Christmas Ale
Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Christmas AleChristmas Ale
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Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Old Ale
Ranked #125
ABV:
7.7%
Score:
84
Ranked #39,012
Avg:
3.71 | pDev: 12.94%
Reviews:
237
Ratings:
665
From:
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
 
Texas, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  27
Gots
  156
SCORE
84
Good
Christmas AleChristmas Ale
Notes: A rich, copper colored, hearty ale perfect for the holiday season with a malty sweetness and spicy hop character. The generous use of five different malts is responsible for the full flavor and high alcohol level of this beer.
Reviews: 237 | Ratings: 665 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of CodyBasden
CodyBasden from Texas

3.24/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L: dark copper look small fizzy head no lacing or retention cap disappeared quite quick very little carbonation river but nice dark copper look almost like a bock
S: not a strong scent but a little scent of malt and tiny hint of sweetness like chocolate or caramel
T: very stout with a medium bitterness, very malty and bready that lingers with a malty after taste
F: light to medium body with medium carbonation leaves the mouth dry and sticky
O: its a good darker ale with a heavier bitterness and kick but the lingering taste and stickiness makes it a good sipping beer than a wanting beer

Dec 06, 2020
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Hooded from Texas

3.59/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 3/27/2020.
Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Rastal nucleated Teku glass.
The body is copper with a light brown cap. 3.00
The aroma is medium-low in strength and of cherries and a variety of fruit. 4.00
The taste is medium-high in strength and of cherries, fruit, hints of chocolate, and a little alcohol followed by a light bitter finish. 3.5
The feel is a little above medium in thickness, somewhat creamy, and has a low level of astringency. 3.5
Overall, it's pretty good. I would like it more if the flavor was a little more complex. 3.5

Mar 29, 2020
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detgfrsh from Texas

3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a can produced 11/18/19. Copper color with a finger of light brown head. Smells of caramel malt and raisins. Light body. Caramel malt and raisin flavors with some sticky piney hops. Nice all around, a good example of a less-common style.

Jan 20, 2020
Photo of Darkmagus82
Darkmagus82 from Texas

3.76/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass
Appearance – The beer pours a deep amber color with a one finger head of white foam. The head fades rather fast leaving one with a light level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma of the brew is heavy of a caramel and bready aroma that is mixed with some nice light spice aromas. Along with these aromas comes some nice smells of a light toasted malt as well a bit of hay and light fruit.
Taste – The taste begins with a sweeter doughy and caramel flavor that has notes of some light yeast and spice. Along with these flavors comes some tastes of honey and a little bit of hay. Toward the end of the taste profile a bit of alcohol flavor comes to the tongue and leave one with a nice warming and sweeter taste to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is on the slightly thicker and chewier side with a carbonation level that is average. For the mix of flavors and the abv. the feel is rather nice and creates a nice easy sipping brew.
Overall – A rather nice malty and sweet winter ale without a big spice profile. A nice easy sipper.

Dec 20, 2019
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gingersnap420

5/5  rDev +34.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of the best beers that the store by my house carries during the holidays. The ABV really screams "Christmas" to me, which makes it stand out compared to Shiner or other holiday beers. The flavor is crisp, warm, and hoppy, and the finish is so smooth. It's definitely a sipper, but I can drink these all night. This beer is dangerous.

Dec 03, 2019
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BroBobby70 from Texas

3.24/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Local store had 12 oz. can on sake for 99 cents. Not familiar with style but it is sippable, smells good and nice color.
No lacing, small head. Not a goid choice for cooling off with a beer, but would be nice with spicy food.

Nov 12, 2019
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gvickery from Texas

4.77/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: medium reddish copper, mostly clear. The red is subtle but very noticeable to your peripheral vision. Kind of an optical illusion I guess. Looks outstanding.
Smell is canned fruit syrup, (but not in a bad way) sweetness.
Taste is surprisingly light, for the style. Some light caramel, coffee, brown sugar. (But not overly sweet). A pronounced hop bitterness backs it up WONDERFULLY. The abv is nearly undetectable so be careful. A sixer of these will hammer you. There is some abv warmth waaaay on the backend. Overall, sweet to semi dry. Full mouthfeel. This is something to enjoy slowly, not a slammer. Very well made.

Oct 24, 2019
Photo of MaltyMagic
MaltyMagic from California

4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Toffee/caramel, buttery dough, sugar cookie, nuts, spices, douglas fir. Big, layered malt profile with a nice dash of evergreen hop to balance. Excellent Christmas ale, tastes like the holidays.

May 07, 2019
Photo of JacobusFavier23
JacobusFavier23 from Texas

3.81/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L- Pours a nice rocky headed one fingered ale with a nice amberish mahogany body. Light, frisky carbonation as well.
S- Nice sweet malt is there. Very grainy. Sugary with a hint of molasses, ginger and cinnamon. Not too bad in the nose
T- Malty sweet, nice evolving bitterness from the hop, some spice is there. Definitely get some cinnamon and ginger. Very well rounded flavor.
F- Thick and whole bodied. Crisp.
O- A good, not great English Old Ale/Christmas Ale. This beer is certainly rich, sweet and full bodied. A true sipper that I really enjoyed. It gets me in the mood for Christmas, and that's enough for me to get it again.

Dec 14, 2018
Photo of KevinReddirt
KevinReddirt from Texas

3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A recent purchase at the local grocer, I mostly like Christmas offerings. Poured into a shaker glass it delivers a brown-amber body and a light tan top. It smells of grain and malt. A taste gives a hit of maltiness, a bit of spiciness and a caramel sweetness. Not bad, not great, glad to try it.

Dec 02, 2018
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H-TownMcBuck from Texas

3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Rich, clear, dark brown with hint of amber. Head was brownish with just a bit of lacing. Smell was light, little sweetnes like molasses. Taste was malty, smooth, with a bit of caramel finish along with all spice. This is a nice Christmas style ale.

Nov 23, 2018
Photo of depechemode1983
depechemode1983 from Texas

3.52/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours out copper in color. Head is tan with minimal head. No lacing

Smell like Christmas spice and bread. Molasses and caramel come through with a nice grainy character.

Nutmeg and cinnamon upfront. Less sweet than the nose would lead you to believe. The caramel dominates the middle and the finish is semi sweet with a light lingering bitterness.

The Mouthfeel is medium bodied with somewhat high carbonation.

Jul 27, 2018
Photo of Ozzylizard
Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

3.4/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

$ 2.12 (Including tax)/12 oz bottle ($ 0.177/oz) at HEB # 26, Schertz, TX.
Undated bottle from shelf in store, stored in 41 degree reefer at house, served at 41 degrees in a hand washed and dried shaker. After finding this is supposed to be an “Old Ale”, the remainder was allowed to warm to 55 degrees and then evaluated.
Aroma – Very faint spice which quickly disappears. As it warms, malt comes through.
Head – Large (Maximum 7.5 cm, aggressive pour), tan, dense and creamy, average retention, diminishing to a three mm ring and complete layer.
Lacing – None.
Body – Red-orange, clear, slight effervescence.
Flavor (Cold) – Very muted and non-offensive. Allowing it to warm in the mouth produces some malt flavor and a bit of unpleasant sourness. The spice flavors are mulled enough to make individual spices indistinguishable. No hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl. Actually, a bit of diacetyl would have helped.
Flavor (55 degrees) – As cold, except the malt is more evident. Very faint estery spiciness, but this may be wishful thinking.
Palate – medium, watery, lively carbonation.
Impression: Label the bottle as to style! I thought this was to be a Winter Warmer and first rated it as such, lower than as an Old ale. This may even be last year’s, since St. Arnold doesn’t bother to date their bottles.
Appearance 3.25, Aroma 3.25, Flavor 3.5, Palate 3.25, Overall 3.5.

Nov 03, 2017
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HotDogBikeRide from Texas

4.5/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper colored medium bodied, medium carbonation ale. Smells of grains and a little bit of caramel malt. Faint but sweet. Taste is lighter than the color suggests, and a tiny bit of hoppiness to balance out the malt. I usually don't like dominatively malty beers but this one is a holiday Texas favorite.

I can't wait for St. Arnold's to send by "White Noise " to Beaumont, that is going to top all Texas beers this holiday season. Gonna have to travel up to Houston and grab that pint glass.

Anyway, head remains light and the taste has hints of floral chocolate if that makes any sense, maybe just a little dark licorice (and I mean a little), very quaffable. Kinda watered but in a way that allows you to down 3 of these in like 25 mins. Haha. Tad bit nutty in retrospect but like many other qualities to this beer it is very subdued. Warm, cheery beerski. Thanks St. Arnold.

By the way, the 2016 version has 7.5% alcohol, not 7%.

Edited my review: this at the brewery is really tasty. Cleaner, more refreshing, more consistent color and better carbonation. Better mix of hops and malt which makes for an interesting and pleasing burp. Haha.

Dec 16, 2016
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princessbay710 from Texas

4.58/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour is dark copper-brown. The taste is warm, spicy, and sweet, like Roasted/Candied nuts. I read on St. Arnold's website that this sweetness is because it's made with 5 different types of barley with no other grains. I've had this beer many times now, gonna miss it off-season.

Dec 16, 2016
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JohnDee from Texas

3.49/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep, transparent reddish amber with a thin off-white head. Robust and malty but a little hoppier than I might like with a rather bitter finish. Medium bodied, moderately carbonated.

Nov 16, 2016
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Myotus from Texas

3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Poured hard at 43°F from a 12oz bottle (bottled on 02Oct15) into a pint glass. Beer was allowed to warm up to 45°F beer consuming. Consumed on 25Dec15.
LOOK: Pours with a fingers worth of khaki foam that dissipates into a line after 1 minute and 5 seconds. Amber in color. There is a subtle quanity of small and medium-sized rising bubbles. Lacing is thin and subtle.
SMELL: Mild aromas of toffee, tree nuts, black tea, caramel, sweet bread, and floral hops are backed my subtle spicy hop aromas.
TASTE: The initial taste is an onslaught of every flavor that was detected as an aroma but as mild flavors. What makes this beer interesting is how the flavors fade. Toffee and caramel are the first to fade away leaving behind a well-balanced taste. Sweet bread and tree nut flavors fade next resulting in a somewhat bitter, yet still balanced taste of black tea, floral hops, and spicy hops. Finally, black tea and floral hop flavor fade as spicy hop flavors grow weaker leaving a nice spice of an aftertaste.
FEEL: Medium-bodied and moderately carbonated. Goes down both somewhat smooth and creamy. Finishes with a subtle dryness.
NOTE: The aroma did not prepare me for the complexity of the taste that was to follow. I'm not too familiar with this style so I couldn't really provide any constructive criticism to make this better. But it was pretty good on its own, so why fix what ain't broke?

Dec 25, 2015
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AlfaMale from Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Drew from tap with minimal head and minimal lacing. Dark Amber and clear in color. No essential smell noted. This beer is sweet, with floral notes and a hint of clove. Very Christmassy. Unremarkable feel. Overall, I'm non-plused, but then I tend to like IPAs and sharp lagers.

Dec 18, 2015
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HipCzech from Texas

3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Serving: 12 oz bottle (10/28/15) poured into a 9 oz Libbey Embassy snifter.

Appearance: Clear, bright copper amber. A short lived cap of near white head recedes to a persistent ring with spotty lace.

Smell: Rich, malty aroma: cereal, caramel. Light fruity yeast, earthy hops and slight alcohol.

Taste: Warmly malty; caramel, vanilla, light fruit and spice. Earthy and herbal hops emerge towards a slightly drier finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium to fuller body, very light carbonation.

Overall: A nice winter warmer - richer, mellower than SA's Amber.

Dec 11, 2015
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SunglassesJoe from Texas

4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love this brew. Has the same taste and smell profile as Shiner Cheer. It's a bit darker/heavier but not by much.
Sweet aftertaste but not overwhelming by any stretch. I will be drinking a lot of the Christmas Ale this December. Feliz Navidad!

Dec 03, 2015
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ritwingr from Texas

2.52/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

One of the more nondescript "craft" beers I've had in some time. Pours root beer brown with virtually no head.

Smell is not much...but what there is smells distinctly like sour milk. Not milk that's weeks past its expiration date, but milk that is clearly on the way to going bad in a day or so.

That same sourness us there in the taste. It isn't vile. It isn't even overly offensive. But that's all I get from it beyond a little more carbonation than I expected.

What in Hell is Christmas about this thing is beyond me. Half a notch up from a Bud....but that's about it.

Nov 23, 2015
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puck1225 from Texas

4.02/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pour a clear copper color into a pint. Thick off white head, decent lacing. Nice smell And taste. Sweet cinnamon and nice malt forward taste. Raisins. Not a bad Christmas ale!

Nov 09, 2015
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OSRAY

4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Little to no carbonation. Cloudy copper in color. Delicious flavor, sweet fruit and hints of caramel on the finish. It's a long finish too. Malty and rich, almost bread like. No strong alcohol from smell or taste.

Jun 29, 2015
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OrestesMethuon from Montana

3.49/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a good beer. To wit: in the post-Christmas swoon, when some stores rush to unload their holiday-premised ales, I was able to score several six packs of this beer for $4.99, over the course of a few weeks, and then eventually for $3.99; considering it's a cold-temperatures beer that's pleasant and sessionable, despite its slightly boosted abv, that's a damn good deal. Moreover, I really like that this doesn't follow the usual trajectory of holiday brews: it isn't spiced, nor is it too heavy, like some blown-out barleywines or winter-warmers. It shows a lot of restraint, in fact—it just hits a few simple but effective targets: it's a surprisingly fat-bubbled, burnished-brown, damn smooth, malty-mouthed session-sipper—and I think, like the several Saint Arnold's offerings I've tried, it executes without concerning itself with flash or formulated innovation.

It's a good beer; it's also not a great beer. In a very real way, it's hemmed in by some of its strengths. It's effervescent and largely light, but—while that's makes it very drinkable—it doesn't finish especially cleanly, and likewise there are almost no discernible hop notes, necessitating either more sips or salty-snack intervention to break the malt-sugar monotony. It's pretty wonderfully brown-colored, but the brownness of flavor is not especially rich, and indeed—while quite smooth—there's just not a lot there beyond this flatness of sweet brown-malt flavor. Finally, while I called it a "session-sipper," it isn't quite an effective hybrid, nor does it sit comfortable in either category; depending on mood, it's an imperfect resident in one, with elements of the other.

But, as I stated at the outset, it's a good beer—and a welcome break from much of the holiday fare one sometimes encounters. However, at the same time, had it been sold consistently at $8+ per six-pack, I probably would not have swooped in for seconds, much less more.

Feb 06, 2015
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TX-Badger from Texas

3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear darker copper color with off-white head. Some spice, cereal and bread, and citrus on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with more malt character.

Dec 02, 2014
Christmas Ale from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 665 ratings