Hoppy Claus Holiday Ale | Hoppy Brewing Co.

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Hoppy Claus Holiday AleHoppy Claus Holiday Ale

Brewed by:
Hoppy Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by pjwilson on 12-04-2005

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Reviews: 34 | Ratings: 52
Photo of TastyTaste
2.21/5  rDev -35%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Medium brown body, wimpy off-white head, fades to very little.

Smell: Light sweet ginger and lemon.

Taste: Malty and sweet. An odd vegetable/tomato juice flavor flavor is not too pleasant, most likely from the spices that don't mesh well here. Misses the mark.

Drinkability: Goes wrong where so many go right, the spices are definitely not melding here.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
2.36/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Perhaps a strawberry cider with a touch of rootbeer added. Head is almost a cement color with decent height and composition around the glass.

S: Cinnamon, cloves, dirty hops and nutmeg. Way too overspiced on the nose.

T: Begins aggresively spiced at the tip of the tongue. Next comes a bizarre mixture of piney bittering hops that blanket the tongue but DO NOT go well with the spices at all. Some honey, orange peel and a pile of unblanced spices take over and overwhelm the palate. Finishes piney with apple sweetness and a dirty presence. Ugh.

M: Medium body with a slight hard consistency.

D: I'm not having another sip of this beer. Done. Over.

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Photo of Toddv29424
2.37/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer pours a light red-orange color with almost no head. The smell is alright, mostly sweet malts with a hint of something pungent and oily in the aftertaste. I dont like the taste at all, and I really dont know what they were going for. That same oily consistancy is there, and it reminds me of dishsoap. There is a dabble of hops in there, but very little bitterness and it seems to be drowned out by another sour apple taste. The aftertaste is sour again, and I am not sure where it would come from: it does not taste like malts or hops, but rather an ad-hoc flavor.

This beer is nothing special.

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Photo of MisterClean
2.47/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks to someone for bringing a commercial style to homebrew club meeting.

A - Poured copper, with a 1/2 finger of white head. Dissipates fast and leaves no lacing. No carbonation either. :(

S - Honey, peppermint, cloves, cinnamon, and no hops.

T - Honey, peppermint, slight bittering hops, and clove. Slightly sour and moderate alcohol.

M - Medium in body, malt dominated, heavy alcohol. Way too much mintiness.

D - Dumped it. Note to homebrewers, less spice is more. Also, this one may have been infected.

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Photo of pjwilson
2.65/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Well the label is Hidieous that's for sure. What are they thinking? The beer its self is a light looking amber with a decent head. It looks thin.

smell: It smells like gingerbread. Cinamin, clove and such. It smells a little fake though and sort of hides other flavors.

taste: fake cinamin taste. this could be classified as a pumpkin ale with all the fake pumpkin spices and such. I sure don't like this style and am pretty mad I have a bomber. I sure hate that fake spice taste. Saving the beer from drain pour status is the someone high malt bill sort brings something that tastes like beer to the table. a thin mouthfeel bill doesn't help anything. keep away.

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Photo of IntriqKen
2.78/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a clear gold/amber with a small head that melts quickly to thin sticky lacing.
Aroma is sweet, sweet powder sugar frosting and cinnamon.
Flavor is very heavy on cloves, cinnamon and no hops at all. Just sweet and holiday spices. Powdered holiday spices.
Besides being very heavy in spices...it comes off boring.

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Photo of JeffBlue
3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Draft, Bay Area Brew Festival, San Francisco 1/24/15) Nutmeg spiciness was the most memorable quality of this beer, however I cannot say I will be trying others from this brewer.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.04/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a finger and half of head on a hazy dark red colored body.
The aroma is rich malt, cinnamon and fresh baked bread. Nice.
The taste is super sweet throughout. There are little bits of spice and lemon, but the sweetness is dominating.
The texture is soft with moderate carbonation.
The sweetness is too much for me.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.08/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy honey orange with a 1 inch foamy orange white head that settles to a thin film. Small foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of some malt and subdued vegetal/herbal hops. Taste is of malt and herbal hops with a weird dirt like aftertaste. There is a pretty assertive medicinal hop bitterness that lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a slightly crisp mouthfeel with a drying aspect. Overall, this is a pretty average beer in all the areas that matter. I picked one of these up on clearance at Total Wine and I'm glad I didn't pay full price for this one.

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Photo of BlindPig
3.2/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- 1/4" off white head on a kind of cloudy deep amber orange body.
S- Medium spices like nutmeg and maybe like cloves. Some citrus hops come through too giving it a sort of orange back ground. Also a light pale malt aroma is in there too.
T- Light bittering hops is what first hits my taste buds. Shortly followed by a good helping of nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and a few other spices. There is also a orange flavor to it too. Light malt back ground.
M- Medium body low carbonation.
D- It is a alright winter warmer. Nothing special and I wouldn't buy it. Just goes as another one from the style that I got to try.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.22/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Goofy label with an okay beer behind it. Orangish pour with a decent, off-white head. Aroma is very hoppy and floral, to te point that I expected more of an IPA. The flavor is flat. Wooden, grassy, and dusty, without the hop bitterness the aroma led me to expect. There is a mystery flavor that is medicinal, kind of like the anti-bacterial first-aid spray. This might be worth a second try, but I'm not racing out to get it.

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Photo of bum732
3.22/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

S: Faint citrus hops, fruity malt backbone, touch of cinnamon, fairly muted all around.

L: Fairly clear orangish red. Creamy white that dissipates. Ok lacing.

T: Earthy cinnamon up front with some earthy, hop flavor. Toasty malt backbone prominent throughout. Medium earthy bitterness with some subtle spiciness, cinnamon and cardamom. Slight bisquity backbone. Finishes with some hoppy dryness with the bisquity backbone complementing.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

Meh, fairly hoppy "winter warmer". Pretty mediocre.

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Photo of Zorro
3.28/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Slightly hazy reddish amber colored ale with a decent off white head.

Smell is very spicy and is dominated by the scent of clove. Take it from me, I once put too much of the stuff in a Holiday Cider, this is all clove. Too bad it is one dimensional in that respect.

Taste is dry and very spicy like the taste of a spice gum drop. Decently bitter but cloves over power the taste.

Mouthfeel is good.

A good beer ruined by that cursed spice CLOVE. I can't say that I haven't been there, I have ruined a homebrew with it myself. NEVER add clove to your beer it just takes over and never mellows no matter how many years you age it.

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Photo of GallowsThief
3.38/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a 22 oz bomber into a Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a nice amber, caramel color with just a b it of cloudiness. Nice one inch frothy head. Left a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

S - As you would expect had a nice hoppy smell. Has a faint trace of citrus as well. Gives off a nice piney aroma.

T - Just a bit of spiciness in this one. Has a little bitterness as well certainly from the hops. I get just a touch of nutmeg. Finishes a bit dry.

M - Medium bodied. Leaves a decent tingle on the tongue with its carbonation.

D - It has a decent ABV but it's hidden pretty well. This is a drinkable holiday ale. I enjoyed it more then I thought. Worth a try of course. Go for it.

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Photo of ChillMike
3.38/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

ours a nice amber color with a bright white head that doesn't last all that long but it does leave some nice lacing around. Ok this is going to sound completely bizare but it smells almost like a mix of pot and cinnamon. I can't figure out why it smells a bit like pot but it just does
also lots of sweet smells mixed with a bit of a hops.Tastes woah, not exactly what I was expecting, a bit over the top on cinnamon here, lots of nutmeg as well. I suppose it is a Christmas ale and all but there should be a warning label when brewers decide to play these kinds of games. Alright well let's see what else we've got, some bitter hops but they seem to be overpowered by the cinnamon. Not as much hops as I would have expected from a beer with hoppy in the name but I suppose this was a pretty good switch up from the norm. Mouth feel/carbonation seem pretty right on par and isn't all that imposing on the alcohol side of things. Definitely a "holiday" brew.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tawny copper color, good head and residual foaming. There's even a little lacing here and there. A little cloudy too.

Toasty crackers and a little cinnamon and mace. Add to that some hops on the more "Holiday Spice" end of the aroma spectrum.

A weird, agave alcoholic spice note that mixes with heavily toasted malts, not too well. I get som cinnamon and mace like X-Mas spice flavors, but then there's that Agave, Tequila flavor.

The palate is a weird, oil and water mix. Not bad to try, but I will not buy again or recommend this beer to others.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bomber, the beer has a thick, dense 2-inch head on top of a cloudy, orange-amber-ish colored beer. Pretty good aroma of spice (nutmeg and coriander?) and citrus, but light. The initial taste on the front of the tongue is hops, which is predominant in this brewery's products (and I am grateful). The spice follows right behind, with the hint of citrus right behind it, so the smell does not lead you astray. There is a sourness to the aftertaste, which is not entirely unpleasant. It balances well with the smells and flavors of the beer. The beer feels round and smooth on the tongue. The sourness does make for a limiting factor on drinkability, as it seems to have a cumulative effect, but for one or two, it is a tasty beer.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours with a frothy, three finger thick, tan colored head that forms a layered lacing pattern on the sides of my glass and varied, deep sink holes as it slowly recedes. the beer is a richly, amber hued, clear, copper colored brew. The aroma is fairly spicy with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, sweet ginger and allspice.

The taste is sweet, but this is actually accentuated by the spice flavors as the beer has a light-medium fullness to it that makes this fairly drinkable. The spices actually keep this a sipping a brew though as they are quite apparent; flavors of nutmeg, cinnamon a touch of ginger and cardamom dominate the flavor profile. Actually the nutmeg is probably the single most noticeable flavor here. At times, the spice notes bring out a sort of berry like flavor.

I would not quite say that the spices are overwhelming here, this beer is still drinkable and even somewhat enjoyable, but the spice levels are just a bit over the top. They really run roughshod over the other flavors of this beer, and hardly allow anything else to be noticeable.

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Photo of warmstorage
3.52/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle, pours a deep slightly hazy orange to red, limited white-beige head, limited head, dissipates quickly with limited lacing.

Aroma is somewhat limited, some spice, hard to identify, and slightly sweet.

Taste is cinnamon, coriander, perhaps nutmeg, sweet malt, and a distinct and strong spice aftertaste.

Mouth is distinctly sharp and medium bodied.

A decent beer, interesting for a holiday brew: sort of like a hoppy red, malty sweet, but with profound spices. I'd buy it again, as a holiday brew, but it's not amazing.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.52/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle, poured to a pint glass; my first from this brewery (thanks, Floydster). Quirky label: a smiley face/sunshine wearing a 'Santa' cap and beaming 8 distinct (icicle-dripping?) rays down onto a snow-covered mountain. 'Great Food * Awesome Beer * Cool People!!!' proclaims this Sacramento-based brewery. Don't know about the food or the people, but we'll soon find out about the beer (this particular one, at least).

A: Somewhat clear auburn-orange (a faint unfiltered fuzziness), plenty of small bubbles rising throughout. Head never quite reaches a finger-high, falling quickly to a thin topping of ivory cream, pockmarked in a couple dozen places where the carbonation seems to rise most vigorously. Pretty good lacing, sticking in dappled bands.

S: From a distance smells of musty hops, wet grass and hemp. Up close, there's a notable sweet spicing, like cloves, cinnamon and orange zest. A whiff of vanilla and something a little like maraschino cherries. Also a bit perfumy/floral. A weird sort of combo, but not unlikeable.

T: Grassy and spicy hops permeate this one, a pithy orange and a chalky/medicinal bitterness. There are sweeter elements interspersed: a cake-y gingerbread, hints of clove and vanilla, orange and other fruits.

M: A moderately heavy feel, not quite syrupy - the alcohol weight has some warmth. Smooth, pretty creamy.

D: Didn't really care for this one, a weird muddling of some sweet/malty/holiday elements and an intense, kinda awful, bittering. Glad for the try, but I probably won't put this on next year's Christmas list.

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Photo of sweethome
3.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour is clean - dark golden color. White head lingers for some time.

Nose of clover honey and ginger. Some alcohol.

Entry is thick - big blast of ginger takes over and fights to hold on. Warmth late and some nice hopping provides a bit of balance. Plenty of clove here too. Very spicey beer. Big body, thick and warming.

I really like the mouthfeel and warming effect. Ginger is a bit harsh and clove only adds to that effect.

A decent winter warmer with a nice feel - just a little out of kilter on the spices.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean orange-ish to amber color with an off white head. In the aroma, mellow orange citrus and notes of candy sugar and nutmeg. In the taste, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel, and a pinch of all spice. A spice bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry orange peel and spice in the aftertaste. Nice spice and quite enjoyable, but just over average.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Another rather funky looking Bomber from the Sacramento Zymurgists which is sealed with a black crown cap bedecked with a smiley yellow sun face. It has an immediately recognizable label, another one of those mad brews from the Hoppy Brewing Company; all of the labels have a generic colorful NoCal-Jamaican trait. This latest version is labeled as “Hoppy Claus Holiday Ale” and listed at a massive 7.8% ABV. A Psychedelic shiny yellow Sun drips tentacles of frozen stalactites, lots of Tie-Dye coloring. No freshness date.

Appearance: Rich deep chestnut body with a clear ruby hue. Off-white head rises quickly and leaves a thin smattered lacing which never does anything. Finely dissolved carbonation is nicely dispersed and supports the head to retain a ½” thick cap throughout. Nice looks.

Nose: Massive blast of heavy spices, sugary sweet cinnamon and nutmeg pound the nasal passage…both are heavy hitters, this smells…..yes, this smells….SOOO familiar….you know I know this…..don’t tell me….HOT CROSS BUNS!! Yes that is it, right on the nail. Hot Cross Buns.

Taste: Now I’ve nailed the nose, the tastes follow suit almost perfectly and leave me with little leeway to even try to explain what the body has to offer to the tongue. Sweet cinnamon and a rich nutmeg have sugary traits whilst the dark fruits are provided by currants & raisins; the finish has a lovely deep sticky bun ending. Intensely rewarding like the most sinful of Hot Cross Buns, so good yet so wrong. As for the “Hoppy Claus” I am not sure where that comes from, the Hops are distinctly hidden, so well in fact that I could not find them!!

Mouthfeel: Intense, the sticky bun feel lends a massive finger coated gluey 4.0 with little effort. The body has depth and a rather complex fruity nature thanks to the currants and raisins.

Drinkability: Too much at times, the cinnamon and nutmeg dominate, I could have easily put up with a 12 ouncer of this one, though I managed to take care of the whole Bomber with little more effort.

Overall: A traditional favorite on Good Friday in England is the dispersion and consumption of Hot Cross Buns….Mmmm, I can smell them now. Hot Cross Buns are a spicy currant and/or raisin infested yeast proved bun, traditionally topped with a "Cross" made of lemon flavored icing. Rumor has it that the Pagans started the ritual, but Christians seem to have adopted the cake and the symbolism of the cross. Erstwhile, to the English Pagans then, as now, the cross was symbolic of the Sun wheel a symbol of perfect balance at the time of the Spring Equinox….Stonehenge anyone!?! It goes without saying that Hot Cross Buns were most likely used in ancient ritual ceremonies and that the Christian Church first attempted to ban the buns, then in the face of overwhelming popularity accepted defeat such that the Church did the next best thing and "Christianized" the bread, with Queen Elizabeth I eventually passing a law which limited the bun's consumption to proper religious ceremonies, such as Christmas, Easter or funerals in England. <Breathe Out> OK, Still with me?? Well see, it comes full circle if you are paying attention…..the Hot Cross Buns, the Sun and the signature smiley face of the Hoppy Brewing Company and also the Xmas link. Even soo…..maybe it is my staunch English traits, but this brew tastes JUST like liquid Hot Cross Buns to me and the links with the Sun and Xmas are all rather weird, cosmic and hard to ignore. This would make a great Good Friday Easter brew in England though. Weird, but worth a pop.

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Photo of Shaw
3.61/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another new arrival in Florida.

Pours a deep amber in color with a thick tan head.

Light aroma of spices like clove.

The taste is lightly spicy, nothing too strong, fortunately. Medium malt flavors with hints of tannin and roasted notes. The higher alcohol level is hidden.

Creamy body is nice.

Overall this is a decent spiced beer.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried this from a 22 oz bottle. Its about 2 months old now and can't tell if its affected the beer or not. It pourd a very nice clear brown/amber color. Plenty of small bubbles coming out of solution. The head was fluffy and only slightly darker than white. It had some decent retention to it.

The aroma was partly of malt but mostly of spices. The malts that I could smell were the basic pale malts and some crystal malts. Looks like there may be a touch of dark malts in there but I can't smell it. I don't know what the spices are. There was almost a bubblegum quality to the aroma. Maybe ginger? Pretty nice all around.

The flavor was almost as enjoyable with the exception of the bitterness. I am a hop head but I didn't think the extra hop bitterness did the beer any favors. We'll see what happens over the course of a year as I still have a bottle laying around somewhere.

Pretty smooth drinkable beer, enjoyable when cold, gets a little funky when it gets warm.

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Hoppy Claus Holiday Ale from Hoppy Brewing Co.
3.4 out of 5 based on 52 ratings.
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