Holiday Ale
Two Roads Brewing Company

Holiday AleHoliday Ale
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From:
Two Roads Brewing Company
 
Connecticut, United States
Style:
Bière de Garde
Ranked #51
ABV:
7.3%
Score:
84
Ranked #23,700
Avg:
3.73 | pDev: 9.92%
Reviews:
61
Ratings:
177
Status:
Active
Rated:
Jan 18, 2022
Added:
Jan 03, 2013
Wants:
  2
Gots:
  49
SCORE
84
Good
Holiday AleHoliday Ale
Notes: 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.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of Bigdikkus
Reviewed by Bigdikkus

3.59/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
For a beer too afraid to call itself a "Christmas beer" I shouldn't be too surprised that it was a bit lackluster. Easy to drink, inoffensive, but nothing special. Malt, mild caramel, that's basically it.
Jan 18, 2022
Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
Reviewed by BeerAndGasMasks from Virginia

3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
From the bottle, it pours a clear solid amber color with a modest half inch off-white head that soon reduces to a thin layer. The nose gets a slight bit of caramel. The mouth gets a good bit of roasted malts and a touch of caramel.
Jan 10, 2022
Photo of DanO1066
Reviewed by DanO1066 from Maryland

3.69/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Draught 8oz snifter at The Brass Tap here in Baltimore: Thank you "Happy Hour" for tempting me to try a style I'm NOT, particularly, fond of (although this is a sub-type)
Dec 28, 2021
 
Rated: 4.04 by xungmound98 from New York

Dec 24, 2021
 
Rated: 3.78 by Rainintheface from Florida

Dec 17, 2021
 
Rated: 3.75 by atlbravsrno1 from New Hampshire

Dec 14, 2021
Photo of JMG66
Rated by JMG66

3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Nice Christmas beer.
How do you translate "Biere de Noel" to "Holiday Ale"? Disgraceful!
Dec 02, 2021
Photo of garymuchow
Reviewed by garymuchow from Minnesota

3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Picked this up in Colorado. BBE apr 22
I like this. Nice malt forward with yeast spiciness and a soft lingering dryness. Darker amber with reddish tint (not chestnut to me as others have written). Very clear and off white head with good stamina. Complex malt flavors blend well, including soft fruit. Enough alcohol to appreciate it's presence on several levels. Spiciness seems from both hops and yeast and work well together. Smooth feel with nicely presented carbonation.
I really enjoy this. Nicely done.
Nov 28, 2021
 
Rated: 4 by LXMRTN from New Hampshire

Nov 23, 2021
 
Rated: 3.79 by lakewy17 from New Hampshire

Nov 21, 2021
 
Rated: 3.9 by kkazemi from North Carolina

Nov 20, 2021
Photo of dsa7783
Reviewed by dsa7783 from New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
Six pack copped from Bottle King in Livingston. Pours a nutmeg hue with moderate frothing. Mild aroma replete with nuances of clove and ginger. Easily downable.
Nov 11, 2021
Photo of MikeWard
Reviewed by MikeWard from Pennsylvania

3.81/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
12oz bottle into a tulip. Bottled 10/15/20, so 8 months old.

Looks very nice in the glass. Deep reddish amber body, clear when held up to the light. Small off white head shrinks to a ring, leaving a little lacing at first.

No aroma at all. Neutral, neither good nor bad.

On tasting, malty, fairly strong, a little sweet, boiled candy type. It's a pleasant balanced easy to drink beer.

Mouth medium, finish rich and malty.

Overall, nothing outstanding or "big" about it, just a pleasant malty beverage.
Jun 18, 2021
Photo of WoodBrew
Reviewed by WoodBrew from Ohio

3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
I got a can of this beer off the single shelf from my local Giant Eagle store. It poured a clear dark amber with off white head that is not leaving any lace. The scent had potpourri floral notes with some Belgian twang. The taste was nicely balanced with good Belgian malt base with Belgian sugar presence and floral highlights. The mouthfeel was lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall it is a good beer.
Jun 06, 2021
Photo of Bluecrow
Reviewed by Bluecrow from New York

3.81/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
-mahogany-ruby can pour, clear with little visible carbonation.
The aroma includes caramel and toasted malt. The flavor is similar and includes a little candi-sugar.
The mouthfeel is slick.
I like this style with the Noel turn. A bit more saison influence would be more toward my preference.
Dec 28, 2020
Photo of schoolboy
Reviewed by schoolboy from Ohio

4.07/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Why couldn't I have found any of this style when I was in France? Because I was only there for a week and too busy getting my ass kicked by ice covered slopes, that's why.

This one opens foamy and light brown. Translucent. Nice and lacey. The aroma is Biere, or beer, as my wife would say when I ask her how it smells. Malty and what my wife would call beer. The taste is malty and slightly hoppy. Not very sweet, and only slightly bitter. Lots of character and correct for Biere de garde.

Highly recommended. A very nice (VERY NICE) version of the style. Thanks to the brewers.
Dec 27, 2020
Photo of TheBigBoy
Rated by TheBigBoy from Pennsylvania

3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25
interesting style, accomplished a christmas ale tasting without that overworked spiced genre.
Dec 21, 2020
Photo of StoutElk_92
Rated by StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.55/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
old 10/19/16 bottle
Dec 20, 2020
 
Rated: 4 by bigred89 from Maryland

Dec 19, 2020
 
Rated: 3.97 by Houlio_99 from Connecticut

Dec 11, 2020
Photo of KenjiN
Reviewed by KenjiN from Massachusetts

4.07/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
I'm a big fan of Two Roads' Espressway and 2 Die 4 stouts, and I picked up a six-pack of this Holiday Ale without knowing its specific style. I was ecstatic to find that it is not another IPA or spiced ale but an example of a Biere de Garde -- an absurdly underrepresented style in US craft brewing.

The brew has a beautiful dark mahogany color and a thick, lasting, yellowish head. The aroma is muted, initially, with mild malty musty notes. It opens up as the beer warms with some interesting fruit aromas.

The Biere de Noel has an excellent, smooth, medium-bodied mouthfeel. On the palate, it is rich and sweet, with some roasty and chocolate notes. A fruity, plummy flavor emerges as it warms, along with an interesting yeast tang. I enjoyed it very much and will purchase some more right away.

Again, I wish more US craft brewers would tackle this style.
Dec 10, 2020
 
Rated: 4.19 by chiefz1 from New York

Nov 29, 2020
Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
Reviewed by MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

3.79/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
12oz can. Stamped canning date is '14OCT20'.
Clear, amber brown colored body. Thin off white head. Leaves behind some partial rings and spots of lacing.
Subtle aroma of bready malt and caramel.
Taste is much more expressive than the smell. Presents as a sweet beer, with dark bread malts and caramel/toffee. Has a subtle vinous note, and dark fruit. There is a suggestion to baking spices but this is not from an ingredient but rather from the combination of malts and hops. Certainly presents itself with a pepper note. Mostly malt in the aftertaste.
Medium mouth feel. Good carbonation.
Appropriate for the holiday season. Presents a different take on a winter warmer, without the addition of the spices.
Nov 21, 2020
Photo of ben741
Reviewed by ben741 from Canada (ON)

4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Very malty, it a lot of spice but then again if you read the description it doesn’t claim to be a winter warmer. Nice balance between malt, sweet, and alcohol, it also set tastes like a dunkel.
I like it,
Mar 04, 2020
 
Rated: 3.82 by tpauer from New Hampshire

Jan 18, 2020
 
Rated: 3.78 by cdub70085 from Connecticut

Jan 11, 2020
Photo of scootny
Reviewed by scootny from New York

3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
A lovely toasted malty holiday ale. A good head and decent lacing. Dark amber and clear. Notes of malt and Belgian ale yeast on the nose. A touch of spice. Taste is sweet and malty add a good holiday ale should be. Some toffee, dark bread and fruits. Light bitterness, herbal hops and a very clean finish. A lighter medium weight and smooth carbonation. Easy drinking work a surprisingly quenching quality for an ale of this weight and abv. A simple solid holiday brew that is always welcome in my home.
Jan 04, 2020
Photo of jkblr
Reviewed by jkblr from Indiana

3.91/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
12oz can stamped PKG 15OCT19 (3 months ago) poured into a becher glass at fridge temp 7.3% ABV. The beer pours bright copper amber in color with off white head. The head recedes to a thin ring and leaves a little lacing. The aroma is moderate toasted malt and some spice. The taste is layered toasted & caramel malt with mild earthy, spicy hops and a moderately bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium to thin bodied with average carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, very good. A simple, but well made rustic ale.
Jan 03, 2020
 
Rated: 3.65 by RBorsato from Virginia

Jan 01, 2020
 
Rated: 3.86 by Beerjawn8 from New Jersey

Dec 27, 2019
 
Rated: 3.75 by zotzot from Vermont

Dec 22, 2019
 
Rated: 3.66 by alexandergartley from New York

Dec 18, 2019
 
Rated: 3.71 by Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

Dec 17, 2019
 
Rated: 3.82 by newcastlemike from Connecticut

Dec 13, 2019
Photo of BB1313
Reviewed by BB1313 from Ohio

3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75
Canned on 10/15/19. 12oz can poured into a tulip. Pours an amber with nice clarity; small off-white head that fades leaving decent retention and lacing. Nice color. The aromas are pretty mild. Some toast and bready malts. Some caramel and toffee. The flavors basically follow the nose, but are a bit bolder. Lots of toast and grains. More caramel and toffee. Moderate to low bitterness with a subtle sweetness. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium-bodied with active carbonation. It's sharp, fluffy, smooth and easy to drink.

This is a solid brew. It's not flashy, but it's not supposed to be. It drinks like a traditional amber/red ale. The craftsmanship is on point. It's simply an enjoyable beer.. no more, no less.
Dec 12, 2019
 
Rated: 3.57 by dsshuck from Delaware

Dec 09, 2019
 
Rated: 3.8 by aprabhu from Kentucky

Nov 28, 2019
 
Rated: 3.65 by chrishiker1409 from New York

Nov 28, 2019
 
Rated: 3.74 by alexsergio from New York

Nov 22, 2019
Photo of Billolick
Reviewed by Billolick from New York

3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
12 oz can..."PKG15OCT19" stamped on the bottom

Pours near clear, darker amber with a dark ruby hue... Moderate darker khaki cap, and leaves some low sheeting and some strands of fine lacing.

Maple, caramel, honey infused malty notes on the nose.

More of the same on the palate, malty, winter spices, tasty and quite worthy....better then decent wintry kinda brew...would help wash down a holiday meal, holiday dessert in fine fashion.
Nov 19, 2019
Holiday Ale from Two Roads Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 238 ratings