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Holly Jolly Christmas Ale | Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
85
very good
40 Reviews
THE BROS
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Holly Jolly Christmas AleHolly Jolly Christmas Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon
Ohio, United States | website

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.40%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BB1313 on 12-07-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
40
Ratings:
341
Avg:
3.81
pDev:
34.38%
 
 
Wants:
16
Gots:
104
For Trade:
3
User Reviews
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Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 341
Photo of TX-Badger
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish brown color with ivory colored head. Spices, toast, roasted malts on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes with spice.

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Photo of cambabeer
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

I had this for the second time last night, and while good, it feels forced to me. Yes, it tastes like christmas, nutmeg, cinnamon, and the alcohol is somewhat noticeable. It's not very balanced to me, however.

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Photo of Discos2
3.59/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look- nice dark Amber/red.
Smell- very aromatic. The spices u want from a holiday beer are all there.
Taste- great spiced ale. Cinnamon, nutmeg, roasted malt.
Feel- bright, spicy and crisp. Slightly sticky.
Overall- if you like spiced winter brews, this is a good one.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The Holly Jolly is a solid Christmas Ale....there are just a few critiques on each category that I must give and reasons as to why this beer didn't score higher with me.....even though I think it might be my favorite Xmas Style Ale I've tried to date. The beer poured a very nice rich amber with thin white head....but no lace (deduct). The scent has spice and pine needles not overpowering (which I like)....but not as strong as others (deduct). The taste is evenly balanced...again the spice and pine not overpowering...again which I like and makes it sessionable. The mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall this is good and I like it....but if you're looking for a gingerbread man in a Xmas tree bold punch in the face....this is not it. Very subtle an nice.

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Photo of zac16125
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Fat Heads Holly Jolly Ale
12oz bottle into a pint glass
no bottling dates but vintage 2015


A: Crystal clear, dark amber, 2 fingers width of tan head has good retention and leaves a small amount of lacing. 4.25

S: Very malty, almost smoky, decent amount of spice. 3.5

T: More spice then the aroma, in a good way; some juniper/pine; still quite malty. Theres a prominent “Christmas spice” that I for some reason can’t place. 3.75

M/D: Fuller side of medium body, carbonation appropriate, drinkablity is average. 3.5

O: Pretty good beer, not something I'd drink frequently and 1 is plenty, but a good beer if you are looking for something different. 3.75

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Photo of Glanzman
4.04/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle served in a pint glass.

Pours a nice caramel color with 1 finger tan head.

Smells, and taste subtly like Christmas... pretty light with the spices.

And ok beer.

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Photo of Stevem68
3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby Amber color. Has a light holiday spice and malt aroma. Flavor is malty, smooth, a little sweet and has a holiday spice flavor. Overall a nice Christmas ale.

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Photo of Gauss
2.69/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 2.75

This Cleveland beer just didn't live up to my expectations. Honestly it's all in the smell. I can't get the slight vomit odor out of my nose. It's very smooth and has a decent honey flavor but it just doesn't do it for me.

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Photo of nicholas2121
4.47/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Holly Jolly Christmas Ale brewed by Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon, with an ABV of 7.40% This brew pours out a nice brown color with a nice off white head. I really like the look of this brew. Holly Jolly Christmas Ale, looks good in a paint glass. The smell is rich with spices , malts, and grains. You also pick up a hit of hops in the smell of this brew. There is a lot going on in Holly Jolly Christmas Ale, this is a good drinking brew. Now for the taste , it is bold with flavors. You pick up on the nice spices in this brew. There are also some nice grains and malts in this brew. Holly Jolly Christmas Ale, has a nice balance to it, there is nothing overpowering about this brew. The mouthfeel of Holly Jolly Christmas Ale, is rich bold and clean. You really can't pick up on the 7.40% ABV. Overall I'm giving Holly Jolly Christmas Ale a 4.50 out of 5. Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon, did a nice job with this one. This is a nice Christmas brew

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Photo of schoolboy
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The Lake Erie region has a lot of great breweries and great Xmas drinks coming out of those breweries. This is the best of those holiday drinks I've tried this year. Really, there is no reason to look any further, this is the one. I had a taste at their pub on Lorain and now a bottle too.

It is a pretty brown ale. Nice and clear with extremely fine head. The aroma is exquisite. As good as any in the style. It smells hoppy and spicy all nicely balanced.

The taste is an easy drinking strong holiday drink. Not too bitter but not too spiced and punchie. It lingers on the palate on the sweet side, appropriately. I hope to serve these to guests a few times this year but I don't want another right now - one is enough, give me something sour or sitter or ... over the top. Cheers.

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Photo of Hop_God
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep brown mahogany to ruby red.

S: very spicy and "christmas" forward, baking spices

T: much of the same as the smell, some spiciness, nutmeg, hint of cinnamon, then a blast of hops.

F: very crisp and a big bite.

O: for the type of beer it was a pretty decent version.

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Photo of barczar
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I'm not a Christmas beer fan, and I'm not a fan of ginger, so this is not my fave.

Ginger and allspice dominate both aroma and flavor. Cola notes become evident in the aftertaste. There's a touch of toasted malt.

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Photo of stumac
4.09/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Guess I gotta write a review cuz it's not letting me do a quick score. My buddy brought this down from his hometown in Ohio back here to Texas. Nice treat. Looks solid. Very clear. No head. Nose isn't too pungent. Nose and flavor are the same except the flavor has more malt flavor. Holiday spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla. Medium body, mellow carbo, solid brew

 363 characters

Photo of Beef_Curtains
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Caringly dispensed into a mug from a 12 oz bottle

Appears a sedatious reddish-brown color with a solid finger of fluffy foamy goodness

Smells like Christmas: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, fuitcake, honey and a little caramel.

Also tastes like Christmas: a smooth wave of the aforementioned spices and more stemming from a rigid malty spine.

A nicely carbonated, medium bodied beer

Very similar to the classic Great Lakes Christmas Ale. At 10.99 a sixer, this will definitely be added to my annual Christmas lineup

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Photo of Spadoof
4/5  rDev +5%

Served from a 12oz bottle into a 22oz snifter. No bottled on date present.

A - Pours a semi transparent hue of red/orange/brown with a finger thick white cap. Most of the lacing falls leaving some soapy bubbles on the side of the snifter.

S - The smell really packs a punch... Christmas in a bottle. Fresh ginger and cinnamon up front followed by sweet blast of honey, cherry and alcohol.

T - Ginger, cinnamon and festive spices up front are sharp on the tongue. Hints of fresh fruit and sweet malt come through in the middle followed by pungent honey. Alcohol and carbonation come through at the to gently cleanse the palate leaving a semi sweet mixture of honey and ginger.

M - Medium carbonation, thick body.

O - Fantastic! Probably in my top three christmas ales! Will definitely be purchasing more.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from the bottle into a goblet glass. The third beer of my 2014 twelve beers of Christmas.

A- Poured a dark reddsih brown color with lots of streaming carbonation and off-white soapy head that left dense, splashy lace.

S- Big aroma of cinnamon, ginger, honey, and cracker malt character. This really smells like Great Lakes Christmas Ale.

T- Huge cinnamon and ginger, some honey sweetness, cracker and bready malt notes, light orange peel and brown sugar notes.

M- Smooth, medium body, prickly carbonation, and semi-dry finish.

O- Very good spiced Christmas Ale that tastes that is heavy on the spices of the season and a nice malt backbone. This beer is very similar to Great Lakes Christmas Ale in my opinion with Holly Jolly being just a little more malt forward.

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Photo of AC-Mivsek
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%

A- Pours a clear reddish amber, thin khaki head which dissipates quickly. Mild carbonation.

S- Very spicy, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, honey, some cola aspects to it as well. Hearty, robust nose.

M- Smooth, silky. Coats the tongue with cinnamon sweetness.

T- Spicy and sweet. Cinnamon and honey seem to dominate, malty back-end.

O- I feel this is a great example of a christmas ale. Very spice heavy, not quite warming enough for me though. I'd go winter warmer over herb/spice ale next time.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours a mostly clear brownish-crimson color with a fluffy head of tan head. Fades pretty fast and does not leave much lace.

Aroma is ginger galore with the sweet cinnamon-honey coming a close second. Smells very much like a gingerbread cookie.

Taste mixes malt flavors with the spices better than the nose would indicate, still quite cookie-esque though. The honey comes forth in this beer more so than any other beer I have had, maybe even as much as DFH Midas Touch. The ginger seems to help that perception, as does the rich malt. Mouthfeel is great - full and silky. I like this one quite a bit but I could see it being too rich for more than one or two in a sitting.

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Photo of BrewUSA
4.14/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look 9/10
Smell 18/20
Taste 37/40
Feel 9/10
Drinkability 17/20

Overall 90/100

Fat Heads Holly J olly pours a amber reddish orange, with just a bit of Haze~ Light and radiant lacing~a Aroma is nice and spicy, citrus ginger and honey, smells wonderful~ Palate is kicking with some dazzling citrus and spice, dry but sweet, light to med body~ Taste is Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Allspice, Orange Peel, Honey, Coriander, Clove, Hops, Bread malts and Caramel~ A very good winter warmer~ Smooth and spicy not very complex, yet easy to drink~ A bit of bitterness lingers on the tongue~ Overall: 7.9

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Photo of rlee1390
3.76/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Clear deep amber, not much carbonation, one finger head that doesn't long at all.

S-Very spice heavy; nutmeg, cinnamon, some caramel and slight honey.

T-Rather sweet with spices. Caramel and malt to begin with cinnamon and nutmeg in the finish. No bitterness though.

M-Light, very light and watery without any carbonation.

O-As it warms it becomes slightly bland, the spice is still there but nothing special. A good beer but not worth having again.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 10/24/2013. Pours moderately cloudy deep ruby red color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with some moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of big raisin, caramel, brown sugar, toast, brown bread, honey, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, clove, and herbal earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and spice notes; with great strength. Taste of raisin, caramel, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, honey, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, clove, and herbal earthiness. Minimal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, caramel, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, honey, ginger, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and herbal earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance, robustness, and complexity of malt, honey, and spice flavors; with a great malt/spice balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice spiced Christmas ale! All around good balance and complexity of malt and spice flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,350 characters

Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.84/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The coldest winter in a half-century deserves a Christmas beer anytime – cheers.

Bottled 11/14/2013, nearly three months before the date of this tasting.

A: Dark auburn body, with a pristine transparency that’s only visible when held up to the light – otherwise it just looks like darkness. Short, fizzy head of thin bubbles dissipates quickly, leaving little lace and nothing but a dusting of retention.

S: Notes of spice, booze, and sweets abound: each whiff provides a noseful of allspice, nutmeg, and ginger on a bed of bright, minty vanilla malt scents. Smells like a spice cake, one with an extra thick layer of icing.

T: White cake and rum raisin ice cream with cinnamon-sugar on top: delicious sugar and spice fill out the body with wonderful balance. Both extremes are drinkable and controlled, a filling blend of sweet cake, dark fig, and brown sugar topped with nutmeg, cardamom, and allspice. Finishes a little on the thin side of sugary, like a diet cola, but that’s the only downside I’m getting in this palate.

M: The carbonation is light, adding nothing but a bit of texture to the spice, while the body is just thick enough to be filling. The texture fits the palate perfectly.

O: This beer is a meal in a glass, showing off enough spicy complexity to endlessly entertain the palate. If you’re looking for a pleasantly-spiced, drinkable beer for the colder months, look no further.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.84/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown color with a white head that recedes to a fine layer. Aroma of molasses, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and spice.

In the taste, fairly spicy, with allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg balanced by sugary malts and a balancing hop bitterness. The mild citrusy hops give the impression of lemon candies. There is a smallish nutty malt flavor. Medium to full bodied ale that drinks easy

Overall this is a nice spiced ale and a good holiday brew. The spices were not overwhelming, like in some renditions of the style. This is pretty good stuff, as to be expected from this brewery.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - a pretty pour, clear amber/ruby brew with a finger of manila cream. Festive and elegant.

Aroma - cola/anise, powdery grain.

Taste - like the nose, a cola/anise flavor, malty sweetness. A middle of the road seasonal, but a good crossover into the winter ale styles that tend to be sweeter.

Mouthfeel - smooth, decent weight for the style, slightly muted carbonation.

Overall - decent session Christmas beer, though GLC still rules the roost. A toast of this beer to Steve who introduced himself at the King of the Hill IPA tasting at Incline Public House. He needed a sitdown and I was happy to share my table. Joined by his brother Frank and sister-in-law Leanne, I was about to leave but they bought me one, so thanks for that!! Meeting new friends over good beer is always a keeper in the holiday memories department. Great to meet you guys, cheers!

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Photo of Crafts_and_recreation
4.43/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep, ruby hue with dense, fluffy off-white head which dissapated but left a nice 1/4 inch on top. Tons of carbonation, bubbles continue to rise in the glass while I write this, and a thin, spotty lacing throughout.

Aroma is very complex of ginger, cinnamon, clove, pine, some honey or molasses, breads malts. Smells sweet and spicy, very pleasant with a hint of brown sugar and orange peel.

Flavor is very smooth, spices hit the palate first but are followed by a clean malt base and it's a hint sweet without overdoing it. Almost reminiscent of fruitcake, it starts out with cinnamon and spice, followed by pine, and with a smooth orangey finish. Very little noticeable bitterness if any and mild fruit flavors.

Mouthfeel is one of this beer's strong points in my opinion, it's smooth and silky with a full body and clean finish. Flavor is really carried across the palate by this rich brew and is surprisingly drinkable for its strength.

Overall this is one of the better Christmas beers I've tried. It's spicy without being overwhelming, piney without being too pungent, and has a deep, satiny body that goes down easily with a pleasant aftertaste. This beer is what I had hoped ST 2xmas would be like, the aromas are similar, but FH presents a much smoother and more palatable flavor in my opinion. Not something I'd want all the time, but I would certainly recommend trying it.

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Holly Jolly Christmas Ale from Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon
85 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.
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