Old Friend Holiday Ale | Indeed Brewing Company

very good
12 Reviews
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Old Friend Holiday AleOld Friend Holiday Ale

Brewed by:
Indeed Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by JackieTH on 12-14-2012

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Reviews: 12 | Ratings: 85
Photo of Evilyak
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Reddish brown. Light lacing.

Lots of ginger here, in the nose and mouth. Kind of overwhelms the beer underneath, but it works OK.

Mouth is slick and lingers a bit.

Overall, with the right pairing this could be good but I'd only want one.

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Photo of pat61
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours Brilliant deep amber, under a clingy 1” light reddish brown foam cap
S: Fruity, ginger, honey aromas – the floral part of the honey really comes through.
T: The honey is the main thing, the ginger is in the background but weaves its way through in the finish providing a little spiciness and a little ginger heat. A light chocolate flavor lingers in the background.
F: Thick and full bodied but not chewy – it has full body but not the malt presence you would expect. There is a slightly astringent dryness in the background under the honey.
O: Old Friend is pleasant and drinkable but there is a little something missing – a little more bite, ginger, hops or malt might be nice. A decent beer but a touch boring.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is a holiday ale with some spicing that is done nicely. Soft ginger and spicing in both aroma and taste, but never to excess but always blended in nicely. The malts are soft and enjoyable. Attractive looks with a smallish darker head and holiday amber body. Nice soft and moderate feel. Enjoyable ale for the season.
Received as a gift. Thanks Sarah and Lance

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Photo of TCMike
3.67/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bomber, it produced a big, beige, three finger head. The beer color is a dark amber.

The aroma is of malt, cinnamon, nutmeg, but not very strong.

The taste is similar, but with a light hop bitterness, and alcohol taste. Medium carbonation, and body.

Good beer from Indeed, but not one of my favorites from them.

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Photo of morimech
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep crimson color with a massive head that slowly settled to a thick cap. Massive amount of sticky lacing is left down the glass.

Right after the pour I picked up large aromas of ginger but that settles down after the beer settles down. Afterwards I pick up mild bread, and some floral and grassy notes. Overall it is rather mild.

I feared the ginger might be overpowering, but it is not and adds some nice complimentary flavor. Really quite floral and not sure if this is from the honey or hops. Do get some very faint fruit notes but has a rather weak, malty flavor.

Somewhat thin body. Does have some nice carbonation.

Has some good qualities but I was letdown. Guess I was expecting something bolder.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Indeed Old Friend Holiday Ale. ("What Grinchitude is this? "Holiday"? No Christmas? Bah, Humbug!") I kid, I kid.

Deep, dark crimson coloring, especially when held to the light, clear, and beautiful. Creamy, off-white head.

Spices leap out of the glass. Cinnamon and ginger first, and maybe nutmeg. Very strong and lively. Sweet, dark malt beneath. Nicely spicy.

Taste: Mmm. Gingerbread cookie dunked in warm cocoa. Delightful blend of spices floods the mouth, slips down the palate and lays in for the long haul. The alcohol in the one is a very manageable 7%, there is little to no heat, apart from that which the spices deliver. No heat, but lots of warmth.
Medium-bodied, long, slightly sweet finish. It's lovely, put simply, a very tasty holiday treat.

I'm going to take a minute to read the back of this label, from the first bottle of this kind (silkscreened graphics, wax-dipped top) from Indeed.
Good tidings to you, Old Friend. We brew our limited release Holiday Ale with fresh ginger root and a hefty dollop of family harvested honey. This fireside companion has a deep ruby-colored body with layers of malt complexity and an intense ginger aroma. Reunite with friends, old and new, and celebrate the season with an Old Friend by your side. Cheers!

(Hmmm, now I wonder, is it a blend of spices? Is there more than ginger, if that's all that's mentioned. I could be feeling this additional flavors from the malt. Or maybe there are other spices, that just are worth mentioning, aside from the fresh ginger root? I should find out.)

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Photo of yamar68
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark toffee brown with a healthy dollop of latte colored head, laces perfectly.

Definite fresh ginger character, spiced brown ale type aromas, sweet cola, a bit of caramel malt... the bright ginger really cuts through in a way that I enjoy much more than I anticipated.

This beer is going to be polarizing I can tell already... to me, the ginger plays seamlessly with the more traditional winter warmer type spices. I wish the honey was more prominent but I guess you can't expect such a soft and sweet ingredient to compete with fresh ginger root.

It's like nothing else I can think of. Quite innovative, yet approachable. Nicely done.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a waxed 750 ml bottle into a Surly Darkness Chalice.

Appearance: Pours a deep brownish amber ruby with a moderate amount of bubbles. About three fingers of off white head that slowly recede into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a good amount of creamy lacing around the glass.

Smell: A bready malty aroma with a lot of spicing. Big scent of ginger upfront along with some hints of allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Toasted malts with big hints of caramel, toffee, baked biscuit, yeast, and tea cracker. Also some hints of honey sweetness. Hop presence is very subdued but things are a little earthy. Very ginger forward. Quite an interesting aroma.

Taste: Like its smells, a malty taste that is very spice driven. Big taste of ginger that stays throughout. Also some allspice, clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg spicing. Bready toasted malts with a good taste of caramel, toffee, baked biscuit, yeast, cracker, tea, and a little toast. Moderate sweetness is added by some honey. Subdued earthy and grassy hops in the background. The ginger spicing stands out the most and it tastes pretty good with the malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy and pretty smooth with no noticeable alcohol heat.

Overall: A pretty interesting take on a Winter Warmer that comes out good. Very big with the ginger. Being a regular sushi eater I've grown to like ginger quite a bit. In fact this would make an interesting pairing with some spicy sushi.

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Photo of jjanega08
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

No freshness dating on the bottle.

A= Pours a deep dark amber color with two fingers of off white head that holds some steady retention and lacing on the glass.

S= The smell is strong ginger and caramal malts.

T= The taste matches the nose only it's a little more intense. There is a great ginger flavor but it's far from the most dominate flavor in the bunch. There seems to be a little roasted malt in there as well as a nice overall grainy barley flavor. The finish has a nice roasted malt bitterness and a sweet malty character.

M= Well carbonated. I was worried they were gonna under carbonate it but this is great.

O= This is a nice holiday brew. Not too spiced for the people who love a strongly spiced winter warmer but it's good enough for me. It's really just a tasty beer from a brewery that is quickly becoming one of my favorites.

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Photo of jera1350
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Republic.

Darker goldish copper color with a tan head of suds. Smell is full of ginger and spice. The flavor is mainly ginger also with a medium sweetness from the honey. Some clove notes with holiday spices also. I think I'm tiring of the holiday spices in beer as I found this one tough to finish. Not a bad beer by any means, but too much ginger and such for my taste buds. Nicely done for the style, but just didn't do much for me.

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Photo of bsp77
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Imperial Pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy off-color ruby with nice head retention and lacing lines.

Smell: Ginger, caramel and nondescript dark fruits.

Taste: More ginger going on, with a malt backbone of caramel, bread, and plums. Some light dry mead characteristics on the finish, along with lingering cherry and more ginger.

Feel: medium to full body with low carbonation. Semi-dry finish with some mead nuances.

Overall: Spiced Christmas Ale done right. Somewhat similar to Great Lakes Christmas Ale, but a titch better. From what I have had from Indeed, they are six for six so far. Unbelievable.

2016 canning update: recipe tweaked to include Mosaic hops and a more overtly Belgian yeast, resulting in stronger blueberry and ester notes. Plus, they are sweet looking cans. Now that Mexican Honey, LSD, Double Day Tripper, Old Friend, and motherfucking Rum King are all in cans, there is no longer any question that Indeed is now the greatest MN brewers IMO.

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Photo of JackieTH
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wax sealed 750mL with painted on artwork. Slightly hazy ruby red with khaki foam. Not a lot of lacing. Smell is very gingery, a bit of soy, quite frankly it smells like a carton of Chinese takeout. Which isn't necessarily bad, but now I'm craving some potstickers. Taste is ginger forward with a note of honey. The combination is quite unique and nice. Nice complimentary level of carbonation, and a medium mouthfeel. Interesting beer.

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Old Friend Holiday Ale from Indeed Brewing Company
3.88 out of 5 based on 85 ratings.
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