3.5
pDev:
29.43%
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
18
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 70
Photo of emerge077
3.06/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Goofy silkscreened bottle with a reindeer and lots of text.

Murky orange with a collar of lacing. End of the bomber so there was more sediment than usual. Opaque orange with a thin layer of foam across the surface.

Lager derived aroma, some light spice, mostly nutmeg. Sort of odd and swilly from the beginning. Some orange peel comes out at room temperature after sitting with it for a bit.

Big butterscotch diacetyl notes, sweet with some lingering spice: cinnamon and nutmeg. Not much malt present at all, dominant spices and sweetness. Low to medium carbonation, the sweetness keeps the drinkability low unfortunately. The lack of depth is a dealbreaker, and not conducive to drinking much of it.

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Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, 2015 vintage bottling. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy ruby red/copper color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of raisin, plum, fig, apple, caramel, honey, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, cinnamon, orange peel, herbal, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, spices, and fruity yeast ester notes; with solid strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, fig, apple, caramel, honey, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, cinnamon, orange peel, herbal, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate herbal/spice bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, fig, apple, caramel, honey, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, cinnamon, orange peel, and herbal/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, spices, and fruity yeast ester flavors; with a great malt/bitter/spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy/bready, and slightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is a very nice English winter warmer style. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, spices, and fruity yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and easy to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.47/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 vintage. Polished persimmon with a generous infusion of cherry juice. Quite a few winter warmers end up this color (which I love). The khaki colored cap was two fingers to start and looked acceptable enough. However, it's fizzing away fairly rapidly, doesn't look wonderful while doing so, and is leaving the glass untouched. Not the world's best start.

Other than the four basic ingredients, Blitzen contains orange peel, cinnamon and honey. Only the second of those is appreciated in the nose. This is a pretty good sniffer and makes me think the flavor will pull its weight as well. Let's see.

Blitzen needs some help pulling the winter warmer sleigh, but gets the job done in the end. Even those who don't love spice-added ales should do fine with this one since the added cinnamon, while noticeable, isn't exactly in-your-face. Easy for me to say, since I like that particular spice in my holiday beer.

The honey-like sweetness isn't overdone either. Besides, it's offset to some extent by a modest bitterness from Willamette and Bullion hops. The orange peel gets lost in the mix. The citric-like tang that's present is more lemon than orange. Warming brings nothing new to the party.

I've seen the ABV quoted as anywhere from 6.0% to 7.1%. Given that, the mouthfeel is at least medium, if not a bit bigger. The added honey is probably the reason why. A few more bubbles would have added more life and more mouthfillingness.

All in all, Maumee Bay's 2008 version of Blitzen is an acceptable winter warmer that needs a few changes in order to enter the big leagues. While I don't regret spending $4.99 for the bomber, I won't be doing so again. Love the silk-screened bottle.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.6/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appears a crimson blood orange juice hue with a large light tan head, lacing is sporadic and uneven. Aroma has ample spices mainly cinnamon with alot of honey and orange peel added to the mix. Something in the flavor brings on a whiskey sour feel and the stomach starts turning, as I adjust to that sourness some pleasant orange peels and a mix of Christmas spice kick into effect. Spicing is unbalanced it lays heavy with spice bitterness causing a cloying experience overall but the nice parts of the brew which are the orange peel and mild caramel malt experience with a touch of whimsical alcohol burn run free. For only 4.99 a bomber it's not that bad but in the end it leaves me with a glorified homebrewer experience. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and cloying with spices on all fronts, pretty sick stuff. Drinkability doesn't get any worse than this if you make it through 22 ounces I applaud you, their Buckeye beer is equally as shitty within it's on style I probably will never stop in Toledo for a beer.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jjfoodie for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours an orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is mix of honey, cinnamon, sugar and alcohol. The flavor is a mix of honey, dark fruit, cherries and cinnamon. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.97/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, 2007 offering. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours an orange/copper color with a small off-white head. Not much head retention or lacing. Aroma is toasted malt, honey, orange and nutmeg. The bottle says there's cinnamon in the beer, but I don't notice it in the aroma. However, I do notice it in the taste along with nutmeg, toasted malt, honey, orange and a bit of hoppy bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's smooth and has a bit above average carbonation. Drinkability is good, it has just the right amount of spice to make this interesting. I'll have to make sure to pick up a bottle of this next year.

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Photo of Brenden
3.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The color is a clear coppery amber. At first there's absolutely no sign that a head ever existed, to the point of first concern and then wonder. As it turns out, our new waitress was concerned that head was a bad thing. Okay. Anyway, I got a bit of head when I got another, but it was thin and little lacing was left behind.
Surprisingly, the aroma was weaker but didn't suffer from being overly spiced, but the flavor was improved. With my bottle review, the concern was an overabundance of spicing that detracted from the beer aspects, but here it all evens out. Improved scores result in aroma and flavor. The rest is the same as my bottle review. The improvement in flavor does increase drinkability, though.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.66/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark copper in color, light white head of 2+ fingers. Lacing is nice.

Aroma is nice and malty, with a hint of yeast and citrus, honey and a bit of that cinnamon.

Tiny bit of tart on the taste, with some honey sweetness and malts. Some nuttiness, and sweet citrus along with some yeast.

Very upper light in body, creamy, smooth and slick. Carbonation is elevated.

Drinkability is good. A very different take on the style, but it's not bad and very drinkable despite.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.39/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle courtesy of raznug!

A- Body is a muddy murky brown color. Pours with a small off-white head that immediately fades completely. No lacing is left behind in the glass.

S-Smells like a nice, spicy winter warmer. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and raisins hit the nose first with a big malt and slightly yeasty backbone.

T-Upfront is a big dash of spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon which balance with the fruity raisin flavor. In the background is a big dose of biscuty malt and yeast. Spices come through more for this finish along with a hint of alcohol. Some spiciness lingers.

M- Medium tingly carbonation and a body loaded with biscuty malt and yeast consistency. This is a consistency which I have found in many beers of many different styles that I am not a fan of.

D- This is overall a nice winter warmer as far as flavor and smell are concerned, but the mouthfeel brings it down a notch. Other than that; this beer has a lot going for it. Its something that isn't overpowering, but one has to try hard to ignore. Definitely worth a try but I probably won't be having this again.

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Photo of wagenvolks
2.66/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

2008 bomber into a Corsendonk tulip. Thanks to hopsleeroy for the hook-up!

A crisp, clear copper-amber body fills the glass. The crackling custard head drops quickly to a small patch and ring of tight bubbles. Holy crap, this is a big aroma, even after 9 months! Overly sweet fruitcake instantly comes to mind, followed by sugar-coated, artificial orange gummies, cinnamon spice, cider-ish alcohol, and a hint of chamomile. The smell is literally making my head spin, and not exactly in a good way.

Thankfully, the flavor is more subdued, but it still echoes notes of citrus and holiday spice. I like my Winter Warmer's a bit heavier on the malt and sweetness, and much less on the spices. Finishes slightly sour with a voraciously fizzy carbonation level that expands as it travels down the throat. Fruitcake lingers after each sip. Not a great attempt at a Winter Warmer, although the age may have affected the body a bit. Still, I can't imagine how aggressive with the spice & booze this beer was when fresh. Nor am I sure that I'd want to. Drain-pour after half a glass.

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Photo of BB1313
3.45/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a hazy glowing auburn similar to the color of honey; light tan head that fades leaving bubbly retention and okay lacing. The aromas are faint with lots of caramel malts. Lots of orange too. The flavors are bold and have alot going on. It's on the sweeter side. Lots of honey. Spices are there in the finish. Cinnamon is definitely there. Hints of ginger. Lots of malts. More caramel with hints of butterscotch. More orange notes. Slightly syrupy. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and slick with lower carbonation. Alcohol goes unnoticed.

Solid holiday brew. It's a little rough around the edges, but I enjoy the flavors.

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Photo of hosehead83
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from "bomber" bottle into a standard pint glass.
Dark tea color, with a nice, sturdy head of off-white foam.
Aroma-Orange and cinnamon notes.
Taste-Toasted malt, orange, cinnamon, and honey.
Subtle hop note. A bit light bodied for a winter warmer, but very fresh and flavorful and very easy to drink. A bargain and good value at $3.99 a bomber here in Toledo.

 366 characters

Photo of WesMantooth
3.29/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Some cinnamon, although it had some sprinkled on top and I dont think it was very strong in the beer itself, and orange along with nutmeg and sugar. Pretty sweet. Overall the flavors are pretty muted and I am not a bit fan of the orange.

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Photo of JDV
3.32/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Kryptic. Thanks for this extra!
Clear amber pour. Spicy nose of cinnamon, honey and citrus. Taste is sweet but drinkable and flavors of cinnamon orange and honey are all definitely present. This was nicely spiced and I enjoyed this one.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.84/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a lovely plumb and amber color with a field of bubbles sustaining a light film of off white.

I took a sniff of this and my mind exploded with long-lost memories of passed relatives' fruit cake. There's a sweet and sticky base of zucchini bread, bananas, ginger bread and, well, fruit cake. There's a touch of coriander and cinnamon here, but what blows my mind is that it's all topped off with a dry brandy snap of alcohol. This one is just too much!

The tastes really shocks me as it is quite sour and pungent with a lightning bold of lime that steals the show. There's a softer beady sweetness, but this is decimated by what reminds me of lime rind and what appears to be all of the negative stinging qualities of cinnamon. Yikes! My tongue is all numb now. I'm also getting under-ripe oranges in the finish.

Feels dense and confident with a flash of carbonation. Again, this leaves me with an odd numbness that I don't really care for.

Yup, this one's a "huffer." Just sit around and smell this one for a while and it will pay off.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.78/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

something on a cool day to throw back to xmas times.. carried this bottle back with me from the brewpub. 22oz pours a christmasey clear red, like mulled cider. no head or carbonation except for a ring of bubbles. smells spicy.. orange essence and pine needles are big in the nose. tastes like a mix between potpourri and perfume. think of iced herbal tea with generous portions of clover honey. cinnamon adds a nice bitterness as does clove and anise. nice and light but super spiciness limits drinkability.. this would be the perfect bottle to split into 8oz pours on christmas eve before bedtime.. i will be sure to acquire a bottle for this purpose. one of the more creative and adventurous xmas beers ive ever encountered..

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.74/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After a visit to Toledo, my bro brought back a few bottles from Maumee Bay. This was the best of his selections.

Pouring a nice copper color, the ale produced a healthy head in its pint glass. Immediately, a massive honey aroma was present. The very sweet aroma was attractive to the senses. The initial taste brought a strong dose of honey along notes of orange. It would be accurate to describe this beer as tangy because of the level of orange flavor. Leaving a nice coat on the tongue, the tangy sensation lingers. In the after taste, the cinnamon really throws a strong punch to the back of the throat. It almost borders on being spicy, though it is certainly not too overwhelming.

As a fan of winter warmers, this is a pretty solid effort. I would certainly drink this again.

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Photo of beveritt
3.47/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes:

Presentation: Poured from a brown bomber into a standard pint glass. Silk screened label shows a head on shot of a reindeer.

Appearance: Pours with under 1 finger of light tan head. This dissipates to nothing quickly, leaving no lacing behind. The beer itself is a slightly reddish brown and perfectly clear. However, the last 1/4 of the bottle brings much chunky sediment.

Smell: Sweet malt and honey aromas upfront with slight sourness in the finish. Some hints of cinnamon and bitter orange peel.

Taste: Mild malt with overtones of cinnamon and clove. Fairly middle of the road and unexciting here.

Mouthfeel: Lower than average carbonation. Body is pretty good.

Drinkability: Nothing special on this one. Not disappointed I bought it, but not something I will seek out again.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
2.85/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass. Has a ruddy amber color, slight hazy, which has a greenish tinge when viewed from man angle.

Has a spicy apple cinnamon smell, but smells sort of fakey.

Overly sweet, cloying, with much honey and orange peel.

Medium bodied.

Not too drinkable, won't be having another.

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Photo of chilidog
3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I nice holiday find as these bottles seemed to fly off the shelf rather quickly. With-in two weeks plus they were all but gone. If you see the 08, grab it when you see it.

It pours a good copper-like red. Carbonation is average for the off white head that does fade and does-not lace.

The aroma is of Chistmas spice that favors cinnamon and nutmeg.

The taste carries the aroma hints with added citric orange and honey. A good malty base brings the beer home.

Mouthfeel I thought was alittle thin as was the alcohol, esp. for a winter seasonal. But for something thats easy to drink and manage, say for holiday gatherings or a meal, this beer is easy to handle, drink, and goes well with alot of foods.

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Photo of kegger22
3.2/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Maumee Bay Blitzen was a copper color with a two finger beige head that displayed decent retention.

What came through strongest in the aroma was the cinnamon, maybe a little orange in the background.

The taste was orange (as in orange soda), honey added to the sweetness, but over-carbonation defeated the taste buds attempt to go any further.

The mouth feel was medium bodied and, as mentioned, over carbonated.

The drinkability was OK; it suffered some from the mouth feel.

It would have been nice to have fallen in love with a beer brewed in Toledo, just a few miles away. But such was not to be the case.

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Photo of beerman207
1.78/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Picked this up in Indiana this weekend while I was traveling for a wedding. It looked pretty good with lots of sediment so I thought - why not? Should have went with FFF instead.

A: Pours a deep orange into the glass - decent head left behind - lots of floatees which isn't a problem for me but wow - it's kind of crazy with how much it has in it.

S: Smells like fruitcake - pretty festive. Almost makes me long for Xmas in May.

T: What the hell is this? Taste is like tangy with a sharpness that just rings out winter warmer? Who made this thing? Seems like someone cooked it up in the backroom of a restaurant of something.

M: Terrible - probably the highest carbonation I've ever been subjected to and just no good reason for it in this beer. Makes the brew taste like seltzer.

D: Poor - no way am I finishing this. My drain will enjoy the rest of this beer. So bad that I would rather drink Colt 45 right now as opposed to this.

Avoid this like the plague.

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Photo of shroompod
3.47/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 version

Pours with a small head no lacing , decent red color.

Aroma of citrus , some bourbon like alcohol tones.

More citrus , and the nutmeg comes though on tasting. Alcohol is apparent.

Mouthfeel is medium , not as sweet as I'd expect. Under carbonated.

Overall a pretty easy drinking beer I'd like to try out fresher.

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Photo of movingtrain
3.44/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 ounce bomber sampled from a 12 ounce snifter.

Bottle says this is brewed with orange, cinnamon, and cloves. No ABV noted on the bottle.

Pours an amber color with a thing white head and decent carbonation.

There is heavy spice in the nose--cinnamon, orange peel, honey richness, dark fruit, sage, dark candy sugar, and grainy malts.

The flavor is quite rich...very spicy. There is a bit of a funky flavor in this which is not harmonizing well with the seemingly pleasant spices. It's like holiday spice and stinky socks, an odd balance of spice and funk. There are hints of cinnamon, caramel, allspice. The body is sweet and malty, and oddly funky.

Overall, a decent beer from Maumee Bay. They keep trying more and more things, as recently I saw they had an IPA on store shelves in bottles in Maumee. I like that they are expanding their available beers to the public, not just at the brewpub, as they are capable of making some very good beer. Blitzen is a fine Winter warmer, good and local.

 1,000 characters

Photo of Ellbert
4.85/5  rDev +38.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was great. The appearance was a nice brownish color with a decent head that turned into a beautiful lace with a nice thin layer of foam to the last drop of the glass.

The smell was of nutmeg and other spices. Very nice.. it smelled just like Christmas.

The taste was great. I have never been a fan of the herb/spiced beers but this was magnificent. As I said, it smelled like Christmas... well, if Christmas had a flavor I would say that it tasted like this. There was the perfect blend of malts hops and spices in this beer... superb!!!

The mouthfeel was great... A nice amount of carbonation and a great body to the beer. Twas wonderful.

The drinkability was great. I had a pint and then my buddies and myself got a pitcher to split... I must go back and get a growler of this!!!

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Blitzen Holiday Ale from Maumee Bay Brewing Company
3.5 out of 5 based on 70 ratings.
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