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 oline73
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber with a red hue. There is a finger of off white head that goes away completely.

Smell: Very sweet malt with some dark fruit and holiday spices. Just a bit too sweet.

Taste: Not quite as sweet, which is a good thing. Malt with some fruity notes, perhaps cherry. Holiday spices, cinnamon and ginger with a slight bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, slightly syrupy with aggressive carbonation and an extremely dry finish.

Overall: This is a good winter beer. Warms you up as you drink it. I would have another.

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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 teromous
4.11/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: The appearance is dark to medium brown with hints of red shining through the glass. It's like a very dark rosewood color. There is very little head, and it's an eggshell white color. The color lends itself to most of the rating, and the lack of head detracts from it.

S: It literally smells like I walked into a bakery or a Christmas shop. At first I'm really surprised, because it smells like apple turnovers. It really does, you have to smell it to believe it. I get a cinnamon scent as well as other spices, but I can't readily pick them out. I smell what might be ginger. This has a very fruity character to it. This is fantastic. This is what I want every Christmas Ale to smell like.

T: I don't get that apple flavor, which is probably a good thing. I get more of a banana flavor out of the actual body of the beer...take it or leave it. There's the cinnamon, right there in my face. The beer is actually quite subdued in regards to flavor. I expected it to be a bit bolder, when categorized as a warmer (in regards to malt flavor). This is by no means, a bad thing, it's just not what I expected.

M: It has a very decent mouthfeel. It's medium bodied and wet. It coats well, but I feel it is a tad undercarbonated. Overall it does feel average though, so I'm rating it as such.

O: Overall this is a very neat beer to have on hand during the holidays. I've had quite a few different "holiday beers" that don't deliver the experience that people are looking for. For this alone, the beer deserves accolades. This IS the beer that you give somebody who is looking for a holiday beer, and it's one of those "best kept secrets".

Last year I had this beer and it tasted different. There was more cinnamon and it didn't smell like apples. I prefer the smell of this years beer, and the taste of last years beer.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Breweries have gotten very good at capturing the flavor of holiday seasons in froathy form. Even before the first sip, waves of apple pie aromas fill the nose with mouth watering consistency.

Opening with a deep amber pour and redish highlights, the beer forms and carries a dense and creamy egg shell white head that retains remarkably and laces even better.

Cinnamon, allspice, and clove spice all dominate the nose, allowing only a background of deeply caramelized malts to provide support for the decoration of spice. All this come together with the rounded aromas of apple pie. Actually the beer doesn't smell exactly like apple pie, but rather the smell of candles that smell like apple pie. With no hop influence, this beer is all about the rich carmel and spicy balance.

Flavors start with the deep caramel sweetness of toffee and peanut brittle, without the peanuts. Spicy flavors of the same cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove that the nose promises are also delivered to taste. The plethora of spice achieves balance in taste, but the absence of hop bitterness leaves the beer decidedly sweet in finish. With a very low ester profile, the beer surprisingly is void of true apple flavor, but carries the taste of the glaze that accompany the apples in pie form.

Full bodied, the rich malt sweetness approaches cloy at times, but backs off just in time. Creamy carbonation reinforces the viscocity of the beer until very late in finish. The alcohol warmth of 8+ percent hardly makes a mark underneath the heavy malt sweetness and has difficulty assisting in dryness and drinkability. And, with the lack of hop bitterness the beer has an extended malty finish with desert spices- making this beer much more of a sipper than an easy drinking ale.

Frosted Frog nails the flavor of Christmas, but because of its shere sweetness, one-dimensionality, and low complexity I'm happy to share this 22oz bottle with a quatro of friends to save for palate fatigue.

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Photo of spitInTheOcean
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

nice amber color. tan head. fair head retention. slight haze to the beer. fair lacing.

cinnamon and nutmeg big in the aroma. it smells genuinely spice. kind of smells like nag champa. kinda smells like dr. pepper. no malt aroma of hop aroma can be smelt through all that spice.

sweet. very sweet throughout. finishes sweet with a slight hop bitterness. spicy. cinnamon and ginger and nutmeg all come through crystal clear. the flavors of spice linger. no malt flavor. no hop flavor. taste/ warming sensation of alcohol is subtle.

medium/full body. soft carbonation.

its good. but i think it might bee too sweet, not just for me, but i think its a little bit to a fault. its certainly not sessionable, nor can i see myself drinking more than one in a sitting.

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.09/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type - 22oz bottle

Appearance - Dark tan/brown, 1/2 creamy head, some lacing.

Smell - Honey, cherries, malts, nutmeg, cinnamon, Some hops, a little caramel and ginger.

Taste - Huge cinnamon/nutmeg/clove kick. Malts are sweet and nutty, and the added sugar gives this a real fruit cake like flavor. Cherry and hops come in after mouth adjusts to the first flavors mentioned. Alcohol is masked pretty well under all the spice flavors.

Mouthfeel - Overload of flavors, but not a so much of a mouth crusher. Tounge gets the cinnamon/nutmeg kick, then some malts and clove. Palette gets the rest of cinnamon and some hops. Aftertaste is a little weak and dry.

Overall - As with hoppin frog brews, tons of flavor, unique and unforgetable. No other beer quite tastes like this, its liquid fruit cake really. Was fun to drink and will have again next christmas!

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Photo of philbe311
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A vigorous pour yields one finger's worth of uniform perfectly symmetrical light brown colored head... Modest retention gives way to an inviting veil of lace in thin collar... A slight bit of medium sized average paced carbonation... The color is a medium brown with a distinctive ruby hue...

S - The aroma is dominated by holiday spices... Nutmeg... Cinnamon... A touch of clove... Reminiscent of a warm spiced wine... Gingerbread... Cherries... Perhaps some caramel and toffee as well... Warm and inviting...

T - No surprise that spices dominate on the palette as well... The underneath malty goodness is a bit more pronounced than expected as well... Nutmeg... Cinnamon... Ginger... Clove... Caramel... A touch of dark fruits... Perhaps a bit cloying...

M - Medium bodied... Exceedingly smooth... Silky even... A bit sticky... Light carbonation... A touch of warmth...

D - A winter seasonal without any doubt... A warm and inviting brew dominated by spices... A solid offering and one I wouldn't turn down if offered next holiday season, but not one a I must have next year either... Solid, but a bit one dimensional... The luxurious mouth feel is the highlight...

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Photo of BrewCrew2010
4.01/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy muddy brown body with a garnet hue. Head is about 1 finger and short lasting; spotty to almost no lacing.

S: A strong aroma of spices- cinnamon, clove, & ginger- with a somewhat malty nose. Very appropriate nose for the style.

T: Like the nose, the initial flavors are loads spices, especially cinnamon and ginger. A subtle caramel malt backbone with notes of brown sugar, but it's definitely overpowered by the many spices. Finishes with a cinnamon aftertaste. Although I love it, it seems slightly unbalanced. Taste very festive however.

M: Medium body; low carbonation; slightly creamy and full mouthfeel. Definitely missing a certain malty chewiness.

O: I love this beer. Yes, it's an extremely spicy winter warmer, but I think they hit the style dead on in some parts. If it was a little more malt forward to balanced it out, it would be amazing. Easy to drink, find, and not too badly priced. I would recommend for the holidays and probably drink 1-2 per sitting.

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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 Brenden
3.33/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a deep amber-orange color with a bit of clarity to it and no lack of activity. A soft light orange head develops to nearly two fingers in height and manages to retain itself well and leave good, patchy lacing in its wake.
Right away I can tell this is one of the more heavily spiced Winter Warmers out there. I like the spicing and the whole tasty concept of the style, but the ones that get a little too heavy-handed in the spicing lose a lot of underlying flavors and any subtlety is completely lost. While I appreciate the heavy cinnamon and nutmeg, it's a bit difficult to find much of anything else going on. The malts do seem strong, and I get some caramel and breads along with a bit of herbal hops balance, but even that is difficult to pull out. It does show a very solid base beer, though.
The flavor is problematic because even the balance of hops and malts is lost with the spicing in the flavor as everything gets muddled. This is one of those examples of a brewer going over the top and losing complexity, balance, etc.
The mouthfeel isn't bad, smooth and chewy with ample carbonation in a medium body but just a bit too much bite.

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Photo of avalon07
4.09/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass Had a ruby color and a hazy consistency. There was an inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Almost no lacing.

S: A big, spicy aroma of nutmeg, cinnamon, and malt. Very enticing.

T: Like the aroma, the taste was spice-centric, with a whole lot of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, malt, and caramel. It's a little harsh and medicinal in the finish, but on whole it's a solid flavor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a dry, crisp finish. Medium-bodied.

O: An interesting, solidly made, drinkable beer.

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Photo of mightyquinn
4.54/5  rDev +22%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is the beer that made my first review on BA.

A: Dark Red right out of the bottle into 2 Jack Daniels snifter glasses

S: Smells of Big Red and Cooking/Baking Spices

T: Mulled Spiced Beer/ High Cinnamon.

M: Spicy Warmed Cinnamon

O: Wow, was not expecting this! Hoppin' Frog has struck gold with this beer. As a HUGE WW fan and of spiced beer in general, this brew is GREAT! Not much else to say besides to BUY it...if you can find it:)

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hoppin Frog : Frosted Frog Christmas Ale

Pours a caramel brown color, slightly hazy. Aroma of cinnamon spice and brown sugar sweetness. In the taste, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and nutty malts. A touch of caramel and light bitterness. Chewey medium to full bodied feel, with the alcohol well hidden. Overall, a nice little winter warmer.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.24/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hoppin Frog- if you want christmas spice pick this. pumpkin beers lovers, run to a store now and grab this. You can smell the mulling spices
a foot away from your glass, big surprise on the night.

We did a large christmas and winter beer tasting panel and this was one of the many that we tried. Most of the beers we tried we solid including this one that the panel liked.

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Photo of mcallister
3.76/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crimson amber color with very little off white head that fades quickly to a ring around the snifter.

Smells like a cookie. Loads of cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg, toast, candied nuts. Just wonderful aromas. Complex with Christmas cheer.

Tastes just like it smells. However things get a bit cloying and some potpourri like flavors come through on the finish. Again like a liquid cookie. Nice creamy middle, just missing with that potpourri aroma.

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Photo of chakadrum
3.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Weak lacing, no head, but a nice dark ruby color.

Smells sort of like gingerbread cookies. I smell nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. Pleasant. I might buy another bottle of this to drink next week on Thanksgiving day. It would smell very appropriate (or on Christmas eve/day).

Probably the most interesting winter warmer I've ever had. Good spicy taste. The spices aren't overwhelming, though this is not a session beer by any measure. 22oz for me is plenty. That is not bad thing.

The mouthfeel isn't particularly interesting, though not watery.

Given the fact that 22oz is enough, and that it is quite spicy, tough to say this is an amazing beer I'd want to drink all of the time. However, if you see it for a reasonable price, totally worth checking out if you like this style.

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Photo of jayhawk73
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown w/ crimson highlights when held to the light. You can manage to peek out the other side, but just barely. Fairly clear from what I'd expect. Very little lacing at all on the side of my snifter, and just a sliver of a head to start. Nose is pleasantly festive, with nutmeg, cinnamon, and some ginger in there too. I'm not getting much malt in the nose. Wow.... Spice explosion on my first sip. Holy cow that's strong. Big time nutmeg- bigger cinnamon and a hint of ginger and malt. It's not bad, it's just a tad bit over the top for me. I'd also like to see a little more malt presence in the taste. Feel is medium, w/ high carbonation and a sweet cloying finish. Somebody needs to take the edge off this beer.. about 25%. All in all, if you don't like heavy spices- you won't like this beer. I thought it was good, but I probably won't look for it again. Cheers.

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Photo of Jesse13713
4.55/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - Virtually no head on the pour until the carbonation catches up at the top, leaving only a thin sheet that quickly disappears. Laces to the glass quite well.An opaque brown that allows a bit of crimson through as well.

Smell - A very strong smell of cinnamon and brown sugar.

Taste – A very delicious brew from Hoppin’ Frog. The notes of Brown Sugar in here are phenomenal and cannot be compared to anything I’ve had before. Excellent. This is a unique and delicious take on a winter beer. I can see how some would say it is too heavily spiced, but for me the concoction of malt and spices if perfectly done. Huge hits of cinnamon and nutmeg with a light alcoholic burn. Delicious malt and brown sugar in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability – I could drink this all winter long. The brown sugar stays in your mouth for quite some time without becoming overpowering. Exceptionally well-balanced. I enjoyed this beer a lot and will surely pick up a few more before winter is over.

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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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Photo of Pencible
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a clear dark copper with some light tan head.
S: It smelled like lots of nutmeg and cinnamon and mulled spices, with a little copper hops and caramel.
T: It tasted like strong mulled spices with cloves and nutmeg and cinnamon, and a little caramel and toffee and copper. It had a mostly clean and herbal aftertaste.
M: It was watery with a little carbonation. Decent body.
D: This was a lot like just drinking mulled cider, without much to distinguish it as beer. Still enjoyable scent and taste, and well hidden alcohol. The body was a bit weak, but it was easy enough to drink. Nice winter brew (or for Christmas in July).

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Photo of Jazzcrop
3.84/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Spicy with sage, cardamom, light fruits, chamomile, ham, juniper, cinnamon, Karo syrup, fizz, paper, edible flowers and leaves. Interesting! I'd like to try this again sometime and see if anything has changed with the recipe, current or otherwise. Word, word, word.

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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 mdfb79
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a deep mahogany brown color with a reddish tint, one inch of creamy off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of cinnamon, nutmeg, bready malts, gingerbread, and pumpkin. Great smell for a winter warmer. Lots of gingerbread and cinnamon.

t - Tastes of gingerbread, spices, cinnamon, light pumpkin, nutmeg, and bready malts. Nice, but not quite as good as the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate to high carbonation. Smooth and creamy, but a bit too carbonated.

o - Overall a nice winter warmer from Hoppin' Frog. I really enjoyed the nose, but the taste wasn't quite as good, and it was a bit too carbonated. Would give another shot.

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