Christmas Ale
Sly Fox Brewing Company

Christmas AleChristmas Ale
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From:
Sly Fox Brewing Company
 
Pennsylvania, United States
Style:
Winter Warmer
Ranked #98
ABV:
6.5%
Score:
83
Ranked #24,644
Avg:
3.68 | pDev: 14.4%
Ratings:
443
Status:
Active
Rated:
Mar 11, 2022
Added:
Nov 24, 2002
Wants:
  7
Gots:
  49
SCORE
83
Good
Christmas AleChristmas Ale
Notes: This malty, full-bodied red ale is made with traditional mulling spices: Ginger, Clove, All Spice, Cinnamon & Nutmeg. If this one doesn't get you into the Christmas spirit, you truly are a Scrooge.

Bottled: 16.0 OG | 16 IBUs | 6.5% ABV

Canned: 14.0 OG | 16 IBUs | 5.5% ABV
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of BitteNochEinWeissbier
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25
by BitteNochEinWeissbier from Pennsylvania

12 oz can
glass: tulip


Look: Deep, dark copper with a 2+ finger off-white head. The head dissipates relatively quickly to a mostly consistent film. Good Lacing

Smell: Holiday spices, primarily ginger and some cloves, overlaying a sweet fruitiness.

Taste: Follows the nose but with a heavier does of spice. Again, the primary spice seems to be ginger. The spice lingers thru the finish leaving a slight astringincy.

Feel: Thin and noticeably carbonated but clean.

Overall: Not a bad holiday ale, but not my favorite. The spice is a bit too strong for my palette. What is interesting is how much that I notice the ginger. Almost to the point of not noticing the other spices. Nutmeg I don't register at all. But solid and an OK cold weather brew.

Mar 11, 2022
 
3.91 by SiepJones from Pennsylvania on Dec 20, 2021
Photo of adrock314
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
by adrock314 from Pennsylvania

12oz can into snifter. Current ABV is 6.3% according to label.

L: Bright & clear ruby color. Fluffy head dissipates rather quickly to a lingering ring. 4.25

S: Label references ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, & cloves and all of that is present in the aroma. Nose is Christmas cookies and gingerbread. It works, but it's a little too much for me. 3.5

T: Sweet caramel & toffee. Luckily the spice is dialed down a little bit in the taste. Ginger and hop bitterness combine on the back end to add some dryness and just a hint of heat in the finish. 4.0

F: Mouthfeel is appropriate. Carbonation is a little too fizzy. 3.5

O: Overall I think this one is better than the sum of its' parts, but something just doesn't do it for me. Definitely a solid seasonal offering, but I'm a kind of let down as I remember enjoying this much more in the past. It has been a year or so since I've had one, though. I'd recommend grabbing a single before committing to a 12 pack. 4.0

Dec 18, 2021
 
3.5 by sbradley41 from Pennsylvania on Dec 18, 2021
 
4.03 by T66tah from Pennsylvania on Dec 13, 2020
 
3.91 by Timmmmaaayyy from Pennsylvania on Dec 13, 2020
Photo of Colenso
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by Colenso from Massachusetts

A: thin head with plenty of lacing, straw-colored with a reddish hue
S: Malt, pumpkin spice, nutmeg, general seasonal (Christmas) spice on the palette
T: Hop bitter finish, no noticeable off-flavors but wasn't really picking up the ginger
M: Thin, mild carbonation, somewhat watery
O: It was a fine brew, but I wouldn't want to drink multiple of these. No enough body to support the spice. A bigger mouthfeel would improve this beer.

May 16, 2020
 
3.5 by PatrickCT from Connecticut on Apr 08, 2020
 
3.75 by harpus from Alabama on Jan 02, 2020
 
3.79 by Barleycorn from Pennsylvania on Dec 23, 2019
 
3.75 by bdiiorio from Connecticut on May 01, 2019
 
3.56 by tankg from Pennsylvania on Jan 19, 2019
 
3.5 by bigschoolrecords from Pennsylvania on Jan 06, 2019
Photo of MikeWard
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by MikeWard from Pennsylvania

12oz can into a pint glass last night at Hucklebucks, Pottsville PA. 2018 release, best by 3/29/19.

Dull dark amber body with a small off white lead leaving little in the way of lacing.

Aroma of the usual Christmas spices, Cinnamon being the most noticeable.

Actually tastes better then I expected. Often with these Christmas beers, the spices, particularly cinnamon , are very strong and quite often a little bitter and harsh. Not the case here. present, but nicely balanced, making for a smooth enjoyable drink. Good solid malt background.

Mouth above medium, finish smooth, spicy, and slightly sweet,

All in all, and enjoyable drinkable beer on a cold winter night.

Jan 04, 2019
Photo of Vetbidder
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by Vetbidder from Pennsylvania

Darker amber look with a decent tan head. Sweet malt nose, I’m not getting a ton of spice. Got the spice on the flavor plus sweetness with just a slight spicy bite. Just Ok carbonation and a thicker feel. Not bad...

Dec 09, 2018
Photo of rudiecantfail
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by rudiecantfail from Pennsylvania

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass.

L---Crystal clear, orangey amber color. Slightly off-white head faded to a cap fairly quickly and left very good lacing.

S---They advertised a spiced ale, and they deliver on it. Cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice. Initially has a pumpkin beer scent, but then the ginger & clove kick in and it's full of christmas. Some underlying malts are there, but no hoppiness at all.

T---Lots of nutmeg & cinnamon. Again, the other mulling spices kick in and steer it away from pumpkin beer territory. All flavors come from the spices.

F---A bit thick. Coating. Creamy.

O---A nice effort. Tastes like christmas. I wouldn't drink this in the spring or summer, but it's in the 20s today in December and this is well suited for that.

Dec 09, 2018
Photo of Fatheroftoomany
2.43/5  rDev -34%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3
by Fatheroftoomany from Pennsylvania

Almost red ale in color. Smell is of something cinnamon mixed with something I can’t pin but it’s not good. Had a cigarette taste and a smooth finish. Not my first choice for a winter beer.

Dec 09, 2018
 
3.75 by Lucular from Maryland on Dec 03, 2018
 
3.81 by Steve_Studnuts from Pennsylvania on Nov 26, 2018
Photo of Act25
3.84/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by Act25 from New Jersey

2017 Edition.
A) Mahogany, ruby with tan head that dots a bit, fades fast. (all those additives!)
s) In a good way, it's cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg on caramel malt body.
t) Follows the smell, no wrong turns or over spicing. Pleasing and not in your face.
f) Thinner than I like but fresh, not cloying, clean finish. makes you reach out for salty, savory snacks and mustard.
o) Solid Xmas offering. upper mid pack?

Apr 12, 2018
Photo of Ozzylizard
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
by Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

$ 7.00 (Including tax)/750 mL cork and cage bottle ($ 0.270/oz) from Franklin Beer, Franklin, PA.
Undated bottle (2017 vintage) stored at 42 degrees and served at 42 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter. Opens with a slight “Pop”.
Appearance – 3.5.
Body – Garnet, clear, effervescent.
Head – Large (Maximum seven cm, initially aggressive then controlled, pour), tan, low density and fizzy, rocks, rapidly diminishing to three to four mm frothy ring and a complete layer. Head retraction leaves some drag marks. Head from second pour is less fizzy but otherwise identical.
Lacing – Poor – some small islands and some drag marks but no rings of lacing.
Pour – Brownish-yellow, clear.
Aroma – 3.5 - Weak ginger and nutmeg.
Flavor – 3.25 -A mélange of spices with nothing really standing out. Allowing it to warm in my mouth accentuates the clove and the fizziness. No hops, no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl.
Palate – 3 - Thin, watery, fizzy.
Impression and summation – 3.5- Fortunately for my tastes, the spices are not overpowering. This is remarkable for winter warmers in that the spices are not so overpowering as to be obnoxious. However, they are muddled to the extent that you know they’re present but you can’t tell what they are. Overcarbonated.

Jan 19, 2018
 
4.59 by foghornleghorn22 from Virginia on Jan 13, 2018
 
2.81 by DavetotheB from Pennsylvania on Dec 17, 2017
Photo of craftaholic
3.31/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
by craftaholic from New York

Christmasy and basically a liquid gingerbread cookie

Dec 10, 2017
 
3.92 by tuowl74a from Pennsylvania on Dec 06, 2017
Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by BeerAndGasMasks from Virginia

From the older can, it pours a clear reddish amber with a nice frothy head. The head lasts a bit and leaves lacing as you enjoy it. Christmas spices in the nose. The mouth follows, with a spiced malt flavor.

Mar 06, 2017
 
4 by wonothesane42 from New Jersey on Jan 30, 2017
 
3.75 by cp45 from New Jersey on Dec 27, 2016
 
4.06 by SpAiReArGsEonNE from New Jersey on Dec 19, 2016
 
3.5 by bigred89 from Maryland on Dec 10, 2016
Photo of The_Beer_Guru
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
by The_Beer_Guru from New York

Pours a dark brown color with a very thin head. Smells of allspice, cloves, cinnamon, malt, and nutmeg. This taste like a straight up gingerbread cookie. Very good beer and I taste everything that I smelled. Pretty smooth and surprisingly not that malty. Perfect balance of a mild sweetness and a mild carmel malt. Very good winter beer and would definitely buy again!

Dec 02, 2016
 
3.84 by jrfehon33 from Pennsylvania on Dec 02, 2016
Photo of thebeers
3.21/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
by thebeers from Pennsylvania

Straight up amber color with a thin finger of tan tinted head that isn't that lasting and leaves only modest lacing.

Big Christmas spice aroma -- nutmeg, mace, cloves, ginger.

The taste is pretty thin up front. Not too much of an aftertaste either, dry and slightly bitter, with a muddy mix of the spices from the nose omnipresent in the background throughout the drinking experience. There's a touch of honey sweetness in there. Reminds me of carrot cake more than anything.

Watery, thin bodied mouthfeel. Not my thing.

Nov 19, 2016
 
3.5 by calcnerd from Pennsylvania on Jun 03, 2016
 
4.09 by Dougwillhike from New Jersey on Apr 19, 2016
 
3.99 by jpd026 from New York on Mar 17, 2016
 
2.95 by bmcl16 from Pennsylvania on Feb 26, 2016
 
3.34 by milesweaver from Pennsylvania on Feb 13, 2016
Photo of dacrza1
3.34/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.25
by dacrza1 from New Jersey

DATE TASTED: January 29, 2016... GLASSWARE: Mad Elf snifter... OCCASION: celebrating another Friday night with Shan and the Tank... APPEARANCE: dense, burnt sienna body that releases little effervescence...the thin white line forms the head, with a smear of an island in the middle... AROMA: the can's claims are tangible in the aroma--cinnamon and ginger are the most dominant scents; nutmeg and clove are present...the addition of maple syrup to the olfactory is surprising, as are the wet, toasty malts... PALATE: fizzy early and flat at the finish, with a warming, syrupy draw--not the flourish that I hoped for in a Christmas beer, nor is it as full-bodied as it could be... TASTE: nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon definitely evoke the Christmas spirit--even a month after its exit... the syrupy kickback detracts from the overall flavor--it runs akin to cough medicine, with some malt return to add balance--possibly a brown ale base is in here... OVERALL: This beer gets a bit of a boost from the nostalgia spawned from last week's Lamb of God/Anthrax concert in Philly...however, the beer on its own does its job but does not demand a second purchase--a reasonable holiday drink that doesn't distinguish itself...at 5.5%, a favorable drink to combo...

Jan 30, 2016
Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.95/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
by ThisWangsChung from Maryland

2.95/5: Bland and quite unimpressive, but at least it succeeds in evoking Christmas

Jan 22, 2016
Christmas Ale from Sly Fox Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 443 ratings