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Pike Auld Acquaintance Hoppy Holiday Ale | The Pike Brewing Company

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78 Reviews
Pike Auld Acquaintance Hoppy Holiday AlePike Auld Acquaintance Hoppy Holiday Ale

Brewed by:
The Pike Brewing Company
Washington, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 11-18-2008

For Trade:
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Reviews: 78 | Ratings: 129
Photo of Sammy
3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A decent appearance of medium foggy yellow, with some soapy head. Thanks Trevor. A German style beer, with spices that are right there without being in your face. I taste the light orange, the nutmeg. Good drinkability and 5% appreciated. Carbonation is appropriate and the mouthfeel is above average.

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Photo of froghop
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours a cloudy orange-brown with a small tan head, and some lacing.

smell is faint, spice, malt, some floral, and tangerine.

taste is a little watery, spice, orange peel, malt, hops, some bitter, nutmeg, end is thick on the mouth and a bit bitter.

overall just an okay winter warmer.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.52/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 10/30/2009 (bottle):

Pours a golden amber color body, with a small white head, diminishing. Sweet spicy aroma, some nuttiness. Some citrus, orange, and sweet spices. Strong coriander. Sweet spicy taste, hoppiness in the throat, a little rough, but good. Not sickly sweet, or too much coriander. Good balance of spices and malty sweetness.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a beer mug.

A gentle pour produces a rocky, khaki-tan head with fat bubbles that crackle as they explode. The foam, which built to an inch at first, quickly dissipates and settles to a thin, wispy veil in a matter of minutes. The body of Auld Acquaintance is attractively hazy and takes on the color of peach-infused iced tea; lots of visible carbonation, too. Pine, spruce, and holiday spices abound in the well-balanced aroma, yet no one major player shines through too strongly. The coriander and orange peel show up more-so as it warms, reminiscent of fresh tangerine flesh. Sadly, the pale malts are somewhat of an afterthought in this West Coast, hop-forward winter warmer.

Very tasty on the front of the palate for sure, as hop resins and the aforementioned spices make for a juicy flavor profile that reminds me of biting into an orange--peel included. Subtle notes of nutmeg and toasted, nutty malts round out the finish with a tight carbonation level that, while high, compliments the aftertaste of fruitcake and holiday spices. Both the body and 5.0% ABV are light enough to make this beer refreshing and highly drinkable for the style. Pike has a winner with Auld Acquaintance for sure...get it while it's fresh! I wish more winter warmers were like this.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650ml bottle. I'm reminded of a now-tired Denis Leary rant about Santa Claus not being on the list of acceptable images to be on his beer bottle label.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, medium copper colour, with one finger of foamy, bubbly tan head, which leaves a smattering of droopy curtained lace around the glass as it readily recedes.

It smells of light biscuity caramel malt, a prominent display of drupe fruitiness, a mild white pepper note, and understated gingerbread spices - cloves and cinnamon, mostly. The taste is a slightly biscuity caramel malt, some wavering apple/pear fruity character, enduring gingerbread notes, the graininess and usual suspect spices, natch, including the advertised coriander, citrus, and spicy floral hops.

The carbonation is moderate in its supportive nature, the body a tacit medium weight, and fairly smooth. It finishes pretty dry, just a slight bit of biscuit malt wading into the emboldened spicy hops at the end.

A decent enough winter holiday ale, but reserved to a certain degree all around. The latent hoppiness is nice, but the malt and spices could be equally ramped up, to better ward off the encroaching seasonal pallor.

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Photo of Jason
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber with no freshness date.

Clear amber with some active bubble action that provides a dense lacing. Malty aroma with a mixing of spice and hop, coriander and orange peel are more up front. Smooth with a fluffy light to medium body, spicing is prevalent from the get go though never cross the line of being dominant. Maltiness almost has as sugar cookie and holiday bread flavor ... the spicing helps with that. Bitterness comes from both the hops and coriander, just enough to keep balance. Finishes semi-sweet with some lingering spice.

Compared to most of the spiced Winter Warmers out there this one is top shelf, it all comes down to balance.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This clear, copper-colored beer features a moderate, frothy head. It leaves a generous lacing on the glass as well. Sweet malt aroma, with a resinous hop overtone. None of the spices listed can I detect in the nose. The taste is rather week, with very ligjht malt. The spices are detectable here: overall it tastes like a spiced tea, rather watery. Hops aren't nearly as present bitter-wise or taste-wise than in the nose. Another rather disappointing Pike Place beer.

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Photo of champ103
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy orange/copper color. A one finger white head forms, and recedes to leave some lace.
S: Spicy and cinnamon aromas. Orange peal and some lemon zest. A citrus hop twang. Interesting is the word I would use to describe this.
T: Again, interesting. Lots of spicy flavors. Some cinnamon and nuts. Soapy and oily citrus hops linger on.
M/D: A medium body, crisp carbonation, and dry. Easy and smooth to drink. I can session this without a problem.

There are lots of layers here. They don't all mesh right for me though. The cinnamon and hop flavors are at odds for me. Not bad at all, and worth a try. I hope I can try this again sometime.

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Photo of akorsak
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 650 mL bottle purchased at Liquid Solutions.

A: The winter warmer looks more like an IPA with a bright copper color. Auburn highlights come through, adding to the brightness. A finger and a half of head was craggy before dissolving.

S: The aroma confirms my suspicions, lots of hops are packed into this bottle. Orange peel and a spice profile are a nice counterpoint to the hops.

T: The taste is the first sign of a winter warmer. The spice profile knocks the ale out of the park. Nutmeg and cinnamon are strong, not quite pumpkin strong, but strong nonetheless. Orange peel and brown sugar follow. On further re-assessment, the hops aren't nearly as strong as the nose lets on.

M: The mouthfeel is a little bizarre, a spice bomb that could really use some hops to balance 'em out.

D: This one started out promising before dovetailing in the opposite direction. More hops, please.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber coloured with a large frothy,thick creme head. Aroma is mainlly malty,buiscuity,some cinnamon. Taste is semi-bitter malty, some nutmeg and a touch of cinnamon in the back. Ok mouthfeel..I do like the way the cinnamon sticks around at the back of the throat. Overall a quite drinkable and lighter winter ale. Not bad at all but by no means great.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks very nice -- hazy reddish gold, medium tan head and a little lacing. Smell's not very strong, and mostly the malt and cinnamon come out.

The taste is overpowered by the spice, but the spice is pretty good -- the cinnamon comes out nicely. Hops are fairly absent or overpowered by the cinnamon.

Feels good, nice light mouthfeel, and fairly drinkable.

I'm drinking after spending the day in the sun working in my yard, and it's a good match -- it's a light refreshing kind of beer with a lot of spices, not a heavy filling kind of beer.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.39/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured thick, with a hazy copper color, very little head.

S- The smell is great, just what I would want in a Winter Warmer. There is a nice coriander smell with a slight touch of the nutmeg that was used, which these blend well with the orange. The cinnamon used is also there. I just like the smell of this beer.

T- I like this a lot. It reminds me of a herbal spiced tea. The spices used mixed with the light orange taste makes this truly taste like an herbal tea. The malts are present and very hearty/earthy tasting.

M- The feel is thick, yet thin if you know what I mean. It starts thick, yet finishes thin.

D- Easy to drink and would be great around the holidays.

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Photo of beertunes
3.66/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into straight pint glass. Poured with thin, dark tan head that dissipated quickly, leaving a medium amount of lacing. The expected malt notes were less than anticipated in the aroma. A balanced hop presence was also noticed. The flavors followed the aroma closely. I found the flavors of this beer to be not as bold as I had expected, a pleasing surprise. The body was a little thin for the style, although this did not detract from the enjoyment. Very drinkable, would be an excellent companion for your favorite board game or darts. Overall, not the expected winter warmer but a very pleasant beer.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle at 52 degrees.

Pours hazy amber with a one inch head of white. Nice lacework from beginning to end, as well as a partial skim-coat on the surface.

Gingerbread, biscuity malt, and orange peel lead off the aromatics. Hints of grapefruit zest, lemon oil, and cinnamon follow through.

Medium bodied with a mostly creamy mouthfeel and a dash of crispness.

Malt-forward on the palate, with fairly subtle spicing. Gingersnaps up front with hints of tart grapefruit, cinnamon, and toasted biscuits.

Finishes with a lingering bitterness, mild spicing, and barely warming.

Pike did a nice job on the spicing. Aside from the ginger component all others are pretty subdued. Better than average for a winter warmer, but nothing too outstanding.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased this bomber at a QFC in Bothell WA, and then it made the trek back to MA in my suitcase. Poured into two tulip glasses. Served chilled, not cold. Hazy brown orange color. Very thick white head, with a good amount of lacing. Smelled of cinnamon and coriander. The first sip was quite intriguing. Even though the word "hoppy" is in the name of the beer, I didn't know what to expect. This is one on the first winter warmers that I have had that balances spice notes with hoppiness very well. There was definitely that sweet and spicy aspect to it, but it also had that underlying bite of hops that most winter warmers do not exhibit. I wish more seasonal beers tasted this good. I grabbed the last one off the shelf for $3.99. Wish I bought more.

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

Received as an extra in a trade.

Pours dark murky amber with a small head that quickly fades.

Smell: Oranges, Piney hops, and Caramel. Not much from the spices other than Coriander.

Taste: Mostly Citrus and Biscuit malt, a bit of Nutmeg, Cinnamon towards the end. The spices get stronger as it warms, but the nutmeg outshines the cinnamon. A bit thin. Medium carbonation.

Decent. I could see myself picking up a bomber or two a year if this was available to me.

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Photo of madtappers
3.3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First off this is a unique beer that is probably not for everyone, that said the nutmeg and cinnamon add a nice taste to the unique beer.

I don't feel this is a beer you would session but rather just a great beer to sip and enjoy a fire or a holiday celebration.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
4.02/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a muted light golden amber hue with a thick and clean off-white head that fades leaving some nice blotchy lacing down the glass. glows a pink grapefruit when held to a light, with just a touch of murkiness.

aroma is different with some interesting spices yet not a ton of sweetness. Nutmeg and cinnamon dominate. A subtle bready malt comes through, along with a citrusy, almost candied hop aroma. A hint of citrus zest on the nose.

Taste is fairly unique. Typical winter warmer caramel malt backbone, leaning a bit more toward the biscut side of the flavor spectrum. The spices are there too, with cinnamon and vanilla coming through on the tongue. What's most intriguing is the blend of citrus and hops that subtly sneaks in toward the finish and really adds some depth. Tangerine and grapefruit linger, blending into orange and hops as it sits on the tongue. Hops and citrus zest stay, taking it further than a usual winter spiced malt bomb.

Mouthfeel is clean and crisp, just a touch syrupy, with some light creaminess. The smooth caramel flavors coat the tongue, while the lingering grapefruit and hop bitters tingle the sides of the tongue.

All in all, a pretty solid brew. A bit different from the usual winter warmers. Kind of fills the void between the spiced malt bombs and the slightly spiced strong IPAs that are so prevalent during this season (at least in the PNW). It's both a deliciously malty beer and a fairly hoppy almost-ipa, but ends up somewhere nicely inbetween. And the coriander and orange that I was a bit apprehensive of turned out to lend their flavors beautifully. It doesn't pack quite a flavor punch that i would have liked, but sometimes that may be a good thing. Definitely seek this one out.

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Photo of erikm25
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a caramel and burnt orange hue. A light chocolate and amber coloring as it sits in the glass. Medium off white head with snowy lacing.

S: Malts, figs, and peppery cinnamon. Spiced orange and citrus hops backdrop. While not overwhelming with hops they are still noticeable. Levels out nicely with the sweet oat and malt aromas.

T: This turned out to be very balanced while still delivering pretty heavy on the spice. Sweet caramel malts with coriander and nutmeg. A nice citric and peppered finish. Some grapefruit hops sprinkled with cinnamon and brown sugar. Alcohol is subdued by varying spices.

M: Medium body with fair carbonation and reasonable overall mouth feel.

D: Great winter beer offering that was very drinkable. Had I tasted it on a whim I am not sure that I would have guessed to label it an IPA. Overall, there is a nice spiced quality which makes this very warming and delicious. I'll put this in regular rotation for the holiday season.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. Bomber

Pours a cloudy murky brown color, nice carbonation, little fizzy off-white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some hops, citrus, corinader, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The taste follows the nose. Medium body. Drinkable, this is not an IPA to me, but more of a light version of a winter warmer. My bottle sez 5% ABV.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.41/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, amber body with a thin, bubbly, white head.

Smell: Spice-laden, sprucey aroma with notes of toast, caramel malts, and oily orange peels.

Taste: Caramel malts, lightly toasty, light sweet. Some spice, spruce tips, and then more spice. Dash of dried orange peel. Medium hop bitterness. Sweetish, spiced finished.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A decent winter release (provided you're down with plenty of spiciness) from the good folks over at Pike.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to markgugs for the chance to try this tasty brew.
Amber in color with hints of orange and ruby. Head rises quickly and falls just as fast. It leaves patchy spotted lacing.
Interesting aroma with hints of orange, cinnamon and other spices. None really dominate, they just kind of mingle together.
Caramel malt backbone in the flavor, with spices mixed in. I taste nutmeg and some cinnamon along with some other spices that I can't identify. The spices compliment the beer nicely with out going too overboard as some winter ales do. The hops really kick in during the finish and add new life to the beer. I think of this beer as more of a hoppy winter warmer, than a spiced IPA.
Mouthfeel was a little light for my taste at first but recovered nicely as the beer warmed.
Very drinkable. Wish I had another. This will be on my wants during the next holiday season.

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Photo of markgugs
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 22oz. bottle into a pint glass (drank on 2/8/08)

A: Pours a gorgeous glowing amber with a thin bubbly white head. Incredible sparkling clarity rounds out a nice-looking beer.

S: Too mild for my liking, try as I might, I could only barely detect slight hints of orange & coriander, and almost no maltiness at all.

T/M: Luckily the taste improves dramatically from the nose! Coriander is definitely present, as is a nice hint of nutmeg and orange which blends well into a tasty roasted body. And then finally the hops kick in, finishing things off in a lip-smacking fashion. Mouthfeel is spot-on for what I wanted in this beer, it's carbonated nicely and just coats the mouth all over.

D: Easily drinkable, might be one of my favorite winter warmer-styled ales, it just goes down so smooth. Well-worth seeking out.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy dark orange with a fairly slight head that fades to a thin ring. Smells of a lightly sweet spiciness with some cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange peel notes. Some lightly citrusy hops are there as well. Taste is quite similar. More light spiciness and a pleasant breadiness is present as well. The hops fade a good bit as it warms and opens up and it becomes more like a lightly spiced winter warmer. Very smooth mouthfeel and perhaps a bit tannic at the end from the spices. Not bad, and the botttle actually list this at 5% abv, but it could use more body and/or spices and/or hops.

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Photo of russpowell
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This 5.0% ABV IPA pours amber/copper with 2 fingers of sand colored head. Good head retention & above average head retention

S: Breadyness & a bit of orange peel, plus some cinnamon and other spices as this warms

T: Citrussy hops, a bit of cinnamon, plus piney hops up front. Lemony & orange hops come to fore as this warms, plus vanilla, & a bit of caramel, along with more cinnamon & other spices, a bit of dryness. Finishes a bit wet with subdued orange, spices & a touch of lemony hops

MF: Light/medium bodied with low carbonation with pretty good balance

Drinks pretty good, this isn't an IPA IMO, more of a winter warmer. One you could have a few of, but after a while the spices would wear me down. I prefer more malt heft

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Pike Auld Acquaintance Hoppy Holiday Ale from The Pike Brewing Company
3.65 out of 5 based on 129 ratings.
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