Barrel Aged Frosted Frog Christmas Ale | Hoppin' Frog Brewery

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84
good
34 Reviews
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Barrel Aged Frosted Frog Christmas AleBarrel Aged Frosted Frog Christmas Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hoppin' Frog Brewery
Ohio, United States | website

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Spiced Ale aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels.

Added by jampics2 on 12-04-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
34
Ratings:
153
Avg:
3.73
pDev:
15.01%
 
 
Wants:
24
Gots:
44
For Trade:
7
User Reviews
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Reviews: 34 | Ratings: 153
Reviews by jampics2:
Photo of jampics2
4.55/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber into a stemmed Christmas glass. Purchased at Hoppin' Frog earlier today!

The beer is a dark color, somewhere between brown and mahogany with some ruby highlights and a touch of gold on the bottom. I initially thought the beer was opaque, as it was sitting on the table in-front of me, but I quickly learned it is not when I held it to the light and a bright scarlet and plum colored liquid was observed. A nice one-finger white head crowned the beautiful body, but quickly slipped away. Little lacing is left behind. There's some active carbonation noted towards the top. Overall, this is much better looking than the average Winter Warmer.

The first smell scared me. The initial combination of bourbon and cinnamon reminded me of one of two things: red hots or Goldschläger. Upon closer examination, more intricate notes start to emerge. Some ginger and nutmeg start to play more of a role, with the former almost dominating as the beer warms. There is some sweet brown sugar qualities from the malt that leave a gingerbread impression. The typical oak, vanilla and bourbon smells of the barrel are lost to some extent, but the expression from the spice is remarkable albeit slightly one-dimensional.

Frosted Frog is one of the most original and multifaceted tasting holiday beers I've ever had. The dominant cinnamon in the nose somehow takes a backseat to the nutmeg in the taste, which allows the barrel to shine through. Once the initial rush of spices and bourbon dissipates, some sweet malt peaks then the nutmeg serves as the rails on the sleigh, landing this into a snowdrift of oak, vanilla and coconut. Some booze is noted as well, but it's buried in an avalanche of flavor. The beer has to earn a 5 for taste because it's the definition of exceptional.

There's a medium bodied beer with some notable viscosity here, but the carbonation both allows the beer to feel creamy and lightly accentuates the flavors with a mild zing. The duality of the carbonation is something rarely seen, and it allows this beer to feel lighter than it should. Lingering notes of oak, vanilla and toasted coconut make this aftertaste a winner. As for drinkability, I'm making an assumption; this beer is meant to be shared with friends. Finishing a whole bottle by oneself wouldn't be impossible but the spices may go to your head and cause rosiness of the cheeks and a jovial disposition.

 2,396 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.92/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a case of various Hoppin Frog brews with a hop of getting back into reviewing. This is a very appropriate Christmas brew for today.

A- Body is a medium reddish brown hue with ruby showing through. Uniform moderate cloudiness/translucency. Pours with a minimal creme brulee colored head that almost immediately fades to a thin collar. No lacing is left down the glass.

S- Nose is heavy on the nutmeg. Cinnamon is moderate. The whiskey barrel nose is there but it is overpowered by the christmas spices.

T- Whiskey and cinnamon blend pretty nicely upfront with a very mild malt and barrel backbone initially. These flavors fade slowly and a lot of nutmeg an oak barrel smoothness come through for the finish to blend nicely with the whiskey. Some nutmeg, oak, and a mild alcohol warmth are left to linger.

M- Very high fizzy carbonation with a medium weight body that is on the dry side due to the nutmeg but that still offers that oak smoothness.

O- Overall this is a very good Christmas Ale. Its obviously a seasonal novelty but you don't see a barrel aged Christmas Ale around too often so this is a nice touch. The whiskey barrel definately adds complexity and smoothness to the original version of this beer. Overall a job well done by Hoppin' Frog

 1,266 characters

Photo of Snikwad1020
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of Chris_Panos
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of xdefeatsy
4.75/5  rDev +27.3%

Photo of ehammond1
3.12/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle (2011)

Thanks to the Pittsburgh gang for sending this to the Cali gang!

(Aged for 1 year)

Murky, cloudy brown with a small light brown head, leaving only small dots of stick down the glass.

The aroma is, without a doubt, the most appealing aspect of the beer. It's just a bit toned down compared to the base beer, which I think is a good thing since I remember not being a big fan of that one. Good amounts cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and fruit cake combine mightily. I don't get a lot of barrel character, but I think the time in the wood has toned down some of the sharper elements in the base beer.

The flavor though suffers similarly to my memories of the base beer: too much cinnamon and all spice, dominating most of everything else. I only get a mild wood character, but the numbing/powerful notes of cinnamon are prevalent.

Medium bodied with low carbonation.

Better than the base beer, but, that's not saying much.

 938 characters

Photo of Soonami
1.69/5  rDev -54.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to either Dan or Tim for sharing this bottle.

I could go on about the spices of this beer and how it wasn't well balanced but honestly, all I want to say in this review is that this beer smelled and tasted like your old great aunt Mildred's Christmas Potpourri, you know the one with the pine cones, cinnamon sticks, clove studded oranges and dried flowers covered in a shiny red glaze and sparkly glitter. The brewers of this beer must have dry-hopped with this stuff, how else could they have nailed it so perfectly?

 527 characters

Photo of tugg407
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of deuce9259
4.19/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Amber/copper color, not much head. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle.

S: Good smell, a lot of spices in the nose along with the whiskey.

T: Haven't had the regular Hoppin Frog Christmas Ale, but I enjoyed this bottle a good bit. Lots of spices and I thought it blended well with the whiskey.

M: Medium body. You can get different flavors out of it as it warms up.

O: I enjoyed this beer. Haven't had anything sub-par from Hoppin Frog. Others don't seem to enjoy the spices as much, but I though it was pretty standard for your Christmas Ale.

 543 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of imbuckeye
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of BamfBacon
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of leschkie
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of prototypic
3.2/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Barrel Aged Frosted Frog is a dark copper color. It’s mostly clear, and has nice crimson highlights when held to light. A modest tan head caps it off. It stands roughly a finger tall, but recedes quickly. It holds at the surface for a bit. Lacing was a little sticky, but light.

The nose is alright. It features a strong cinnamon scent up front. No big shock there. There are some nice sweet, caramel and toffee notes that linger throughout. Bourbon is definitely there, but doesn’t seem all that strong. Doesn’t smell like it spent a great deal of time in barrels. Probably a good call. Other spicy notes of ginger and nutmeg are noted. Alcohol is there, but doesn’t come through too strong.

The flavor is less impressive. Average at best. Caramel malts kick it off. The flavor is quite sweet. It’s also quite spicy. Cinnamon comes through loud and clear. It’s a bit overbearing. Ginger and nutmeg flavors are also present, but in lesser amounts. Bourbon is a little stronger in the mix than anticipated. Barrel aging also left a rather prominent vanilla flavor. The strong vanilla and cinnamon flavors seem to be a little at odds. It’s not overtly bad, but it’s not quite good either. Alcohol is there, but isn’t warm or hot.

The body is medium. Carbonation seems light and relatively soft. It has a pretty good feel. It’s a sipper though. The flavor just grows a bit tiresome, especially in the second half of the bomber.

Barrel Aged Frosted Frog is not Hoppin’ Frog’s best moment. It’s okay at best. The flavor simply isn’t very impressive. The vanilla and spicy notes are a little at odds with each other. Frankly, barrel aging did not have any appreciable positive effects on Frosted Frog. I prefer the regular, non-ba Frosted Frog. This one might be worth one try, but that’s about it.

 1,830 characters

Photo of wroywel
3.74/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Hopdaemon39
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass- pours a clear, dark mahogany color with a reddish tint. Pours with very little head (mocha colored while in existence), leaves no lacing and no retention.

Smell is very round, sweet and spicy. Smells like a gingerbread house with some booze and vanilla frosting. Ginger comes through more than the other spices.

Taste is interesting- almost doesn't taste like newer to me but the bourbon notes and slight booziness remind me that this is a malt beverage. Lots of bready malt, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, bourbon-esque booze notes. Finished sweet.

Mouthfeel is typical for the style. Medium fuller body, moderate carbonation, smooth feel. This is a nice one, better than the regular variety. However, too much spice for my taste.

 785 characters

Photo of AdamP_Milwaukee
4.48/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22OZ bottle I took out of my cellar today and poured into a clean tulip, though I have had this beer several times before.

A- Pours reddish brown, and is a very pretty beer in the glass. White head doesn't last long. Try to get a few sips in while it is there, for sure.

S- I think this is simply one of the best smelling beers there is. The smell may not translate directly to the taste, but the nose is perfect. Ginger, clove, nutmeg, spice, and booze. Wonderful. Smells like a hot toddy.

T-This one was a bit thicker than I remember it. A Xmas novelty that maybe wouldn't translate to a session beer, but a nice treat. Spicy, and boozy...it's Xmas in a bottle. Not bitter at all.

M-Like I said, I remember it being a little thinner and lighter, but this was more like Belgian strong with spices added. A bit thick, but still pleasant.

O-I Really like this beer as a treat. I bought like a half dozen bottles from my local store when they where there to add to the cellar. Every now and then I get a hankering for one, and I will be sad when they are gone. Maybe a little less than "world-class", but still a fantastic beer and a real fun one to drink.

 1,159 characters

Photo of Chuck_25
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Lanstrum
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of mozim
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of wellsnb
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of dtx00
4.75/5  rDev +27.3%

Photo of crosenkrantz
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of CruisaC
4/5  rDev +7.2%

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Barrel Aged Frosted Frog Christmas Ale from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.
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