Christmas Ale
Breckenridge Brewery

Christmas AleChristmas Ale
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Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Winter Warmer
Ranked #260
ABV:
7.1%
Score:
81
Ranked #46,742
Avg:
3.55 | pDev: 13.8%
Reviews:
473
Ratings:
1,222
From:
Breckenridge Brewery
 
Colorado, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  26
Gots
  205
SCORE
81
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.
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Reviews: 473 | Ratings: 1,222 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of firesidewithphil
firesidewithphil from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Breckenridge's Christmas Ale is a mild winter warmer that has a good amount of spice. It is backed by an amber, caramel malt and very easy to drink. Could have 3 or 4 of these.

IG: @firesidewithphil

Jan 03, 2021
Photo of HipCzech
HipCzech from Texas

3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Serving: 12 oz bottle poured into a 9 oz Libbey Embassy snifter.

Appearance: Deep and clear dark brown with a short, thick head of off white foam; spare dots of lace.

Smell: Roasted malt, dried dark fruit, earthy hops, and hints of alcohol.

Taste: Rich, malty body with notes of caramel and cocoa and hints of spice and earth.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, creamy smooth feel, and medium but soft carbonation.

Overall: A satisfying winter warmer, malty and boozy while balanced by a dry earthiness.

Dec 25, 2020
Photo of mothman
mothman from Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle. White head with lace. Copper color.

Caramel, toffee, light spice.
Earthy and zesty hops. A touch of citrus. Smooth and malty. Medium bodied. Easy drinking and festive.

Dec 23, 2020
Photo of vette2006c5r
vette2006c5r from Minnesota

3.93/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Christmas Ale pours a darker amber color, with a long lasting, lacing head. Aroma is sweet, earthy, with a hint of oak. Flavor is sweeter, a "darker" caramel flavor, some hints of earthy and spice. Good body and feel. Overall, a nice flavorful winter warmer, sweeter, without being overboard.

Dec 21, 2020
Photo of Reef
Reef from South Carolina

3.79/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap in a neighborhood bar.
Scant head, ruby red clear appearance.
Not much aroma, some toffee, brown bread, pepper.
Taste is very pleasant with some cinnamon, ginger, bready malt.
Easy drinking, low carbonation, good for a holiday get together.

Dec 07, 2020
Photo of Spikester
Spikester from Oregon

3.99/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with one finger of five minute tan head. Swathes of lace as the levels drop.
Smell is molasses and malts.
Taste is molasses dark bread malts.
Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. The finish is mildly dry and lightly sweet.
Overall a tasty winter warmer. Best by 17 Feb. 2021.

Dec 02, 2020
Photo of Beersurfer51
Beersurfer51 from Illinois

4.12/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From the Christmas ale mini keg. Pours an almost a picture book dark opaque brown with a 3 finger foam with copius lacing. Smell to me is an aroma of wheat or bread. Taste is burnt malt with some sweetness followed by some semi dry bitter notes. Definitely medium bodied with a smooth mouthfeel. Overall i consider this a very good ale for this time of the year. The only problem is reminding myself that it is 7.1 abv as it is very drinkable.

Nov 26, 2020
Photo of defunksta
defunksta from North Dakota

3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber, bronzed brown color with a strong off-white head. SRM of 19. (4.25)

Aroma: Moderately strong aromas of molasses. Mostly molasses with hints of cherry and brown sugar underneath. Malts mostly, not much hops. (3.75)

Flavor: Flavor follows with the nose with strong flavors of molasses, roasted brown sugar, and Scotch. Underneath some roasted caramel, hints of choocolate, and brown sugar. Fits the molasses and Scotch flavor quite well. Not a vague flavor, and it's quite pronounced. Finishes somewhat sweet and malty.

Feel: Lighter-bodied. Moderate carbonation. A decent amount of dryness. Airy enough and not too sticky on the palate. Smooth and relatively clean.

Compared to Sam Adams Winter Lager 2020 11/22/20: Pours an identical color. More aromas/flavors of molasses. Less citrus, bread, caramel. A larger body and more smooth/malty.

Compared to Bells' Christmas Ale 12/20/20: Pours a slightly lighter color. Milder aromas, but more molasses, roasted brown sugar, cherry vanilla and Scotch. Less toasty malt, brown bread, strudel, and caramel. A lighter body, but more detectable alcohol. Winner: Bells

Overall: A significant amount of molasses in this beer. Some Scotch and roasted brown sugar to support, but I suppose they are along the same lines. The body is relatively light and allows the alcohol to burn through. Some earthy bitterness, yeast, bubblegum to give it a German presence. Leans malty and finishes with a molasses flavor. (Final Rating: 3.88)
*Compare to a bock or TJ dopplebock*

Nov 23, 2020
Photo of Mark-Leggett
Mark-Leggett from Missouri

4.22/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle. Dark caramel in color with a foamy tan head and lacing. Smells of malt, caramel, roasted grain and brown sugar. Flavors of caramel, bread and a slight nutty hint. Not overly spiced like some winter warmers. Very enjoyable.

Nov 21, 2020
Photo of CHickman
CHickman from New York

3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A nice malty Christmas Ale (winter warmer) that had zero spices, but plenty of caramel, roasted grains, wet wheat bread, brown sugar and some trailing nutty flavors as it faded. This was really simple but very enjoyable.

Nov 17, 2020
Photo of KS_Augsburg
KS_Augsburg from Illinois

4.14/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2020 edition, the year of the corona shitshow. The color is simply amazing, mahagony brown, nice foam which disappears a little too quickly but some lacing. The nose brings rosted chestnut, dark cherry and maple syrup. Taste follows the nose, a very clean but also very festive medium weight ale. Love it.

Nov 16, 2020
Photo of teromous
teromous from Virginia

3.09/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The text is a bit faded at the end, but from the right side of the label it appears to read: "BEST ENJOYED BY 18FEB21 DA 1632"

Appearance: Brilliant clarity is noticeable right off the bat. The color is fantastic with a rich ruby and golden-orange. There is a short off-white head that is creamy textured. Decent retention. Lacing looks great.

Aroma: There is a light hop aroma with a hint of spicy hop character and a faint malty character. It has a very mellow aroma.

Taste: Up front there is a slightly nutty flavor with a light malt character. There is a bit of honey-like flavor at the beginning that carries on to the middle. The finish is a light spicy hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: It is smooth and medium-bodied which teeters a bit towards heavier. Carbonation is good.

Overall: It tastes a lot like a Vienna Lager with a tad more hop character and a bit more body. It feels a little weak for a Winter Warmer but it could be passable for some. It's a good beer but it wouldn't be one I'd readily recommend. I probably wouldn't drink it again given the wealth of alternatives on the market, but I would enjoy it if somebody handed me one.

Oct 30, 2020
Photo of MattDecker
MattDecker from Texas

3.14/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Look: Honey amber color, a finger of foamy head
Smell: Malty, sweet
Taste: Break, malt, very mild in the flavor departmetn. Not bad by any means, but just not much...of anything other than bready malty
Feel: Thin feeling. Very thin considering the ABV
Overall: not much going. What IS going on is aight, but only just. Meh.

Oct 23, 2020
Photo of Darkmagus82
Darkmagus82 from Texas

3.74/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a brick red color with a small head of tan colored foam. The head has a decent level of retention, fading over time to leave a little bit of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the brew is strong of a caramel and molasses smell mixed with some aromas of cherry and plum. Along with these aromas comes notes of a little bit of roast as well as some smells of an herbal nature. With just a touch of a spice smell (nutmeg and juniper) rounding out the smell, the overall aroma produced is sweet and festive.

Taste – The taste begins with a toasted brown bread taste that has some lighter sweetness of a molasses and cherry nature. As the taste advances forward the sweetness initially gets stronger only to fade more toward the end of the taste profile. While the sweetness initially increases other flavors of a light spice and herbal flavor develop. The spice is mainly of a nutmeg flavor with some other lighter spice notes mixed in as well. At the same time a pine taste becomes more prevalent, starting out light but getting stronger. Toward the end the pine seems to dominate the spices taking control and mixing with the roasted malt to become the dominant flavors. At the very end of the taste profile, a bit of earthy hop comes to the tongue, and with the rest of the flavors, leaves one with a moderately malty, sweet, and spiced taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is medium in thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is rather average. For the mix of toasted malt, sweet, and pine the feel is nice and gives this one a good slow sipping and warming feel at 7.1 % abv.

Overall – A pretty good winter warmer overall. Its got the moderate sweetness, the pine, and the light roast (oh and a decent hit of alcohol). A nice one to give a try to at least.

Oct 16, 2020
Photo of lwillitz
lwillitz from Wisconsin

3.6/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12-oz bottle into Guinness pint glass

A - transparent body of copper amber under 2 fingers of light tan suds; low visible carbonation

S - malty with caramel sweetness

T - toasted malt, caramel sweetness, spice, earthy notes, nice touch of bitterness in the finish

M - medium body, medium carbonation

O - not bad, but doesn't really stand out

Jun 27, 2020
Photo of chitoryu12
chitoryu12 from Florida

3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Apr 22, 2020
Photo of Nugganooch
Nugganooch from California

3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Jan 06, 2020
Photo of jkblr
jkblr from Indiana

3.48/5  rDev -2%
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.

Dec 26, 2019
Photo of RozzieBoy
RozzieBoy from Rhode Island

3.81/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

Dec 26, 2019
Photo of beergoot
beergoot from Colorado

3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Dec 20, 2019
Photo of barnzy78
barnzy78 from Illinois

3.55/5  rDev 0%
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.

Dec 15, 2019
Photo of spectru
spectru from Florida

3.52/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Dec 10, 2019
Photo of smbslt
smbslt from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Nov 24, 2019
Photo of Wxb1111
Wxb1111 from Rhode Island

4.02/5  rDev +13.2%
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%.

Nov 23, 2019
Photo of PickleLek
PickleLek

4.04/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

Nov 22, 2019
Christmas Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 1222 ratings