Black Christmas | Parallel 49 Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Black ChristmasBlack Christmas
Very Good
32 Ratings
Black ChristmasBlack Christmas

Brewed by:
Parallel 49 Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
This beer does away with Vanilla and spices common in Christmas ales and delivers hops and bitterness. A new style of beer developed in the Pacific Northwest, this CDA is hopped like an IPA but is dark in colour. 100-mile local hops were used to build the hop flavour and aroma.

Added by canucklehead on 11-15-2012

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Ratings: 32 |  Reviews: 10
Reviews by Hornet2003:
Photo of Hornet2003
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%

More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle, day 13 of the Parallel 49/Central City Mystery Gift Holiday Countdown.

This beer pours a clear (I think), very dark brown colour, with prominent basal cola highlights, and three fingers of puffy, rocky, and bubbly beige head, which leaves some stellar webbed jungle tree profile lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of meaty caramel malt, dank pine and leafy forest floor detritus, toasted wheat bread, grainy caramel malt, cherry menthol drops, a touch of earthy yeast, soft wet char, and further weedy, floral, and kind of perfumed hops. The taste is roasted caramel malt, muddled pine needles, spruce tips, dead leaves, a still isolated ashy char essence, a bit of flat cola sweetness, and indistinct musty, somewhat phenolic esters.

The carbonation is fairly understated in its generic frothiness and opportunistic fizziness, the body a sturdy medium weight, and full of a tattered sort of smoothness, the roast and hops not known for playing nice in that arena. It finishes off-dry, the blend of styles as apparent as ever.

While this may eschew the typical seasonal beer trappings, it does at least get it all right with the name - the blackened malt, the (Christmas) tree-borne bitterness, I'm fine with letting that all go. But, as usual, as a normal, drinkable brew - I just can't get on board with the two dueling forces here, and what they do to my various flavour receptors.

 1,425 characters

Photo of BCborn
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of chickenm
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of JonnyBeers
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of souvenirs
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Rutager
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. Black Christmas pours pretty much black, a little brown at the edges when held to the light. It's capped with almost two fingers of khaki head that pretty much paints the sides of the glass.

Smell. Dark chocolate and fresh piney hops with a touch of citrus, molasses and cedar.

Taste. Nicee citrus hops, cocoa powder and a little espresso and pine needles.

Mouthfeel. Medium+ body with medium carbonation.

Overall. Very nice flavours in a great ballance. The only thing I would ask for is a little more flavour, although not being a hug beer does make this a pretty easy drinker. I'll look forward to having it again next year!

 645 characters

2.46/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Photo of FondueVoodoo
3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black brown with a minimal hint of transparency. Thick and luscious 2 fingers of variable bubbles hold across the top head that hold a

S: Like a pine cone soaked in molasses, acrid and metallic. Hint of acrid (cold) coffee, with a lasting end note of metallics.

T: Hops play forward to wrestle with the molasses toasty malts. This brew is no shrinking violet, it's big flavour, however I find the hops a little sharp compared to the toasty molasses. In the background there is mineral notes and notes of woody bark.

M: Medium mouth feel with lasting buzz of carbonation from start to finish. A lasting alcohol ester even after the swallow.

O: Admission: I don't appreciate the style of a CDA as much as an IPA or ESB, so overall I found a few points to ponder. Smooth up front then a big punch of hoppy piney bitters. I find the hops too sharp and don't balance with the malts, but rather round house kick the malts off the palette. There is a spirited amount of carbonation and even some creaminess. The smell is acrid and sharp with a strong hop presences. Heavy on the hops and easy on the malts, like drinking a christmas tree with a garland of gingerbread.

 1,172 characters

Photo of LampertLand
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Parallel 49 'Black Christmas CDA' @ 6.5% , served from a 341 ml bottle Day 13 Seasons Greetings
A-pour is a deep dark brown that turns black as a medium size tan head clings to the pint glass leaving some spotty lacing
S-lots of hops , citrus , pine needles
T-cascadian dark ale in taste , bit hoppy , bitter citrus bite in the finish
MF-medium carbonation , medium body
Ov-the grinning scrooge beside CDA on the label says it all ,
Christmas Dark Ale -or-Cascadian Dark Ale , clever Parallel 49 ,
very clever marketing , now please make better beers
prost LampertLand

 571 characters

Photo of bumchilly25
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Derek
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Originally reviewed as all 4's, but has improved so I've updated the score.

A: Brown-black with ruby highlights, light tan head, bit of retention leaves some lace.

S: Nice aroma of pine and citrus with subtle hints of fruit bread.

T: Piny hops are upfront, some grapefruit rind, dark caramelized raisins, roasted nut... this is Christmas! Solid bitterness, alcohol is subtle.

M: Crisp and dry with plenty of hop acidity.

O: Maybe not spectacular, but this is a very good all round brew.

 491 characters

Photo of Ericbeech_87
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mistahmojoryan
4.04/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of andrenaline
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours pitch black, finger of head with some retention and nice sheeting lacing.

S - Burnt toast and citrus hop notes, earthy cedar and pine, dark cocoa and coffee come through on the finish.

T - Much like the nose, burnt malts, citrus and earthy cedar hop notes, hints of coffee and cocoa.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and a little sticky on the finish.

O - A tasty brew, solid flavour profile and a great example of the style. These guys brewed a beer that fits the bill, easy drinking and well worth seeking out.

 520 characters

Photo of Kmat10
3.66/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of smekermann
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%

Photo of ericj551
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of wordemupg
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into tulip 28/11/14

A dark cola liquid, dense of fingers of mocha foam has great retention and cakes the side of the glass with lace

S spruce, pine, melon, coco powder, a little smoke, some citrus, not overly intense but hits the right noes

T more of the same but a little more of i, the roast is darker but the hops shine through a little stronger at the same time, faint coffee and char come out as it warms

M smooth entry and creams up nicely, has a bitter bite and a little grit, citrus and char linger

O well rounded CDA, lots of hops, lots of dark roast, easy to drink, no major complaints

I wouldn't grab another advent calendar to drink one but I wouldn't mind seeing this in 6ers or bombers in my neck of the woods

 759 characters

Photo of bulldogops
3.57/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of canucklehead
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the new Winter seasonals from Parallel 49 ( the others being a Scottish Wee Heavy and the Milk Stout called Ugly Sweater. This is a Cascadian Dark Ale that delivers on all fronts. The seamless blend of the IPA hops and the dark malts make this a wonderful drinking beer. Often with this style the finish can be a little rough and dry but this beer is smooth and balanced. I accept that a Holiday beer can be anything you want so why not a CDA since Parallel 49 has yet to add one to its lineup.

 501 characters

Photo of zduerr
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of Bunman3
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of kjyost
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

Photo of Larz_73
4/5  rDev +4.7%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Black Christmas from Parallel 49 Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 32 ratings