Breckenridge Brewery

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Winter Warmer
Ranked #35
Ranked #17,986
3.91 | pDev: 7.93%
Breckenridge Brewery
Colorado, United States
Very Good
Notes: We’ve added even more cheer to our cherished Christmas Ale. Aged in whiskey barrels, Holidale offers toasted biscuit notes complemented by soft caramel sweetness with hints of oak and whiskey that warms the spirit. A deep red in color, this strong specialty brew makes a coveted holiday gift for beer and whiskey lovers alike.
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Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 82 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Keepnitrl:
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Keepnitrl from Washington

4/5  rDev +2.3%

Dec 03, 2014
More User Reviews:
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DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Really like how they put this large bottle format into 12 oz bottles found it at the carnivores in the mixed match section. Dark brown clear with a nice Ruby hue and a half an inch of mocha tinted froth. Smells of sweet malts, caramel, oak, and a nice dose of whiskey. Taste is pretty nice the malt profile is a bit muted but balances the alcohol very well and you can actually taste a bit of the oak and whiskey notes to it. Body is rather light even though it's over 10% it's still drinks around 7 or 8 but that's not the best considering a bourbon barrel-aged should be a bit Fuller. Overall for the price and expectations I was pleasantly surprised and quite happy I was able to pick up a bottle for under 3 bucks.

Dec 10, 2019
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smbslt from Illinois

3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dec 15, 2019
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Curt3 from New Jersey

4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dec 24, 2019
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vette2006c5r from Minnesota

3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Holidale pours a brownish color, with a small, lacing head. Aroma is sweet sugary and earthy. Flavor is sweet, sugary, hints of cinnamon, whiskey, oak and lots of earthy. Good body and feel. Overall, a rich tasty winter warmer, lots of nice warm flavors.

Jan 29, 2021
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teromous from Virginia

3.51/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From a black box on the label on the lower-right side: "BEST ENJOYED BY: 091220 0952"

Appearance: The body is a dark brown with hints of reddish-brown as light passes through. Good clarity through the glass despite it being a dark beer. It has a medium-sized off-white head that slowly dissipates to a ring and leaves spotty lacing behind.

Aroma: There is an aroma of cinnamon and a touch of burnt caramel which is followed by a hint of alcohol.

Taste: Up front there is a bit of vanilla flavor with a bit of caramel that follows. There is a light earthy note at the finish which is slightly coffee-like without being overtly coffee flavored. It is a pleasant tasting beer.

Mouthfeel: The beer actually has a warming alcohol sensation across the palate and throat while drinking the beer. It is literally a Winter Warmer. The body is on the lower side of medium and it is very clean. The cleanliness of the beer is very noteworthy. Carbonation is good and it has a nice smooth texture.

Overall: The label states that this is a "CHRISTMAS ALE AGED IN WHISKEY BARRELS." It does seem to have some barrel character, which could come in the form of the vanilla flavor and the earthy finish of the beer, but it is a gentle touch on the beer. It is a really well done beer and I would really recommend it to those looking for a nice mellow Winter Warmer. I would drink it again.

Dec 14, 2019
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sarpedon52 from Georgia

3.06/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dec 30, 2019
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JayKay412 from Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Jan 11, 2020
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hoosier222002 from Illinois

4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dec 28, 2020
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Pegasus from Texas

4.49/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear medium amber body, surmounted by a coarse, snow-white head. Thin, sticky, and patchy lacing adorns the glass walls. The head collapses to a dusting of foam on the surface, and a ring of thick lacing about the glass walls.

Aroma: Whiskey! The aroma of whiskey is quite profound; oak is present as well, Nuts, toasted malt, and sugar-glazed dark fruit are also present.

Taste: Opens with oak and whiskey flavors, a harbinger of what is to come. The whiskey tastes like bourbon, and there is lots of oak, and there is an undercurrent of glazed dark fruit, and toasted dark bread. Finishes with a lingering, mild note of oak.

Mouth feel: Full and soft, gracious and velvety.

Drinkability/notes: Just excellent, I bought the last bottle on the shelf, I wish I had a case. I'll be looking for it at Christmas, and you should, too.

Presentation: Packaged in a standard twenty-two ounce brown glass bomber bottle, with a pry-off crown,served in a New Belgium chalice.

Jan 22, 2017
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Suds from Missouri

3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We enjoyed this brew only two days before Christmas, in the cold, but in front of a roaring fire. The appearance is cherry wood brown with a thin head. The aroma is malty, with a touch of smoke and some booze underneath. The taste is malty, with a note of sweetness, although it has a center of balance. Full in body and on target for the season.

Dec 24, 2016
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JMBSH from Colorado

2.96/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - A hard pour in a glass gave me a lot of head that shrank to a nice even coating that was a bit more then just a thin layer. Burnt orange reddish color. Very little noticible carbonation rising from the bottlom of the glass. Almost no lacing left in the glass but the top of the liquid keeps a nice coating on top of it.

S - Bready notes but not much of that even.

T - Spicy notes. It took a few sips to detect any of the whiskey notes. Very faint. Not as strong as the Well Built ESB. It at times gives more of the oak then the whiskey. The hop bitterness is also subtle, becoming more noticible as I drink. But the matls are what runs this beer.

M - Very smooth and drinkable, just as their Christmas Ale is.

O - Don't know how long it sat in the whiskey barrels but it doesn't seem to have that much. Tastes almost just like regular Christmas Ale but every so often a bit of the whiskey aging tries to pop up. Nice experiment but needs more next time. Maybe pass the whiskey and just go for a longer oak barrel.

Dec 31, 2012
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jera1350 from Minnesota

4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dec 13, 2015
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chinchill from South Carolina

4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle from ATL with a 22 March 2019 BB date stamp on the label.
Pours clear, dark mahogany with a touch of orange-ruby, topped with a moderate size, durable, creamy beige head that leaves a coat of lacing.
Aroma: whiskey, faint wood and spices; raisin and other dark dried fruits.
Flavor: follows the aroma. excellent, harmonious mix of flavors.
Feel: smooth, medium body with medium carbonation.
Overall: an excellent winter ale that I look forward to finding again.

Mar 08, 2019
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MinorThreat from Nebraska

4/5  rDev +2.3%

May 16, 2013
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Haybeerman from Colorado

3.69/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dec 24, 2015
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jaydoc from Kansas

3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nov 29, 2015
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omahawk from Nebraska

3.76/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A friend shared a bottle of this with me. Nice neutral malt profile of caramel and whiskey. This a decent barrel aged beer.

Feb 24, 2019
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Odysseyalien from New Jersey

4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jan 17, 2016
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LiquidAmber from Washington

3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a dark red orange with a thin off-white head that dissipates into patches and a thick ring around the glass with light lacing. Aroma of dark caramel and bready malt, whiskey, brown bread and light oak. Flavor is sweet caramel malt, vanilla, oak, hints of holiday spice and nuts. Thins out quite a bit into the finish, but leaves lingering whiskey and oaky vanilla. Medium bodied, a bit lighter than typical for the style with active carbonation. The flavor starts out great, with lots of malt, whiskey and good vanilla barrel character, but attenuates quickly, with surprisingly little malt in the middle and finish. Fortunately, the residual flavors that linger are nice whiskey and oak, so the malt, while not forward is quite supportive. Lighter than expected, but with great flavor profile. A nicely made holiday barreled ale.

Aug 12, 2016
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JuicesFlowing from Kansas

3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Breckenridge 25th Anniversary snifter.

Look: A rather bright, mahogany colored body with a quickly receding khaki colored head. Nothing remains, no lacing.

Aroma: Strong whiskey notes. Oaky, woody. Sweet malt layered under all of the wood.

Taste: Behind the obvious whiskey barrel taste lies a sweet, almost coconut taste. The beer warms and gets a little spicier with cinnamon notes also.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, dry yet smooth.

Overall: I didn't like this at first but it grew on me as it warmed.

Dec 27, 2015
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BB1313 from Ohio

3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2018 vintage. Best enjoyed by 3/22/19. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a deep mahogany with some clarity to it; light khaki head that fades leaving decent bubbly retention and okay lacing. The aromas have lots of cherry along with some vanilla and caramel. Malts are there. The whiskey is subtle, but blends well with everything in the aroma department. The flavors basically follow the nose for the most part. More cherry, vanilla and caramel along with some hints of toffee. Some coconut in the mix. The whiskey and barrel characteristics come through in the finish. Solid malt backbone. Everything is balanced. Mild alcohol warmth in the finish, but it's not hot or boozy at all. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with moderate carbonation. This makes for a nice sipper.

This is a pretty solid barrel-aged brew. The whiskey barrel isn't shy, but it doesn't dominate either. Balance is the key with this one. It's enjoyable and fun to drink. I like it. It's fitting for the holiday season and cooler weather.

Dec 11, 2018
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barczar from Kentucky

3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Fairly whiskey laden aroma, subtle dark malt notes of chocolate and roast. Not the typical spice bomb.

Flavor is whiskey dominant, as well, with a boozy cherry finish. Great for the liquor lover.

Dec 11, 2015
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smithj4 from New York

3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dec 23, 2015
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aasher from Indiana

4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Jun 06, 2016
Holidale from Breckenridge Brewery
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 82 ratings