Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Christmas Ale | Breckenridge Brewery

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Christmas AleChristmas Ale
BA SCORE
3.51/5
Good
1,102 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:
#41,047
Reviews:
422
Ratings:
1,102
pDev:
14.25%
Bros Score:
3.68
 
 
Wants:
23
Gots:
178
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,102 |  Reviews: 422
Photo of DBIII
4/5  rDev +14%

Photo of sigtau200ws
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of kelvarnsen
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Shilt
4.5/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of Ablackbrew
4/5  rDev +14%

Photo of tpauer
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of JohnK17
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of BigPlay1824
3.36/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass

A: Pours a deep amber color that is perfectly clear with a finger of foamy light tan head that is very fine in character, leaves a decent amount of lacing
S: smells nicely nutty and has a bit of a deep sweet note like molasses
T: has a taste that doesnt quite match up with the smell, more coffee malts, nice but deep
M: medium carbonation leaves the mouth with a sikly feeling
O: a pretty decent brew but definitly not one of my favorites, really has a taste that makes sense for the season but not so much on the smell, appearance is good

 565 characters

Photo of Tpsauer
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Farky87
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of biegaman
3.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

There's enough thick, cottony head to probably prevent a quarter from sinking to the bottom if it were dropped in. Now that's what you like to see in a beer! The body too is a nice sight: a deep tone but one that is clear and ripe with highlighting. Suitably, Christmas Ale is the colour of chestnuts... that were roasted on an open fire.

The aroma is underlined by a toasted and nutty-sweet maltiness and, just perhaps, the odd fruity ester. There's also a subtle and surprising citrus character that whistles notes of Moroccan tangerines. It is a wonderful compliment to the slight chocolaty character of the brown malt. Just a sliver of the 7.4% alcohol shows.

A winter warmer should be as malty as a filet mignon steak should be juicy. Breckenridge's offering contains enough toasty, nutty-sweet grain to be considered a tenderloin cut, but I'm not sure that I'd call it a true filet mignon. It's too thin and dry a cut; still good, but simply lacking the benefit of bacon-wrapped goodness.

For a malt-forward and relatively high alcohol beer, something keeps Christmas Ale considerably approachable and refreshing. Each sip concludes with a zestful, bright splash of orange-y citrus and an earthy, almost savory note of spicy, leafy hops. There's also little not to like about the beer's smooth caramel sweetness.

Breckenridge's Christmas Ale brought me plenty of good Christmas cheer. It is an ideal holiday ale as it has plenty of delicious malt and hop flavour yet is balanced and moderate enough so as to appeal to more mild drinkers as well. In other words, it's an excellent option for family or work get togethers; a real crowd (and beer geek) pleaser.

 1,672 characters

Photo of andrewj17
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of anirishunion
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Treyliff
3.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark amber color with red accents, very small head but good lacing.

S- A bit of toasted bread, spices, with a little chocolaty kick. All very subtle though, nothing profound.

T- Bready and malty notes, also a spicy aspect that almost resembles pine needles. Fitting for a Christmas Ale I suppose. Also a bit of chocolate malt.

M- OK, but seems a little thin for me. Carbination was pretty good.

Overall a pretty good Winter Warmer, but that's about it. Nothing outstanding, but worth a try.

 498 characters

Photo of greengorilla
4/5  rDev +14%

Photo of MTNboy
3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It is amber colored with a red hue. It had a lot of great lacing but the head was mediocre.

Smell: Roasted malt but kind of plain.

Taste: It has a roasted porter charcoal like flavor, caramel and I would say most of the flavor comes from the malt. There are some hop tones but most of the bitterness comes from roasted hops. There are some spice flavors that finish sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth

Overall: Not bad it is an average holiday beer.

 472 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.2/5  rDev -8.8%
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 claytong
4/5  rDev +14%

Photo of ckollias
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a dark reddish-brown hue with a frothy, white, 2-finger head that last for a long time, leaves a 360 trail all the way down the glass, and ends in a solid persistent lace. It is odd to see such a white head on a darker beer.

S: Very spicy zesty aroma fills the nostrils. Hints of fruits and lemons are in the background.

T: Slightly sweet brew with a bitter punch. Good malt background and hoppy balance to finish.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation

O: Very tasty Christmas ale with good flavor and aroma. Would grab this again.

 600 characters

Photo of Skye1024
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of jamiemottram
4/5  rDev +14%

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

Poured into a nonic.

Pours a clear dark brown mahogany . Nice fluffy off white head. Head settles to a wispy island and leaves a nice ring of lace along the edges. Pretty good looks.

Brew smells of caramel, piney earthy hops and some cocoa. Pretty good nose.

Brew is initially spiced and has some nice flavors; caramel, piney hops. Good balance in the middle. Cant notice the abv, even though it sits at 7.4%. A little thin and not a big punch in the flavor department for a winter warmer - but tasty none the less. Good brew.

A good offering, goes down easy as well. Pretty good stuff though.

 597 characters

Photo of bigbluebeerguy
3.17/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle in a pint glass.

Appearance is a reddish/chestnut color, fairly translucent, with a one-finger light tan head that recedes rapidly to little lacing.

Smell is primarily toasted bread crust, a little raisin, touch of nutmeg.

Taste just doesn't hold up for me. The bread crust and malt are certainly there, but not a lot else, save for a slight bitterness on the finish.

Decent carbonation and medium body, but overall this beer just seems a little thin to me. No complexity at all, not horrible, just nothing to make me want another.

 547 characters

Photo of blange3
4/5  rDev +14%

Photo of PaBeerLover
4/5  rDev +14%

Christmas Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
Beer rating: 3.51 out of 5 with 1,102 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.