Christmas Ale | Breckenridge Brewery

417 Reviews
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Christmas AleChristmas Ale

Brewed by:
Breckenridge Brewery
Colorado, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-28-2002

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Reviews: 417 | Ratings: 1,080
Photo of nbaradel443
4.8/5  rDev +37.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Seasonal beers are definitely not my thing but if anything out beats the crown vally imperial pumpkin in the seasonal category it's this Christmas ale by Breckenridge it's absolutely amazing the taste is great very flavorful it has a nice color and it is a beer that you could drink at anytime I've even seen it come in mini kegs and that's bad ass around Christmas you would be insane to not pick this up if you see it

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Photo of Jelitikasez
4.75/5  rDev +35.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Definitely my favorite Christmas beer ever, one of my favorite beers ever.

Sweet and spicy, but no candy cough syrup thing going on.
Silky mouth feel, pleasant weight.

Beautiful rich amber tangerine color.

NOT: Dry, sparkling, light or citrusy. This, for me, is a good thing.

This will not be everyone's thing, but I really love it.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.6/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a balloon glass.

Breckenridge Christmas Ale pours a deep murky mahogany color with a cream colored head. A patch of bubbles and thin film are what remain after the head recedes. A nice sheet of light sticky lacing clings to the glass. The aroma is Christmas in a glass to me- a combination of pine, cedar, and orange peel immediately awaken my nose. Also, faint roasted malts linger in the background. The taste profile also starts out with an earthy, woody cinnamon-cedar note. Bright orange peel follows, mixed with some malt sweetness. The finish is piny hops, completing a well-rounded excursion into my favored Christmas Ale year after year. There is a notable tartness in the aftertaste. On a side note, I dig the artwork on the bottle, it has a weird Dickensonian feel about it to me.

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.5/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not a bad beer taste like caramel but kinda bland medium color and goes down really smooth great beer for the winter months and that is good drinking to me

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A clear, ruby-chestnut body rests gently beneath a short, creamy head of light tan that drops slowly to a thin surface covering; leaving tiny spots and splashes of lace about the glass. It's quite smooth and even somewhat creamy across the palate with a medium, dextrinous body and fine-bubbled, moderate carbonation that's quite British in character. The nose is inviting, and quite interesting, with interwoven notes of caramel-drizzled and biscuity/bready malt, dark dried fruits (prunes and raisins), and pine. The flavor follows suit, and it's a fairly rich and somewhat complex brew with a beautiful, biscuity and toffee-ish malt component that's accented by yeasty fruitiness and a dollop of rounding buttery diacetyl. It's reminiscent of the Fuller's yeast character; and it's very English indeed! As it warms, the hops become more apparent... leafy, grassy, and slightly mineral-like; leaving it to finish with some lingering buttery toffee and drying, leafy and resinous hops. An excellent beer that delivers exactly what I'd expect of an English brewed winter warmer. Definitely worth trying!

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Photo of GrillMeister
4.42/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought a 6 pack of this and the guys at the liquor store told me not to put the whole 6 pack int the fridge or you will drink it all.

They were right. It's a very tasty beer. It has a pleasant aroma, a great taste with a hint of cherry, i think. Very nice beer. I could drink this stuff past Christmas.

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Photo of darthpeepee
4.4/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a dark amber from a 12oz bottle. The bottle's label was very festive. Great artwork and presentation.

S - Smell was rather sweet. Malty with dark fruit aroma. Light hint of spices used in the beer.

T - Tastes of lightly roasted malt, dark fruits, and spice. Nice wood/pine hops used in this drink. Nice balance between the malt and hops.

M - Very light and easy drinking winter warmer. Light-Medium body.

D - I really enjoyed this beer. I would like to try another one of these. Delicious beer for those cold winter nights.

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Photo of nicholas2121
4.38/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Christmas Ale brewed by Breckenridge Brewery with an ABV of 7.40% This brew pours out a nice brown color with a nice light brown head. Christmas Ale has the loo of most Ales on market, no saying that is a bad thing. The smell is rich with flavors and grains. You also pick up on some spices and sweetness in the smell of this ale. Christmas Ale is a really inviting brew. The taste is bold with flavor you pick up on the grains and malts in this brew. Then there is a nice smooth spicy aftertaste. This brew has a real nice balance to it, there is nothing overpowering about this brew. The aftertaste is nice with a burnt caramel taste, with a hit of spice. You don't notice the high ABV in this brew, it is just that smooth. The mouthfeel of Christmas Ale is rich , smooth, and filling. Christmas Ale is smooth but bold tasting brew. This was better than what I was expecting. I would buy this brew again. Breckenridge Brewery, did a nice job with this ale. Over all I'm giving this Christmas Ale a 4.25 out of 5.

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Photo of Michael-GT
4.38/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Great looking beer. Pours a medium brown with a fluffy head.

Smell: Smells slightly hoppy.

Taste: amazing. I look forward to this during the winter season.

Feel: Medium-light mouthfeel with average carbonation.

Overall: great beer. I always look forward to drinking this. I wish I'd have hoarded away a few 6 packs of this for the summer.

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Photo of Frosty80
4.32/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: pours light brown. sits deep copper with garnet highlights

Smell: light, crisp, fruity and malty. light melanoidins

Taste: malty sweet with light melanoidins/bready flavor. hint of alcohol middle to end. finish is clean, crisp, slightly sweet and bready with just a hint of bitterness.

Mouthfeel: light to light-medium. low carbonation

Notes: delicious, light, crisp, sweet beer. i was surprised to see it defined as a winter warmer. fits the traditional bock mold in my opinion

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Photo of chilidog
4.3/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this Christmas day in a mini-keg, thanks you breckenridge for that option. We have a mini-keg tap system and for the first time, we had a Christmas ale on tap at home. Let's see the in-laws do that!
The beer was good. Sweet malts, holiday spice with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Brown sugars sweetened things as toasted malts carried the load.
Hop carried a mild notice at the finish.
Mouth is coated with buttered toasty malts.
Overall a good Christmas brew, it did the job for the family and me, tis the season.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.3/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep opaque brown with mahogany highlights, thinnish white head, light lacing. Smells of roasty malt, some underlying citrusy hops.

Roasty dark malt, bittersweet chocolate and caramel malt. Just a hint of dark fruit and a light peppery bitterness. Rich but drinkable, very smooth for a beer approaching 8% ABV. Full mouth and a sweet and roasty finish. Lovely stuff.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.27/5  rDev +22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The bottle label was different that what is shown on the picture here, and I found it better looking. The beer itself looked mahogany in color, clear, and topped with a one finger head. The smell made do a double take, because the strong hop presence was not expected at all. The citric smell was backed with some toffee and chocolate. The taste was quite outstanding due to the amount of things going on. The hops were noticeably bright and floral, while the malt was toasty and sweet. There was a rich smoky backbone, and a lingering buttery aftertaste. Even with all of this flavor density, this was not a big beer, but an easily approached one. A little tinny in texture perhaps, but not much given up there either. Fantastic pick from Windward Beverage Mart in Alpharetta at the recommendation of Paz.

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Photo of caddybuyer
4.25/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The first thing I found striking was the cool retro-Christmas packaging. Looks like the kind of beer that Darrin McGavin would drink in A Christmas Story. Dig the graphics.

A-Utterly beautiful deep red clear ale with a thick eggshell head that settles to a half inch of creamy foam then a scuddy ring. Pretty beer but some head retention would raise this score to a 4.5

S-Caramel malt predominates the initial nose, with roasted biscuit and some citrus hop far in the background. A slight bit of spice and dark fruits can be detected in the background. Slighly understated, but decent.

T-The nose carries through nicely with creamy sweet caramel malts providing the backbone. Spices are more present in the taste than in the nose and appear mid palate, featuring cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Also mid palate, the dark fruits (plum and candied cherries) make an appearance. Closing it all out is a bit of C hop to even things out a bit. Warming alcohol is present throughout but does not interfere with the presentation.

M-Creamy and well balanced.

D-Very nice drinkable brew. I enjoyed this one completely and will be back for more.

I cannot help but look over some of the reviews for this beer and wonder if we are drinking the same beer. This was poured at slighly cooler then cellar temperature which is how I like all of my warmers. I'm sure my rDev on this will be through the roof, but this beer does not deserve the low overall rating that it has. If you like warmers that have some nice subdued spicing you can't go wrong with this.

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Photo of Caveworm
4.25/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Christmas Ale - Breckenridge Brewery. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, this brew's got a one 1/2 finger thick light tan mildly porous head, secular yet solid lacing, and rather dark clear amber body. A "nice&toasty" appearance,if you will.

The aroma here is pretty strong with "winter spice". I can't personally place my fingers on what exactly they are, but they compliment the higher abv of this brew.

The taste is pretty identical for the most part. I can also detect a singed caramel attribute, too.

Mouthfeel is slightly thicker and has got a bold alcohol note. Got a snow shovel?hahahaha

Overall a 4.25 for Christmas Ale - Breckenridge Brewery. I copped a case of this this the day my local grocer that's got a decent craft selection got it shipped in, so I'm glad I got a fairly decently fresh six pack. I will probably buy this brew again.

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Photo of Robloc303
4.25/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep amber, nice head, great aroma of malt and spices. A tad bitter on the end but a great balance of flavors. Not exactly a winter warmer, but a good beer!

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Photo of Vashtar
4.24/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The appearance is dark. Very dark.

The smell is hoppy and reminds me of a forest.

The taste has a nice Gaussian curve. It's like a fruity Marmite toast.

The mouthfeel is crazy cool! Wish I'd taken more notes on it... guess I'll have to drink some more!

Overall, this is a very, very nice beer. Compare it to St Arnold Christmas

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Photo of beerceller99
4.2/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle pours a clear garnet hue with a nice white head. Smell is nutty sweet malts and alcohol. Medium bodied with a velvety smooth mouthfeel. Taste is a very nice nutty malt sweetness with a decent hop alcohol tang to finish.
A nice brew to warm up with on a cold winters night.

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Photo of lwootton
4.2/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Poured a dark brown with red, had a thin head that dissipated quickly.

Aroma - Malty, strong sweet aroma, hint of spices.

Taste - Sweet and malty, some spices. The slightest hint of bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, mild carbonated feel.

Overall - Good beer, a bit sweet for me unless it's paired with food. I'd like more cloves/cinnamon in a winter warmer other than that I enjoyed it.

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Photo of mentor
4.18/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 large flip-top bottle of limited release (mine is #807). Pours a two finger tan/light brown head over a crystal clear brown-amber liquid. Nice frithy head...this is a sharp looking beer. Smells citrusy lemon hops and grassy co-ho. Hint of ginger, caramle, and chocolate. Dry grass. Tastes caramel, chocolate, toasted malts, and some alcohol burn. Flat grassy hop co-ho. Dry beer altogether. Smooth toffee and vanilla. Tettnanger hops, perhaps, as they come across in a dry woody and somewhat dirty manner. Md body and medium carbonation. This was yummy. A touch dry, but really quite drinkable.

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Photo of ADR
4.15/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap, Supreme Court Bar, Adam's Mark Hotel, Denver, CO...

Dark mahogany color, clear and transmits chestnut highlights. Tan head settles at 1/4 of an inch. Crystalline ring laces. Smells of brown sugar/cinnamon on toast. Viscous mouthfeel, a little flat but consistent and without fade. Pleasant taste, caramel and a hint of a cherry impression, rounds to a lush carob and vanilla with a peach sense. A little sweet overall, but a good and festive brew with a number of individual and subtle flavors..

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Photo of ColdWaffles
4.15/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint. Was super excited to see this reach me as I really enjoyed their Vanilla Porter a while back. Also, if I may say, give this bottle, the vanilla porter and a glance at their other labels... I LOVE their bottle aesthetic. Someone in design deserves a nice Christmas bonus.

Appearance: Very dark amber color. Borderline black in my current lighting. Not much of a head. Head was cream colored and pleasant.

Smell: Not too strong, but this traveled quite a bit. Sweet, kind of fruity, kind of malty. Almost... figgy?

Taste: Very sweet and inviting, almost too sweet. Almost exactly how I like a Winter Warmer. Maintains that almost figgy taste I thought it would have given the smell. I sense some apple or pear-like flavor too? Its got a nice mix of Christmas-y spices, can't quite pin all of them down. A nice malty brew.

Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation, not too heavy, a little sticky. The only complaint here is that I'd like more of wherever the head came from!

I thought this was pretty much how I like the style. Really liked this beer. Hope more Breckenridge beers make it out to Philly area.

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Photo of hiikeeba
4.12/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours up dark mahogany with ruby highlights and a thin head that dissipates quickly.

S - I hate this description, but the first thing I thought was "It smells brown." There are some roasted malt notes, a hint of malt sweetness with some brown sugar notes.

T - Roasted malts are subdued, with some slight malt sweetness. I did not detect any hop bitterness. I like it a lot.

M - Malts are thick on the tongue, and the carbonation tickles my tongue.

D - Very drinkable. I could easily do three or four of these.

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Photo of Heischman
4.12/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer/Brewery - Christmas Ale/Breckenridge Brewery
City/State- Breckenridge, Colorado
STYLE – Winter Warmer
ABV – 7.4%
IBU – 22
DATE – 13 DEC 2011
SERVING TYPE – 12 OZ bottle
GLASSWARE – Tall footed Pilsner
APPEARANCE – A light red almost pink in color. A nice thick white head sitting at a full inch of small bubbles . great lacing
AROMA- Sweet and fruity with a hint of spice and bread
TASTE – Malty with notes of rasin and and a mild spice to it.
MOUTHFEEL – A little thick but crisp at the same time. Good level of carbanation
CONCLUSION – A nice refreshing Christmas ale, I am little disappointed that 7.4% ABV is not noticeable. Must be careful with this brew

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.12/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours medium brown with off brown head.

Nose has brown sugary baked goods, mixed nuts, and miscellaneous roasty aromas.

Palate is very nut-brown like with some alcohol warmth, almost like a basic nut brown ale with some kick rather than a darker Winter Warmer. Flavors remain somewhat restrained for the style, with more baked goods, holiday spices, and hops that are present enough to round things out.

Finish is sweet, brown bread and some biscuits.

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Christmas Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
3.5 out of 5 based on 1,080 ratings.
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