Christmas Ale | West Sixth Brewing Company

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Christmas AleChristmas Ale
Very Good
100 Ratings
Christmas AleChristmas Ale

Brewed by:
West Sixth Brewing Company
Kentucky, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by KingKat on 12-04-2013

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 100 |  Reviews: 22
Reviews by McUbermensch:
Photo of McUbermensch
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

With a ton of anticipation, West Sixth wishes Kentucky a Merry Christmas in a big way- 9.0% alcohol in fact! Where many of their "flagship" beers have been accused of appealing to a mass audience; their Christmas Ale is meant for the connoisseur!

Pouring with a taunting viscosity, its like ominous eggnog as it crawls out of the can. Dark brown with embedded ribbons of garnet and crimson, a regdish tone transpires. As the ale patiently separates its rich body from its dark lather, the notion that this is going to be a sipper sets in. Its long lasting moussy head trails with a smattering of spotty lace in the beer's wake.

Its toasty sweet aromas are expected, but soon after the nose makes nice with its maltiness, here come the spices! Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and clove are the usual suspects that peak from behind its malty shield. Developing into well-melded scent, other aromas abound: drunken fruits, spiced rum, fruicake and little gingerbread men all conjure memories of childhood Christmases- yep, even the rum! Love you Mama!

As the malt sweetness saturates the palate, its taste is of black-strap molasses, heavy toast, coffee, bittersweet chocolate and lightly peated scotch. Its fruit and spice medley really opens up across its long middle palate: Cherries, blackcurrant, figs, dates, plumbs, blackberry, raisins, red grapes, apples, orange peels and a hint of prune all express the beer's estery tone while its balance of dessert-type spices act as a ballast to its sweet and fruity upstart. As the ale turns to finish, its rummy spice flavor pulls from the maltiness of gingerbread and continues to satisfy the sweet tooth deep into its finish.

No doubt, the beer is full-bodied despite its dryish spice and warming alcohol. Its early carbonation weaves into its residual sweetness for a decadant and creamy feel that keeps its bready-sweet textures hanging on. About the time you think you'll need a fork and knive to finish the beer, its spicy and boozy character slices right through the beer's body and signals its closure. A deep and lingering aftertaste keeps its savory and spicy flavors alive for complete enjoyment for the most lengthy session. Relax and enjoy- this beer really opens up as it warms and reveals a plethora of complexity.

As I dive deep into the flavors of West Sixth Christmas Ale, I get a lot of Scottish "Wee Heavy" flavor from the base beer underneath the spice, except its got an English Barleywine tone and sense of power. Despite the ale's massive alcohol content, it is remarkably smooth because of its malt structure and its spicy balance. But take your time, this is a patient session- for the palate, stomach and the mind- too quickly and you'll be seeing in Santa Claus again!

 2,750 characters

Photo of sabitu
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Shagator
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Jason
3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz can with no freshness date.

Dark, opaque, stable tan lacing. Smells of molasses, brownines, mild spicing, figgy, & faint caramel. Bold maltiness, mild roastiness, dark chocolate, full bodied, sweet, balanced cinnamon and nutmeg, dark fruit, hay, toasty, finished slightly dry.

This is a big winter seasonal, impressive all around as the spicing is at a perfect level and the rest of the flavors mesh well together.

 422 characters

Photo of NoetheMatt
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of cnagle28
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of juicebox
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of biboergosum
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz can, day 15 of the Craft Beer Advent Calendar - wow, an 18-proof Christmas ale in a can, from the Bluegrass State - sign me up, already!

This beer pours a clear, dark red-brick brown colour, with one finger of somewhat foamy and gently bubbly ecru head, which leaves some melting iceshelf lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells of pungent cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove spice, bready caramel malt, a lesser biscuity toffee sweetness, some raisin and fig dried fruitiness, and a surprisingly soft citrus-tinged vodka-like booziness. The taste is gritty, grainy caramel malt, more testy seasonal spice - metallic cinnamon most prevalent amongst some nutmeg, allspice, and edgy clove - a sturdy black orchard fruitiness (one now part of a fruitcake), a subtle earthy dryness, and some well-hidden alcohol heat, again tied to a mild citrusy character.

The bubbles are quite understated in their generally supportive frothiness, the body a decent medium weight for the style, and actually smooth, with a congenial creaminess apparent from the get-go. It finishes still on the sweet side, but duly moderated by spice, fruit, and the sauce alike.

Overall, a pleasantly engaging and warming seasonal offering, the spices not taking any prisoners, and the big ABV keeping its hands to itself. Oh, and the red can it comes in has no problem displaying some snowflakes, and the word 'Christmas', like it hasn't gone out of style, or something.

 1,456 characters

Photo of Weisenbeer
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

An above average Christmas Ale...easy to drink although a bit flat in taste...nice taste...great brewer...good beer...

118 characters

Photo of mlockman
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from the can, this was much different than most other winter warmers I have had this season: the backbone of the beer is much more malt-centric, and the brew is wholly darker than most of its compatriots. THat being said, the spicing is perfectly balanced: not too subtle, it is forward on the palate (without being cloying) featuring those intense spice-flavors that are quintessential to the season . Furthermore, the mouthfeel was quite interesting; somewhere between creamy and slick, this beer went down easy and was tasty as hell.

 544 characters

Photo of heystevec
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of cwd
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of KYGunner
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep raisin brown coloring gives it a black hued body but it lightens just a touch at the edges. The head was stout and thick with a nice coat of lace that did not stick to the glass.

The aroma is spicy at first sniff with a ginger and nutmeg profile. The back end is thicker with molasses and dried fruit but a tinge of booze.

The flavor is well balanced with just enough spice. The ginger and nutmeg support the overall malty flavor of caramel, molasses, raisin, date, prune and grain.

The feel is so smooth, almost viscous and thick, with a low carbonated feel but a bit of winter warmth.

West Sixth has hit a home run here with an ale that is different than their normal fare and perfect for the season.

 711 characters

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from the can in a snifter. This nice winter warmer pours a dark mahogany with a decent head of off white to light tan foam that settles to a thin ring, light layer, and light lacing. Nose of clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, light citrus aromas, and sweet malts. Flavors follow and exceed the nose with sweet caramel malts to the fore and mid of the taste being washed about baked cinnamon toast, moderate amounts of nutmeg and clove, and a touch of orange zest on the back. Complexity increases with warmth giving a touch of raisins as well as a touch of bitter cocoa on the aftertaste mixing with a pine and herbal hop note. Very nice and substantial for the season. Good carbonation cuts through the malt and lightly bitter hop and spice note keeping this 9 percent beast easy to drink. A touch less spice would make this better, but that is only a personal note. Alcohol is very well hidden. An excellent brew.


 930 characters

Photo of West_Chester_Ale_Tester
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Magery
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

4.41/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours to a deep warm dark mahagony brown body. Head is a biscuity light brown in tone. Head stands at just about and inch and fades to a skim in a couple of minutes. Just a skim is left behind but very little lace.

Nose is perfect for a Christmas ale laced with tons of nutmeg, clove and cinnamon. A bit of sweet malt is there as well. The smell just screams Christmas.

This beer is rich, flavorful and has wonderful depth of flavor. Dark fruits dance with brown sugar and a ton of spices. So many times these styles of beers are so overpowering with spices they are off putting, but not here. There is a wonderful balance to this beer between spice, dark fruit and sweet malt. So appropriate for the style.

Mouthfeel is comfortably thick and satisfying. The 9% alcohol is hidden incredibly well. I have found one of my favorite Christmas ales. I would love to try the Bourbon Barrel aged version of this brew.

 927 characters

Photo of BuckTuckian
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

355ml can. Part of a broken open Craft advent calendar.

Pours a deep hazy amber-brown with one skinny finger of foamy tan head that leaves mountainous lace as it recedes.

Smells of various Christmas spices. Gingerbread, nutmeg, cinnamon, dried dark fruit and brown sugar cookies.

Tastes of Christmas cookies, spicy fruitcake, sweet dark caramel malt and faint citrus zest. Soft earthy hops. If the label said that this beer was 6% alchohol, I would have believed it.

Feels pretty smooth. Medium-heavy with gentle carbonation. Finishes off-sweet with spice and fruit.

Verdic: Highly recommended. Smooth, rich and packing enough holiday cheer to get you through at least one Christmas movie.

 694 characters

Photo of travis875
3.59/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of buschbeer
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 FL OZ can
Served in a snifter

L - It is a murky, dark tea color. It is capped with two inches of tan head that coats the side of the glass as it recedes.

S - Clove immediately hits my nose. Nutmeg is a little more subtle. Spices are the primary source of aroma.

T - The taste is loaded with spices as well. Along with the clove and nutmeg I taste some cinnamon.

F - Medium

O - It is a spiced winter warmer. It is comparable to a lot of this style of beer. It is not bad. It is just not in my wheelhouse. I'm glad I tried it, but would not seek it.

 557 characters

Photo of fleurdelou
3.84/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of gspeicher
3.6/5  rDev -5%

Photo of CraftBeerSnob
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

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Christmas Ale from West Sixth Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 100 ratings