Frosted Frog Christmas Ale | Hoppin' Frog Brewery

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Frosted Frog Christmas AleFrosted Frog Christmas Ale

Brewed by:
Hoppin' Frog Brewery
Ohio, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by paco1029384756 on 11-16-2009

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Reviews: 144 | Ratings: 407
Photo of Rhettroactive
1.42/5  rDev -61.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

From 22oz bomber

Bottom line: Way overspiced. Really. I mean way, way overspiced. I appreciate Hoppin' Frog pushing it to the limit here, but it literally reaches said limit and jumps the shark.

Cinnamon and spice and everything nice - but in steriodal proportions that made me extremely nauseous - this coming from a man with an iron stomach.

I can certainly say I tried, but this one hit the drain.

Avoid this EPIC FAILURE at all costs.

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Photo of marvin213
1.55/5  rDev -58.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Black/brown with basically no head, lacing is visible. For such a dark-colored beer, the liquid is completely transparent. Aside from a wee bit of lacing, this brew looks totally unimpressive.

The nose is straight nutmeg--like overpowering, obnoxious piles of nutmeg. There might also be some ginger, perhaps some cinnamon, and maybe even a tad bit of spruce pine. My descriptors sound better than it smells, as the nutmeg really predominates. I knew a guy in high school that ate nutmeg to get high (apparently it contains some sort of psychoactive), and this beverage reminds me of him.

If I were to liquify a Yankee Candle and drink it, this is what I think it would taste like. It's so flavorful it's disgusting. Other than biting a flavored candle, I don't know what else to compare it to...maybe eating evergreen needles. The Christmas input is definitely there, but obnoxiously so. This liquid is so thick and messy that I will probably pour it. I jokingly offer that it might clog my Dispose-all.

I take another sip just to judge mouthfeel: thankfully, this beer is cold enough that it probably inhibits some flavor. It feels like old candy. It's sweet and [evergreen] piney, with a dose of Christmas bread-spice. It's the egg nog of beers. Do you want to drink a bunch of egg nog?

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Photo of Thorpe429
1.56/5  rDev -58.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Bottle picked up at Rick's in Alexandria. Thanks, Jon, for warning me. Unfortunately, Amyliz4 insisted that we buy and drink this. Even worse, she likes it. Served in a St. Bernardus goblet.

Pours a moderate brown color with a bit of a crimson hue. Single-finger head falls quite quickly without any lacing. A thin collar around the edges with a bit of a spiderweb cap on top. Nose is straight-up cinnamon. Cinnamon domination here. That'll open up your nostrils. Not offensive, just quite overpowering.

Then comes the taste. Are you kidding me? Half a jar of cinnamon into some lightly-sweetened water. Carbonate it up a bit and you've got Frosted Frog! Wow, this is not a good-tasting beer. I suppose aside from the cinnamon there's also a bit of light spruce character. Either way, this is just a cinnamon bomb and basically unpalatable. Son of a lady frog does this taste stay with me...I really can't get it out of my mouth. I don't even know if a shot of gin would work at this point. Mouthfeel? Spice. Cinnamon. Yuck. I'd drainpour the rest of this bottle if Amy didn't insist on drinking it all.

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Photo of mrandypandy
1.71/5  rDev -54%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

22oz bottle recieved as an extra. Thanks!

A- Pours a medium amber/ruby with brownish tints. Medium off-white head.
S- Cinnamon, cinnamon, and some other spices. Way too overpowering.
T- Awful. A blatant assault of cinnamon and spices. Way too strong, no balance.
M- Medium body.
D- Negative. After my first sip I wish I could have taken it back.

Overall - This is an abysmal attempt at a beer. If you want your taste-buds to take a cinnamon beating, and the idea of liquid red-hots beer excites you, then give this a shot. Otherwise, try any other half-way decent winter warmer that isn't spices just for the sake of spices.

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Photo of Kegatron
1.82/5  rDev -51.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

22 oz bottle into a couple of tulip glasses.

Pours a dark clear ruby in the glass, with a ½ finger of off-white head. This retains with some thin foaminess around the edges that leaves a cascade of spotty lacing behind. The aroma is heavy with spices, along with cherries, caramel, and sugary bread. Muddled notes of clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, are all so overpowering here; it's really hard to make heads or tails of this nose at times.

The taste is a combo of more spices, roast, and caramel, which is giving off a bit of a molasses character. Dark fruit is coming out as well, as the flavors and alcohol combine into a sweet and tangy warmth that drenches the mouth. Those spices are just as dominant as they were in the nose and come out HEAVY in the finish. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied and surprisingly sharp in the carbonation department despite the overall chewy alcohol warmth in the body.

I can see where they were going with the different flavors here, but unfortunately the combo of a ridiculously heavy spice profile and overall high alcohol content rendered this a pretty much undrinkable mess. A rare drain pour for me.

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Photo of samie85
1.95/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

A-Pours a burnt copper color with a half finger that quickly dissipates.

S-Smells of allspice and a bit of cinnamon with some light, sweet caramel malt notes.

T-Really spicy upfront with mainly allspice and a bit of ginger and finishes with some sweet, dark fruit and more spice
M-Very dry feel with medium to high carbonation and a thin body.

D-Really over-spiced in my opinion; hard to get down the first pint I poured, this could be a drain-pour.

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Photo of rodney4130
2.11/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I can't imagine a worse winter warmer. Surely the worst that I've ever had. The cinnamon completely over powers the taste of every other ingredient. Ginger? Nutmeg? Where?

Pours pretty syrupy. Low carbonation, about a 1/4" head. Looks similar to a brown, maybe 2-3 shades darker that Great Lakes Christmas Ale. Upon smelling, all you get is cinnamon. You know those Brach's cinnamon disc candies? It tastes like that. I wanted to dump it, but for the price paid, I choked it down.

After having DORIS, which was one of my favorite beers ever, I was excited to try the rest of their line-up and selected this one. Simply awful.

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Photo of hailyeast
2.17/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A-Poured into a shaker pint. gorgeous deep candy burgandy. Little to no head. Vibrant looking. Definatly my favorite
part of the beer.
S- fruity, spicy, piney, medicinal
T- about 2 to 3 times too much spice for me. Very alocholic tasting, maybe due to the low ibus. Also finishes like licking an evergreen. A pish posh of trying to fit all of the "holiday flavors" in one beer imo.
M- thin and syrupy
O- save your 7 bucks and try 3 or 4 other xmas beers for the same price..anchor, hibernation, 12 dogs(thirstydog)<--my pick of the year so far for xmas beers.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
2.19/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle review, drank 2 days after Christmas. This is gonna be a bad review, my apologies up front to the good people of Hoppin Frog. But man was this beer a serious pile of spicy nastiness. It smelled like Old Spice deodorant and gingerbread cookies, shit-tons of cinnamon and, I guess, nutmeg. Ugh, it tastes just like it smells. This strays too far from the boundaries of good beer, it's really a spiced carbonated cookie-flavored pop. In no way will I ever get this again, this was an unnecessary addition to the Hopping Frog line-up.

But hey, if you like spiced beers this might be for you.

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Photo of Bulkman
2.23/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into my New Belgium snifter. No head to speak of, even with an aggressive pour. It's amber in color with good clarity. Spice slaps you in the face as soon as you raise the glass. Wow, pretty heavy on the cinnamon & ginger. The spices follow into the taste, overpowering any hops bitterness, and only moderately detectable maltiness. This has a medium mouthfeel, and though it's heavy on the spices, it doesn't linger. I like the spice in my winter warmers to complement the backbone of the beer, not become it. Way too heavy on the spices to give this one a high grade, because even as the beer warmed, the spices became even more pronounced. Most of the robust dark beers I normally drink get better as they warm, but not this one unfortunately.

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Photo of ehammond1
2.32/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5


Palmer's Beverage Center
Columbus, OH

Ruby red and crimson with a thin head and nearly no lace left down the glass.

This beer certainly smells like Christmas. Aromas of spiced fruit cake, a huge amount of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg make for a big, appropriately holiday, aroma.

The beer's flavor is simply too much...too much cinnamon! There isn't much left here to taste but cinnamon, as it sort of burns and scorches your tongue. I can't help but think of YouTube videos of people trying to swallow spoonfuls of cinnamon as I drink this beer (that is, I try to drink this beer). It's almost undrinkable.

Medium bodied with a ton of carbonation. The incredibly high level of carbonation mixed with the incredibly strong, dominating cinnamon flavor makes this one tough to drink.

I won't have this beer again or recommend this beer to anyone.

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Photo of Slapshot
2.59/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I am not a fan of any spiced beer no matter the occasion and sadly this beer falls dead square in that category. The immediate aftertaste is a mouthful of cinnamon that masks everything else. Its a gimmicky beer and that's just not for me. There are any number of other REALLY good beers on tap at Hoppin Frog that deserve your attention. This is not one of them.

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Photo of johnnnniee
2.64/5  rDev -29%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Received in trade from phisigben, thanks for the opportunity!
Pours a crystal clear deep reddish brown color with a huge fluffy tan head that slowly recedes. Smells of cinnamon and nutmeg mostly. Quite heavy spicy aroma obliterates any beer smells from my perception. Taste has a bit of a caramel sweet malt flavor upfront before the gingerbread house flavor takes over and ruins this beer. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet spice laden mouthfeel. I won't mince words here, this beer is horrible. Its over spiced and I couldn't finish my glass.

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Photo of bluejacket74
2.67/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

22 ounce bottle. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours a reddish/copper color with about a half inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing were both decent enough. Aroma is all sweet spices, with nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger all noticable. The taste is like the aroma, it's all spice. Unfortunately that's not a good thing because all the spice just didn't agree with me after a while. I think the ginger flavor in this brew was way too strong compared to the other spices. As the beer warmed up more, it seemed like the ginger just got stronger. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it seems a bit thin at times, and has moderate carbonation. Drinkability is below average, it certainly wasn't enjoyable to finish this bomber. I think if the spices had more balance in the flavor instead of being so heavy on the ginger, I would have liked this beer more.

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Photo of CaptCleveland
2.73/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz bomber, 12 oz pour into pint glass.

Ruby-red, clear elixir, thin tan head, moderate lacing.

Heavy spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla.

A mess of the above spices with a thin malt presence--like drinking a glass of holiday potpourri.

First mediocre beer from HF. Had the BA version, which was well balanced, with the barrel-aging cutting down the spices. Can't recommend this version, though.

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Photo of cpetrone84
2.77/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a murky chestnut red with a crusty looking tan head and large bubbles. Huge spices in the nose, tons of cinnamon and nutmeg, pumpkin pie like. Some sugary malt, maybe a touch of berry sweetness and a metallic twang in the back. Flavor is much of the same, overly spiced and messy malts with an off twang underneath and notes of alcohol in the finish. Full bodied, syrupy, high carbonation.

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Photo of twaddlac
3.12/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A: Hazy burnt orange with a decent sized head and a lace that doesn't go away. Noticeable carbonation and seems as though it's a thick beer.

S: Very intense notes of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. It knocked my socks off at first (I was expecting something more like GLBC's Christmas Ale). Slight honey and floral notes but you really have to go deep into the aromas if you want to find them.

T: Way too spiced. The potency of the spices is overbearing and un-enjoyable. I did have a tough time finishing this one. The aftertaste is as strong as the smell and tastes like it, too.

M: Very rich and creamy with perfect carbonation and a exceptionally smooth finish coming from something that is spiced like this.

D: I'm not saying that this beer should be avoided, but it's definitely not my style. If they would hold back a couple pounds on the spices I think it would compete with the other top Christmas ales. If you really enjoy the spices that are aforementioned then by all means get this beer.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.15/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The pour was rather nice, a deep, dark mahogany color came forward right away. Some light ruby tones showing up around the sides and the bottom of the glass. A nice inch and half of creamy white head popped up over the top and settled down to a thin crown with some nice side glass lacing.

Nice aroma of caramel malts, hints of spice and touches of light herbal hops. Not a heavy aroma, but defintley on the winter tone with nice spice notes. Smooth, creamy, medium bodied ale with a nice carbonation really let the flavors pop. Intresting mix again of light caramel malts, hints of cinnamon and nutmeg and a touch of light grain. A smooth, deleicate finish left me looking for another sip as the alcohol was all but absent from the flavor.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.15/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a slightly murky ruby and copper color with a small and super quick head and faintly syrupy looking consistancy. The aroma is "Holy Christmas!" Cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamon, ginger, and mace blast the nostrils every sip. Maybe some caramel malts hidden away in the aroma down there. The aroma is good, but a touch too much on the spices. The taste is full frontal assault of spices that last through all of the fron, most of the middle, and mellows out on the finish. Some sweet biscuit malts peak through the X-mas spice haze on the finish. As the beer warms, the alcohol really adds some fire to the cinnamon and ginger especially in the back of the throat. This beer is good for Christmas only. I could only drink one bottle, once a year and thats it thank you.

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Photo of nlmartin
3.17/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The beer was chilled and served in a pint glass.

Appearance: The body of the beer is ruby colored. The head was pale white with very little retention. No lacing marks my glass.

Smell: The aroma of the beer is mulled apple cider with nice spicy nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, brown sugar, and molasses.

Taste: Very sweet spicy apple pie hits my palate. The spiced flavor is as I expected from the aroma. The spices give a bit of bitterness to balance the brews sweetness. No alcohol is present in the flavor.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability: The body is medium. The carbonation is low and at times seems flat. The beer isnt a drain pour but not sure I would repeat this beer again. Given the choice between this beer or Anchor Steam Christmas I am rolling with Anchor Steam.

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Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
3.2/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Makin' beer cookies, and this beer seems like it could lend more than just a few flavors to this dessert. From a 22 oz bomber, into the KBS snifter...

A - A translucent dark orange body rests under a finger of orangeish-tan head after a normal pour. Very little retention or lacing.

S - Interesting thing I noticed about the aroma of this beer. When I was far away, all I could smell was the ginger. When I as up close though, the nutmeg dominated, with only a hint of cinnamon, and no ginger. Hmmm...

T/M - Very mild amber malt sweetness, with lots of ginger right upon entry. At mid-palate, the cinnamon and nutmeg seem to hit, and help dry the beer out a bit, assisting the balancing hops. The finish is mild, but lingers with mild sweet malt, ginger, hop spice, alcohol bite and drying cinnamon hanging around for quite a while. This beer manages to be dense and quite carbonated at the same time.

D - Well, I remember my Dad telling me that if you're going to do something, do it all the way... and that is certainly what these guys did. If you're looking for a big ass winter warmer, here you go...

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Photo of cooncat
3.22/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a standard shaker pint glass as 'cellar floor' temperature. I must admit to surprise and disappointment on the pour. The head seemed to come out as would a carbonated soft drink. The minimal head last less than 30 seconds, and I'm now looking at a glass that has no head or lace. Color is a beautiful hue of red, which offers some saving grace to the appearance. I've noted that others were able to raise some head with theirs, so perhaps I have a bad bottle? I got it right from the brewery a few months ago, so I know its fresh.

The nose is lightly spiced, mostly cinnamon with some malty sweetness mixed in. Again, this bottle is below the standard I expect from beers from this brewer.

The taste definitely offers a cinnamon kick, with nutmeg coming in second, and ginger hardly making a show. A caramel maltiness is next in line, with no hop presence at all. The alcohol is only noticable with the warming as you swallow. I get more bitterness from the spices than from hops, but that is expected for this style. Carbonation seems awfully low ... perhaps the reason I wasn't able to rouse any kind of head. With the low carbonation, the mouthfeel is medium+. Drinkability isn't huge, as the spiciness and rather flat carbonation seem to take the life out of this. I'll finish the bomber, but if I had another, I wouldn't open it .. I'd try to trade it.

I've had lots of Hoppin' Frog brews, and most of them are in the 'A' range ... which is why this beer is so puzzling to me. I guess its possible that I just got a bad bottle that had a poor cap seal, and it decarbed over the 3 months that I've had it. Nonetheless, this was a huge Christmas disappointment. I wouldn't necessarily base your judgement of this beer on this review, because this is definitely not typical of this brewery. If you get a chance to pick one up, do so, as this bottle has to be an anomaly.

Na Zdravje!

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Photo of billab914
3.22/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Russian River tulip glass. Poured a dark copper, slightly ruby color with a very thin lacing for a head scattered across the top of the beer. No lacing on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma is very strong with cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg. The smell reminds me of the cinnamon and sugar toast my mom made us growing up. It's sweet with plenty of spices for sure.

The taste is is pretty much cinnamon and sugar in beer form. There is a small amount of bitterness in the finish and a little bready malts but the spices and the sweetness overpower everything else. Tastes kind of like a liquid cinnamon bun.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability isn't very good, the spices get to me after just drinking a small amount. I wish I had about 8oz of it instead of 22. Could be a nice desert beer with the right pairing though.

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Photo of Bills453
3.23/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into my Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance - amber color with an off white head.

Smell - WOW! This is the sweetest, spicy beer I have ever smelled. Smells good, but not sure a beer should smell like this.

Taste - spices, spices, spices. You can really taste the overwhelming cinnamon. This is a little too sweet for me.

Mouthfeel - nice.

Overall - honestly this beer is just a little too spiced for me.

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Photo of corby112
3.3/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark ruby red/chestnut brown color with mahogany edges and a one finger light beige head that slowly settles into a thin lasting ring.  Minimal spots of lace.  

Spicy, earthy aroma with lots of sweet malt and subtle alcohol.  Lots of autumnal and winter spice especially cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, pumpkin, brown sugar and pepermint.  Subtle vanilla.  Underneath there's a solid malt backbone with hints of caramel, chocolat, hazelnut and alcohol.

Medium bodied with a nice mix of seasonal spice, sweet malt alcohol, licorice and slight medicinal syrup.  Blast of autumnal and winter spice up front with lots of cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, vailla, clove, pumpkin and cardomam.  Kind of earthy with some sweet makt underneath.  Mostly caramel with hints of licorice, peppermint and dark fruit, especially dark cherry.  Alcohol heat in the finish but abv decently masked.  A bit heavy in the spice and medicinal flavors.  Kind of smells and tastes like potpourri.

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Frosted Frog Christmas Ale from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
3.72 out of 5 based on 407 ratings.
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