Christmas Ale 2011 | Abita Brewing Co.

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Christmas Ale 2011Christmas Ale 2011
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Abita Brewing Co.
Louisiana, United States | website

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 EgadBananas on 11-06-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
52
Ratings:
162
Avg:
3.21
pDev:
39.88%
 
 
Wants:
1
Gots:
14
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 162
Photo of krs0123
1.59/5  rDev -50.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

on tap into a long trail pint glass.

A - reddish brown, 1/2 inch head, clearish.

S - earthy and dull, lacks the spicy or sweet smell expected from most xmas beers.

T - it would be a stretch to go with earthy hops up front. overwhelming wood notes. unlike anything i've ever tasted. in a bad way...

M - Carbonation was a bit light for me in this style. Watery.

O - I got halfway through it. I enjoyed nothing about this beer.

 429 characters

Photo of sweemzander
1.77/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

(A)- Pours a burnt caramel brown color that produced a nice cap of tan froth. Decent retention.

(S)- A heavy earthy yeasty bit up front. A strong musk-like almost fruity clay; almost like licorice.

(T)- Similar to the smell. A dusty earthy musk-like metallic clay component. A very sharp spice/yeast on the finish.

(M)- A good carbonation level, but a very sharp/grainy/dry feel I do not quite care for. Finishes with lots of metallic-like bits.

(D)- Sorry, but this one is very disappointing, not to mention, a bit disjointed and near off-putting.

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Photo of ProducerBRBeer
1.99/5  rDev -38%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - A nice nut brown color with a sticky lace. The head is light brown white and stays for a short time.

S - A floral hop smell with a earthy or acidic hint behind it.

T - very odd taste. It is almost like there is a bit of an onion taste to this beer which might just be me. Maybe it is a floral taste but there is subtle hop tastes to it. I get a slight bite from the malts but I can't shake that after taste. A malty beer.

M - A slight carbonation with a light body.

O - Not a beer I would ever try or buy again. Probably one of my least favorite experiences with a beer. Looked better than it tasted.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.04/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a clear dark brown with a 1 inch foamy off-white head that settles to a thin film. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, garlic, and onions. A pretty horrific smell for a Christmas beer. Taste is exactly the same with the garlic and onion flavor being overpowering. A pretty assertive bitterness makes it that much worse. The beer has a pretty crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a horrible beer. Based on other reviews I think that I may have purchased a bad bottle or something. This was a drainpour for me.

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Photo of ScorpyX
2.24/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Dark red pour with a thick, two-finger width head. Attractive, transparent appearance.

S: Scent has a strong bitterness to it with a grassy undertone. A little too strong for my liking, giving it an almost rotten smell.

T: Bitterness rules, but not the usual hoppy bitterness I enjoy. There's a sharp, sourness to it along with hints of pine. Tastes a little light damaged, unfortunately.

M: Medium-bodied. Nothing special here.

D: I was very disappointed by this one. Maybe it was a bad sample, but I'm not going to seeking it out again this year.

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Photo of bieltzc
2.26/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Beer is a dark amber color. The top is thin with some carbonation busting through the foam at the top/.

The smell of the beer is of dark wood and slight spice. The smell reflects the taste of the beer

Mouthful is thin with a deep taste of bitter hops. The bitterness covers much of the spice which is able to be smelled.

In my opinion the taste is not the greatest. It taste bitter and of alcohol with not much flavor besides these two. The alcoholic taste lingers and does not escape very easily

overall an average tasting beer

 533 characters

Photo of smcolw
2.35/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear, neutral brown color with a good starting head that leaves plenty of ring lace.

Interesting combination of earthiness, darker dry malts and mild hop. There is also an off smell that reminds me of beef soup.

Thin body with a moderate level of carbonation. The off aroma shows up in the taste. Beyond that, this is a hoppier brown ale. It Lands on the drinkable side but barely. Disappointing.

 401 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.45/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into an oversized wine glass, because I can.

A: Pours a murky mahogany color body with a fleeting one-finger off-white colored head. Lacing is nice, but the glass put a kibosh on its retention (not like people give a crap about head retention, anyways).

S: Black pepper, coriander, nutmeg, and strong citrus notes - seemingly not from hops, but perhaps a bit of orange peel added to the brew? It's strange, but it somehow works.

T: Ack. This doesn't. Starts off with a one-two punch of black pepper and orange peel (not citrus hoppiness), without a solid malt base to hold it up. The finish is strangely ashy, where the malt backbone goes from nearly non-existent to intrusively burnt. It didn't completely offend my taste buds, it just left them wholly unimpressed.

M: Far too watery on the finish and thin bodied in my opinion. Strong carbonation helps a little bit, but not nearly enough.

O: Aesthetically, it's pretty nice. And I did get it down fairly easy. But, still, it's not a good beer. I give Abita credit for trying something different with their Christmas ale, but I'm thankful this won't be around for much longer.

 1,141 characters

Photo of rarbring
2.47/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The beer is deep brown in the amber area, an off-white head that laves very good lacing. Some curtains.

Smelling citric, grape tonic and lemon detergent, old rancid hay.

Starting sweet, toffee, brown bread, old vegetables, grape fruit peel.

Low carbonation, soft but flat, a rather dry finish.

I wonder if this bottle wasn't a bit off. Or I did not like the low carbonation and the hops.

 391 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
2.48/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark, reddish brown, nice fluffy white head. Not much aroma to this one, maybe some faint nuttiness. Taste is light to medium bodied, not a great mouthfeel. Some roasted malt, not much for hops. A very, boring bland beer for me.. this one did not work well for me at all. Odd finish to it even, something about the taste just feels off and I've had 100 better christmas seasonals than this one, I would pass in the future.

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Photo of sommersb
2.49/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Tasted On: 12-19-2011
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle
Glassware: Globe glass
Purchased: Single from Whole Foods, Nashville

Pours a clear, dark brown color, which when held to light looks like a dark amber. Head retention and lacing are good from the finger and a half of tan head.

The aromas are none too pleasant - initially I get floral hop smells, followed by a strange vegetable odor that might be described as onion.

Thankfully it doesn't taste like onion, but the taste isn't that great. This is pretty hoppy and bitter brown ale, with little or no malt character. I also don't get any spices that you might expect in a so-called Christmas ale.

The feel is pretty carbonated with a medium amount of body. The aftertaste is moderately bitter.

Overall not a very good beer, and I can't recommend trying this. Perhaps I got a bad bottle.

 869 characters

Photo of ckollias
2.63/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a dark amber hue with a big tan head that slowly dissipates in to a solid persistent lace leaving a great trail down the whole glass.

S: Strong malty sweet aroma with hints of spices.

T: Smooth tart brew with an bland general malt flavor. There is a little bit of spice here but not much else.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Man – I thought this beer was going to be awesome just by the smell but the flavor was a big disappointment. Just your average brew and nothing I would grab again.

 571 characters

Photo of rebel1771
2.68/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a reddish brown with a very small white head that dissipates quickly.

S: Mild aroma of hops and a kind of sour funk.

T: The taste has a sharp bitterness up front along with that weird funk from from the smell. Fades to a very slight toasted malt flavor.

O: I can't say I enjoyed this offering very much. The flavors just did not play well together.

 360 characters

Photo of bark
2.68/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The colour is brown-red (30 EBC), the liquid is clear. The two finger head is yellowish and compact. It sinks very slowly leaving no lacing.

The smell is fruity and bitter. Some roasted nutty notes. Bitter oranges and biscuits. It is quite dense and sweet.

The taste is somewhat bitter and roasted with some spicy hints. It is surprisingly thin with some metallic flavours. Dry spicy bread-like notes. The aftertaste got some bitterness, some fried meats and frowsy hops.

The carbonation is mild, the small bubbles light. The liquid is a bit dry.

Thin with odd spicy hints. Not a very good beer.

 602 characters

Photo of JuicesFlowing
2.86/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a standard pint glass. The beer is a ruby-tinted toffee color. The head is off-white colored and frothy. Good head retention, in fact it stays in tact all the way down (with a good pour). Decent sticky lacing. The beer smells peppery. I cannot pinpoint the exact taste of this beer. It is weird to say the least. It tastes like black pepper and is malty, but another reviewer mentioned an onion taste, and I can't say that I disagree. Weird. The mouthfeel is medium to light bodied.

Overall, I kind of thought I liked this beer at first, but as I'm finishing off my six pack, I have decided it tastes too much like onions and black pepper. I have edited my review to reflect my opinion. I'd say buy one bottle just to experience a different take on a Christmas Ale, but more than one is pushing it.

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Photo of zdk9
2.88/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours a deep cloudy brown with a finger of white head and dots and squiggles of lacing.

S- One of the first and last things I notice on the smell is corn- not impressive. It's a sweet malty pounded-out over-cooked fresh corn smell. There's a bit of nuttiness as well, and maybe some wisps of smoke.

T- The taste is a little better-more nuttiness- with a very hull like taste like peanut or hazlenut hulls. The corn still crops up, especially towards the end of the taste. Some amounts of earthy hops, more so in the aftertaste than anything else.

M- Pretty bitter overall which is weird given the corn flavors but actually some hops do appear on the sides of my mouth that kind of overwhelm the mouthfeel.

O- I'm underwhelmed by this beer. While the taste is ok, it's not good, and the smell is just not what I'm looking for in beer,brown or otherwise.

 859 characters

Photo of obrike
2.92/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Light brown pour...not much head, no lacing...fairly bland looking.

A mix of sweet caramel, dark roasted malt, and a bit of earthy hops...however, something also smells a bit skunky...not sure if it's supposed to smell like this.

Yeah, well...there's the sour funk, on the aftertaste. The initial malt flavor is ok, but the sourness takes over. I've experienced this before with Abita but I guess I did not learn my lesson.

Certainly not a drain pour but will more than likely not buy this one again...i'd try it again if it were offered just to make sure.

 559 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
2.92/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into Sam Adams sensory glass

Appearance - Brownish with a bit of red hue. A off color white head formed upon pouring, which gave way quickly with no lacing.

Smell - Sweet smells of caramel and brown sugar up front. These are followed by nutmeg and possibly the slightest bit of cinnamon.

Taste - Not as sweet as would have expected. Much more burnt tasting with a bit of spiciness of nutmeg. There are slight sweet notes of brown sugar later on, but they pale in what would be expected from the smell.

Mouthfeel - Rather average. A little watery with a fair amount of carbonation.

Overall - Nothing to special. If looking for a winter warmer this is not the brew.

 687 characters

Photo of larryi86
3.02/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- Brown with a two finger off-white head.

S- Some hops, some roasted malts, mainly wet grass, really not a fan.

T- There are a good amount of different flavors but they don't all work together. Getting roasted malts, earthy spices, some floral notes, and a hint of wet grass, but no where near as much wet grass as the nose and not as off putting.

M- Medium body.

O- Very disappointing, was hoping for better before I poured this. Maybe I got a bad bottle...This is drinkable which surprised me after smelling the beer.

 560 characters

Photo of Brent
3.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm a bit lost on what makes this a Christmas ale, other than the time of release. Overall, a decent, but unimpressive, brown ale. Adequate malt body with some nice nut flavor. No spicing or other additive flavors common to a seasonal designation. Pleasant, but hardly festive.

 277 characters

Photo of iheartchicken
3.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured from a 12oz bottle into a tumbler

A: appears a darker shade of red-orange with an inch tall thick head tan in color. good retention of head. respectable retention.

S: not much here but what I could pick up was very earthy... some toasted malts were noticeable and a hint of earthy hops

T: after the nose, i wasn't too surprised by the taste. watered down compared to many beers of this style. picked up on some earthy hops and definitely got the toasted malts. finish is very off-putting, yeasty and dry

M: very unique, it feels very light and fluffy (almost like its floating in my mouth). medium amount of carbonation.

O: very watered down compared to others of this style, relative to the ones ive tried of course. the mouth feel definitely stood out but overall a little disappointing. guess its a good thing this one changes yearly

 848 characters

Photo of brewskifan55
3.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter

Appearance: Clear, dark cherry color with a small head that quickly disappears. Decent lacing.

Smell: strong hop presence; piney.

Taste: earthy, hoppy. Dry, hop finish with cinnamon and nutmeg. Not what I was expecting. Where did the malts go?

Mouthfeel: medium; oily coating on the tongue

Overall: This is a hophead's Christmas dream. Only I'm not a hophead. And it really doesn't taste like a Christmas ale. I really miss the malt presense that's been in past batches. Let it warm, the taste gets smoother. But don't expect any snow this Christmas.

 577 characters

Photo of PorterLover83
3.16/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Really nice lacing. Pours a dark red almost brown color with a thin white head. Smell was a little more hoppy than I expected for a brown ale. Maybe some biscuit smell in there too. Not too hoppy in the taste. Actually almost non existent. Malty flatness. For the style its pretty on par. Not sure if its my style though. Mouthfeel is medium and feels just right. Pretty good overall simple sipping beer.

 404 characters

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a stubby 12-ounce bottle into a New England Patriots pint glass.

A: Poured a dark, caramel-amber color with a two-finger thick head of off-white carbonation that subsided quickly and left little more than a faint ring of soap suds.

S: Malty with a hint of spicy hops and nutmeg. Some powdery chestnut and fruity esters kick around as well.

T: Fairly straightforward two-row caramel malt up front with a hint of seltzery, metallic bitterness, stewed fruits and a little veggie flavor as well. The hops come in around mid-palate with some light, spicy and citrus flavors before washing down pretty clean and balanced with little residual bitterness or sweetness.

M: Clean, balanced, trending more medium bodied, but lacking the richness to be very satisfying.

O: A mediocre 5.5% ABV American brown/amber ale but a change of pace from the slew of other winter brews. Not bad for Abita, but not great for a craft beer. I'll reach for an English style or something with more hop bite to chase my winter blues.

 1,021 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.28/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, high carbonation, red-brown in color, clear

Smell: toasted malt and cinnamon

Taste: wood, toasted malt, and citrus hops at the end

Mouthfeel: bitter with slight sweetness, moderate carbonation, medium bodied

Overall: This one is ok to just above ok. I have liked other Abita Christmas Ales better. This is kinda like a hoppy American brown. I could have a six of this, but it is not overly memorable.

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Christmas Ale 2011 from Abita Brewing Co.
75 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.
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