Saint Arnold Christmas Ale | Saint Arnold Brewing Company

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Saint Arnold Christmas AleSaint Arnold Christmas Ale

Brewed by:
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.70%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by kbub6f on 11-12-2001

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Reviews: 224 | Ratings: 601
Photo of Ford
4.47/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Boondoggle's in Clear Lake, Texas

Wow.. great from the first smell to taste.

To me it's a great ale that finishes with a touch of hot apple cider in the background. Love this stuff and I'm going to stock up on it a bit.

I didn't try this last year, but I did have the Sailing Santa, which was this mixed with Elissa IPA. I didn't love that near as much, which makes sense as I'm not a huge IPA fan.

This is very good stuff... really spreads the Christmas cheer to your mouth.

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Photo of DCon
3.31/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Received a 12 FL OZ. bottle of this brew from cfh64 in a trade. Poured from the Green Labeled bottle w/ St. Arnold Enjoying a beer from a Glass Stein & praising Jesus for it into my 16oz Grand Teton Au Naturale Pint Glass. Has no freshness date on the bottle.

Aroma- Sweetness, especially apple juice, begin this one. Light spices and hops then come in at the end. Almost too artificially for me...

Appearance- Pours a .5 finger, bubbly head that dies fairly quickly. Has a deep-reddish/copper colored body with poor clarity. Leaves tons of suds behind.

Flavor- Has a ton of caramel and sweet malts but doesn't ever hit the hop category. Tons of light spices too. Light bitterness. Sweet and wet finish.

Mouthfeel- Light-Medium Bodied, Medium Carbonation, Smooth, and has a sweet, caramel finish.

Overall Impression- Not sure whats going on with this one... A nice brew but a Winter Warmer... Couldn't even believe this one was 7% when I looked at it again. I wouldn't dis this one, just won't be going back to it and has some work to do.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.06/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Dogfish Head signature glass. Stamped 282-283/6 113011. I'm going to hazard a guess that means it was bottled on 30 November 2011?

A: Half a finger of head. Good bubbles. Amber brown, but transparent in the light.

S: Spiced fruit; slightly metallic.

T/M: I fear this may have set too long, or perhaps it wasn't very good to begin with. Either way, it's not quite what I think a winter warmer should be like. Strong and sweet, with flavours of molasses and dark fruit. Carbonated, but light in body, which conspires to downplay the sweet nature of the beer.

O: I suppose it's a little bit above average, stylistically, but in general, I wouldn't particularly recommend it. I suppose I'd drink another, but I'd have to be in the mood.

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Photo of shivtim
2.46/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to my friend from Houston for bringing me this beer.

Poured into a pint glass. Nice rich brown/copper color. Slightly translucent with orange hints. Thick khaki head.

Nose is yeasty and doughy, with malt. Very slight spice, maybe anise. Overall quite bready.

Taste is old malt, kind of a stale ricey quality. I don't pick up much in the "christmas" department. Slightly metallic even. Not good.

Dry and thin mouthfeel. Acidic tasting.

Can't say I like this beer...

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Photo of Theitos
2.67/5  rDev -28%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured in to a pint glass

A: Pours a deep amber color. There is no head and no lacing.

S: I smell a little spice and a hint of cherry.

T: It tasted like they made a beer and then thought oh if we put spice in it we can call it a christmas beer. I also tasted some cherry in it. I just felt like it wasn't blended as well as it could have been.

M: Smooth with a dry finish. The taste lingers

O: The beer is ok, but I would pass over this for other holiday ales.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter

Appearance: semi-opaque, amber/orange. No head, little lacing.

Smell: Hop-tacular! Piney, citrus-y with light cinnamon.

Taste: Light malts, cinnamon, nutmeg. Smooth finish with just enough of a hop presence not to overwhelm.

Mouthfeel: Light, creamy; good carbonation.

Overall: A low-key Christmas ale. Not bad, just doesn't have any Christmas spirit. Dandy with baked chicken.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
2.82/5  rDev -24%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a thin reddish orange. There is almost no head to this beer whatsoever. Absolutely no lacing as it drinks.

S: Smells of malt, spice (nutmeg), and a bit of booze. I'm also picking up just the slightest hint of cherry.

T: Not good. It taste like a lager that has had some spices dumped into it.

M: Light bodied beer. Finishes a bit hot.

O: Not a fan of this beer at all. It's like a spicy lager. No thanks. I've had other beers from Saint Arnold that have been outstanding, but this beer falls short for me.

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Photo of oline73
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear reddish amber with a small amount of off white head. The head fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Sweetness hits the nose first, lots of malt and caramel notes. There is a fruity cherry note in there as well.

Taste: Quite similar to the smell. Sweet but it's not as dominant as the smell. The cherry and caramel notes are there as well. The finish is slightly bitter with very mild alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and an extremely dry finish.

Overall: The finish on this beer was overly dry. Still a very good beer and I would have another.

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Photo of Vashtar
3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

The appearance was almost clear and almost fully saturated. It lacked a bit in both departments.

The smell was nice. What else is to be said?

The mouthfeel was a bit light. It could have been more thick.

The taste was neat! I need to try this one again, as I didn't take many notes.

Overall, I'd get this one with Breckenridge's Christmas beer.

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Photo of GregSVT
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a clear amber with a big off-white head that fades to a layering and leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is full of beautiful aromas of candied red apples, sweet malt, and cinnamon.

T: The taste shows nice flavors of candied sugar, red apples, sweet malt, and some christmas spices.

M: The feel is creamy and medium bodied...very nice for the style.

O: I have passed this one up on the shelf all the time but never purchased till now and I will say I'm kind of impressed. This is what I imagine a true christmas ale to be. Add some belgian yeast to this one as a variant and I bet it would taste like a nice quad.

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Photo of TXGenX
3.06/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a St. Arnold tumbler

A -- Foamy tan head about 2 fingers high. Fine lacing. Medium brown with copper notes.

S -- Not much aroma at all.

T -- Roasted malt predominates. Some chicory. A little bit of grapefruit on the finish.

M -- Smooth. Not much bite.

I'm not entirely sure what the difference is between this and the brown ale. Although, to be honest, I haven't had the brown in a while. This is a nice warming ale but really not that special to me.

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Photo of imasloth
3.79/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Lighter color than normal for a winter warmer- a light amber, I guess. Good initial head when poured into snifter, quickly dissipating

S- Sweet malty scent with light grain and alcohol.

T- Good, surprisingly complex flavor given the aroma. I get some spicy hops and malt, followed by a sweet spice ... like cinnamon, but sweet.

M- Light-bodied beer, but very nice mouthfeel. The 7% alcohol leaves the mouth a little dry.

O- I really dig this beer. When it was poured and I smelled it I had some doubts, but the flavor and mouthfeel are both strong. Best winter warmer I've had this season so far ... though my home brew isn't done yet... :)

I recommend you pick up some up now and decide if this is something you want through New Year's. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a standard for the next few weeks.

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Photo of SWMeyer4141
3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Tumbler...

Appearance-Dark copper body. Slightly hazy with slow moving carbonation bubbles floating to the top. Head is a beige 2 finger head that dissipates pretty quickly.

Appearance-Smells similar to the Octoberfest with a little less spice. Lots of malt and yeast.

Taste-Very sweet malts at first, a good amount of booze kicks in, a little much for 7%. Along with the booze I pick up the spiciness. Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Clove and Black pepper.

Mouthfeel-Would like a little richer body to mask some of the alcohol. It's almost like the consistency of 3 parts water and 1 part vodka.

Overall-Honestly haven't had too many winter warmers, and I think their just a malty, spicey beer, that's similar to a Pumpkin beer minus the pumpkin. I like where this beer is going but needs a little more body to it.

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Photo of stercomm
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

A - medium copper with a 2 finger off-white head that quickly recedes to leave a slight layer on the beer.

S - Get malt, bread and some nutmeg with maybe a pinch of cinnamon.

T - Malty sweetness up front giving way to the above mentioned spices and finishing with a toasted bread dryness. A little light on the flavor intensity.

M - Medium bodied, medium carbonation with some slight creaminess to it.

O - For a 7% hides the alcohol well, the lightness of the flavors works a bit in its favor as is a Christmas brew you can drink a couple of and not feel overpowered.

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Photo of burnerfinger
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nov 2011:
poured from the 12 oz bottle into my new belgium goblet:

a: honey colored brew, eggshell white head that dissipates quickly , leaving ZERO lace and just a thin film of bubbles

s: malty, bready, with just a hint of spice to it
nice XMAS style - no hoppiness that I notice

t: I like this a lot, but the taste is a bit sparse. kinda like a spicy bread loaf

m: hefty, abv is very much there.


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Photo of gtermi
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: It pours a nice copper color with a few inches thick head.

S: Some spices, caramel and toffee.

T: I get a lot of spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg with some malt. The spices mask the higher alcohol.

M: The beer has a nice amount of carbonation, but it is easy to drink and very enjoyable.

O: This is not the greatest winter warmer I have ever had, but a very solid one for sure.

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Photo of sweethome
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I tried this with a couple other of the style. Ratings are based on where this fell in the grouping.

A light amber color with straight white head. Light carmel malt entry. Some spice mid-mouth. Light spicing in background - but its there.

Hides it alcohol level quite well. Tastes like a medium bodied amber ale with a hint of spice. Nice smooth mouthfeel.

Comparing it to the style, a little light in flavor and body. Then again, I guess you don't need the warming charchter of a winter warmer in Houston like you do in Chicago.

Not a bad beer - just doesn't fit style. I'll call it a strong amber ale.

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

this is from last years bottling ('10).

A: pours out a clear, ruby-orange color, with a tannish fluffy head that fell and left lacing.

S: starts out with some sweetness. i get spices like nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon. there is also bready aromas with some cherry and raisin in the back end. i get caramel and toffee as well.

T: a lot like the aroma. i get caramel, toffee, bread pudding, cinnamon, nutmeg. starts out with a bit of sweetness, and finishes with a touch of bitterness. hints of cherry and raisin as well.

M: creamy with a medium body, and low carb.

O: a very nice winter seasonal from Saint Arnold. Would definitely drink this all winter if I still lived in Houston.

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Photo of mjurney
3.57/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Copper color, clear. Good amount of carbonation. Small foamy head that disappears.

Fruit cake aroma. Spices, cinnamon and nutmeg with a touch of ginger.

Spices up front along with bready malts. I'm getting fairly good amount of spices, cinnamon and nutmeg mostly. There some fruit character,
unripe cherries, it's a bit tart like. Bready malts, toffee, almost clean like. I could detect some hint of brown sugar towards the end of my palate.Body is light, highly carbonated.

Crisp, slight boozy aftertaste.

Pretty good, but the body is too light.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

This pours a nice copper color with a good off white head. The smells are very malt heavy, break caramel and toffee. The feel is medium. The taste is very malty with just a little hop bite, the taste is mostly of caramel and toffee malts, very good stuff.

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Photo of obrike
3.72/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Holy Smokes! Christmas in September...and I like it!

Bought a sixer at Specs in Round Rock for just under 7 bucks.

This one pours a dark copper, light sudsy head with clinging lace.

Nice scent...sweet bread, caramel, toffee...some spices (cinnamon maybe, nutmeg?)...just a little muted.

MMM...tasty. Follows scent...very clean, dark sweet fruits first, then the spices kick in on the backend. This is a very malt forward beer, as a winter warmer should be, but it's uber-smooth. Mouthfeel is so good. I had no idea this was a 7% abv beer until I saw it here...what a treat...and what a bargain. I believe I may have found my go to cool weather beer until the Sierra Nevada Celebration comes in later this year.

Very good job with this one Saint Arnold!

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Photo of jamescain
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a SA perfect pint.

Appearance: Orange-copper with small bubbles streaming to the top with an off white head about a centimeter thick that fades into a lacing on the top of the beer.

Aroma: The traditional Christmas spices, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and a hint of toffee.

Taste: The spices in the nose are some what lost in the taste. The taste is dominated by the malts, which provide a toffee flavor.

Mouthfeel: Light body with high carbonation. I would have preferred a little more body and a little less carbonation.

Overall: Not a bad winter warmer but not a great one either. The spices are subdued and not in your face but there is not enough complexity provided by the beer to make it anymore then a spiced beer.

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Photo of Treebs
3.16/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Got this as an extra in a trade, thanks Brad! Poured from a bottle into a Great Divide Cervoise goblet.

A: Pours a nice deep amber with light orange hues around the edges. A one finger white head pops up and then goes down just as quick.

S: I'm picking up some faint caramel malts and some light grassy pine, but nothing really else and the smell is faded (it's probably 8-10 months old at this point so I'll take that into consideration). There is a very slight booze note on the backend.

T: Some piney and grassy hops are very present with a slight spice undertone. The bready malts create the backbone for the rest of the brew, but like the nose has faded with Father Time.

M: It's very smooth and crisp, light to medium bodied. Very drinkable at this point.

O: Very faded in its time. This beer really doesn't hold up well. in terms of flavor profiles, but it is far from undrinkable. I would love to try this beer fresh to see if there are any spices or anything else that may have faded.

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Photo of txbrew81
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep caramel amber color. Decent head, dissapates rather quickly.

S: Bready malts with some spice.

T: Follows the nose. Malty with some spice. Some hops with caramel aftertaste. Maybye some raisin.

M: Nice refreshing mouthfeel, not as heavy as I expected.

O: Great seasonal offering, must try.

note: Had some on tap that was aged for a year and I enjoyed it even more.

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Photo of dcloeren
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a six of this for their "Christmas in July" promotion

Poured a translucent copper with a finger of bubbly tan head that quickly receded to a thin ring around the top. This is a beautiful beer when held up to the light

Smells of elf blood, sweat and tears from those poor bastards laboring for ol' saint arnold while making this beer. I kid, I kid!
Great roasted caramel malt backbone, freshly baked bread crust, subtle amount of spice and hops.

Taste follows the nose. Roasted caramel malt, nice amounts of spice and fresh baked bread.

Medium bodied and very well carbonated. Great caramel aftertaste and this beer goes down SMOOOTH son!

Overall this is a delicious offering from Saint Arnolds that I look forward to every Christmas. Excellent blend of caramel malt and spice. Definitely worth picking up a six

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Saint Arnold Christmas Ale from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
3.71 out of 5 based on 601 ratings.
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