Christmas Ale 2010 | Abita Brewing Co.

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Christmas Ale 2010Christmas Ale 2010

Brewed by:
Abita Brewing Co.
Louisiana, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Christmas Ale (November - December) rounds out our calendar. Generally, this beer is a dark ale, however, the recipe changes each year, offering a unique product crafted with special care. Enjoy your holidays with Abita Christmas Ale.

Added by tone77 on 11-06-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 69 |  Reviews: 46
Photo of jmerloni
4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Brown with a little reddish tint. Translucent. Head is moderate and leaves a little bit of nice lacing.

S - Bready, chocolate notes, some malt.

T - Bready chocolate notes. Not much malt here. Some spices. Maybe cinnamon or nutmeg. Pleasant and pretty subtle and light.

M - Nice and light but not cheaply so. Really pleasant to sip. Very dry. Carbonation is perfect here.

D - Very good drinkability on this one. I could throw these back during an after-Christmas dinner poker game or something like that. Really pleasant tasting, inoffensive, light, and nice. For whatever is lacking in this beer to a beer critic, Abita made it to be the way it is, and I think it's an overall success.

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Photo of Shrews629
3.9/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark red/amber/copper color with a nice thick off white head. Hung around for a few minutes to leave a small film across the top. The beer is mostly clear with burnt orange highlights at the bottom. Some lacing left on the glass.

Smell - Some floral and citrus hops strike me first in the nose. Picking up some peach and what smells like cinnamon and gingerbread. A bit of orange in there also. The malt is of a darker tone.

Taste - Some of the citrus hops at first with the flavor, followed by the cinnamon. The gingerbread melds nicely with another sort of spice that I can't identify right off. Seemingly well balanced and enjoyable.

Mouthfeel - Medium body mouthfeel. A tad bit watery. Was smooth and relatively crisp. Left a little to be desired on the palate.

Drinkability - This is an easily drinkable beer. Worth a try if you get the chance. I did like the taste very well and it seemed to hit the spot, as far as for Christmas spirit. This would be nice with sugar cookies I think. Glad I got to sample it.

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Photo of Vengeance526
3.8/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear brown amber color with a good sized foamy off-white head that hangs around for a while and leaves a medium amount of lacing.

Light aroma of caramel malt and a touch of spicy hops with hints of citrus.

Taste starts with notes of toasted bread and caramel followed by floral hops and light citrus notes in the background.

Medium body and medium carbonation with a dry finish. Good drinkability overall. As usual, nothing about it really says Christmas, and the brown ale classification seems to be a mistake as well. Putting that aside, this is a solid offering, very good for the price.

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Photo of nickthegun12
3.92/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a good brown color....not much head...and decent lacing...

smells a hoppy..smells really hoppy...citrus hoppy...

taste...a little bit of a tea flavor...slightly fruity...a little bitter...winter brewing spices...nutmeg and cinnamon....and well defined hops

watery feel in the mouth....not too carbonated...

pretty good drinkability....

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Photo of Rayek
3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Perfect Pint glass.

A: Chestnut brown with nice clarity and mild carbonation. A dense cream cap has great retention and leaves nice sheets of lace.

S: Toffee, heavily toasted bread, plus a bit of lemon and black tea.

T: Fairly mild. Heavily toasted grains dominate. Bitterness is mild and has a black tea quality. A light astringency comes on late. Finishes with lingering toasted grain flavors.

M: The medium-light body is dry and slightly chalky. The carbonation feels about right.

D: This is a nice little beer overall. It doesn't scream Christmas beer to me, but taken on its own merits I found it pretty nice.

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Photo of Blanco
2.56/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

pours a dark mahogany color with a white head that disappears rather quickly. decent lacing however.

the smell upfront is of hops and malty caramel. without tasting it seems rather black ipa-ish.

that association is quickly corrected upon tasting it. It's got bitterness, but almost none of the hoppy/piney/citric flavors of hops. aside from the bitterness the flavor is almost watery and not in a BMC sort of way, just in a very clean sort of way. it's very light with a slight aftertaste.

A little disappointed in this. the smell and taste seems to contradict each other as well as the mouthfeel. I typically expect a bigger body from "Christmas" beers so that through me for a loop and the clean water aspect is also strange.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper color with a tan head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Smells of toasted malts and some floral hops.

Tastes of the toasted malt with some hops on the backend. Malts are mostly toasted bread with a small amount of caramel sweetness. Hops add some bitterness on the end with floral and herbal notes. Some spiciness emerges as it warms. Fairly dry overall.

Mouthfeel is medium with a thick amount of carbonation.

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Photo of Stevorama
4.03/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First product I've sampled from Abita Brewing, so no preconceived notions.

Rich copper color with only an average head.

Pleasing aroma; very smoky, somewhat coffee-like. Unique flavor; none of the sweet spices I've encountered with other seasonal brews. Crisp taste; definitely toasty, peppery (think grounded black pepper) with a very slight hint of nut. Surprisingly smooth and drinkable with a clean finish. Definitely not an all-nighter beer; perhaps 1 or 2 before moving in another direction.

Overall pleased; I would buy it again.

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Photo of rogerharris
2.91/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Attractive packaging, pours nicely enough. Head on the small, but that's not a big deal to me.

First impressions- very little aroma and a pronounced bitterness. Very little else to remember. Lacks complexity and is rather two-dimensional.

Not what I would expect from a "Christmas" beer, as it lacks the body and spicy notes that I would have expected.

I could drink another, sure. But I won't be rushing out to buy another six pack of these.

I haven't tried their other brews, but this one has left me a little disappointed. Beats the regular commercial brews, though.

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Photo of Frosty80
3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: pours light golden-brown. sits clear reddish-brown with a good off-white head

Smell: upon sniffing after first straight poor it had one hell of a spicy hop kick to it. aftera minute though it became a little more tame. nice caramel malt to support

Taste: moderately high spicy/peppery hop character. medium bitterness. caramel malt sweetness is scarce. seems to be highly attenuated giving it a very dry presence, especially in the finish which is spicy

Mouthfeel: medium body with medium carbonation

Notes: nothing spectacular, but i do love the spiciness/pepperiness of this hoppy light brown ale

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Photo of BurpingtonDC
2.73/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I've had many other Abita brews and I like the Turbo Dog pretty well, but this is the first time I've tried the Xmas ale. Poured into a pint glass.

A -The appearance is a deep amber/carmel color. A single fingered creamy tan head that leaves persistent creamy laceing.

S- Smell is not aggressive, but represents with a light grassy hop scent, sweet malt

T - A distinct taste of toast, chocolate malt, and a bitter, high-alpha (?) hop

M - A fuzzy, highly carbonated ale with a lighter body than might appear by its looks.

D - Abita's 2010 Christmas Ale is drinkable, somewhat light for the style, and nothing special. The super bitter taste was a bit off-putting, and I like a hoppy brew!

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a moderate brown color with a thin light tan head and a tad bit of lacing. The nose is some light toast and roast plus some caramel and mild spice. The taste brings some semi-sweet malt and hints of spice plus a dash of caramel. The feel is a bit thin yet slightly creamy. Drinks fairly well ands is better that I expected from a brewery I don't generally care for all that much.

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Photo of Brad007
3.67/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber color with a one-finger head into my glass. The bottle did not specify which year and I hope this is the 2010.

Aroma is full of grassy hops followed by only a hint of sweet malt. Odd for a brown ale.

Lots of grassy hops upfront with only a slight hint of sweet malt. Hmm.

Time to gripe. This beer is overly carbonated. It must have been miscategorized as well. It's a red ale.

Not bad but I've had better as far as seasonals go.

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Photo of KaitouShiroi
3.93/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look: Pours a nice, ruby-brown color. Decent head that dissipates quickly, leaving nice lacing as it goes down.

Smell: Slight nuttiness, with an underlying spice; possibly cloves.

Taste: Nutty, with just enough hoppiness to balance the sweetness of the malt.

Feel: Light, not very thick at all, and crisp on the finish; leaves a slight roasty aftertaste, but nothing too strong.

Drinkability: Like most Abita beers, I can easily drink 2-3 in a session. Clean finish along with the good balance leads to a beer that lends itself well to session drinking around the fireplace (if you have one in South Louisiana).

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Photo of tchenery
3.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

No head on this beer. It has a nice dark russet/reddish color though.

Smells nutty, almost like the Pecan Harvest did, but with more roasted and toasted malt flavors.

It has an odd flat-cola like taste, kind of a subdued bitter cocoa or chocolate or coffee. It's tasty though.

Nice lightweight Christmas Ale that is completely drinkable.

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.82/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look - fairly clear but a subtle brown/ruby in color. About two fingers of foam that dissipates somewhat quickly. Good carbonation.

Smell - A bit malty in the aroma, with a spiced quality, and maybe a bit toasty. Might be a fruitiness involved too, but not a typical variety.

Taste - Tastes almost like a rice beer or some other gluten free attempt. Definitely more on the malty side, but not strongly so. The unusual quality in the smell is also present in the taste. There's a bubbly or fizzy feeling at the back middle of the palate. Texture is more on the creamy side.

Drinkability - Very interesting brew in terms of taste. I'd be intrigued to find out the basic elements of their recipe this year. Definitely complex enough in the taste to be engaging, and not a bad taste in and of itself.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.83/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark copper in color, nice finger of head that leaves nice little lacing.

Aroma is nice, with a hint of sweet malts, with a subtle, floral hop aroma.

Taste is good, with a starting slightly malt sweet, moving to nice subtle woodsy hops, and finishing with a hint of nuttiness.

Feel is crisp, smooth, and upper light in body.

Overall, solid on the drink.

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Photo of mattpoin
3.39/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark mahogany in color, with a light-khaki head that leaves a thin lacing.

S - Not a terribly noticeable aroma. Slight smell of hops, as well as a strange pungency. It's too early for this bear to have gone bad, so not sure what's up with that.

T - A little spicy--hops first, balanced with a little malt. There's a faint hint of "Christmas" spices in the aftertaste, such as nutmeg.

M - The beer has a very dry mouthfeel, and lots of carbonation.

D - Not a difficult beer to drink, but I don't think I'd have more than one or two.

Comments: The Christmas Ale 2010 has a good taste, but it doesn't taste like what I would expect from a Christmas beer. The warm spice flavors are almost nonexistent, and if Abita sold it any other time of year with a different label, I'm not sure Xmas would be something I'd think of. Not a bad beer, just not what I'm looking for in a Christmas-themed beverage.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

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Photo of tone77
3.41/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark caramel color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some hops present. Taste is good, hops up front, a bit nutty, some malts. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this makes for a good quality brew.

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Christmas Ale 2010 from Abita Brewing Co.
3.44 out of 5 based on 69 ratings.
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