Christmas Ale | Sly Fox Brewing Company

Christmas AleChristmas Ale
BA SCORE
53.3%
Liked This Beer
3.68 w/ 418 ratings
Christmas AleChristmas Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sly Fox Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States
slyfoxbeer.com

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by NeroFiddled on 11-24-2002

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#29,983
Reviews:
181
Ratings:
418
Liked:
223
Avg:
3.68/5
pDev:
14.4%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
8
Gots:
46
Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 418 |  Reviews: 181
Photo of Keneally43
5/5  rDev +35.9%

Photo of timjim1327
5/5  rDev +35.9%

Photo of Stev
5/5  rDev +35.9%

Photo of bradm418
5/5  rDev +35.9%

Photo of dwaz
5/5  rDev +35.9%

Photo of MmmIPA
4.89/5  rDev +32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Overflow city...This beer's head was massive and went all over my table. 22 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.


A-Reddish/Orangeish body with a huge head.Very fluffy and no lacing on my glass.

S-This is the best smelling xmas beer I have ever smelled.It really does remind me of xmas.I can smell cinnimon is very potent and nutmeg isnt as evident.I dont taste any hops at all.

T-Cinnimon hits ya first then I taste the nutmeg on the sides of my tongue.I do taste pumpkin pie also.Damn this beer is good.

M-Very carbonated, it almost attacks your tongue in a harsh way.

D-I really like this stuff,Its very xmasy and puts ya in the spirit.It may be one of the only beers that I can tell what the different flavors are in it.Im gonna buy a bottle of this for xmas eve.Thanks to Slyfox for making this tasty brew.

As the beer warms, the spices really start to come through to shine.

 899 characters

Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
4.84/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clear copperish color, with a thin off-white head that holds well/leaves a good lace. The aroma is a combination of bread/biscuity malt, clove, spices and hints of cinnamon. The same on the palate with some spices, ginger bread, hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, emm, balanced flavor and tasty. Emm this stuff is so good. Nice recommendation Nero.

 348 characters

Photo of Wielandeal
4.8/5  rDev +30.4%

Photo of reitzbrewing
4.75/5  rDev +29.1%

Photo of robdip9
4.75/5  rDev +29.1%

Photo of Nezzy
4.6/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Enjoying this one to keep me warm on a snowy day.

Appearance: An almost burgundy red mixed with red and the slightest tint of orange. Poured with minimal head and has some mild lacing, not a lot.

Smell: The smell is very well evened with everything blending together but it makes it slightly hard to point out some aromas. However nutmeg and spice cloves are the strongest.

Taste: Just what I would expect in a winter warmer. You can really taste the all spice and cinnamon, with an after taste of ginger. It very well blended and I can definitely taste malts.

Mouthfeel: Strong upfront carbonation but ends with little to none. Goes down easy and doesn't really stick around.

Drinkability: I've been struggling to find really decent winter warmers this season but this one succeeds. The taste and feel of the beer feels almost like you are eating a cookie and definitely is warming me up. I would want to see how it stands out more paired with food, but even on its own its a great beer that is easily drinkable.

 1,018 characters

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

Finally getting to some reviews before my notebook bursts.
I got my holiday spirit from this beer. No joke.

The beer pours a deep brown with ruby hues. Creamy head fizzes out but allows for lacing in the glass. The aroma is very malt forward with subtle hints of spices. Nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, brown sugar and vanilla. Hints of yeast in the background. Allowed to sit some alcohol comes thru but is only very subtle.
The flavor is rich with malts. The spices are present but none are overpowering. This is where many spiced beers fall apart--inbalance with the spices and other ingrediants and its either to spicy or too thin in the body. I cannot find anything that is out of place in this beer. The spices are crisp and clean. No bitterness anywhere. Subtle hints of sugar and vanilla come thru. Some caramel. All balanced out nicely by malts. Solid medium body with a slightly warm finsih. In the mouth its nicely carbonated, smooth, and again finishes clean. It all adds up to a very drinkable beer. And I drank a good portion of the keg.

 1,046 characters

Photo of jjd315
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%

Photo of DMXLOX22
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%

Picked up the 2014 version of this brew at my local establishment, Civera's in Drexel Hill. Let's see how this brew goes on Thanksgiving eve.

Appearance: Pours a copper brown, deep red. Leaves behind a quite impressive head that is about an inch thick after pouring and dissipates kind of slowly as the brew goes down and leaves a decent lacing on the way down.

Smell: Upon first sniff, the aroma gives off cinnamon, some light allspice and some light biscut-like aroma. Further inspection of the aroma, I get more cinnamon and very light nutmeg-like and other gentle spices. Very little gingerbread aroma. Not too bad. Nice and somewhat balanced.

Taste: Upon first sips, I can detect some light allspice, also some light biscut-like flavors. Second and third sips, I can detect the nutmeg and cinnamon which isn't too bad and smooth and come creamy flavors. Sweeter caramel and some toffee flavors also comes through as the brew goes down.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation with a medium body. Goes well down the slower you go. Not too bad aftertaste, not very dry at all.

Overall: Coming into this brew, I was glad I grabbed it since I missed last year's version. Not too bad upon first pour and inspection. Smell and taste matches up pretty consistent and go well and well-balanced. I was quite satisfied with this brew, but the flavor was a bit overpowering. I would maybe try again maybe on a colder night. I would recommend to a friend. Cheers!

 1,451 characters

Photo of caddybuyer
4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Beautiful deep red brown with a huge light tan head that lasts forever

S-Malt and ginger with some clove in the background.

T-Spices come through with a malt and cherry sweetness that really shines when this warms a bit. The finish is dry and clean with an excellent hop balance to offset the sweetness. This is one tasty brew without being overpowered with seasonal spices.

M-A tad bit lighter than I was expecting, but that is not a bad thing. Above average carbonation, but overall very well done.

D-This is a very drinkable seasonal, and of everything that I have tasted yet this year...this is my hands down favorite when it comes to the spiced beer warmer variety. The cherry backdrop adds a very interesting twist to this, and while it sits behind the spices, it is a welcome and tasty addition.

I just had the opportunity to re-review this as somehow my local distributor just got a case of the 2008 version in from the brewery. The 2008 is far superior to the 2009 version, with a marked cherry character. Very nice, and a year has toned down the effervescent character that marked this last year.

 1,114 characters

Photo of Haterson
4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of fuzzylogic
4.44/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the brewery in Phoenixville & also had it on tap at their other location in Royersford.

Aroma is exceptional, even better than it tastes. Scents of nutmeg and cinnamon. Smells like Christmas. Lighter w/a lower abv for a Christmas Ale but still substantial. Very nice beer, drinkable and uncategorizable like a good winter/X-mas ale should be.

A standout from an underrated brewery.

 397 characters

Photo of Aprilluvsbeer
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Okay, this is my very first beer review in which I am only doing for myself so I remember what the heck it tasted / smelled like! :) So here it goes:

I only had this Christmas Ale once, so this is my inital reaction: yummy! A great way to get into the holiday spirit would be to drink one (or two) of Sly Fox Christmas Ale. Lots of spices that remind one of the holidays. You can smell cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, and the taste is packed with same. Not too bitter, which I like. As a matter of fact, I liked it so much that I bought a few bottles to give as gifts to my Yuengling Lager drinking friends - try to get them to the dark side :) And of course, I am saving a bottle for myself on Christmas Day!

One of the better holiday beers that I have had so far.

Cheers!
April

 787 characters

Photo of stonelis
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark amber, tons of head..it overflowed my glass. Didn't take long until I was able to pour more, settled to a nice lacy head.

Smell: Cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Nice.

Taste: Heavy spice was my first impression, it faded to a nice balance after the first swallow.

Mouthfeel: a touch too much carbonation for my likes but it didn't detract from the overall feel.

Drinkability: I only had one 750ml bottle. Purchased at Royersford brewery/Reataurant for $6. Wish I had more!

 488 characters

Photo of curlykate
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the first holiday beer i had this season that smacked me in the face with christmas. The ale is a beautiful red, with nice foamy head. It smells like my grandma's kitchen was poured into the glass with the beer, maybe i'm being a bit hyperbolic, but the aroma was just so warm and pleasant. The holiday spice i smelled (and tasted) most was nutmeg, although ginger is also prominent. Smooth and very drinkable this is my favorite beer from sly fox, the only thing disappointing about this beer was my inability to find it locally in bottles, i really wanted to bring this with me to holiday parties.

 607 characters

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.4/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the glass deem amber heading toward brown with an almost tan frothy and very tall head which lasted forever to lace the glass.

The aroma was spices, cinnamon and clove most notable but others as well, allspice and some faint resemblence to pumpkin pie. The aroma was bready and toasty with a strong malt backbone filled with dark caramel notes. Also present as the head fell and the beer warmed were dark fruits, raisins and prunes most notably.

The flavor was malty with a strong caramel aspect and almost a Belgian yeast spice character. Present were dark fruits, some raisins and some prunes. The spices were nicely presented and cinnamon, clove and allspice could be picked out while other spices were muted and added complexity. The flavor also contained a graham presence and a bit of ginger snap cookies (like my grandmother used to make).

The finish was dry with a lasting impression of spices and a light bit of dark fruits lurked well into the aftertaste. The body was medium with a fairly high carbonation level but a nicely creamy mouthfeel. Although a spice beer, on the way to being a Belgian Strong Dark with an alcohol boost. A very interesting and complex beer with no appreciable alcohol presence but plenty of flavors and aromas to entice and enjoy.

750 ml corked and bailed bottle. Thanks BeerBeing!
Dunno where he got this one, the website says:
"A malty, full-bodied red ale 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. AVAILABLE IN 750ML BOTTLES ON A SEASONAL BASIS BEGINNING NOVEMBER 2006."

 1,668 characters

Photo of Scoats
4.39/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This spiced holiday beer is a favorite of patrons at The Grey Lodge Pub, and with good reason. It's a palish ale with holiday spices such as cinnamin and nutmeg. The interesting thing I noticed last night is that the spices hit you exactly where the hop end taste is in most beers.

 281 characters

Photo of IntriqKen
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love Winter Warmers and this is exactly what they are supposed to be.
Aromas of warm winter spices (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg) and a light biscuit yeast or malt.
Taste is sweet amber malts, soft cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, and very, very soft hops at the end.
This brew is exceedingly mellow...very balance for as many different flavors exist in it. Nothing overpowers...everything works well.
This is a winter warmer as it should be...I love it.
Thank you April.
The season has started and finished with this brew.

 523 characters

Photo of number1bum
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Arena Bar & Grill in Wilkes Barre. Reddish-brown with a bit of tan, foamy head. Smells very nice - nutmeg and cinnamon, maybe some clove, and definitely some malt that seems as though it will be sweet. Tastes like it smells - a lot of spice up front, that nutmeg and cinnamon again, primarily. Very smooth with a pleasant malt sweetness. Not much at all in the way of hops. I really enjoyed this beer; perfect sweetness and beautifully balanced with spice, this is a great winter warmer.

 497 characters

Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another great offering from Sly Fox pours a deep red with some copper tints with a real nice fluffy head that leaves some nice lacing on its way down,aroma is of allspice and cinnamon with some light metallic hints.A real fine tasting brew cinnamon is the dominant taste I get with some light allspice notes a nice malty/bready backbone to makes it very appetizing.Gotta growler of it and now enjoying at home.

 410 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Christmas Ale from Sly Fox Brewing Company
Beer rating: 53.3% out of 100 with 418 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.