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Christmas Ale | Breckenridge Brewery

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401 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: 401 | Ratings: 1,033
Photo of Marraybay
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
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 -6.3%
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 -3.7%
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 -13.5%
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....

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Photo of Michael-GT
4.38/5  rDev +25.5%
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 +0.3%
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 -23.5%
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 -11.7%
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 +3.7%
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 +16.9%
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 +21.8%
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 +9.5%
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 +1.4%
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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Photo of KTCamm
3.19/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12/20...pours light brown, touches of foam on top. Minor nose, caramel malts, bready. Tasty malt open, buried spices - cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins, and a tightly packed hop at the finish. Incongruous.

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Photo of Ryanm1
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pouring beer into a glass is overrated, so I won't comment on the color on this pass. It tastes more vanillay than most other winter warmers. It's as if Breck just tweak their Vanilla porter recipe to get this brew. It does stack up higher than the average beer in regards to abv but the elevated alcohol content is not discernible in the taste. Malt caramel flavors up front.

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Photo of MattyG85
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tall pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep brownish amber with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of off white head that settles into a thin patch.

Smell: A toasty malt forward aroma with hints of biscuit and caramel. Toasted barley malt with hints of biscuit, grains, toasted bread, caramel, nuts, and yeast. Subtle hints of cinnamon and clove spicing. Sweet hints of brown sugar. Subtle fruit hints of apple, fig, and dates. Light earthy hop hints.

Taste: Like it smells, a toasty and nutty malt forward taste with notes of biscuit, caramel, and nuts. Toasted barley malt with notes of biscuit, grains, caramel, toast, nuts, and yeast. Light spice notes of clove and cinnamon. Sweet taste of brown sugar. Fruit undertones with notes of apple, fig, and dates. Subtle earthy hops in the background.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy and smooth with a drying finish.

Overall: A pretty decent take on a Winter Warmer. The winter spice is very subtle but there is a nice toasty caramel malt flavor.

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Photo of MarkQ617
3.47/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Had this poured into my mug. Decent amount of off-white head, average lacing, average carbonation. Notes of hazelnut and molasses, but nothing too strong. The color is a medium brown, very inviting. Frankly would have just liked more flavor.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.37/5  rDev -3.4%
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...

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Photo of Chaz
3.65/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear brown-amber in color, topped with a tan head. Nice looking beer overall.

Nose is fairly neutral and malty, but with a hint of spicy hops, and a little bit of warming alcohol.

"Apple" is my first impression. It tastes like a ripe apple dipped in a spicy, boozy caramel sauce. Hop use is -by today's standards- minimal, but appropriate or the style, and this beer straddles the lines (which often blur between winter warmer / Old Ale / traditional British barley wine) very adeptly.

It's been a while since I've had this (ten years already?), but this one is as good for the style as I remember it being.

Body and mouthfeel are both very good. It's not too thin, it's not too boozy-hot, it is easily-drinkable, and is probably dangerously-drinkable at this strength. So it's a very good sipper

Definitely worth re-visiting.

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Photo of microbrewlover
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%

This brew pours a brown color with red highlights when held up to the light. There is a small off white head which does not last long with moderate lacing.

The smell is mostly sweet malts along with some nuts and floral hops.

The taste follows the nose with a rich sweet malt body, followed by a nutty taste then a cherry taste. There is a nice hop finish, slightly spicy hops. Just a hint of alcohol leaks through. The mouthfeel is thick and bready.

Overall this is a decent winter warmer; it is worth a try.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

Has a kind of wintery feeling to it, good for those family gatherings you really hate. But - it isn't so high in alcohol that you'll be stumbling around, tripping over a string of christmas lights, embarrassing your wife and validating the dislike the inlaws have always had for you. Plus the label is nice and festive! It's a must-have for late november and all of december.

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Photo of y0tommyb
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

I got a 6 pack of this for 7.99 what a steal!!

A: Brown but still slightly see through nice lacing and a thin head
S: Malt, slight spices, brown sugar
T: Smooth malts, spices, brown sugar, high% alcohol but still is easy to drink
M: Smooth not too heavy not too light with a good amount of carbonation
O: Very solid Christmas Ale especially for the price, definitely give this a try if you appreciate Breckenridge's other offerings such as Vanilla Porter.

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Photo of grammodesguapote
3.02/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

From bottle, no date. Pours a dark, though very clear, copper with a white head. Aroma is very mild, some raisin-like aromas, rich malt. Taste is all malt, not picking up much in the way of Christmas spices, mostly a rich roasted caramel malt backbone balanced well with mild bitterness. Mouthfeel is rich and slightly sticky. I wish it was colder outside, maybe I would have enjoyed this more in New Hampshire, but in Texas, I am less impressed.

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Photo of nicholas2121
4.38/5  rDev +25.5%
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 Caveworm
4.25/5  rDev +21.8%
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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Christmas Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
3.49 out of 5 based on 1,033 ratings.
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