Christmas Ale 2002 | Abita Brewing Co.

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Christmas Ale 2002Christmas Ale 2002

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 kbub6f on 11-24-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 6 | Ratings: 6
Reviews by Pegasus:
Photo of Pegasus
3.5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear orange-brown in color with a small snow-white head that retains quite well. Fairly well carbonated with good broken lace. Aroma of bread-like malt and hints of honey and spices. Taste begins with sweet malt flavors, a slight sting of carbonation, and a slightly spicy character, turns a bit tart towards the middle of the taste. Finishes somewhat dry with persistent metallic bitterness. The mouthfeel is slightly watery. Abita Christmas Ale seems rather understated for a winter or Christmas beer.

 504 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of TXHops
3.49/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the Abita webpage description of Abita Christmas Ale:
"As befits any Christmas present, each years offering is a unique product crafted with special care. Generally, this beer is a dark ale, however, the recipe changes each year."

These are the kind of descriptions that I, as a beer lover, find infuriating. What the hell am I about to drink?? This page calls is a Vienna Lager, and although it does look and taste a little like a yellow-colored version of that genre, the website and my nose specifically tell me it's an ale...
There's a beautifully fresh malt, bread aroma jumping out of the glass (I have a REALLY fresh sample, which always skews the scoring upward) and maybe just the faintest hint spice. I though I was just being suggestible since it's a Christmas beer, but I’m pretty sure it’s spiced, if ever so slightly... The medium bodied liquid does a pretty mediocre job of supporting a very thin strip of just-off-white head, which doesn't lace and doesn’t offer any streamers.

If this is a lager, I'd be shocked (and quite disappointed, considering the intensity of the esters). Abita Christmas 2002 tastes vaguely of a cross between DeKonnick and Abita Amber, with a soft, yet prickly carbonation, but a very subdued flavor profile. (It’s not bottle-conditioned.) There's lots of flavors in there, but none are jumping out. Complexity would be the wrong word, though-subtleness is closer...

The finish is just slightly sour and bitter. There's no more noticable hop flavor than there was aroma--just a slight bitterness in the long, dryish finish.

An update. I got an e-mail from the brewery and I guess it proves that my beer sleuthing skills are definitely not up to snuff...

"Christmas Ale has never been described as a Vienna Lager. Our Amber
beer, however is a Larger and has been described as such.

Every year we change the Christmas Ale. This year, we decided to make a
cooper colored ale with a rich malt body, an aggressive hop character
(32 IBU), and a slight alcohol warmth. The beer has an original gravity
of 1054 and was made with US Pale (35%), German Vienna (54%), and German
Munich (11%) malts. We used US Tomahawk as a bitter hop and Hallertau
region Perle and US Willamette hops for flavoring and aromatic purposes.
The wort was fermented with German Alt (ale) yeast.

I hesitate to classify the Christmas Ale due to the fact that it was not
designed to fit a category. It has roots from Germany, US, and the UK."

 2,516 characters

Photo of kbub6f
2.79/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bought locally (Whole Foods unrefrigerated shelves), an afternoon in my fridge, reviewed 45F-65F.

A big, bubbly white head implodes noisily with thick lacing. The beer is clear, amber/gold with little visible carbonation.

The smell is slightly fruity, almost imperceptably spicy, but dominated by the trademark Abita peanut-butter. The front is sweet and fruity. The middle is slightly sour and the finish is quite nicely hoppy. This is ok, but I've had enough Abita. And like others, I was also fooled by my preconceptions of "Christmas Ale".

 549 characters

Photo of BeerAngel
2.3/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a very clear pale burnt orange color with a 2 finger off-white head that shrinks to a nice layer leaving a lace down the glass. The smell reveals roasted malts with a light buttery whiff. The taste is a strong diacetyl/peanut flavor that way off balance. This is one strange brew with mild hops and it is absolutely one-dimensional. The mouthfeel is quite a light bodied brew and finishes thin and watery. I don’t struggle finishing very many beers at all, but this is one that I did. Once again, I appreciate Pegasus sending me this beer nonetheless! Cheers!

 566 characters

Photo of Morris729
3.74/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange amber color with a thin and bubbly white head. Nose is dominated by the aroma of sweet fresh baked cakes and muffins with a touch of fruity spiciness. The flavor is also composed of a sweet bread/muffin taste with notes of spice. Bitter hops express themselves in the finish. A nice and unusual Christmas Ale.

 330 characters

Photo of maxpower
2.13/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

2002 bottle, light copper clear color, has a thin white head, light malty grassy aroma, light malty sweet grainy flavors, watery thin mouthfeel like most of their brews, this is not a dark ale, I think this is weak for a winter brew.

 233 characters

Christmas Ale 2002 from Abita Brewing Co.
2.99 out of 5 based on 6 ratings.
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