Christmas Ale
Breckenridge Brewery

Christmas AleChristmas Ale
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Winter Warmer
Ranked #273
ABV:
7.1%
Score:
80
Ranked #44,904
Avg:
3.54 | pDev: 13.84%
Reviews:
455
Ratings:
1,187
From:
Breckenridge Brewery
 
Colorado, United States
Avail:
Winter
Wants
  25
Gots
  201
SCORE
80
Good
Christmas AleChristmas Ale
Notes: The chill of a Colorado high-country winter calls for a beer with extra flavor and strength. Here it is. At over 7% alcohol, with a sturdy texture and rich flavors of caramel and chocolate, our holiday seasonal is the fermented equivalent of a good fire.
View: Beers
Reviews: 455 | Ratings: 1,187 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of chitoryu12
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Look: Clear, dark amber. Two fingers of thick, foamy off-white head with good retention.

Smell: Stone fruit, pine, toasted malt.

Taste: Extremely mild, far more than the smell suggests. Only a faint piney, slightly minty note at the back end.

Mouthfeel: Average, with high carbonation.

Overall: This beer shocked me. Everything about it is perfect, and then the taste just isn't there. Literally, there's no flavor. Adjunct lagers have more flavor.

 452 characters

chitoryu12 from Florida, Apr 22, 2020
Photo of Nugganooch
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 12oz bottle - Firestone-Walker snifter glass

Leaves you wanting a bit more for the season but still checks that nostalgia box. Baked bread and holiday spice up front. Mostly clove/allspice, ginger, cinnamon. Moderate caramel malt sweetness. Alcohol is well hidden. Body is somewhat diluted for me. Some drying in the finsh helps.

 345 characters

Nugganooch from California, Jan 06, 2020
Photo of jkblr
3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle best enjoyed by 26MAR20 poured into a becher glass at fridge temp 7.1% ABV. The beer pours bright dark copper amber in color with khaki head. The head recedes to a thin ring and leaves a little lacing. The aroma is faint with toasted caramel malt. The taste is more of the same with toasted caramel malt and minimal vague, earthy hops before a barely bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with average carbonation and a mostly dry finish. Overall, ok. This beer lacks the richness of better examples and has no lingering finish. A very simple, yet unoffending ale.

 592 characters

jkblr from Indiana, Dec 26, 2019
Photo of RozzieBoy
3.81/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L - very nice. Caramel/ dark amber with a light tan, one-ginger head. Good lacing throughout.
S - a bit lacking but decent. Spicy and malty.
T - nice caramel.
F - full body mouthfeel. Pretty smooth, too.
O - a really nice beer. Enjoyable.

 244 characters

RozzieBoy from Rhode Island, Dec 26, 2019
Photo of beergoot
3.9/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark reddish amber body; plenty of fine carbonation; relatively small yet lasting white head. Smell of rye malt and heady Xmas cookie spices; cinnamon and cardamon. Rich, malty flavor; rich caramel; a touch of bitter chocolate; anise and cinnamon. Heavy body; fairly smooth; nice residual sugar character; dull, heavy sweetness overall.

This is a fine Christmas ale with a wonderful aroma and flavor.

 402 characters

beergoot from Colorado, Dec 20, 2019
Photo of barnzy78
3.55/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, best enjoyed by 26MAR20. Thanks to Kim & Mary Lou for getting me a 6 pack! This is a beer I haven't had in about a decade, so it's always nice to come back around again! Caramel-amber colored ale with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly. Toasted grain, caramel, brown sugar, and earthy hop nose. Big malty flavors as expected with notes of toasted grain, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and mild chocolate along with a herbal and earthy hop presence. Full body, enough alcohol to make is warming, ample carbonation, sweeter finish that is slightly dry. Overall, about as good as I remember - a decent pick up for this time of year.

 646 characters

barnzy78 from Illinois, Dec 15, 2019
Photo of spectru
3.52/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark amber, thin head receded to a film; Has a nice, inviting aroma, not strong; Mouthfeel is smooth with a light tingle, not much carbonation; Flavor is pleasant, but not particularly robust, Overall not a bad beer, but not exceptional, the most notable thing about it is its lovely color.

 299 characters

spectru from Florida, Dec 10, 2019
Photo of smbslt
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark amber with orange highlights. Plenty of carbonation to sustain creamy off-white head. Smell and taste very traditionally English. A very good base that is missing the spice.

 181 characters

smbslt from Illinois, Nov 24, 2019
Photo of Wxb1111
4.02/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

i like good holiday beer. This one is very good. It pours a wonderful deep amber and holds a tiny and gorgeous head of beige bubbles. It smells sweet and of brown sugar candy. You can smell some malt in there too. The taste is sweet and malty. Nice kick at 7%.

 261 characters

Wxb1111 from Rhode Island, Nov 23, 2019
Photo of PickleLek
4.04/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Guinness pint glass. Dark hues to the beer giving off warm and comforting vibes. The taste reminds me of cold winters back in Poland, coming inside to warm up after a long day in the shipyard. 'Twas expected to be heavier, much like a stout, although I am still content. I am more underwhelmed than disappointed in this beer. A well rounded ale, and I would recommend to a friend.

 394 characters

Photo of dnmyrick
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a traditional ale glass. Clear ruby red appearance. A two-finger amber head that dissipates quickly, leaving sparse lacing. A coppery medium maltiness that is not heavy on the nose. Tastes just like it smells. Medium body on the palate. Overall a very enjoyable winter warmer.

Many Winter Warmers go over the top on the ABV (9+). I really don't like tasting the alcohol upfront. At 7.1% this is very good. You can taste the alcohol, but it's not boozy. Here in the Great White North of Minnesota winter warmers are a real thing! Cheers to Breckenridge for doing this Christmas Ale right! :)

 603 characters

dnmyrick from Minnesota, Nov 13, 2019
Photo of puck1225
3.92/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Has what you expect in a winter warmer.

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Clear reddish amber color. Pleasant warm spice smell and taste. Nicely malty. A bit thin and sweet, but overall pretty good.

 207 characters

Photo of Niceandbadass
4.08/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

It tasted like Christmas in my mouth!

I drink this beer every year. Some years are better than others. 2019 is very good. It poured beautifully. It was a nice amber color with a white head.. it left nice lacing as I drank. You could get notes of coriander and nutmeg on the nose. The mouthfeel was good in the taste really was reminiscent of Christmas. The finish was short but pleasant..

Very nice...and bad ass

~

 417 characters

Photo of DuaneL
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

11/8/19 - 1 bottle from Elkton; pleasant but unexceptional, needs more body. Dark malty finish, smell is mediocre. Okay in a pinch.
Need 150 chars....

 152 characters

DuaneL from New Jersey, Nov 08, 2019
Photo of Highaltituderun
4.09/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer actually reminds me of christmas. It pours a wonderful deep amber and holds a tiny and gorgeous head of beige bubbles. It smells sweet and of brown sugar candy. You can smell some malt in there too. The taste is sweet and malty. Overall a terrific beer.

 263 characters

Photo of bbtkd
3.79/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Breckenridge Christmas Ale, 7.1% ABV. Pours dark brown, with a one-finger off-white head that left decent lacing. Nose caramel and spices. Taste follows, plus chocolate, bready, with a slight bitter close. A bit under-carbonated. Overall good. Doesn't taste like Christmas.

 279 characters

bbtkd from South Dakota, Oct 27, 2019
Photo of Mindcrime1000
3.62/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tulip.'

Pours a dark amber/brown and clear with a nice tan foamy head. The head retains decently, giving way to good lacing. Not a great look but solid.

Caramel malt is the strongest aroma, but faint hints of allspice, cinnamon and hops arrive.

The brew features caramel malt, toffee, and bready/yeasty flavors out front, but there is a deceptive and pleasingly present grassy/earthy hop aspect that balances this out. The spices are subtle but recognizable, and that is probably good for a beer. This isn't mulled cider or wine after all.

What I liked most of all about this brew was the drinkability. Although at least medium-bodied and fairly malty, the carbonation and judicious use of spices results in a very drinkable brew that isn't sticky or cloying at all.

Warmers are usually tough to rate highly as "beers" because they often don't seem like beers at all. This is a solid warmer that shies away from dumping in the whole the spice rack in favor of delivering a brew that tastes like a beer that has some well-delivered holiday spices.

 1,075 characters

Mindcrime1000 from South Dakota, Oct 27, 2019
Photo of mynie
4.37/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Happy hour special in Clinton, Iowa meant bottles of this were only two bucks apiece.

Frankly, that was a fantastic deal.

The pour is full bodied, dark brown with a good head for its relatively elevated ABV. The aroma is older school, which is to say it's balanced and you can actually discern some malt and yeast nodes. The hops are tangy, the malt is bready with mild spiciness. The flavor is the same: excellently balanced, malty and spicy with a kiss of the hops to balance things out.

Going back to slightly older beers can be a fantastic respite from the Juicy Fruit Extremeness that's infested most of the rest of the American beer scene. Breckenridge's Christmas Ale is not just a fantastic value, it's a fantastic beer.

 733 characters

mynie from Maryland, Jan 14, 2019
Photo of RyanK252
3.77/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a Mountain Rambler Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours deep copper brown with a frothy tan head that settles to a light layer and leaves some nice lacing.

S: Toasty bready malt, a little spice, caramel and dark sugar sweetness, a touch of pine, and some dark fruit.

T: Toasty bready malt, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, vanilla, resinous pine, a touch of spice, and some dark fruit, cherry and fig. Slightly reminiscent of Cherry Dr. Pepper.

M: A bit on the fuller side of medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: A bit on the sweet side, but not bad on a cold night.

 587 characters

RyanK252 from California, Jan 14, 2019
Photo of jjamadorphd
4.03/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Surprised by this warmer from Breckenridge - I loved it...

From the unique coloration of the beer to the spicy smell of cinnamon, this was one (slightly) sweet surprise. Normally I'm not much into this style, but this one from BB was special from the get go. I even found the mouthfeel creamy and the overall taste and experience to be a representative of the style that is probably my most favorite. Great job, Breckenridge.

 429 characters

Photo of sjdevel
3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

LOOK: Clear copper color. Decent head - recedes quickly.
SMELL: Nice hoppy/malty aroma - some dark fruit - some funk
TASTE: Get some malt and quite a bit of tart fruit and funk. Not much flavor otherwise - decent
FEEL: Decent medium body - not as effervescent as I had hoped
OVERALL: Not what I expected. I expect Christmas Ales to be a bit more malty - and spicy. Not hot spicy - but nutmeg/cinnamon/clove/ginger, etc. I bought as a single but would not buy a 6 pack.

 481 characters

sjdevel from Colorado, Dec 16, 2018
Photo of Fatheroftoomany
3.81/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Amber color that is lighter than most winter beers. Little to no smell but a great taste. Coats the mouth fully and finshes smooth. I could drink way too many of these before I felt it. Very easy to drink.

 207 characters

Fatheroftoomany from Pennsylvania, Dec 07, 2018
Photo of Mike_76
4.2/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Nice dark brown color
Smell: Very aromatic, hints of pine, cinnamon and nutmeg
Taste: Nice and smooth. Crisp and somewhat sweet
Feel: Love that the spices don’t overpower each other
Overall: Very drinkable for a Holiday Ale

 233 characters

Photo of jpkand
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Looks nice but I prefer warners to look darker. This is a dark brownish /copper color. Spices come through in the nose: nutmeg in an orange, cinnamon. Some nice toasty notes and a little hint of pine. I am not on board with the reviews stating the beer doesn't have an interesting smell.

Anticipation built by the aroma leads to a let down on the taste, but it is still good and drinkable. A little flat up front but a nice fresh cleanness comes through. Ends with subtle bitterness, like a burned biscuit. Im warming up to it as I drink.

Mouthfeel is good--not too heavy to keep it from being highly drinkable, and I was gonna say sessionable until I just now looked at the abv. Wouldn't have guessed 7.1!

Solid beer, great choice for a variety pack of winter seasonals

 773 characters

jpkand from Virginia, Nov 27, 2018
Photo of craigbelly
3.96/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smell is somewhat subdued. Toasted malt hits the nose first. The smell carries through into the flavor perfectly with big flavors of toasted malts, chocolate and caramel creating a sweet backbone. Overall spicy, strong, sweet, malty backbone with a good hop presence. Nice alcohol warming.

 290 characters

Christmas Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
Beer rating: 80 out of 100 with 1187 ratings