Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Saint Arnold Christmas Ale | Saint Arnold Brewing Company

221 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Saint Arnold Christmas AleSaint Arnold Christmas Ale

Brewed by:
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Texas, United States | website

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 11-12-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 221 | Ratings: 586
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...

 476 characters

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.

 466 characters

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.

 406 characters

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.

 518 characters

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.

 663 characters

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.

 348 characters

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.

 668 characters

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.

 480 characters

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.

 815 characters

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.

 822 characters

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.

 600 characters

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.


 404 characters

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.

 387 characters

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.

 609 characters

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.

 689 characters

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.

 594 characters

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.

 301 characters

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!

 757 characters

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.

 753 characters

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.

 998 characters

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.

 377 characters

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

 826 characters

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

12oz bottle of the 06/2011 batch poured into a Saint Arnold Pub Crawl glass.

A: Poured a copper red, brown. Thin, Off white head that sticks around for a while. No lacing on the glass.

S: Sweet, caramelization, malts and a slight note of hops.

T: Malty sweetness, brown sugar, and a little bit of hops on the finish.

M: Light to medium body, medium carbonation.

O: A tasty beer from SA. Always one of my favorite local seasonals, though a bit light for the winter. I look more forward to the Winter Stout in January.

 521 characters

Photo of raffy313
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*2011 "Christmas In July" edition. An annual single batch of this winter ale made for summer release(although I don't recall it being released last year).

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear reddish/dark amber with a half finger, off white head that dissipates to nothing rather quickly and leave behind little to no lacing. Despite the lack of head, appearance is still quite lively with tons of effervescent bubbles rising fron the bottom of the glass.

Sweet malty aromas are the primary smell, the majority being dark fruit(raisons, plum). Also getting some sweet brown surgar and cinnamon notes. A floral hop character that gives off a somewhat spicey aroma. Abit of sourness/tartness. A very nice fragrant nose.

Flavors follow the aromas well with the dark fruits hitting the palate first, and the spices kicking in shortly after.

Medium body. Low to medium carbonation. Feel is bitter and abit dry, but very drinkable for a Winter Warmer.

Overall, a very interesting winter ale to be drinking while the weather is in the low/mid 100's here in TX... but it works for me! Although I'd probably consider this more of a cross between a Winter Warmer and an Amber Ale.

 1,195 characters

Photo of albertjr21
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Considering there isn't much of a "winter" in the region of South Texas, it's nice to see a fresh offering from a nearby brewery in the Winter Warmer category. Into a brandy glass, this pours a clear and glimmering amber red color. Aroma is a lush one of candied sweet roasted malt and fragrant bright fruit. A robust yet crisp and refreshing body sweeps over the palate into a dry and warming finish with notes of mild cinnamon and roasted sugar. I'm look forward to next year's batch already...

 496 characters

Saint Arnold Christmas Ale from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 221 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.