Holiday Ale | Two Roads Brewing Company

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Holiday AleHoliday Ale
172 Ratings
Holiday AleHoliday Ale

Brewed by:
Two Roads Brewing Company
Connecticut, United States

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Two Roads Holiday Ale is inspired by the little known Biere de Noel style, on subset of Biere de Garde, both of which originated on small farmhouse breweries in the north of France. Biere de Noel, which translates as “Christmas Beer”, tends to exhibit a more malty profile than a typical Biere de Garde.

In its native France this special type of ale is brewed by just a handful of small breweries and is only available for the few weeks leading up to Christmas.

Added by tigg924 on 01-03-2013

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 172 |  Reviews: 33
Photo of The_Beer_Guru
3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of 1971bernat
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of MrFuster
4.21/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of drtth
3.94/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With a fairly vigorous pour, the reddish brown or mahogany colored beer pours into a Duvel glass with a 1 1/2" light tan head that slowly but visibly recedes leaving some thick foam and a bit of lacing on the sides of the glass. Sipping creates a sheet of foam that turns into patches and long legs of lacing. By the middle of the beer there are still some irregular patches of foam on the surface, a sheet of foam in some areas, and sipping is still yielding small patches of lacing, most of which cling to the side of the glass.

The aromas, include the rich malt base which creates a touch of chocolate and some dark bread. There's also a hint of earthy, slightly spicy hops and some dark fruit (e.g., plums, figs, etc.) mingled in here.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose with the malt and it's light chocolate and dark bread sweetness up front. The rich malt flavors are backed up nicely by the dark fruits and a bit of earthy, spicy hops, resulting in a fairly complex flavor profile that changes in the mouth.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and quite smooth with some gentle, persistent carbonation. The finish begins as the malt flavors begin to fade allowing some sweetness to mingle with the dark fruits as they come forward a bit and before they also fade away to leave some light, earthy bitterness and some spiciness from the hops to close out the show.

Overall I think this is a pretty nice beer for the Holiday time of year that is worth having again. It has a complexity that I am enjoying but it is also definitely not as dry as the Biere du Garde it is said to derive from. That all said, for me it is definitely a beer that should be a special holiday release only since I'd probably pass on it during the rest of the year, if only because of the malty sweetness that calls out for sipping slowly to let the complexity of the flavor profile unfold.

 1,888 characters

Photo of ChrisG523
3.27/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Leefrommars
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of PaulSlazinger
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of agreenman19
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.89/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Two Roads Brewing Company "Holiday Ale"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, "PKG 23OCT17 07:12"
$2.99 @ Roger Wilco, Pennsauken, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: It pours a slightly hazy brown body with ruby-orange highlights beneath a finger thick head of frothy off-white. The aroma is lightly toasty and a little fruity. I'm not finding any spicing, which is good, at least concerning "holiday" spicing. The flavor reaffirms the toastiness that the nose suggests, and the light fruitiness as well, and lo and behold, there IS some spiciness, but it's apparently from Belgian yeast rather than anything added to the kettle. It's nice, giving just a little extra character. Back to the malt, it's sweetish but not sweet, and I'm finding a hint of chocolate and nuttiness to it as well as its initial toastiness. The fruitiness reminds me of plums and apples - perfect for the holiday season! It's medium bodied and gently crisp-then-smooth across the palate. Finally, a median bitterness balances it and it finishes fairly short and dry with just a little bit of everything lingering shortly. Overall it's a great beer. It's not as special as I'd have thought it would be being labeled as a "Holiday Ale" but I'd still welcome it. It's kind of like the Belgian equivalent of an English "winter warmer". Very nicely balanced and rounded. Well worth trying.

 1,358 characters

Photo of KLHBB
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The flavors of a fall winter beer with high carbonation. Pours a medium brown, the color of tea. Lacing remains as I drink it down. Smells and tastes of malt, nuts, toffee, coffee. Light and highly carbonated.

 217 characters

Photo of andylipp
4.49/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of GWalk612
2.98/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours a translucent light caramel color with very little head. A lot of carbonation. Smell of spices, malts, and fruit. Nose is pretty underwhelming. Malty, semi-fruity flavor with some fruit such as plum. Sort of a flat mouth feel, flavor is more or less gone within moments of sipping. Surprisingly high ABV at 7.3% which may be the biggest achievement of this ale, making a relatively high ABV ale very smooth with no obvious alcohol taste. It's not bad, but the nose/mouth characteristics do nothing to make it better than average.

 535 characters

Photo of AnitaBrewski
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of miran1204
4.47/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Spaceman_Jer
3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jeffmck09
3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bluehende
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Stignacious
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Bierliebhaber3
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of VABA
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A dark clear auburn amber with a slight head and slight lacing. Aroma had slight hints of malt and spicy. A nice spicy taste. A light bodied smooth drinking beer. A good and enjoyable beer.

 189 characters

Photo of h4ger
3.64/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BergBeer
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was poured into a tulip. The appearance was a dark hazy red to auburn color with a slim one finger white to slim laced foamy head. The smell has a nice sweet malty to bitter rye profile up front with a fairly decent underscore of spicy rye to sweet rye, nice for the most part. The taste was moderately sweet with a nice balance to the spice of the rye to slide right on into the aftertaste and into the finish nicely. On the palate, a nice gentle smooth rye sweet clean feel slides over my tongue very nicely. Overall, well, if anything, I liked it for me.

 562 characters

Photo of dacrza1
3.29/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

DATE: March 5, 2017... OCCASION: finishing the first Sunday of Lent with a cold weather brew for a cold night... GLASSWARE: Corsendonk tulip pokal... pours a dark mahogany, slightly translucent body--bubbles are small and active... head is a thick, foamy, and craggy off-white iceberg... aroma begins with berry--cranberry, cherry, deep bread malts and some yeast funk... an ambivalent scent, in all... vibrant at the teeth, flushes quickly and memorable at the throat, packing some heat with its exit... creamy to start, a bit medicinal at the finish... cherry, plum, sweet sugary esters, heady bread malts--a big dessert finish--with some residual medicinal syrup too... pungent cheese, perhaps? streaking film covers the glass as the beer drains... I find the finish cloying, the mouthfeel temporary, and the flavor combative--but this still approximates a winter warmer, and a useful one at 7.3% ABV... approaches a sherry in its flavor, but its imperfections leave it short of other holiday ales....

 1,005 characters

Photo of Klister
4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Holiday Ale from Two Roads Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 172 ratings