Christmas Ale 2005 | Abita Brewing Co.

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Christmas Ale 2005Christmas Ale 2005
30 Ratings
Christmas Ale 2005Christmas Ale 2005

Brewed by:
Abita Brewing Co.
Louisiana, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by GreenWBush on 11-15-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 30 |  Reviews: 29
Reviews by GreenWBush:
Photo of GreenWBush
2.41/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Light penny-esque bronzed copper...quite translucent. Big fluffy ivory head that froths up to a cute head hat.

The nose is rather gummy, hints of wheat and meager noble hops. Rising bread. Pillowy. Hints of plastic.

Very grainy in flavor, this beer is rather metallic, water, thin. Diluded, agriculture flavors: fertilizer. Thin on palate. Not drinkable, and in fact a drain-pour.

So many brew-pub amber ales taste exactly the same to me, chalky, grainy, unharmonized. See also: piss poor homebrew.

I feel bad for Abita's situation, and i've surely had from some good beers from their brewery, but i'm sad to say that this is not one.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.24/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

This one is a crystal clear deep amber color and puts forth two fingers of spongy, bright white head with cavernous air pockets. In a few minutes it is just covering the surface of the pint. There is almost no lacing. The smell is not much to speak of.

The taste is mostly sweet malt, almost like you would expect in a marzen/oktoberfest. Hints of hop spiciness and other spices so faint they are hard to identify (maybe ginger?) show through only for a brief instant. The mouthfeel is thin, but otherwise ok.

Rating this beer as a Christmas beer is difficult. It is a far cry from most other brewer's xmas offerings, yet it is festive in its own way. It also seems a little more appropriate here on the Gulf Coast, where we enjoyed the holiday in shorts and t-shirts, than a winter warmer or other dark beer.

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Photo of Billolick
3.65/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ouncer, with twist top and best consumed before dating. Pours dark cherry amber, with a medium tan head and respectable lacing. Typical moderatly hopped amber, perhaps just a smidgen of spicing picked up. Easy drinking and drinkable enuf. Basically another unimpressive but still drinkable Abita offering.

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Photo of Jredner
2.33/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Lightly hopped aroma with even lighter spice notes. Rich copper in color with a firm thumb thick white head. Not much here flavor wise. Crisp hop bite I associate with premium lagers and almost no spice notes. Some subdued caramel malt, but overall it just doesn’t taste like very much of anything.

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Photo of cheers2beers
2.51/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served in Weizen glass:

Appearance: A redish amber liquid flowed into my glass followed by a very well stacked off-white head.Minimal laceing with a rumble of beading inside my glass.

Smell: The aroma of souring malts and a slight skunky hop.Not impressed.

Taste: Not much here either,a flat taste in general.Not much hop backbone, a hint of applecider but still not impressed.Meduim carbonation.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel was just nothing to brag about.Just seems to ordinary with a thin watery finish.

Drinkability: I think the best way to some it up is, BMC taste in a craft beer bottle.I wont be purchaseing this one again.


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Photo of matjack85
3.75/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of plaid75
2.53/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a nice amber hue with a thin head and very little lacing.

The smell was nonexistent. I was expecting allspice, or cinnammon, juniper, etc., but got nothing. The aroma was flat.

The taste was equally as flat. It drank like a light ale rather than what I expect in a Christmas Ale.

Mouthfeel and drinkability were okay, but what difference do they make if the taste is off?

I am a big drinker of Christmas and winter brews and must say that this may be the most uneventful experience I have ever had in a Santa hat.

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Photo of weeare138
3.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appears a red amber with a small white head that quickly fades into a small collar.
Smell is malty, bready, with a sugary, corn syrup aroma standing out.
Taste is of the same aromas albeit kind of weak with mild honey in the mix somewhere.
Mouthfeel is watery, cardboard-ish, with an off, flowery funkyness in the finish.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.53/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Slightly hazy copper color, with a small, persistent tan head, excellent broken lace, slight carbonation.

Aroma: Toasty and caramel aromas, with a faint herbal hop presence.

Taste: Slightly sweet caramel at the open, quickly turns towards toasty malts, and a mild coffee note, these carry on to the end of the taste, where a modest herbal hop presence manifiests, lingering on well past the taste's end.

Mouth feel: Reasonably full, with a tingling carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: Pleasing and drinkable, not outstanding, but pleasant.

Presentation: Packaged in a short brown twelve-ounce brown glass bottle with a twist-off crown, served in a standard pint tap glass.

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Photo of beerphilosopher
2.83/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a standard pint glass from a shorty bottle.

A - Amber with a slight reddish hue. Virtually no head. Kind of drab ...

S - Malty Amber ... slight hop background. A little "home brewey"

T - Buttery malt flavor. Almost a standard, non-descript amber beer taste. Unfortunately a little metallic ...

M - Thin and unsatisfying.

D - Wow. I had expected more from this one. Really not a very good beer in any respect ... very home brewy to me a bad way. I really can't recomment this one. My first Abita beer ... I'll try others, or wait for next years version to see if it's better.

What exactly makes this a Christmas beer? Where are the spices? The character?

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Photo of kmo1030
2.65/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

copper colred witha thin tan head.
the aroma is sweet malty with maybe a hint of wheat or a similar smell. *maybe* a hint spices.
the taste is blandly malty caramel with metallic almost iron-like blood in your mouth flavors. finishes sort of tart and nasty as a result. sometimes i think i get some smoke, but it maybe a distorted metal flavor.
watery body with comparably strong carbonation.
drinkability is not good, it's not pleasant tasting at all really. whats up with the metal in this. sometimes you drink a beer and ask "what were they thinking bottling this?" this is one.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.68/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Auburn with a nice full pillowy beige head, nice carbonation, and nice lace. Nice ESB style spicy malt and English style dirty earth hop aroma and flavor. Wonder if this is lightly spiced with something ? Light-medium bodied with light creaminess.

Per label: "Every year the recipe changes".

Per BOM notes:
IBU: 29
ABV: 5.0%
Malts: Pale, Cara Red, Cara Munich, Crystal
Hops: Willamette, Kent

Best Before: 05/06-06 (notched); '05' emb on bottom [2005 Version]
Tasted: 01/16/06

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Photo of bigbubba
2.98/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is a nice dark amber beer with a decent light tan head. The head dissapates quickly leaving a thin coating on top. The smell is very mild, almost not there at all. The taste is average. It's not spiced like many Christmas beers. There is a bit of hops in the finish, and a slight coppery aftertaste. The mouthfeel is watery and flat. Drinkability is average, it isn't hard to drink, but it's not easy either.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
3.58/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very lovely dark amber with beautiful frothy head, with amazing lacing down the glass. Smells of floral hops aroma, with spices and carmelized and decent malt. Taste is pretty good, but a little weak. I expect more from christmas ales, and definitely more hop presense. Malts are decent, with the carmelized malts that were picked up in smell. Body is very smooth, perhaps too smooth, and doesn't really have the hop punch I would have expected in a christmas ale, but actually not all that bad considering.

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Photo of aquatonex
3.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I really enjoy holiday beers, this one fell short of my mark, however.

Pours dark red with a thick head, decent retention. Lacing is good. Smell is light malty with spice (woohoo). However, where's the spice in the taste? Unsweetened chocolates, some lightly sweet malts, is about it. Lighter in taste and body than I was expecting. Overall, OK.

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Photo of acrawf6
2.38/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Found this one at a store by my parent's house in metaire (robert's). Was very excited to pick it up since it is the first time i have seen it this year. Hate to say it was quite a disappointment.

Poured out a very dark and crystal ruby red. White head, but not much of one.

Aroma did not totally stick out, but was a little promising. A sweet maltiness, with small hints of spices, but really not much.

Taste... i have to say quite disappointing. An instant dry maltyness comes through, with just a little bit of undernotes of the malty sweetness. I taste no spice that i might have smelled. Aftertaste has that dry effect in my mouth that is like i was eating some sort of dry dark cereal, with a little cardboard to it.

Mouthfeel was quite bad too. Seemed very empty and no fullness that i would hope for in a winter seasonal.

Man, i wish i could like this. I am quite disappointed with this one from abita. I did enjoy their fallfest this season, so i was hoping for a great christmas ale. I dont think i will buy this one again, and i wouldnt recommend it either. But this brewery does make some good ones, so i certainly wont stop buying them.

I had to write this after drinking it still...i am about an ounce before finishing this, and it is quite hard finishing it.... it has this sense of dry bitterness and my mouth feels like i drank watered down cranberry juice (not the sweetness or fruitness of cranberries though, just the bitterness)

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Photo of BurnsTau
2.95/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a medium-dark amber with little to no head. Smells faintly of spices, some hops. This beer was a disspointment to me, having tried previous years of Abita's Christmas Ale. My first taste I noticed that nothing is very compelling about the beer. The flavors just aren't there. Mostly you can notice the malts and very very faint hops. Overall it's not a terrible beer, but I wouldn't try it again.

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Photo of hanco005
3.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Part of my December microbrew of the month club offering. Reviewed this over the holidays, just getting around to typing my notes now.

A— deep reddish amber than leaves ¾ inch head, lacing is very nice

S— very soft, sweet mild malt scent

T— caramel maltly taste, very pleasant and mild,

M— thin, but can’t really say anything bad about it…nor anything that really sticks out

D—overall, I enjoyed it and was glad to have the opportunity to try it. A good holiday brew that I could drink 3-4 easily.

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Photo of WesWes
3.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a ruby red color with a towering offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a weak aroma that boasts of roasted, crystal, and bisquit malts. It's got a nice breadlike aroma, but nothing too pronounced. The taste is average. It's light and weak with the malts and has a metallic finish. Damn, these guys have a real problem with that. The mouthfeel is average. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is an average Christmas ale. It's pretty lame and not worth buying again.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.63/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Selection of beer-of-the-month club. Poured a reddish-brown with modest off-white head. Smell is a nice mixture of dark fruits (prunes, figs), caramel, and roasted malt. Taste follows through with a nice caramel maltiness and a fruity background. Finish is more maltiness, little hop to be found. A good beer, but not a great beer. Thanks to fellow BA mtanji for the beer.

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Photo of palma
3.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearence: See-through amber copper body. Very nice frothy off-white head.

Nose: Sweet malty nose. Caramel. Roasted aroma. Some metal. Very typical for an amber ale. Not bad at all.

Taste: Light and watered down. Some good hops present though. Metallic notes. Dry finish for an amber.

Mouthfeel: A little thin of a mouthfeel. Watery.

This is something I could drink if it was the only beer around. No way I'm buying this on my own though.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Abita Christmas pours an attractive reddish-amber color, lacing nicely along the side of the glass as drunk. Nose is sweet malt with a touch of fruitiness. Flavor is quite disappointing, a sweet yet almost vegetal flavor that clashes horribly. Moderate bitterness but no hop flavor. I don't remember previous years tasting like this. Not an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of HardTarget
2.63/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle Inspection: Best before notched 4/8 (sampled 1/30, hopefully of the same year) Just the marketing blurb for information.

Aroma: Sweet malt with a good dose of caramel and hints of DMS

Appearance: Very clear amber brown glass sports a thin light tan head that leaves some lace to mark its passing.

Flavor: Malt flavor in the nose comes through fairly straight forward, but that DMS like flavor is striking me as a flaw. It’s almost a wet wood taste. It’s not intense, but very noticeable. It might be a spice that’s been added, maybe a nutmeg or clove. There is a hint of pleasant smoke in the finish.

Mouthfeel: A touch fizzy in the mouth, but not bad. Body is fairly light.

Overall Impression: This is a fairly light Christmas beer. I think the spice line up just didn’t agree with my taste buds. Still, it’s an ok beer and worth a shot.

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Photo of Gritsak
2.91/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- nice deep amber color with a rich, thcik offwhite head. laces well.

S- some malt, yeast, nutmeg, molassas, little metalic...not horrible but not very impressive either

T- very bland flavor. nothing really sticks out. hop presence in minimal to non existant. the finish is very watered down. slightly metalic taste but ive had worst

M- pretty light and smooth. medium carbonation with a watery feel.

D- i could drink a few but i wouldnt really want to waste my time.

overall- extremely plain for a "christmas beer". although it is listed as a red/amber, i expected some spices blended in since the label it a christmas, but there were none to be found. ide stay clear of this stuff if you like beer with any sort of flavor.

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Photo of arizcards
3.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received a bottle from Mr. Doyle's BOM club back a few months ago. Best enjoyed by 4-22.

Brew poured a dark red with a nice off-white head. Nose is malty and bready. Taste is malty, bready, and finishes with a light hop. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and is well carbonated. Overall drinkability is pretty good. I am a little befuddled why this is called a Christmas beer. It is, however, a decent red that is worth trying.

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Christmas Ale 2005 from Abita Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.12 out of 5 with 30 ratings