Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Saint Arnold Christmas Ale | Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
84
good
222 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Saint Arnold Christmas AleSaint Arnold Christmas Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Texas, United States
saintarnold.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
222
Ratings:
593
Avg:
3.71
pDev:
21.83%
 
 
Wants:
24
Gots:
123
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 222 | Ratings: 593
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

Photo of sendsilk
3.76/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to DrummerMattie00 for this in my very first trade! If I had known the can o worms this was opening, I would never have shipped my end of the trade. Trading is friggin addicting!

A- Very nice. Dark amber with a lot of lacing.

S- Kind of weak. Not much there

T- Nice! Very sweet, I would call it a milk stout myself.

M- It's pretty light on mouthfeel. This and the smell are the major drawbacks. It' definitely a drinkable beer.

D- Just see the above sentence. Seriously drinkable. I can't read the little freakin lettering that's on the label but I don't think the ABV is very high, if it is, they did a GREAT job of hiding it.

Not bad,
Thanks Matt!

 663 characters

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

I poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass...

It's color was a clear dark amber orange, there was not much of a head.

The aromas are rich and sweet, toasted caramel malt and earthy hops.

I tasted buttered croissants, peppery hops, some nutty flavors, and more sweet malt.

The beer bites the back of the tongue, then it smooths out leaving the mouth a bit dry.

This brew has great flavor and is very well balanced.

 417 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.22/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Saint Arnold Christmas Ale has a thin, off-white head, with a golden tinge, and a clear, deep, amber appearance, with a good amount of carbonation streaming up the glass, and little lacing left behind. The aroma is of hops and some sort of sweetness (plum?) I was unable to place. Taste is heavily malty and sweet, with a not-too-strong hop bitterness across the sip. Mouth-feel is medium to heavy, and this ale finishes wet and rich. Overall, this is an interesting and good, but not great, Christmas ale. I think it is worth a try, though.

RJT

 546 characters

Photo of wierdo1212d
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is good!! Its delicious!
To me its the best beer by saint Arnold!
It has a wonderful color and a great smell!

The appearance is what i imagine a great christmas ale to look like.

The smell is a sweet sweet smell

the taste is spicy but super sweet but bitter at the end

the mouthfeel is light ... lighter than i would think for a 7%

i coudl drink this all night
Awesome Beer!

 391 characters

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

12oz bottle provided as a generous extra by Exiled, thanks Jason! Poured into a Victory tulip.

A - Pours a rusty brown color that struggled to build much head. It tried and tried, and it surged for a little, but ultimately I could only muster about half a finger's worth of head out of it. As to be expected, it wasn't around long. Pretty clear body with little streams of carbonation. Little to no lacing.

S - Smell is a bit muted but getting caramel and a ton of malts. Dry, biscuit like. Almost like smelling a fresh loaf of bread. Floral hops as well that let off a nice spiciness.

T - The taste isn't really indicative of a Winter Warmer at all and seems to be a misclassified old ale. The malts from the nose come even stronger here and you almost have to bite through the bread in this one! The hops are certainly spicy as well which carries into the moderate, somewhat bittersweet finish.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately heavy with low carbonation. Finish is pretty short and spicy and it's drier than I would've expected.

D - Drinkability is moderate. Flavors are a bit traditional and just kind of 'there' but it certainly hides its alcohol well. Could've helped with just a touch more carbonation.

 1,209 characters

Photo of theboozecruise
3.57/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Bulldog in BR.

It's a clear amber color, small head, nothing to look at here folks, move on.

The smell is spicy with a hint of pine.

The taste is more subdued, mild hops but they are there. Fruity flavors mostly. Pear and grape? This one confuses me more than any beer I've had in a while. I'm not getting any typical winter warmer spices.

It's a good beer, but a confusing beer.

 401 characters

Photo of slackerlack
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Deep amber/copper color

S - Spicy, fruity, cinnamon smells.

T - Tastes like it smells, spicy, fruity, cinnamon, and caramel.

D - Goes down nice and leaves you refreshed. You can taste the alcohol, but it mixes well with all of the other flavors.

 252 characters

Photo of StetsonWeizen88
4.32/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured the Saint Arnold Christmas out of the bottle into a snifter glass.

Appearance- appearance is nice for a Christmas ale, with a deep amber/orange. I like the appearance for the style.

Smell- I really like this aroma, as it truly reminds me of Christmas time, and isn't that what Christmas Ales are for? I get caramel malts, dark fruits, cinammon, and a hint of nutmeg in the finish. Good smell.

Taste- the taste is alot like the smell. I first get sharp caramel then it finishes with cinnamon and possibly nutmeg. It makes mr want to come back for more

Mouthfeel- this beer has a pretty thick mouthfeel but that's what I want with this style. Carbonation is moderate but I probably couldn't have over 2 of these in a session.

Overall- I honestly really like saint arnold's Christmas ale. I will definately be drinking this again. I love what Brock Wagner is doing at SA and I enjoy his beers.

 907 characters

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint.

A: Dark amber hue. Pours about a 1 finger bubbly off-white head. Quickly settles, and deteriorates pretty much completely.

S: Syrupy molasses malt, with cinnamon, nutmeg, and coriander.

T: Malt is a little sweet and pungent. Slight hop notes and a touch of spice.

M: A little syrupy sweet on the front, and peaty finish.

D: Easy drinker.

Atmosphere is decent. Nice appearance and a malt and sweet balanced nose. Flavor is a syrupy sweet malt base with a little spice. Overall, this is a solid quaff.

 554 characters

Photo of Another6Pack
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to davacano for this one - part of a trade of local xmas brews. Good idea Dave!

A: deep reddish-copper. Looks festive.

S: smells almost like a sour. Appealing.

T: I have limited experience with winter warmers, let alone reviewing them. However, I've had enough of them to know that this one is unlike most of the others I've tried. Tastes very much like what I would call a light scotch ale. A little sweet and a little malty - nicely balanced.

M: Very good. Carbonation just right and not at all syrupy in spite of the sweetness.

D: Easy, easy drinkin'.

 566 characters

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

From notes 12/22/10.

A- Dark orange/copper hue, 1 1/2 fingers of creamy beige head, with very little if any bubbling.

S- Malty, dark sweet bread, faint cinnamon and raisins.

T/M- Sweet, mildly spicy finish, little carbonation so very smooth. Great malty character, the alcohol is masked well, and it is not overly heavy, but it is still rich.

D- This is by far my favorite winter warmer. It is delicious, with enough complexity to keep your interest without overdoing it. If you are luck enough to come across this, stock up on a sixer or two.

 547 characters

Photo of Vengeance526
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber color with a thin tan head that dissipates very quickly and leaves no lacing.

Subtle aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg upfront with dark fruits in the back.

Taste starts off again with the spices, cinnamon and nutmeg being most prominent, followed closely by notes of caramel, toasted bread, and dark fruits. A very subtle hint of piney hops can be detected in the background.

Light to medium body with light carbonation. Overall this has a nice mix of spices and drinks well. A little plain, but worth a try.

 526 characters

Photo of portia99
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle received as a great extra in a recent trade with mattisloco. Poured into a Portsmouth tulip.

A - A smooth pour into the center of the glass yields a crystal clear deep amber colored body with a short finger of cream colored foam that gives way immediately and leaves behind a rocky, uneven collar and a meager attempt at lacing the glass.

S - Earthy hops with an underlying spiciness - maybe cinnamon. A musty yeastiness sits behind that. Really getting cinnamon now...and maybe some wintergreen. Also some fruity esters and a hint of alcohol.

T - Spices certainly appear in the flavor too. Still getting cinnamon heavily. Some caramel from the malt...also a bit of toasted and bready flavors.

M - Body is a bit thin and the carbonation is on the lower side which only increases the thin feel. Very spicy overall and I can feel it lingering into the aftertaste (not unpleasantly). Gives a bit of a warming feeling - very reminiscient of a hot ball with a nicely intense cinnamon.

D - A good seasonal, cold weather, occasional drinker. Fits the night well...a fresh snow on the ground and rather chilly. Working well sitting on the couch in front of the fireplace. I couldn't have this every day, but it is hitting the spot at the moment.

 1,254 characters

Photo of NefariousR
3.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. glass bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A - Pours a clear, deep orange with almost no head to speak of.

S - Smells fantastic - sweet malt, dark fruit (raisin, plum), spice (perhaps cinnamon?) pumpkin.

T - Malty sweetness with just a hint of spice, rounded out by a bready aftertaste. Somewhat disappointing following the aroma.

M - Thin-to-medium bodied, slightly sticky and moderately carbonated.

D - Fairly drinkable, but the flavor leaves a little to be desired. Nonetheless, it is enjoyable and worth a try.

 534 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.08/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by Azurelimits. Served in a tulip.

Pours a copper-bronze color with a very thin head that quickly fades into a thin white color. There are a few bubbles on top as well. The nose is quite plain with just a tad bit of pine and cinnamon along with some caramel backing. The taste is along the same lines--pine and a bit of faint spicing plus a bit of caramel sweetness. Medium body with average carbonation. Overall, nothing offensive as it doesn't take the spicing too far, though it's quite boring.

 512 characters

Photo of JonathanCrites
3.64/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this in a bottle at a Christmas Party.

A - In Bottle, no pour.
S - Smells like Christmas! Baked goods, pine and spice.
T - Malt and some subdued spice. Can't find the alcohol (which I like).
M - Medium mouthfeel, clean and crisp finish.
D - Very clean, a little high in ABV to be highly drinkable for me.

 309 characters

Photo of LacquerHead
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It poured a rusty amber with a decent head of white foam

There was not too much to the aroma. It had a fairly decent malt smell along with some spices.

The taste was much better than the aroma. There was a bitterness to it, but it was not overpowering or distracting. The malts made sure the bitterness didn't steal the show. There was a good balance going on. The spice aspect was a bit muddled. I couldn't really tell what spices were being represented - it just had a spice taste to it.

It had a good drinkability, and if I had not seen the ABV on this site I would never had guess it was 7%. These were very easy to drink.

Overall, it was an above average Christmas brew. Thus far I have tried Sam Adams Winter Lager and Shiner Holiday Cheer, and between all three, this one was my favorite. It had a good bitterness to it along with a nice malt profile.

 862 characters

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

Bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Dark amber with a tan head. The head dissipated quickly.

S: Bready with some brown sugar notes. Somewhat like holiday pies, but pretty plain.

T: Bready, sweet, caramel malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy Bodied.

D: This beer does not seem to be at 7%. the alcohol is very well hidden. Could drink a few.

 343 characters

Photo of Fenris244
2.69/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Freshness date on the bottle is 10/08/10

Poured into a pint glass

Pours a light amber with one finger head that dissipates very quickly leaving a weak ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass

Aroma is faint but there are traces of spices and a sweetness not much else unfortunately

Almost sweet with a taste of cooked grains and a little bit of hops to finish it out

Not much to it, it's almost watery but is at least smooth and crisp

It's a serviceable beer, I could drink 10 of these with how smooth it is, that's not to say that I would though. It's not a bad beer but it is pretty bland. 

I definitely would not have this at my Christmas dinner

 660 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Bobby for sharing this one.

A: The pour is a deep amber color with a tan head.

S: Quite bready and mildly spiced in the nose. A bit of brown sugar and caramel as well. Actually fairly reminiscent of "the holidays".

T: The flavors really follow the nose on this one, but there seem to be some signs of oxidation. A bit of cardboard along with the same bread, caramel, and light spice flavors.

M: Light to medium body with a low, rolling carbonation.

D: Not nearly as bad I was anticipating, to be honest. A nice little winter warmer in the beginning of Southern California summer.

 594 characters

Photo of Gyle41386
3.36/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Red-orange pour. A little over one finger of plush white foam retains very well and sticks nicely.

Sweet and spicy nose. Sweet caramel, bready, grainy. Maybe some cinnamon/clove.

Caramel sweetness, an almost lager-y grain flavor, with some lasting bitterness. Finish isn't great.

Medium-full body, with tingly carbonation. Very "active" beer. Slightly off-putting finish, but still a tasty beer. Not bad per style.

 458 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a rather modest cap that quickly fades to ringlet while leaving only a few shards here and there

Smell: Has a bit of a Dr. Pepper aroma, with an herbal character mixed with toffee and holiday spices

Tatse: Opens with an herbal toasted malt character that adds a bit of nuts and malty brown sugar depth before the piney bitterness arrives at mid-palate; after the swallow, the hops and malt notch up to another level, with some subtle nutmeg and cinnamon elements adding the holiday aspect

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very nice winter warmer, with some crusty bread, nuts and holiday spices pairing alongside some balancing hops

Thanks, ericandersnavy, for the oppportunity

 765 characters

Photo of tatoodkelt
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to gramatton for this one!

Consumed 2/20/10- from notes.

Brown 12oz bottle as pictured poured into a pint glass.

A- A dark chestnut brown topped off by a one finger, tight bubbled white head that settled to a patchy skim. Some curtain lacing, medium carbination.

S- Spicy hard candy.

T- The sweetness wavers between a hard candy flavor or a syrup flavor, cant seem to pick out any one spice but it all blends pretty nicely. A little biscuity note in there as well.

M- Medium bodied and smooth. A little sticky but the carbination isnt very noticable.

D- I could see having a couple of these in a sitting.

 618 characters

Photo of alleykatking
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. Big thanks goes out to ballewblake...Blake your SS 09' BIF package was amazing to say the least.

A- Pours a clear reddish amber color. One finger white head that comes and goes rather quickly. Streaking lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Sweeter smelling than what I was expected. Caramel malts brought together with brown sugar accents. Some sort of fruity scents in there too..almost like a strawberry scent. Spices bring up the back end of the aroma.

T- Caramel malts in the front of this comes into play right off the bat. Nice bready malts in this beer in the middle gives this a little bit of a malty overload. Some light spicing and hops in the middle to ending of this does a light balancing but still more malty in flavors.

M- Medium light mouthfeel. Carbonation was good for the style of the beer. Clean tastes throughout the beer. Light biscuty flavor with light spicing left on the tongue. Aftertaste has bready malts and light hops on it.

D- This was a very drinkable winter warmer. The ABV was not so high as to distract it from the beer. Even though the flavors were a bit muted at times this beer was still very enjoyable. Would recommend this to most people who don't want to drink hop or malt bombs but still want flavor in their beers.

 1,290 characters

Saint Arnold Christmas Ale from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
3.71 out of 5 based on 593 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe