Christmas Ale | Breckenridge Brewery

BA SCORE
80
good
1,081 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good
Read the review
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
Ratings:
1,081
Reviews:
418
Avg:
3.5
pDev:
14%
 
 
Wants:
22
Gots:
173
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,081 |  Reviews: 418
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.2/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Acquired via trade from MilwaukeeCrusher, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains fruit, spices, caramelized malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of caramel, spices, figs and dark fruit. Then a hearty malt character comes in along with background flavors of chocolate and smokiness. The hops presence is decent for the style and brings a little balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, decent representation of style, there is some complexity to it but overall it’s just a mediocre beer.

 878 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.2/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice dark amber color with decent carbonation. Dark roast malt with a touch of butter seems to be the main event. Some slight caramel flavors. Modest bitterness without much hop aroma. Very plain and tending towards dishwater. Faint nose of cold offee and charred paper.

I don't find much reasons to drink Breckenridge beers. You could call this one a Dark Pizza Parlor Lager and it might score better.

 403 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.44/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.51/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The color is a clear, chestnut brown with a creamy, light-brown head of average height. The aroma is weak, but not unpleasent. An herbal hop smell is most notable atop a sweet, toasted malt body. The taste of this beer screams American brown ale, not winter warmer. The malt body is toasted with dark caramel flavors everywhere. The overall flavor is more sweet than rich. A mild herbal hop flavor bounds about throughout a sip. Breckenridge Christmas works well as a brown ale, nothing spectacular, and despite a high ABV, this isn't a winter warmer.

 551 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.13/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2006 version, couldn't tell when it was bottled.

Pours deep caramel/brown with a fluffy 2 fingers deep sand colored head. Above average lacing & good head retention

S: Slight hint of malt & breadyness, plus some brown sugar

T: Nuttyness up front with dryness. A little bit of chocolate & grainy astringency follows. The astringency/cardboard taste detracts from the taste. Finishes with warming & chocolate notes

MF Slick with low cabonation, medium bodied

Didn't drink so well. Whatever it was I liked about lasy years, ain't here, either my tastes changed or the recipe did, not reccomended, but had potential

 628 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.18/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark bronze with an abundance of orange and furious carbonation. This is my second overly carbonated beer in a row, a streak that I'd like to see end here and now. The light caramel colored head is absolutely massive, initially filled the entire glass and is still four-fingers-and-a-thumb in height. The foam is stiff, but airy; no more substantial than bubble bath. Of course some is bound to stick, but it isn't particularly attractive.

It's tough to appreciate much in the underpowered nose. I pick up roasted malt with a certain sweet toffee-like character and a smidgen of hops, but nothing in the way of spices. Breckenridge Christmas has one of the more anemic aromas you'll find in the winter warmer category.

The flavor is weak as well, but at least I don't have to struggle to appreciate it. What flavor reaches my buds is really nothing special. Even though dark chocolate (subtle), dark caramel and raisins are present, a rather generic roasted maltiness is 80% of the flavor profile. The beer is neither sweet nor bitter, with the exception of a mild bitterness that peeks through on the finish. The body isn't a bit bigger than medium and the whole winter warmer vibe is ruined by chaotic carbonation.

Winter warmers--in my mind at least--should be medium-full, subtly carbonated, creamy, slightly sweet and mildly-moderately spiced with an ABV on the high side to encourage contemplative sipping. Other than the arguably highish ABV, Breckenridge Christmas Ale fails on all counts. I haven't been particularly impressed by any beer from this brewery and this one has done nothing to change my mind.

 1,623 characters

Photo of duceswild
3.49/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of woodychandler
3.59/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I swear, I reviewed this from a 5L mini-keg (CAN) at one point, but either I never transcribed my tasting notes or something went afoul on here. No matter. Today is Merry New Christmas Beer Sunday (Week 618) & I am spending my morning unwrapping (or at least opening) as many Christmas beers as possible before my 1140 departure. I bought some nice presents for myself as a B&N employee during the 40% (!) off employee appreciation period & I am perusing "1001 Beers to Try Before You Die" as part of today's imbibing.

From the bottle: "Plenty of good cheer [...] Good friends ever near".

I had to do a little redding up, as I may have a guest over this afternoon, which allowed me to take my foot off of the gas for a moment. In Pop!ping the cap on this one, I was able to exercise some restraint on the pour, but I still got a one finger head of sandy/light-ecru head with modest retention. Color was Brown to Dark Brown (SRM = > 22, < 27) with NE-quality clarity & deep Amber highlights. Nose was more chocolaty than spicy, but a theme was certainly beginning to develop here. Where Pumpkin Ales tend to be highly spicy, these Christmas beers seem to be more bready, chocolaty and with just a tinge of spice. My recipe called for dry Italian Dressing mix or I was going to use some spiced beer in the crock pot. I may try the recipe again, sans any dressing mixes and use a dark Holiday ale instead. Once again, I digress. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was more muted than in the previous beers in terms of its spice and chocolate characteristics, but instead, I was getting a more pronounced fruitiness, especially of sweet cherries (!). Finish was semi-sweet, not really my bag. I guess that they cannot all be winners.

 1,730 characters

Photo of ZEB89
3.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Gkruszewski
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of MarkyMOD
3.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of WoodBrew
3.37/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

The Breckenridge Xmas ale is ok....the beer poured ruby amber with thin slightly offwhite head that is leaving a spotty lace. The scent carries slight lactose and some spices. The taste is bitter thou the draw and a funky after taste. The body is medium with decent carbonation. Overall....its ok...

 303 characters

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

Photo of BMart
3/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.2/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours with minimal head even with a pretty vigorous pour, color is a tawny caramel brown with amber highlights when held toward the light. Head is a light cream hue and forms speckled lacing scattered around my chalice. Aromatics are muted a bit but there is some faint citrus qualities with caramel malts and a touch of spices. Flavor is very light on the spice additions and hop bitterness a touch of that citrus and pine in the finish. Caramel malt drives the flavor with a nice winter warmer, nothing over the top this beer plays it pretty safe. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied carbonation is easygoing nothing big to report here. Move along to some more interesting christmas ales this one was priced right and not bad this may be my value beer this season.

 766 characters

Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of tdm168
3.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of rolltide8425
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown that is clear and has a nice creme head. Nose is bland. Very little caramel there. Flavor is a bit tart. The zing is a wee bit much really. There are some nice brown ale-esqe characters here. Decent earthy edge. Nice leafy tone. But the citrusy zingy character is just singing a bit too high. Feel is decent with a thicker liquid body and a slightly lower carbonation. Overall this is an okay winter warmer. A bit off balance and thick in the wrong places, but it is still fairly drinkable.

 514 characters

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Tone
3.36/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy, dark brown color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of earthy malt, hint of sweet malt, hint of hops, and a hint of oatmeal. Fits the style of a Winter Warmer. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, all spice, earthy malt, and a hint of hop. Overall, good appearance, but average at best in other aspects.

 414 characters

Photo of VeganUndead
3/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev 0%

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