Hoppy Holidays
Chelsea Craft Brewing Company

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Winter Warmer
Ranked #60
Ranked #19,183
3.95 | pDev: 11.39%
Chelsea Craft Brewing Company
New York, United States
Very Good
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 23 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of metter98
3.74/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at Mugs Alehouse, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is hazy amber in color and has some hints of yellow—it's too hazy to see if there is any visible carbonation. It poured with a short off white head that consistently covered all of the surface and left some lacing running down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of citrus are present in the nose along with hints of pine and underlying notes of caramel malts.
T: The taste has flavors of caramel malts with strong notes of citrusy hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has a good balance between the malts and hops. It's a well-hopped strong ale and reminded me like a stronger version of Pete's Wicked Ale.

Serving type: on-tap

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had from a cask at The Pony Bar- poured a clear brown red with a poofy one finger head; excellent retention of big sudsy bubbles and nice lacing.

Smell is uninteresting- a little malt, a little yeast and a little booze.

Tastes good- alcohol pretty evident though. Amber malts and cream. Maybe a bit of licorice.

Mouthfeel is like other casks I've had- thick and creamy with no carbonation. It's good but I won't get it again.

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Photo of scootny
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A huge light tan head with excellent retention and lots of lace. A hazy amber with ruddy hues. The aromas of yeasty breads and piney hops with some earth as well. A caramel malt sweetness flows through and a English ale fruitiness caresses my nose. Taste is caramel malt with a Bam of grapefruit and pine. A toasted biscuit with whole grains and a dry hoppy finish. Lingering hop oil and mint. Feel is superb with a creamy head and carbonation that really enhances the drinking experience. Quenching as well. You can quaff this like it is going out of style. No trace of the alcohol and wonderful for your holiday spirit!

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Photo of kwjd
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on cask at Pony Bar in New York City. Like the previous reviewer, I noticed they had it listed at 10.3% abv, so not sure if this has changed over time. Pours a dark amber brown colour with thin off-white head. Nice head retention. Smells hoppy, with an earthy and spicy edge to it. Lots of caramel sweetness as well. Alcohol is noticable in the nose, but a bit moreso in the flavour. Bitterness comes through after an initial burst of sweetness. A nice holiday beer.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Chelsea Hoppy Holidays on tap at Pony Bar in Hell's Kitchen, NYC.

Appearance: Amber color, a dark one, sort of smoky topaz. Huge fluffy foamy head, a bit too big due to the improper pour of the inexperienced bartender. Good thick lacing, like Clyfford Still doodles on a glass.

Smell: Caramell, sugar, gingerbread cookies. Faint hoppiness at the end (more pronounced as it warms up) and chai (tea) overtones.

Taste: Caramel and sugars again, with the hoppiness being more pronounced than in the nose. A very dry (puckeringly so) and bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Full body, medium carbonation, good all around. Super dry at the end, but satisfying.

Drinkability: SUPERB! 10.3% (not 7.9% as BA says) but incredibly smooth, chuggable. I've had this beer many times and have never ceased to be amazed at how drinkable this is.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on cask served in a 10oz 1/2 pint 14 Mar 10.

A - a ruddy amber w/ mildly hazed appearance and practically no head - tiny bead and little to no lace

S - A mild fruit ester with sweet notes of date and herbal aromas from hops

M - A mild astringent quality w/ light alcohol in the feel and tart citric acidity w/ semi-sweet finish.

T - The taste is mildly sweet w/ subtl fruit notes from the yeast. The flavor has a citrus accent which could be attributed to the hops w/ hints of lemon and herbs w/ mild rind note adding a light tannic aspect w/ a hint of malt sweetness as it finishes - pretty tasty but not seamless

D - A nice 'Holiday' beer as the previous reviewer mentioned it was labeled Holidaze - nice drinkability with a more herbal less bitter hoppiness which was good drinkability wise

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Photo of akorsak
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Labelled as "Hoppy Holidaze" at the General Sutter, where it was served from a cask.

A: The strong ale is an amber color, brown/orange and light enough to remain translucent. The ale benefits from filtration.

S: The nose is hoppy but defintely aged, with a bitterness that seems restrained. That hoppiness is citrusy. Spices mingle with the hops, getting lost behind the hops.

T: The ale is filling, offering both hops and spices. The hops have an aged reservedness about them, diminished by some time aging. Their bitterness remains evident, but a spiciness takes over mid-sip. Nutmeg and cinnamon, orange peels and pepper, all are present. They have faded a bit in the cask but still stand out. The hops and spices are a warming pairing.

M: The mouthfeel retains the hoppiness that must have been quite strong a few months back. Holidaze is an apt name.

D: My last cask offering of the day. It paled behind other offerings but was good on its own. Chelsea has a nice winter ale here.

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Photo of bonbini26
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ the Blind Tiger 1-13-09

Poured into a pint glass, with a nice big white fluffy head. Great amber/dark red/brown color profile with some lacing. The aroma is a combination of spice (nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger) and hop (pine, citrus), really great. Taste is at 1st a smooth spice profile with maltiness, then finishes with a great hop attack. Full-bodied, smooth, creamy and overall great mouthfeel. Drinkability is high, esp if you are one who likes hops and the 7% is barely noticable.

Overall an awesome beer, it truly is a great holiday brew with hops. I don't really count Celebration Ale as a holiday for the fact that is more of a great IPA than anything else. While this beer has all the Christmas spices incorporated with the hops to back it up. Well done, wish I found this sooner

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks again to grub for my second growler from the growlin at the moon. This one I enjoyed thoroughly last night. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumedo n 01/09/2009.

First off, very nice pour here with a dark amber color, light cloudiness, just enough to make it look a little bit thicker and a really nice mix here of big white fluffy head and smooth mellow side glass lacing.

The aroma was very full. Nice piney hops, thick with resin and very lovely caramel malts. Almost a nuttiness as it warms. The first sip reveals a very full bodied and sticky like ale here. Rich carbonation. The flavor was not at all what I was expecting here. It was almost like a nice american barley wine. Rich delicate hop notes, lovely sweet bready malts and a smooth syrup like consistency. Easily drinkable as no hints of alcohol were coming through here on any of it.

Overall a very solid beer here, very nice and welcomed in the house for sure. I would love to try this one again anyday.

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Photo of plaid75
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On cask at Brazen Head, Brooklyn.

Poured a hazy murky deep amber hue with a one finger frothy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a sweet caramel malt, candy sugar and some light esters.

The taste was upfront sweet caramel with a touch of earthy honey. There was a solid doughy element an herbal hop.

The mouthfeel was full and heavy, with a thick sweetness.

Overall a tasty and user friendly ale. Not typical of the style however.

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Photo of Billolick
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Blind Tiger in NYC, this one poured into ta Belgian style tulip, darker honey amber, dark khaki head, leaves nice looking sheeting as well as gauzy lace. Whole wheat toasty nose, then I got notes of rye, more toast, roasty malts, then soft drying hops balance things out. Sort of a "mushy" mouthfeel, this one doesn't really fit the style guidelines for a BSDA. Pleasant enough stuff, but nothing to get too excited about

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Photo of Nickls
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(From notes)

A - Reddish-copper hue, poured with a nice proportioned slightly off white head. Wonderful lacing throughout the sample.

S - Muted maltiness and really nice herbal aromas with a mild hop bitterness

T - Really interesting hop bitterness up front, followed by sweeter malts, and the herbal spiciness suggested in the aroma is a bit weaker than I would have thought based on the smell.

M - Medium to thin MF, with some pleasant carbonation which makes this very quaffable.

D - Really great on the drinkability scale give the 7% abv. I would have never guessed it was that high in alcohol as it was completely hidden. Definitely great on the flavors and they all melded well with one another.

Overall, pretty good brew. I definitely liked the hoppiness given that it's not something I would expect in the style, but it worked well here.

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Photo of jwc215
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Note: This beer is not retired - it is a winter offering. I'm writing this from notes taken two days ago.

Brownish-red with a thin head that leaves some lacing.
The smell is of pine, nutmeg, a touch of cinnamon. Fresh bread aroma.
The taste was of malty sweetness upfront, followed by citric, piney hops. Hops soon surpass malt, but the latter stays strong to give it balance. Mild spices give it a nice wintry touch without being overwhelming.
Full-bodied, rich, creamy and smooth. Alcohol is barely noticeable.
Great hop profile with enough malt and spices. A wonderful strong ale. Easily drinkable, esp. for the style.

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Photo of gentlebubbles
4.01/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(from some overlooked notes Dec 03)
On cask at the Blind Tiger

Golden-red topped by a nice 1/2 inch head. No aroma. The hops taste sour at first, then become sharp, amid the light bodied, crisp malt.

I wanted a second at the first sip, but one proved to be enough. It was so strong, I got buzzed from half a pint, and so hoppy, I lingered over it.

It left me thinking, why can't I find beer like this in Boston? Since then I have found its peers at CBC and the Tap.

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Photo of beernbbq
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brought home a growler from the city. Pours a reddish orange with a quickly dissapating white head. Smell is pure Cascades-dominance. No signs of residue anywhere. Taste is mild biscuity malt with a strong citric hop flavor. Mouthfeel is clean and sharp on the palate. Finish is dry, gin-like and cleansing. Strength of this beer is surprising as there is little to no alcohol taste. An excellently crafted beer, and very close to SN Celebration.

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Photo of Mick
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

All hops! Hop nose, hop flavor, etc. This is a hop heads beer. You'll want to save this one for last if you are sampling different beers because the hop profile in this one will burn out your taste buds. An amber/gold/brown color. Clear and translucent. Finishes really crisp and raw. A beer among beers. This is one worth going out of you way to sample if you are a hophead.

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Hoppy Holidays from Chelsea Craft Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 23 ratings