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Thunder Canyon Ornament Ale | Thunder Canyon Brewery

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very good
10 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Thunder Canyon Brewery
Arizona, United States

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
A TCB holiday tradition. A medium bodied ale spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and a special secret ingredient. The subtle blend of spices adds to the flavor of the malt and hops to create a unique and delicious holiday treat.

Added by mzwolinski on 11-22-2002

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 10 | Ratings: 10
Reviews by Inflames:
Photo of Inflames
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

I knew I only had one night at this brewpub so I got the sampler. On first impression I was really taken by this brew.So I ordered a pint. It had a good balance of what a spiced ale should be. I really like spiced brews, but this brew was hard to finish. I will be fair and say that I had just eaten a chicken sandwich. But I really feel that it is a bit too sweet! The rest of this recipe should be kept the same, because I feel it is a standout ale.

 451 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Auraan
2.64/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured a cloudy red body with a finger of bubbly white head. Overall impression of appearance is of a nice winter warmer. Scents of cinnamon and nutmeg upfront, clove, bready malt, light ginger and a slight off-aroma of vinyl. Overall impression of aroma is of a very spicy beer, not sweetly so, but with a pleasing malt presence. Not bad, but brought down by the off-aroma. Flavor begins with an overt off-flavor of vinyl, leading into light cinnamon, nutmeg and clove with a slight sour tang like lemon juice. Middle raises vinyl off-flavor to medium-high with the same sour tang and light notes of nutmeg and cinnamon and clove. Finish is spicy with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove and light lemon with medium amounts of the off-flavor of vinyl. Aftertaste is of clove and grainy malt. Overall impression of flavor is not good. I am not sure if oxidation or something with the spices occurred due to time in the growler or if chlorophenol is the cause, but the vinyl flavor is overwhelming and destroys any enjoyment that may have come from the other flavors. Mouthfeel is light bodied with high carbonation and a drying, chalky feel. Overall impression of mouthfeel of a decent session ale, not bad. Overall I did not care for this one. I am not sure if its good beer gone bad with age or just bad beer but the vinyl aroma and flavor predominate and make this one akin to sniffing and licking one of my figurines, which, while they are quite pretty to look at, much as this beer, would not be a pleasant experience. I'd like to try it again fresher to see if that's the issue, but for now, this one is a miss.

 1,617 characters

Photo of Bcant
2.98/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5


Poured orange/brown. Small white head that left some lacing. Smell is very spiced: cloves, coriander, ginger, nutmeg. Starts with strong nutmeg with a malt middle, very modest hop profile, only evident at the very end. The strong nutmeg flavor and high malt content evokes pumpkin pie. Yet the texture is not as rich and creamy as pumpkin pie. Mouthfeel is a little oily. Drinkability is decnt, the spiciness does not burn the palate. I enjoy spiced beers in the wintertime but this offering relies too heavily on the spices, under which is a very ordinary brew.

 570 characters

Photo of Gusler
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draught @ Papago - Release 2004
The beer fresh from the tap a deep amber color with a creamy head that is modest in size and light tan in color, the lace a thick and clinging sheet that weld itself to the glass. The nose is cinnamon and nutmeg, coriander and sweet malt, quite a sweet treat for the nose. Start is sweet and thick with malt, the top middling in feel. Finish is mildly acidic and the personable in their spiciness, decent dry aftertaste and a nice change of pace.

 479 characters

Photo of flexabull
4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared a growler of this nice brew with a friend. His brother brought it here from Arizona.

Pours a clear and bright copper color with a very faint head.

Aromas are very spicy and complex. Some nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon. There is also a litte yeast and oak in there as well.

Taste is lighter than expected, but still nice, and will a good spice component. Slightly sweet with some creamy malts. Spices are there, but a bit mellow. Nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon just like in the nose. Finish is crisp and a little dry.

Good mouthfeel, not overly heavy.

High drinkability on this one. A nice tasty winter warmer style, that doesn't go overboard on the spices, but make them well enough known to make this a nice beer. And it's light enough to make it very easy to sip.

 773 characters

Photo of mzwolinski
4.53/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very attractive, clear copper in color with a finger-thick, mostly creamy head. Big spicy aroma on this one which gets even bigger in the mouth. The exact spices used are a secret but I detect nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves, along with a citric hop presence throughout the palate. Medium light in body, with a dry finish and a sweet, spicy aftertaste. Very nicely done.

 374 characters

Photo of bigbelcher
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this has to be a prototype for what a low alcohol Holiday beer should be. Lots of spices in the flavor and aroma, especially high in cinnamon. The beer was a nice brown color. Low in alcohol but big in flavor. Even though it has a lot of spice it is well balanced and you can drink glass after glass.

 305 characters

Photo of BretSikkink
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Attractive, burnished brown appearance, with a good, tight cap. Not a ton of lacing, but nothing awful.

Aroma and flavor are just over the top spices: cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, you name it. There are some floral hops going on, the malt backbone is a fairly mild, toffee-more-than-caramel sweet. The spices just take over early and often.

The mouthfeel is pretty damn good; a little bigger than Marzen styles, but it's a nice, low-alcohol alternative to winter warmers and Wassail styles. I've got a problem with the finish; it smacked of something a bit too sweet. Anything more than a couple of good sips would have been enough for me.

Shared a pint with the lady friend - not bad, but nothing I will go back for again.

 729 characters

Photo of baseball1976
4.62/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

If you like spiced beers, this seasonal brew is for you. I compare it to Harpoon Winter Warmer (Boston, MA), except it is more sweet. Not too over powering with spice. Has hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. The taste is sweet and refreshing. The look is medium brown. Not much head or lacing. It is definitely worth the try if you are in an area that you can get it in.

 364 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Brewpub, 2005 offering
This beer sits in my glass a brilliantly clear, orangish tinged, amber colored brew. It is topped by a wispy pale tan colored head. The aroma is quite pronounced and redolent of baking spices. Cinnamon takes the lead role here, in fact the aroma reminds me of an atomic fireball jaw-breaker; the cinnamon pretty much drowns out any other aromatic notes.

The beer is lightly sweet, but more importantly the cinnamon is again the single largest flavor contributor. This makes this beer quite reminiscent of a cinnamon candy. Underneath are faint hints of malt (perhaps some caramel), maybe just a light dusting of herbal hops, along with a light bitterness in the finish. Despite the heavy handed cinnamon notes, I am actually enjoying this; it is an easily quaffable brew and I find that I am somewhat partial to the flavor.

 865 characters

Thunder Canyon Ornament Ale from Thunder Canyon Brewery
3.93 out of 5 based on 10 ratings.
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