Christmas Ale | Breckenridge Brewery

418 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: 418 | Ratings: 1,081
Photo of BrownAleBollocks
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a rich, deep brown/mahogany color with a two finger off white head. Aroma is caramel, toffee, dark fruit, and a touch of earth and chocolate. Taste follows with a hint of chocolate at first, then caramel, toffee, a little bit of earthy spice and bready malt, although not as much dark fruit as the nose suggests. Mouthfeel is a little on the thin side for a winter warmer type beer, but not bad. Overall a nice winter beer that has the rich flavors for a cold evening, and the drinkability for a session.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.31/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Short Review. I've had this beer a few time and for some reason I thought it changes every year, so I bought this yeasts and it was just how I remember, it's pretty middle of the road with a generic malt flavor and some bitterness on the finish. Not bad and it's fairly drinkable, but it's not memorable and it doesn't keep me coming back for more.

 349 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three-finger khaki head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Chrystal clear amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Very light caramel and malty nose and flavor is toasted malt, light spices. Slight drying finish. The 12oz bottle was a gift.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.06/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass. Pours mahogany with a 3 inch sticky white head that leaves behind plenty of lace.

Smell is toffee, caramel, bread, hazelnut, and brown sugar.

Taste follows wonderfully toffee, caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, and hazelnut.

Mouthfeel is a little bigger than medium, moderate carbonation, not dry, and very drinkable.

Overall this is a really solid winter warmer/brown ale.

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Photo of keithmurray
3.61/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - copper colored beer with off white head

Smell - caramel

Taste - caramel, toffee, date, nutmeg

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, sweetness from the caramel notes, smooth and easy drinking

Overall - a pleasant surprise of a winter warmer, I think this is slightly better than something like Sam Adams Winter Lager. Would be easy to drink 3 or 4 of these in a setting. Worth a shot.

Price Point - $1.79/12 oz single

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: opaque; medium brown in color with some ruby at the edges; 1 finger light tan head that receded to a thin collar; sheets of lace;

S: chocolate, caramel, spice cake;

T: chocolate for a brief moment, then caramel and spice cake from the middle through the finish; mild bitterness at the end;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; dry finish;

O: I especially liked that the spices couldn't be tasted separately - they came through as a blend;

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed from the 12 oz bottle in a pint glass via a friend from work---Thanks Justin

This Christmas ale pours a nice reddish mahogany brown with a nice head of off white foam that settles to a thin ring, thin layer, and nice lacing. Nose of spruce, spice cake, as well as caramel and brown sugars. Flavors follow the nose with strong spice caked cinnamon and medium amounts of brown sugars and cocoa hit on all sides followed by spruced hop notes and a moderately bitter spice and bittering hop note. Decent mouth feel, warming alcohol on the back, and a semi dry finish. Solid for the season.


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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This was poured into a pint glass.
The appearance was a soft hazy yet somewhat transparent bronzed orange color with a one finger white colored head that dissipates at a nice pace. Lacing was there but mostly messy and all over the place.
The smell had some nutmeg, ginger, pine and allspice blended into some sweet caramel malt.
The taste takes those flavors to combine nicely then becomes dry with the pine in the aftertaste.
The mouthfeel was about a light to medium with the spices blending into the malts nicely so not to disrupt the balance of some stickiness that tries to stick to my tongue. Still, it feels good with spices and the bitterness even coming together nicely to be an enjoyable harshness.
Overall, this is one of the first American styled winter warmers that I ever had and still appreciate it today. I'd have again.

 837 characters

Photo of MNJR
4.09/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very good strong fall/winter ale. Not flavored or spiced as far as I can tell. Deep amber/brown color, very smooth and warm flavors. I enjoy this every year as an introduction to the massive onslaught of heavily spiced holiday beers. Makes the transition between Oktoberfest and spiced beers. Tastes like a light Dopplebock with some clean and refreshing spicy flavors without heavy spice additions which get predictable and boring after a while. A go-to favorite of mine this time of year.

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Photo of lokicat444
3.96/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a huge foamy head, three fingers high; the beer's color is an attractive mahogany. The smell is pleasant, reminiscent of nondescript sweet malts and perhaps a hint of tartness. Upon first taste, my mouth is hit with a strong malt backbone. Seconds later, I detect a nuanced blend of spices, which reminds me of nutmeg, ginger, and pine. For a Christmas beer, the spices are well-done; they do not overwhelm the palate and relegate this beer to a mere holiday novelty. The mouthfeel is just right; slightly syrupy and pleasing.

Overall, this beer reminds me a light dopplebock with a slight spice twist. I very much enjoyed this beer and look forward to sampling more brews from Breckenridge (I just moved to the Littleton CO area).

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Photo of jp32
2.75/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Pours a solid brown color with not much head. Aroma is sweet and syrupy with faint hints of caramel malts and a bready undertone. Roasted malts arise in the forefront of this beer's flavor. Sweet throughout. It has a funky afterfinish flavor that I cant quite figure out. Some kind of syrupy candy with a slight hop twist.

This is average at best.

 355 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.35/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear dark orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy rings line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, earth, caramel, dark fruit, and slight spice aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, dark fruit, earth, spice, and slight char flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of toast and earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable, but the aromas on this one are slightly better to me.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of Marraybay
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

My typical opening cliche: Interesting beer. Pours a tawny rust reddish brown, with about a finger's worth of beige foam. Extreme soapy - clingy glass lacing from start to finish. Nose is dried fruit (plum, cranberry) + maybe some pine. Taste is somewhat similar, with vinous fruity sweetness upfront that transitions into a little hoppy tartness, but not full blown citrusy bitterness. Good mouthfeel and certainly a little kick to it given the 7.1%. Overall, a decent warmer to kick off the holiday beer tasting with. Had been fairly ho-hum on Breckenridge up until their Autumn Ale, following by this W.warmer.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.27/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter glass. 7.1 % abv

Appearance- Pours a deep bark brown with a one finger head that dissipates very quick. Quite hazy

Smell- Bready malt, caramel, plum, clove.

Taste- Sweet bready malt, slightly toasted. Prune/date like dark fruit flavors blend with a clove spice note. Medicinal, phenolic taste ends with some lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Medium heavy in body with low carbonation. Hints of alcohol.

Overall- A mediocre yet drinkable winter warmer. Could use a bit more carbonation and more of a malt profile.

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Photo of AC-Mivsek
3.36/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber with a white head, decent lacing. Smells of spice-less veggie. Taste is better, cinnamon, allspice, a bit of brown sugar. A bit too mellow for in my opinion. Very drinkable body, medium carbonation. I don't know...this one let me down. I can't get over the smell, which is severely lacking any sort of winter warmer aroma. It does taste a bit better, but that is still quite mediocre. I have had quite a few winter warmers and this one is very forgettable.

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Photo of hophugger
3.02/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Decent beer of the Christmas style. Spices and malt are the dominant factors. Light hops and the alcohol definitely makes itself known. A Winter warmer, for sure....

 165 characters

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 cyclonece09
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a mug. Pours red with a nice off white head. Smells of some earthy tones, little piney. Tastes of piney taste and maltiness. Beer is light bodied and lightly carbonated. Overall a slightly above average beer.

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Photo of classixIII
2.67/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Cleaning out whats left of the Christmas swaps.
There are some of really good winter warmers out there, this isn't one of them.
Completely lacking in aroma and complexity of tastes I've come to expect in the finer examples of this style.
On the bright side, just made room for some spring and summer brews!

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Photo of larryarms847
3.08/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a murky copper brown with a little sediment floating around and a finger of very light khaki foam.

Bready malt sweetness, dates, baking spice, and a faint hint of brown sugar.

The bready malts dominate the overall flavor, little spice or the hint of brown sugar comes out to play.

Medium-bodied, light carbonation, sweet, some herbal/piney bitterness.

Overall, a nice brew, but certainly not worth seeking out.

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Photo of bwood06
3.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Medium brown with a light tan head that dissipates slowly. 3.75/5

S - Dates. White toasted bread. Very light hint of hops. 3.5/5

T - Taste follows the smell nicely. A bit of dark stone fruit followed by a toasted white bread followed up by a bit of earthy hops. Hops are not very prevalent. Dominated by the notes of dates and bread. Maybe a bit of leather as well. 3.75/5

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. Not really heavy but not really light either. Not nearly as heavy as many winter time ales. 3.5/5

O - Good beer to drink in the winter time. More of a beer to drink several of rather than a single one with dinner. Not as heavy as expected. 3.5/5

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Photo of pat61
4.08/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Breckenridge Christmas Ale pours brilliant garnet tinged chestnut under a thin, off-white foam cap that marks each drink with a thin line. Dried fruit on the nose accompanies dark sugar and cake aromas. Dark, rich cakey bread leads the palate with spice, figs and a suspicion of cherry sweetened with light molasses with an earthy hop presence in the background.

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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 57md
3.82/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Brownish copper in color. Good malt backbone. Decent hop bitter finish. The body is sufficiently hearty for the style.

A decent, but certainly not extraordinary, winter warmer.

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Photo of Pukstopper
3.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep cooper color into a pint glass from a bottle. Head fades and leaves some lacing.
You can taste the usual Christmas flavors which is better than the last beer ( see review of Rogue Santa special) not inspiring but better then what was on draft.
Not the worst Christmas beer out there.

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Christmas Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
3.5 out of 5 based on 1,081 ratings.
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