Christmas Ale | Breckenridge Brewery

Christmas AleChristmas Ale
BA SCORE
32.8%
Liked This Beer
3.51 w/ 1,081 ratings
Christmas AleChristmas Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Breckenridge Brewery
Colorado, United States
breckbrew.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#39,941
Reviews:
418
Ratings:
1,081
Liked:
355
Avg:
3.51/5
pDev:
13.96%
Alströms:
3.68
 
 
Wants:
22
Gots:
173
Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 1,081 |  Reviews: 418
Photo of Sammy
3.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up at Warehouse Beverage, Cleveland. Pours dark colour, virtually no head. Aroma is a touch of roast, and that's it. Taste is spot-on coca-cola,with spices added such as ginger and allspice. OK, but not so drinkable tonight after so many good spicey meals.Above average carbonation, and mouthfeel.

 304 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of jaydoc
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.35/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

 625 characters

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.67/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

i know it is a bit early for a christmas beer, but with the first snows falling outside, i couldnt resist the new tap at my local. poured a festive redish color with almost no head to speak of. smells of caramel malts, winter spice, and alcohol. taste is similar to the smell, with some subtle hops joining the mix. a well balanced seasonal brew strong enough to warm the soul. the mouthfeel is perfect for this one as well, on the heavier side, but not filling. a great evening sipper as the snow falls out front

 513 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +14%

Photo of Knapp85
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out with a nice red colored body and a light tan head on top. The lacing on this one was decent. The smell of the beer had some sweet malts in there mixed with a sturdy amount of christmas spices. The taste of the beer reminded me of a Sam Adams winter lager. There was plenty of flavors in this stuff to warm you up in the cold season. The mouthfeel was about medium bodied and was highly drinkable. Overall this beer fits the season nicely I think.

 467 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of metter98
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is relatively clear yellow, brown, and amber in color and has a faint amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that faded away, leaving only a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of nutty malts and holiday spices are present in the nose—allspice seems to stand out in particular.
T: The taste seems to follow the smell, except that there are additional hints of caramel and a slight amount of of bitterness. Hints of sweetness and toffee become noticeable once the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer isn't that difficult to drink and has subtle hints of Christmas spices. I wish that the spices could have been stronger, but this might not be a bad choice for people that want subtle hints of spices and not something that is overpowering.

Serving type: bottle

 914 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A good Warmer. Big on malts, bold on hops, and spiced just right. Too often, the Winter Warmers try to over-do the spices, making it harsh or astringent. This beer starts with a strong malt base that takes on caramel, toffee, bready, toasty flavors and a nearly-syrup body. Hopped for nice balance, while contributing a bit of citrus, earty, and pine flavors. Spices decorate the nose and flavors really subtally, but never contribute harshness in the feel. Seems well aged and matured, with only a hint of hotter alcohols or abrasion. Still has nice head retention and lacing with the last sip. Not one of Breckenridge's finest brews.

 635 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.88/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served on-draught into a conical pint glass at Breckenridge barbecue in high altitude Denver, Colorado. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a one finger head of fair cream, good thickness, and good retention. Colour is an amber-copper.

Sm: Nothing. Could be because me nose is broken. All apologies, lads.

T: Amber hops, light toasted malt, light caramel, and cream. Very timid; the flavours hardly come through at all. Balanced but quite muted.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A touch sharp. Complementary of the flavours of the body. A bit too thick.

Dr: Drinkable, but unremarkable and a bit boring due to its muted nature.

C+ / ABOVE AVERAGE
***
12/19/16: brief 2nd impressions.

Malty and spicy, hitting wintry notes of artificial chestnut and faux-unrefined sugar. Amber malts, caramel, cream.

Balance is off. Depth of flavour is poor. Pretty mediocre fare across the board.

C- / BELOW AVERAGE

 894 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A few inches of foam top the clear russet-colored liquid, leaving some shards of lace behind

Smell: Caramel, figgy pudding and some leafy hops

Taste: Caramel and figgy pudding flavors hit the tip of the tongue, followed by leafy hops that spread across the rest of the tastebuds; hints of cinnamon and nutmeg also appear, mostly in the finish, where the hops continue to add an earthy, bitter aspect

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A decent enough Winter Warmer; not crazy about the way the hops and malts blend together but that is a relatively minor quibble

 601 characters

Photo of oline73
3.16/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I had this on-tap at Max's. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber with a finger of off white head and leaving some lacing.

Smell: Very mild smell to this one. Bready malt with some fruit notes and spices.

Taste: Bready malt with a mild spice profile. Not very sweet and there is a slight bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly and smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is an alright Christmas beer. I would have either liked more spices or to clean up the taste a bit if they wanted to go the other way.

 577 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.32/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a deep mahogany hue with a white, soapy, one-finger head. It left small rings of lace.

S - It smelled of spices (cinamon and vanilla). Also, a nice malty nose.

T - It tasted of caramel malts. The spices were a little understated compared to its aroma.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is an okay winter warmer. There are better out there but this is certainly worth a try at any holiday gathering.

 443 characters

Photo of LXIXME
2.49/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from an inch or so above the glass gives you a pretty decent off white to light brown head resting atop a clear caramel red colored ale.

The aroma is a weak nutmeg and or other Christmas type spices mixed in with some caramel malt.

The taste was pretty weak also, more of the nutmeg and other Christmas type spices with a weak hops and some caramel malt.

A medium bodied beer with a light dry malty aftertaste.

I'll pass on a 2nd one of these.

 454 characters

Photo of zestar
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 1/20/2014. Pours fairly crystal clear orange copper color with a 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of raisin, plum, caramel, toast, toffee, brown bread, chocolate, light roast, pine, floral, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and moderate hop notes; with good strength. Taste of raisin, plum, caramel, toast, toffee, chocolate, brown bread, light roast, floral, pine, grass, and herbal earthiness. Light amount earthy pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark fruit, caramel, toast, toffee, chocolate, brown bread, light roast, floral, and light pine on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and robustness of malt and hop flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice winter warmer style. Good balance and robustness of malt and earthy/spicy hop flavors; and smooth to sip on. A nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,268 characters

Photo of Boone757
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +27.4%
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!

 1,103 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap in Atlanta.

Smooth, medium body with medium carbonation.

mahogany colored body with a very good off-white head.

Spicy aroma that correctly suggests that the the flavor may be a bit over spiced. Slightly bitter although lightly sweet up front.


Overall: ok but still disappointing.

 293 characters

Photo of oberon
3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear rich tawny color with a half finger creamy off white head atop,nice broken lace left behind as it settles slowly.Dark fruit leafy somewhat spicy hops in the nose,a little cakiness in the background as well.Decent flavors but they lack depth,a decent leafy hoppiness goes pretty well with mild caramel and dark fruit sweetness,drying in the finish.The problem is the flavors all end abruptly,it's close to being really damn good,it's still a pretty decent winter warmer as is.

 490 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Christmas Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
Beer rating: 32.8% out of 100 with 1,081 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.