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Barrel Aged Frosted Frog Christmas Ale | Hoppin' Frog Brewery

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Barrel Aged Frosted Frog Christmas AleBarrel Aged Frosted 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:
Spiced Ale aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels.

Added by jampics2 on 12-04-2010

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Reviews: 34 | Ratings: 153
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?

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Photo of JoeBloe
2.9/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bomber bottle into my 'Maudite' tulip/snifter - I picked this up on the way home from work , in the mood for a nice winter warmer in front of the fireplace - looks good on the pour with an clear amber/orange and a 1 1/2 finger tight head - smells like christmas with heavy gingerbread, nutmeg, clove and cinnamon - I think I would have been better off inhaling the aroma all night instead of trying to finish this bottle - if you like the heavily spiced type of winter warmer, this one's for you, but it's not for me - It's kind of like the christmas potpourri you might like you house to smell like, but I would not necessarily want to drink it - mouthfeel was sticky without being too heavy - I sipped the first half of this bomber, and chugged the rest, instead of drain pouring -
this was way too 'spiced' and flavored for me - cheers!

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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.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.12/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 ounce bottle. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours a reddish/brown color with maybe a half inch light tan head that fizzled away quickly. There's a small amount of lacing. Aroma is very, very spicy. The brew smells like nutmeg, cinnamon, gingerbread, and some oak and vanilla. But the spices overpower the whiskey in the aroma. Taste is similar to how it the brew smells, but there's a better balance between the spice and whiskey flavors. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick with low/moderate carbonation. Overall I think the brew is still too spicy for me, it just gets worse and worse the closer I get to finishing the bottle. I don't think I cared for the regular version either, but I do like this version better as it doesn't seem as spicy in comparison as the barrel aging mellowed out the spices some. Worth a try if you've never had it before. $13.99 a bottle.

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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.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks, ChrisPro! 22oz bottle into Darkness tulip.

A - Pours a amber color, tan-colored head, thin collar, wisps.

S - This beer is a cinnamon-bomb! Woah...some nutmeg, other spices, candy cane, and oak in there as well. If you like sweet cinnamon beers, this might be your thing.

T - Dare I say, even more cinnamon? Oh yes...candy cane, oak, no real detection of alcohol because it's hidden by the spices. Pretty messy, if you ask me. Finish is sweet & spicy...I only like that combo on my orange chicken.

M - Medium, good carbonation, spicy finish.

O - I'm going to give this one a big pass. If you like a high level of sweetness and cinnamon, then maybe this might be epic for you. For me, I had my taste and that's all I want...the end.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.24/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big thanks to Spider889 for sharing this bottle.

The color of this one is somewhere in between cinnamon and cola brown. Nary a head is formed as spotty lacing is left behind. The smell is undoubtedly big on cinnamon with nutmeg vying for attention. Combining the cinnamon and the barrels creates a cinnamon roll with vanilla-sugar icing type smell. Whiskey booze is perceivable, but kinda buried. The barreling is very, very light. Strong cinnamon, light vanilla. This is a pretty straight forward beer. I bet the barrels were already used for beer, perhaps second use after BA BORIS.

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Photo of LeRose
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a reddish brown with a quick fizzy head that didn’t last. Aroma was Christmas cookie kitchen. Cinnamon, nutmeg, slightly fruity on the nose. Taste seems a bit out Of balance. Spice heavy and needs to be sweeter to balance. Clear cinnamon, nutmeg, hint of clove, gingerbread. Picking up some raisin or prune notes. Drying on the palate, not thick on the mouth feel. Some aftertaste that persists and gingerbread like, some molasses sweetness, flavor of dates, warmth, a. But of whiskey. Better as it warms. It was OK, not a fave

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Photo of Spider889
3.31/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This was a Christmas gift from my wife. Shared with MbpBugeye and Ryan011235.

The beer was mostly clear; a deep gilded ruby color. There was a very small cap of cinnamon cream colored head. There was no lace. Mild visible carbonation.

My first impression upon smelling this beer was that I had walked up to a Cinnabon stand at the mall. Lots of spicing - not much different than in the non-BA version. Nutmeg and cinnamon play the dominant role. There was also a mild minty aroma that some of us detected and I even picked up on a little chocolate. I got very little evidence of the barrel aging/whiskey in the aroma apart from meager traces of vanilla.

The flavor was much less pleasing than the aroma was. Certainly, the barrel did manage to smooth out the harsh spiciness of the base beer (though it is still much stronger than in many warmers), but once again, the whiskey barrel aging seemed to have little other effect. I really believe that these were not fresh barrels.

There was still a ton of dryness from the spices. The beer was slightly hot but not really boozy. Sweet vanilla and cinnamon, and lots of dry oak.

Drinkability is low - this was an expensive brewery only release combined with insane amounts of holiday spicing; the beer just wasn't that amazing. I would rather have this over the non-BA version any day of the week, but there are much better winter warmers out there at a fraction of the price.

My final notes were that the smell was fantastic, but I would have preferred a MUCH larger barrel presence. It was worth a try if you have the disposable income, but I won't be seeking this out again unless I hear that the brewery makes some big changes.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.51/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1462nd Review on BA
Bottle to Great Lakes Snifter

2011 Vintage

CA Gang Bang BIF

App- Just a flat old pond water looking color with maybe a whisp of head and 0 cling in the head. Not sure where color comes from but its a white/brown mix. Just off.

Smell- I wished it was Christmas in August. Such a holiday beer. Cinnamon, nutmeg, peppermint for days. Smelled like liquid potpourri to me. Best part of the beer.

Taste- Drops WAY off. Its just an off spiced malt bomb. Not sure why flavors dont integrate better but seems to all pull apart. Spice note is very prevalent making it hard drinker. Malts almost overpower.

Mouth- A thicker medium body with a low medium carbonation. Residual Christmas spice.

Drink- It's not the best beer, but because of the nose I rounded up vs. down. Probably wouldnt have this one again.

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Photo of jale
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Renee and Bill for this.

A: Pours a light brown with only a dime of tan head.

S: Allspice, cinnamon and light clove aroma.

T: Allspice upfront followed by clove and a hint of cinnamon. Some oakiness in the middle. Slight pepper and small amount of hop bitterness at the finish.

M; Medium body with decent carbonation.

O: Would like to have tasted more malt upfront to balance the spices.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of jale. Amyliz4 very much appreciated it. Served in a mini snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a fairly-dark brown color with a nice off-white head with a bit of lacing on the way down. The nose carries a good dosing of bourbon plus plenty of cinnamon and spice. Much better integrated than the non-barrel aged version. Flavor falls along the same lines -- bourbon out front with a bit of underlying spice. Medium body with a smoothness to it. Good spice and booze. Tasty.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.64/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter on 1/7/11

Shared by Spider889

Coppery, amber-brown color; pretty clear. Minimal head retention; just a filmy layer & a small ring around the inside of the glass. A few drippy splotches of lace.

Smells like Christmas retail season; a mish-mash of candle shop aromas & holiday potpourri. Crisp whiskey overtones & hints of vanilla. Lots of cinnamon & spice. Nutmeg & ginger. Hints of toastiness with a faint yeast notion in the back, when swirled.

While the whiskey is strong in the nose, it doesn't taste so strong. More like dull, warmed, watery whiskey with a mild charred character. Moderate spice notes aren't too biting. Toasted cinnamon bread. Hints of earthy hops. Slight mustiness as it warms.

Medium body with reasonably low carbonation. Said carbonation become appreciably lower throughout. Nips of whiskey & spice on the finish.

Not bad by any means but the taste doesn't live up to the aroma.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass. Pour a mahogany-rub color, with minimal head quickly disappears until this has the look of flat soda.

Has a very spiced smell, similar to HF's regular Christmas Ale. Plenty of cinnamon, clove, allspice, and apple flavors.

Tastes peppery, and not as sweet as HF's regular Christmas Ale. Definitely hoppier and more bitter than the other. Plenty of spice in this, cinnamon, clove, and a "spiced" apple, like a wassail or spiced cider. Plenty of winter warmer in this one. Ends with definite pepper-bitterness.

Medium to full bodied, like a typical winter warmer.

Fairly drinkable, though I find the spiciness to pretty intense and almost overpowering. Unless you're looking for intense spice, I'd choose another Christmas ale.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Cmurren25 for sharing a bomber on 12/26/10.

A - Poured a dark toffee brown liquid with a creamy tan head that diminished to a thin ring and flimsy patch, leaving benind a bit of spotty lacing.

S - Toffee, peppermint and cinnamon with a gingerbread cookie dough malt character. Aroma is intensely spicy and sweet.

T - Initial flavor is quite spicy with a definite cinnamon and peppermint character. Toffee and caramel notes add more sweetness to the mix. Reminds me of spicy gingersnaps or holiday cookies. Finishes with a tinge of earthy hop bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with a smooth, creamy texture and minimal carbonation. Finishes spicy on the palate with some mild hop bitterness and residual sweetness.

D - I didn't mind this one as much as everyone at the table. While I likely couldn't finish an entire bomber of this on my own, perhaps I was in the Christmas spirit on this particular day. Definitely an intense Winter Warmer for sure, but not bad.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to ChrisPro for sharing this one - thanks for indulging Nate's love of winter warmers. Served in a Hair of the Dog tulip.

A - Quick-dissolving white foam settles to a thin ring and wisps on top, but no lacework. Mostly transparent ruby body.

S - Nutmeg, cinnamon, light oak and bourbon, and some red licorice. I'm wondering if these were second-use barrels from BA B.O.R.I.S., as most Hoppin' Frog barrel-aged offerings are far from subtle.

T - Taste is more sugary and malt-forward, with notes of Twizzlers, candy canes, vanilla, and less overt Christmas spice in comparison to the finish. There's a faint spruce note in the finish that I can't tell if I'm imagining.

M - Zesty carbonation, medium body, tannic and dry texture, and some light warming that is part alcohol and part cinnamon.

D - For a spiced Christmas beer this was actually pretty decent. It's not my favorite style of beer, but it was far better than I expected and might appeal to loves of Christmas spice. One of my favorite Winter Warmers, I suppose.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a murky reddish color with a very thin off white head. Head has pretty much no lacing and leaves no lacing.

S- Quite a bit of spices here. Cinnamon ginger, and nutmeg are front and center. Just a tiny bit of wood and bourbon.

T- Pretty spicey beer here. Follows the nose well. A bit of a malt base in bready and caramel, but no hops at all. Again just a tiny bit of bourbon and wood. Not much different at all over the regular version.

M- Medium in body and carbonation.

D- Again not much different than the regular version. I'm not really sure I'd grab this one again.

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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

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Photo of superspak
3.94/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, 2012 bottling. Pours fairly clear deep red amber color with a 1 finger foamy off white head with good retention, that reduces to ring of lace that lingers. Minimal spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of caramel, raisin, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, bourbon, toast, light oak, and light herbal. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of malt, spices, and barrel notes. Taste of raisin, caramel, brown sugar, toast, cinnamon, bourbon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, light oak, and herbal. Lingering notes of dark fruit, caramel, brown sugar, cinnamon, bourbon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Very nice flavor balance and complexity of malt/spice/barrel notes; with zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a slick and fairly creamy mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Christmas ale. Great balance and complexity of malt and spice flavors with moderate barrel character; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

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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.

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Photo of Gavage
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: brown in color with a 1/2" head that slowly falls to a spotty surface foam.

Smell: winter spices such as nutmeg and cinammon with some caramel tones come through to the nose.

Taste: caramel, nutmeg, ginger, cinammon, dark fruit sweetness, and moderate bitterness create a nice christmas ale.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Light crispness from start to finish.

Overall: a nice winter ale that hits the flavor profile of the season. Easy to drink and nicely refreshing.

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Photo of akk101
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall a good combination of barrel age and Christmas ale. Barrel age flavor is up front followed by the spices of the Christmas ale. I would've liked to see those two flavors blend together more. Little to differentiate between their regular Christmas ale label wise. Sometimes it's easy to mix up the regular and barrel age versions of Hoppin Frog on the retail shelf. Nice twist to the typical spiced Christmas ales.

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Photo of stortore
3.99/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into a snifter.

A ruby colored pour, a little cloudy, with no head and hardly any lacing. Smells of malt, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, light vanilla, maybe some less discernible spices. Taste is malt, cinnamon, some ginger, cloves, less vanilla than the nose, some bourbon, a hint of oak. Slight alcohol. Smooth, good level of carbonation, good body.

Got this as a gift, had it three days later, and was really surprised how much I liked it. For Hoppin' Frog, the influence of the bourbon barrels is almost nil, but this is definitely worth a try. Might have to get another one and let it sit a while.

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Photo of bittermestupid
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark ruby brown with a nice 1/2" thick beige head. Smells of nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla, oak and touch of raisin, it reminds me of french toast and a hint of booze. The flavors are nicely balanced and the barrel isn't over bearing. Cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla, raisin, slight cherry note and some booze. Palate is medium and it finishes spicy but well rounded with a nice vanilla notes from the barrel aging.

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Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours sort of a murky amber color with a small off-white head. Nose is quite fruity with lots of plums and raisins. It’s also very spicy. Great nutmeg, all spice, and cinnamon. Plenty of caramel, brown sugar, and some vanilla. The flavor is rich and sweet. Huge caramel and brown sugar flavors, tons of dark fruit notes, and a wonderful spice character. The cinnamon and all spice really come through nicely.

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Barrel Aged Frosted Frog Christmas Ale from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
3.73 out of 5 based on 153 ratings.
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